Eid al-Fitr 2017: Muslims take Ramadan to Sydney

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Shi'ite Muslim women attend an Ashura procession in central Sydney January 7, 2009.
Shi'ite Muslim women attend an Ashura procession in central Sydney January 7, 2009. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Muslims residing in Australia have shared the Ramadan experience to non-Muslims as they brought exotic foods from different parts of the world to Sydney. At least half a million Muslim Australians are participating in the month-long Ramadan fast that started on May 26 and will end on Saturday, June 24.

On Sunday, Eid al-Fitr 2017 will be celebrated by Muslims from around the world, including those in Australia. They are expected to head to a street in Sydney to break their fast.

Haldon Street is located near the largest mosque in the country. The nightly Ramadan street-food festival has become so popular that even non-Muslims come to check it out. Local Sydneysider Sam Craig is one of them. “We heard that the Ramadan feast was going on, [so] we thought we'd come and check it out,” TRT World quotes him as saying.

Earlier this month, The New Daily reported that Australia’s Muslim leaders would not get an invitation to Aussie Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s official Sydney residence this year to mark the end of Ramadan. Turnbull will reportedly not host an end-of-Ramadan dinner with Islamic leaders. He became the first prime minister last year to host an iftar dinner at Kirribilli House in Sydney. Around 70 Muslim leaders from around Australia participated. It is understood that Turnbull did not intend the event to occur every year.

'Good time to attack'

Terror experts have warned that Ramadan could be seen by extremists as a “good time to attack.” An audio message believed to come from an Islamic State spokesman called on followers to launch attacks in Australia, the United States, Europe, Iran, Russia, Iraq, Syria and the Philippines during Ramadan. The clip was reportedly distributed earlier this month through Islamic State's channel on Telegram, an encrypted messaging application.

Deakin University’s Greg Barton, counter-terrorism expert, told news.com.au that there is a greater risk of terror attacks being carried out “on mosques or large sporting events where there are lots of people” during Ramadan. For IS, he said, it is a better time to launch attack while family and friends reconcile.

Security agencies are expected to be on high alert for the last days of Ramadan. Terrorist threat level in Australia remains “probable.” A spokesperson for NSW Police told news.com.au there was no specific threats within the NSW.

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TRT World/YouTube