Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting between sunrise and sunset, ended Sept. 10, and members of the IU Muslim Student Union were hungry.
Roughly 40 students gathered in Olcott Park Saturday to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, with a barbecue picnic.
Senior Taufik Chhotani, vice president of the MSU, wearing a Chicago Bears football jersey, stood at the grill.
Behind him, all of the female students were crowded at one table chatting while Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” played over the stereo.
Across the way, eight of the men were playing football in an empty field, while the rest milled around the barbecue and the picnic tables, waiting for Chhotani to give the word that the food was ready.
“Who wants chicken?” Chhotani finally yelled. “Who wants a hot dog? Grab a plate.”
A line formed, and Chhotani began filling empty plates with burgers, chicken and hotdogs.
“Here, I’m going to hook you up,” Chhotani said to a student at the end of the line, slipping two patties onto the bun. “There you go. Double Cheeseburger.”
MSU’s co-president, junior Baseer Ahmad, said he is used to the challenges of fasting during Ramadan. Most of it fell in August this year, though, which did make the experience more difficult, he said.
“The days are longer and hotter,” he said. “It does get hard, but you learn to cherish things a lot more during Ramadan.”
Ahmad also said the planned Quran burning and Mosque debate that happened during Ramadan, while distressing, did not make the month any more difficult.
“It has been hurtful,” he said. “It has been annoying, but you learn to tune some of it out.”
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