Our little Danish town has a small Muslim community made out of about 20 families.
By Solvang Journal Staff
Solvang’s Muslim community members are originally from Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Bangladesh, and India. Their nearest Muslim churches, called masjid (Muslim prayer house), are in Lompoc and Santa Barbara.
With social distancing restrictions in place due to COVID-19, this year’s Ramadan observance will be quite different for Solvang and Santa Barbara’s other Islamic communities.
The Islamic Society of Santa Barbara made a public announcement for their holy month Ramadan and COVID-19:
“Due to the Corona Virus and COVID-19 outbreak, the prayers at the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara have been CANCELLED until further notice. The decision has been made in connection with the statement issued by the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, who in concert with the California Department of Public Health has ordered canceling larger gatherings across the entire state.
The community members are advised to avoid larger crowds as a precaution against the spread of disease. Let us pray for the health, safety, and well being of the larger communities across the world.”
With social distancing, that means believers cannot meet for worship. Ramadan is the holiest month on the Muslim calendar. Believers meet for prayer and readings and fast during the day.
Leaders are urging the community members to remain faithful, even as this pandemic changes traditional worship: “We are doing everything possible to serve the Muslim community during this difficult time, but also to serve our fellow Americans,” said Santa Barbara Islamic Society Leaders.
Solvang Journal wishes a happy Ramadan to our Muslim readers.