In the United States and around the world, Muslims are observing Ramadan, a month-long period of daytime fasting that commemorates the revelation of the Koran to the prophet Muhammad. Ramadan is viewed as a time for spiritual growth and prayer and a time to remember the less fortunate by sharing God's gifts with those in need.
There are several million Muslims in the U.S. who worship at more than two thousand mosques or Islamic centers. During Ramadan, American Muslims attend nightly prayers and fast during the day. Abdulla Khouje heads the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C.
"People from all over the world gather in one place and we feel we are one people regardless of the distance and regardless of the geographic regions."
Shaker el-Sayed is the Imam at the Dar Al Hijra mosque in Falls Church, Virginia. He says that during Ramadan, American Muslims make time to talk about their religion with their neighbors:
"We reach out to non-Muslim organizations, churches, synagogues, and other civic organizations to tell them what Ramadan is all about."
President George W. Bush says that the U.S. has been blessed by the contributions of people of many different faiths. "Our Muslim citizens," he says, "have helped make our nation a stronger and more hopeful place through their faith, generosity, and compassion":
"We know that Islam is fully compatible with liberty, tolerance, and progress."
Mr. Bush says, "May this be a blessed Ramadan for Muslims in the United States and around the world."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.