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Muslim world celebrates Eid al-Fitr against backdrop of crisis in Gaza

Muslims perform an Eid al-Fitr prayer, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April, 10, 2024.
Muslims perform an Eid al-Fitr prayer, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April, 10, 2024. Copyright Ebrahim Noroozi/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Ebrahim Noroozi/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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Muslims across the world reflect on Gaza as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

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Celebrations marking the Eid al-Fitr were overshadowed by the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza and Israel’s expected military offensive in Rafah city after six months of war.

“We should not forget our brothers and sisters in Palestine,” imam Abdulrahman Musa said in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. “They have been subjected to unjustified aggression and a lot of violence (as) the world is watching in silence.”

In a holiday message, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent support to Gaza, which he called a “bleeding wound on the conscience of humanity.”

In Istanbul, thousands of worshippers gathered at the Aya Sofya Mosque for prayers, some carrying Palestinian flags and chanting slogans in support of people in Gaza, where the United Nations and partners warn that more than a million people are at threat of imminent famine.

Elsewhere, people were grateful for the plenty they had after a month of fasting and reflection. Before the Eid al-Fitr holiday, markets around the world teemed with shoppers.

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, nearly three-quarters of the population were travelling for the annual homecoming known locally as “mudik."

“This is a right moment to reconnect, like recharging energy that has been drained almost a year away from home," said civil servant Ridho Alfian, who lives in the Jakarta area and was travelling to Lampung province at the southern tip of Sumatra island.

Muslim devotees offer Eid al-Fitr prayers to mark the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, in Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday, April. 10, 2024.
Muslim devotees offer Eid al-Fitr prayers to mark the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, in Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday, April. 10, 2024.Brian Inganga/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

Jakarta’s Istiqlal Grand Mosque, the largest in Southeast Asia, was flooded with devotees offering morning prayers.

Preachers in their sermons called on people to pray for Muslims in Gaza who were suffering after six months of war.

“This is the time for Muslims and non-Muslims to show humanitarian solidarity, because the conflict in Gaza is not a religious war, but a humanitarian problem," said Jimly Asshiddiqie, who chairs the advisory board of the Indonesian Mosque Council.

In Berlin, worshipers reflected the world, coming from Benin, Ghana, Syria, Afghanistan and Turkey.

“It’s a day where we feel grateful for everything we have here, and think and give to those who are poor, facing war and have to go hungry,” said Azhra Ahmad, a 45-year-old mother of five.

In Malaysia, ethnic Malay Muslims performed morning prayers at mosques nationwide just weeks after socks printed with the word “Allah” at a convenience store chain sparked controversy. 

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim called for unity and reconciliation in his message on the eve of Eid, saying no groups should be side-lined based on religion or any other reason.

“We must be firm, resolute and unwavering in our commitment to foster values and build a dignified nation,” he said. “However, let us not take this as a license or opportunity to insult, undermine, or damage the cultural practices and way of life of others.”

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