It's been a tough year to be a Muslim in America: Furious protests that the hallowed ground of a former coat store near a strip joint might become a Manhattan mosque, Koran-burnings that endanger U.S. troops, and demonstrations against proposed mosques across the country, even if they're not near hallowed ground.
And it doesn't help that this year's Eid-ul-Fitr celebration, marking the end of Ramadan, comes tomorrow on the night before 9/11.
So are Houston Muslims worried about their massive get-together at the George R. Brown Center? Not at all, says the head of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston.
"The police chief will be present at the ceremony," says ISGH president Aziz Saddiqi. "If anyone tried to do anything, they will be dealt with."
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Saddiqi says he hasn't heard of any threats in the days leading up to the event, even though some American Muslims have expressed concern about the confluence of 9/11, a large Muslim religious celebration, and mosques becoming a hot-button issue.
"We are Americans," he says. "If we are scared in our own country, then what's the difference between here and some other countries?...We will be cautious, but it's like driving on the freeway, you have to be cautious. I'm not very much concerned."
Some 20,000 or so might attend the ceremony at the Brown convention center, he says.
Hopefully that won't include any Koran-burners.