Last Sunday morning, local Muslims celebrated Eid ul-Fitr (an important holiday in the Muslim calendar) at Mount Hope Masjid, a mosque on Mount Hope Place, just east of Jerome Avenue.
The day began with a 9 a.m. prayer, followed by a sermon, followed by food and socializing. According to the mosque's assistant iman, Abdul Muhaimin Ladan, approximately 600 people were in attendance. Most were of West African origin, a reflection of the local population, but there were also Bangladeshis and Arabs, the iman said. The women and the children worshipped inside the mosque, the men outside on the street (the block was cordoned off).
Other Bronx mosques - the borough is home to 30, says Laden, up from just seven a decade ago - held similar celebrations.
Eid ul-Fitr (Arabic for "The Feast of the Fast-Breaking") marks the end of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast, ask for forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance, and give to the needy.
In the Bronx and throughout the city there's a growing movement to add the day (Eid ul-Fitr is actually a three-day holiday but the first is the most significant) to the public school calendar, as well as another day, Eid al-Adha.
Those in favor say one in eight public school students are Muslim, and that they shouldn't be forced to choose between attending school and being with their families. Those against - including Mayor Bloomberg - say students need more classroom time, not less.
Photos and slideshow by Adi Talwar