People from multiple faiths joined Muslims in a central Newfoundland town this weekend to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Nearly 200 people filled a United church in Grand Falls-Windsor to celebrate Eid with participants saying they had come together to celebrate what they have in common rather than what divides them.
'We've been given love in this province and we want to return in kind.' —Sadiq Boodhun
"Whether you are Muslim, whether you are a Jew, Christian, Hindu — these are my brothers and sisters here," Sadiq Boodhun, a medical doctor who organized the event, told CBC News. "We've been given love in this province and we want to return in kind."
Eid fell this year at a time of heated religious controversy, including a Florida pastor's threat to burn copies of the Qur'an and protests of a plan to build a Muslim community centre a few blocks away from Ground Zero in New York City.
Attendee Karen McGrath said the Grand Falls-Windsor celebration could not have come at a better time.
"By coming here tonight, and reframing it, it was a way for me to deal with the ignorance and bigotry that some people are suggesting is a path forward," said McGrath, a colleague of Boodhun's.
"This is not downtown Toronto, this is not even downtown St. John's — this is downtown Grand Falls-Windsor, and I think that even makes it more special."
David Rowe, a friend of the Boodhun family, said he liked seeing people in the community of different faiths come together "with no pretense of religion or any kind of bias or anything. It's nice to see especially in a small town like this. It makes me proud to be a person who lives here now."