QUEENS — Jamaica Muslim groups will host their first Community Iftar, or breaking of the fast, this Saturday at Rufus King Park in a bid to share the spirit of Ramadan with their neighbors.
The event will take place as the Muslim community fights anti-Muslim rhetoric following the Orlando massacre, in which a man who had pledged allegiance to ISIS gunned down 49 people at a gay nightclub early Sunday.
It also comes on the heels of an incident in which a Muslim man was brutally attacked after leaving a mosque in Jamaica earlier this month.
The Jamaica-based Islamic Circle of North America and the South East Queens Muslim Collective, which organize the event, said they are inviting all members of the community to share a meal and celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast during daylight hours.
Ramadan, a time of spiritual and self-reflection, ends on July 5.
“We are inviting all to break fast with their Muslim neighbors,” the organizers said in their invitation sent out to local residents.
The event will also include attractions for kids.
“It's an afternoon of greeting and meeting one another, interfaith sharing, fun for children with balloons, face painting and information booths for adults,” the organizers said.
During the event, the Muslim groups will share dates with the community, which are the first thing eaten to break the fast, followed by a traditional meal.
The local Muslim community has recently been subject to a number of attacks.
In April, several people were injured in an assault inside the Jamaica Muslim Center, when a man reportedly punched them during afternoon prayer service.
Earlier this month, 59-year-old Mohamed Rasheed Khan was assaulted by three young men outside a mosque in Hollis in what the NYPD called a possible hate crime. Police said the suspects knocked Khan off his bike and started punching him on his face and head without saying anything, sending him to the hospital with multiple lacerations to his face and a concussion.
No arrests have been made in the case, local police officials said Wednesday.
The first Community Iftar will take place Saturday, June 18, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. All activities will take place at Rufus King Park, in the area near 150th Street and 89th Avenue. Members of the Muslim community will break their fast at sundown, around 8:30 p.m.