Dozens of Muslims gathered at the South Paterson Park just before sunset usher in the holy month of Ramadan with a lantern lighting. The 17-foot lantern, called a fanous in Arabic, was lit up wishing the city’s large Muslim community a happy Ramadan.
Muslims go without food and water from dawn till dusk for the month. “This month is very special to us because the Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan,” said imam Mohammad Qatanani of the Islamic Center of Passaic County.
Qatanani called for unity among the city’s various ethnic communities. “We’re all one family,” he told the crowd of almost 100 people who gathered at the park. With the election of a new U.S. president many of the minority communities that call Paterson home have felt targeted. Muslims were the first group targeted by the new administration with its travel ban. In South Paterson, hundreds of people from the city’s many different ethnic groups protested the ban in solidarity with Muslims.