Ramadan celebration remembers Pulse victims

Organizers work to promote peace, unity

SANFORD, Fla. – Central Florida's American Muslim community celebrated the end of the holy month of Ramadan with an event honoring the strength and unity of Orlando.

"A heinous crime happened in our town in the best month of the year, so we are doubly sad, that there was such a huge loss of life," said Atif Fareed, chairman of the American Muslim Community Centers of Longwood.

Fareed said security was slightly increased at the event, in light of the shooting. Many who attended the celebration told News 6 they are standing #OrlandoStrong during Ramadan, an annual Islamic holiday, similar to holidays in other faiths for prayer, charity, family and gift-giving.

"We are part of the Central Florida fabric we are part of the community, these incidents are not going to separate us. We will stay united and these types of things will not keep us from living our life and our way of life," said Adnan Raja, a volunteer helping to organize the event.

As the community continues to heal in the weeks after the attack at Pulse nightclub, Fareed said he has met with the LGBTQ community.

"I learned something from them, you know, in a moment of despair and darkness they were very graceful towards us, and that really touched my heart," said Fareed.

About the Author: