Asalam-alaykum! Peace be upon you, my brothers and sisters.
It is my tremendous honor, as mayor of this great city, to welcome you once again to Harrisburg – and to celebrate with you this holy day of Eid-al Fitr as we together mark the end of Ramadan.
And to that, I say God is most great. And to God be the glory. I am so grateful to the Central Pennsylvania Committee of Mosques for this invitation to celebrate this holy day with you. And while I am sorry I physically cannot be with you today, I am spiritually there with you by our shared love and following of the lord. We may worship a different higher being, but our beliefs are shared: love, strength, kindness, and peace.
What a sight this must be. More than 5,000 Muslims strong together here in Harrisburg for this most celebrated event. The Muslim faith is one of the fastest growing in this nation and in this city. Harrisburg may not be Mecca, but we like to think it is the Mecca of Pennsylvania. And for that, we are thrilled to host you all.
For the last month, you have committed yourself to deep, meaningful sacrifice, reflection, and prayer. Eid al-Fitr is a time for you to celebrate with these four most important f’s : family, friends, faith, and feasting.
Today is a reminder that Muslims have always been part of the fabric of Harrisburg — of Pennsylvania — and of America. For more than 200 years, Muslim Americans of all backgrounds have helped build our city. Farmers, doctors, factory workers, teachers, and community leaders. You enrich our lives every single day. You are our police officers and firefighters keeping us safe. Our social justice warriors fighting for equality.
As families gather to renew their Islamic faith to mark Eid al-Fitr, let us remember how fortunate we are to call Harrisburg home. I am proud to lead a city where it does not matter whether you are Black, brown, or white. Light-skinned or dark-skinned. Muslim. Jewish. Christian. Or non-denominational. You have a home here. Our doors are open. Harrisburg is where you can worship and celebrate safely and freely, and thanks to Governor Shapiro, I am thrilled we can say that about anywhere in Pennsylvania.
I am proud to say in front of you today that together, we are all equal in the eyes of the Holy One. And we have more in common this holy season than what separates us. While the Christian faith marks Jesus’ crucifixion and Judaism remembers thousands of years as slaves in Egypt, so too must we acknowledge the years of oppression and discrimination felt by all Muslims. But i am with you today, tomorrow, and every day moving forward as we say no more. No more hatred. No more racism. No more bigotry. I applaud your campaign to root out and combat this harassment of all kinds and ensure justice at all levels of society.
As the promised Messiah writes in “The Will”, all God’s attributes are eternal and everlasting. He is the one who has no equal. He is the lord of all realms. We can attain him only through him. Near, though he is far. Far, though he is near.
My friends – my brothers and sisters – today, you are those vessels of love and peace which your teachings have instilled in you for so many years. And it is peace and love which will carry us to amazing heights moving forward.
When you leave our city, take with you the comfort that no matter where those vessels roam, you can always dock them here in the city of Harrisburg. Eid Mubarak and asalam-alaykum! Bless this feast, and may peace be upon you!