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Chicago area Muslims celebrate end of Ramadan while looking ahead to presidential election

Chicago area celebrates end of Ramadan
Chicago area celebrates end of Ramadan 02:05

CHICAGO (CBS) — Muslims worldwide celebrate the end of Ramadan on Wednesday.

But this year, it's happening in the shadow of war, which was on the minds of many.

Suburban Rosemont is hosting one of the largest gatherings that happened in the Chicago area.

Marking the end of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, more than 10,000 Muslims flocked to the Stephens Center in Rosemont to give thanks.

Offering prayers and reflection, the Islamic Community Center hosted the Eid Al-Fitr celebration, also known as "The holiday of breaking the fast."

Despite being a festive tradition, this year, it took a somber tone with the crisis in Gaza heavy on both minds and hearts.

"You look at how they are suffering for a grain of rice or a pack of flour. So you gotta take everything into account," said Pedal Qarut of Des Plaines. 

"All you can do is think about them. Pray for them and just hope things get better," said Jalao Saadeh of Chicago.

This week marks six months since war broke out in Gaza. The Gaza Health Ministry says over 30,000 Palestinians have lost their lives.

The worsening crisis - was addressed by Mayor Brandon Johnson, who was on hand at the prayer service, where he offered continued support to the community.

"As mayor, I stand with you in the fight for peace so that we all can have a safe home, whether it's from Garfield Park on the west side of Chicago or in Gaza. Peace be with all of us," Johnson said. 

As many use this time to reflect, they're also looking ahead to the upcoming election.

Especially with Illinois being home to the largest population of Muslims in the country. They believe the impact could be significant.

"We need to make our voices heard, and we may we need to make sure that everybody knows that we can make a difference," said Dr. Abdulgany Hamadeh of the Council of Islamic Organization of Greater Chicago.

"Doing the right thing should never be a political issue. It should never be for votes," said Haleemeh Mohammed of Chicago's Belmont Craigin neighborhood. 

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