Ramadan began Monday with special significance for Orange County Muslims, who celebrated the democratic tide washing over Egypt and Tunisia but also expressed concern for those who remain in peril in Syria, Libya and other Middle Eastern dictatorships.
"It's definitely a Ramadan with a different taste," said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area, in Anaheim. "It comes as the first Ramadan under freedom to tens of millions of Muslims around the world, but who are still dealing with the challenges of instability and the unknown.
"But for others, it comes to them under dictators' brutality, such as in Syria and Libya, and other places, and it's not an easy to observe the month of Ramadan."
Rabab Issa, a member of the Costa Mesa-based Islamic Educational Center of Orange County, would not take a political position, but said this year she will also be praying for her people in Syria.