TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Similar to Indonesian Muslim, the Muslim community in the United States also eager to welcome the holy month of Ramadan. Reports suggest that there are 4 million Muslim live in America.
Chriss Rittgers, an Agricultural Counselor at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), explained to Tempo that many Muslims in America live in Los Angeles, Washington D.C, Chicago, Michigan and Texas. Most Muslims came from Africa, Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
Many Muslims also tend to live based on their own communities. For example, the Muslim refugees from Iraq, Jordan, and Syria live in Michigan and Somalia refugees usually stay in Minneapolis.
“Several schools hold the fast-breaking event. The Muslim community in remote areas usually establish Ramadan activities in the community center, sports stadium, or even church,” said Rittgers in the Embassy of the United State, Jakarta, on Wednesday, May 9.
Living in Indonesia since the mid last year, Rittgers assessed the way Indonesian Muslim celebrates Ramadan is almost the same as American Muslim community does such as helping each other and respect other people in different religion. American people also respect and accept Islamic communities in the country.
"I do not think there is Islamophobia in the United States, everyone respects any religion and the interfaith relations among the society is very good," he said.
Rittgers further recalled that it is still difficult to find halal restaurants in remote areas. However, in major cities, halal food has become public limelight and many restaurants provide it.
American people are amazed that there is a religion that rules on how food is processed in a halal way. They considered halal food as a high-quality product because it must go through a certain process.