Governor Pat Quinn today joined the Muslim community to observe the completion of the Holy Month of Ramadan at the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer service in Bridgeview. During the occasion, the governor renounced recent incidences of violence against Muslim places of worship and signed a new law to foster religious tolerance.
"To the more than 400,000 Muslims across our state, "Eid Mubarak!'" Governor Quinn said. "Ramadan is a time of fasting, sacrifice and self-reflection. We honor your commitment to your faith and will vigorously protect your right to practice it without fear of intimidation."
Ramadan is observed during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is considered the holiest month of the year in the Islamic faith. During Ramadan, Muslims fast each day from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan ends with a three-day festival known as "Eid", which means "the feast of the breaking/to break the fast".
Following the recent massacre at the Sikh temple near Milwaukee, gunfire at a Morton Grove mosque, a bomb thrown at a Lombard Islamic school and the desecration of a Muslim gravesite at Evergreen Cemetery, Governor Quinn issued a call for respect, tolerance and harmony. In addition, he signed Senate Bill 2949, to protect college students who miss a class or exam due to their observance of a religious holiday.
"No student should be disciplined, penalized or fined for observing a sacred day," Governor Quinn said. "This new law celebrates our nation's basic principle of "freedom of religion, as well as the notion that diversity makes us stronger."
The new law, sponsored by Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) and Rep. Sidney Mathias (R-Arlington Heights), passed both chambers unanimously with the support of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities (FIICU). The law is effective Jan 1, 2013.