Muslims, Jews, Copts mark New Year celebrations across globe

Muslims, Jews and Copts celebrate New Year around the globe
2 min read
11 Sep, 2018
This year, the New Year falls on 9/11, a fraught coincidence that has raised fears about a backlash against Muslims in New York and elsewhere celebrating the festival.
In Indonesia, Muslims mark the new year with parades [Anadolu]
Muslims will celebrate Islamic New Year on Tuesday, known in Arabic as Ras al-Sana al-Hijriya, a day which commemorates the Prophet Mohammed's migration from Mecca to Medina to avoid persecution.

But the timing of the holiday, which varies each year based on moon sightings, lands on a politically fraught date: the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The timing has raised worries about a backlash against Muslims, particularly in New York City and the broader United States.

The worries are exacerbated by the increasingly anti-Muslim political climate and rhetoric in the US. For example, President Donald Trump signed an executive order in March 2017 that bans visa holders from five Muslim-majority countries from coming to the US - what has been described as a "Muslim ban".

Trump has also previously flouted a false inflammatory claim that Arab Muslims in the US celebrated when the Twin Towers collapsed - killing nearly 3,000 people - in 2001. 

"Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering," he said in 2015. 

Fact-checkers have scoured widely for evidence of this claim and have found zero evidence to support the inflammatory claim, and Trump has refused to walk back from the comments. 

The US president has also commented frequently about 9/11, and has come under fire for his tone and choice of words commemorating the date. 

Fortunately, both Muslims and non-Muslims appear to be making light of the Islamic New Year's timing this year. 

Besides the Islamic New Year and 9/11, Rosh Hashana, which Jews mark as their New Year, also happens to fall on 11 September this year. The two-day celebrations are set to close on Tuesday at midnight. 

Both Rosh Hashana and the Islamic New Year are quiet holidays traditionally celebrated by attending religious services and spending time with family. 

Egypt and Sudan's some 20 million Coptic Christians will also celebrate their New Year on Tuesday.

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