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Former Governor Jim Doyle, Madison mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Paul Soglin and Democratic candidate for governor Tony Evers were a few in attendance to celebrate Eid with Madison’s Muslim community Friday at the Lussier Family Heritage Center.

“When I was governor and traveled across the states, I found out how important the Muslim community was to our state,” Doyle said.

Evers echoed those sentiments, and said that the Muslim community sets an example for everyone in the state.

“The work the Muslim community has done to bring our state together… all of you work to bring us together, to make sure individuals of different races and backgrounds work together to make sure Wisconsin is welcoming to all people,” Evers said.

Eid is a celebration that marks the end of Ramadan. Muslims observe the month of Ramadan to mark that Allah gave the first chapters of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

Ramadan is a very spiritual time of year, and the month makes people, who follow Islam, closer to their spirituality.

“You have to cleanse the body and soul; you have to fast from sunrise to sunset, so you feel connected to God,” Verona resident Mawara Sohail said

Even if you aren’t a spirituality person, Ramadan does offer the Muslims an opportunity to celebrate with their community.

“I’m not a very spiritual person, so for me it’s more about the social aspect. You get to meet people, this is about celebration,” said Salman Ahmad, Sohail's husband.

Local and state officials were invited to the celebration, and they praised the Muslim community for opening their doors to other communities.

“I think it’s fantastic. The better we understand each other, the better off we are as a community. We get to open doors and understand new things, that is very important,” State Rep. Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) said.

Events and celebration like these can offer an avenue to build bridges and give people from different communities a look into a different community.

“Absolutely we need events like these to bring communities together; we are at a time where we need to build bridges, not build walls,” Shabnam Lofti, Madison attorney and one of four Democratic candidates for the 77th Assembly District, said.

“It is very critical that we understand each other and that will lead to more unity moving forward. That’s what this country needs in the current environment, different communities need to work together for a common goal or purpose,” Masood Akhtar, president of CleanTech Partners in Middleton, said.

Elected officials attending the event voiced concern for national rhetoric about the Muslims, and voiced support for the Muslim community.

“The last 15 years have been very challenging, especially the last two," Soglin said. "But I want you to know there are a group of mayors throughout the United States that have been working diligently on question on civil rights, immigration and travel."

“I think it’s important, particularly when we see on a national level where there is a lack of acceptance of different cultures and religions, to let people know Dane County embraces religious diversity,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said.

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