Source: Religion News Service
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (RNS) — A week after an arson attack left the imposing Diyanet Mosque of New Haven uninhabitable, nearly three dozen members of this Muslim community gathered in front of the building for what should have been a familiar Ramadan ritual — a community iftar, or the breaking of the day’s fast.
Seated around two long rows of folding tables, men, women and children broke their fast with a traditional Turkish meal of bean stew, rice and yogurt.
Their attempt at a return to normal only made many of those who came for iftar more starkly aware of how much has changed.
“I feel like I can’t look behind me,” said Hulya Elevli, 49, facing trailers in the parking lot so as not to look at the damage. “I see the minarets and it’s terrible. They’re right there, right behind me. And we’re out here, outside, instead of inside. I can’t believe this happened to us.”