Taiwan's president sends holiday greetings as Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr

Taipei Grand Mosque cancels Eid prayers as precaution against coronavirus

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President Tsai Ing-wen greets Muslim community. (Twitter, Tsai Ing-wen image)

President Tsai Ing-wen greets Muslim community. (Twitter, Tsai Ing-wen image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) sent greetings to the Muslim community on the eve of Eid al-Fitr, which began Sunday (May 24) after the month-long Ramadan, the practice of fasting.

“I want to wish our Muslim friends in #Taiwan and around the world #EidMubarak,” tweeted Tsai on Saturday (May 23). “This is a time to gather with family & friends, & I hope everyone will enjoy the festival & celebrate in safety.”

Tsai also posted on Facebook that the government remains dedicated to fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19) so that everyone in Taiwan may proceed with their lives while staying safe and healthy. “[I] also hope that the coronavirus outbreaks around the world, including in Muslim countries, will subside soon,” she added.

Eid al-Fitr, or the festival of breaking the fast, is a major event on the Muslim calendar. This year, however, celebrations across the world have been scaled down due to the pandemic, which has sickened over 5.3 million people.

The Taipei Grand Mosque, for example, has canceled its Eid prayers for the first time in six decades over coronavirus concerns. The tradition has to be called off because the mosque cannot guarantee a 1.5-meter distance between each worshipper, according to the mosque’s director-general Wang Meng-lung (王夢龍).

The Muslim community has been expanding in Taiwan in recent years, partly owing to the fact that the majority of migrant workers living in Taiwan are Indonesians.