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Woodland community members come together for Iftar - P 3

The Daily Woodland Democrat reported the event under the above headline. Katherine Jarvis of the Democrat wrote:

Locals of all faiths and backgrounds "built bridges" together at the Woodland Mosque's Iftar Dinner Saturday night. "Strangers are friends we have not made yet," said Samina Faheem, executive director of American Muslim Voice.

She said violence happens between people who do not know each other, mentioning the Trayvon Martin case. George Zimmerman was acquitted in the fatal shooting two weeks ago."We have to break down the barriers and get to know each other," Faheem said.Woodland Iftar 7-27-2013 (11)

Woodland Police Chief Dan Bellini spoke to the diversity of the city and said, "It's not sufficient to just tolerate different backgrounds and beliefs." "We can't accept attitudes that are us versus them," he said.

There needs to be peace in the community, said Vice Mayor Tom Stallard, and remember, "We are all brothers and sisters."

Just as the sun set before 8:30 p.m., Muslims broke their fast with fellow community members as part of the holy month of Ramadan, which began on July 9 this year and ends Aug. 7. Iftar is the evening meal that Muslims have as they break their fast during Ramadan.

Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, has joined the Muslim community in fasting before the Iftar Dinner for many years but this year had to drink some water while outside at an event at Napa. "This is the hardest Ramadan I have experienced with you," she said, noting the longer days as the Islamic lunar calendar moves closer to the summer solstice each year. Fasting "reminds us how strong we can be or how weak we can be," Yamada said.

Ramadan involves fasting during the daytime, saying no to food, drink, smoking and sexual activities. "I wasn't just fasting for myself," said Wajeeha Ahad Pervaiz, 19, to the hundreds in attendance. "I was fasting for my God."

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