Local Muslims celebrate the beginning of Ramadan

(10/26/03) MOUNT VERNON - Ramadan begins Monday at daybreak. For about 25,000 Muslims in Westchester and billions of Muslims around the world, it is the start of a month-long period of fasting, reflection and charity. The holiday celebrates the creation of the Koran, the holy book of Islam.

This year, the holy period comes at a time when the FBI is warning Americans overseas and Muslims in the U.S. to be extra vigilant about hate crimes and terrorism. Despite warnings from law enforcement this month, many local Muslims say they are not very concerned about violence against them.

Meanwhile, during this holy month, FBI officials are urging national vigilance for possible violence against Muslims and non-Muslims alike. They say that in the past, attacks have often coincided with the timing of Ramadan. Still, many Muslims in Westchester say they feel relatively safe and Ramadan is a holiday of peace.

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