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Muslims demand apology over Ramadan denial request

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About two dozen protestors Thursday vented their anger at a local San Francisco Bay Area mayor charging the city blocked their attempt to break their Ramadan fast.

During the holy month of fasting which began this year on March 10, Muslims abstain from food from dawn to sunset. Traditionally the breaking of the fast is said to be significant.

On March 12, a dozen Muslims attended the San Bruno City Council meeting in an attempt to get the city to speak out in support of Gaza.

When they gathered in the lobby to break their fast, police stopped them and told them they had to go outside to tents that had been set up. The group became confused because the lobby has both a cafe and tables.

“This city is our city. And we feel like it’s important that we’re heard, that we’re given an opportunity to explain why it was offensive to us and how we can move past this as a community,” said Kamilah Albahri, a San Bruno Palestinian American resident told KTVU.

The Daily Journal reports the group is demanding an apology from the city and directed its protest to Mayor Rico Medina.

The Council of American Islamic Relations issued a protest letter to the city.

“The actions taken at the March 12 meeting appear targeted and rooted in intimidation tactics to silence Palestinians, Muslims, Arabs, and their allies in San Bruno,” Musa Tariq of CAIR said in the letter quoted by the Los Angeles Times. “Actions like these send a message that the city of San Bruno does not value or welcome these constituents.”

The city manager told KTVU a meeting will be scheduled with some of the protesters.

“The Mayor and staff will meet with some of the residents who have requested a meeting to find a path forward.  The meeting has not yet been scheduled,” City Manager Alex McIntyre wrote.

McIntyre also alleged that additional police had to be called to the March 12th meeting, saying one staff member was threatened.

“In fact, one city staff member was harassed and subjected to threats by some of those audience members in the parking lot after the meeting.  The added police staff at San Bruno are there to protect citizens, city staff, and residents.” 

CAIR said it is investigating the complaint from the city and emphasized they are peaceful.

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