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Boston City Council votes 12-1 to formally recognize the end of Ramadan

Tania Fernandes Anderson decrying the death and destruction in Gaza

Councilor Fernandes Anderson decrying death and destruction in Gaza.

The City Council yesterday formally recognized Eid Al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim sacred month of Ramadan - after Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson (Roxbury), who is Muslim, gave an impassioned plea on behalf of the people of Gaza.

Only Councilor Ed Flynn (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, Downtown) voted against the resolution - an anodyne explanation of the holiday sponsored by Fernandes Anderson to formally recognize the holiday as "a citywide observance highlights Boston's commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and religious freedom, fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment where people of all faiths feel valued, respected, and celebrated."

Flynn did not rise to say why he did not support the resolution, unlike a few minutes later, when he rose to enthusiastically support another resolution honoring Polish Constitution Day and the "enormous contributions" Poles have made to Boston and to the US. He never fails to praise groups that live in his district - and he noted with pride his district now includes part of the Polish Triangle. The Polish resolution passed unanimously.

Fernandes Anderson began her request for support of the resolution by introducing the basics of holiday, that it's more than just a big feast after fasting, in fact is a way for Muslims to share "a sense of unity and reflection as we come together in devotion to God."

But she said she could not truly celebrate the holiday this year because of what is happening in Gaza. "I'm sorry that I can't get up and cheer, as I usually do, for Eid."

She said that after the Hamas murder raids of Oct. 7, Bostonians and their elected officials came together to condemn what had happened, and rightly so. "We faced the death and destruction of that day, and we condemn it, it was wrong and it's horrible what happened and we should support Israelis," she said.

But then, she continued, where was the support for Gaza even before Oct. 7, when Israeli troops routinely killed Palestinians. And where is the condemnation of what is going on now, she asked, pointing to more than 40,000 deaths, the complete destruction of schools, hospitals, homes, mosques, churches and workplaces, the starvation of children, the murder of aid workers, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people?

And so, she said, when it came time to raise that first bite of food to break the long fast, and here she began to tear up, "you remember people in Sudan are suffering, people in Congo are suffering, children are being starved, literally no purpose, in Gaza, in Gaza but also in the West Bank now."

She continued, "I ask that God forgives us for every bit of responsibility that we have in this" - and asked that unnamed fellow councilors stop harassing her on social media and in comments to reporters.

Councilor Ben Weber (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), who is Jewish, praised Fernandes Anderson's comments and agreed that even Boston city councilors should speak out on such horrific happenings.

"All of us have been impacted by what is going on in Gaza, especially Jews and Muslims," he said. "It's been hell that just never ends, it's something that's on the front of everyone's minds."

"I hope all Muslims find some peace on this eid. Jews go into Passover in a couple weeks, we're going to be feeling the same pain," he said.

And he said federal officials, including the president, should do everything it can to end the Gaza crisis and bring humanitarian aid to its residents.

Councilor Liz Breadon (Allston/Brighton), who fled sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, said she found it difficult to speak. "I think so many of us are just at a loss for words with the immensity of this drama, with the immensity of this crisis, with the immensity of this human catastrophe that folks in Gaza are experiencing right now."

"We all need to hold space so we can acknowledge the trauma, the grief, the profound sorrow and pain that is happening" - and to fight to get humanitarian aid and food into Gaza, she said.

City Council President Ruthzee Louijeune said "the image of young people, of babies starving and not having the food they need is unacceptable" in Gaza as well as in Haiti and Sudan. She acknowledged the Boston City Council may have little direct role in getting aid flowing, but said that's not going to stop her from speaking on issues like this.

Discussion on the Eid resolution:

Watch the Polish discussion.

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Comments

Is Ed Flynn going to vote against the lunar calendar? The moon in general?

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Voting closed 72

Let's not forget the moon just made an aggressive movement against the sun.

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… out of government? If this is really about Gaza, make it about Gaza!

I’m with the Satanic Temple in their efforts to stay true to the Constitution.

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Can the city council stay out of foreign affairs as well? Tania being on the council is questionable as it is, she certainly wasn't elected to represent the city, county, state or country on the global stage.

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You must get really angry at the SAINT Patricks Day breakfast every year. And the Christmas Tree and Menorah on Boston Common.

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Last year, there were a lot of people angry about the Christmas Tree and Menorah on Boston Common.

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Really hammering that point, Mjolnir

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Is a political event held outside of the council chambers. Terrible example.

I bet you’d cry if the breakfast was reserved for those with Irish roots.

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...the dominant religion, you know the one I mean. Muslims aren't exactly taking over, you know?

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Do you always make such dumb assumptions about people you know nothing about?

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Do you always make such dumb statements that show your lack of reading comprehension? No one said anything about you or about anyone in particular, so if you're hollering, I'd have to call you a hit dog. And that's a you problem.

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Keep squirming.

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I'm not going to be squirming over anything you might ever do in this life, son. Cringing, maybe. Squirming, no.

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… for being inarticulate and having difficulty with reading comprehension.

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...try not to beat yourself up for having a really deficient vocabulary.

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tldr

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The acronym is tl;cr.

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stfu

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Why do they always forget about Arab Christians when talking about how much they care? Why only Jews and Muslims? Why do they only care about talking about Palestine and not Lebanon and Syria?

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But Fernandes Anderson did bring up Lebanon and the people who have died there under Israeli shelling.

But come on, the resolution is about a very specific Muslim holiday. Not everything in the world is about Christians.

The City Council would issue a resolution recognizing the opening of a letter. If you really care about Christian Arabs and are not just trying to sugarcoat some Muslim hating, find a holiday or event related to them and ask your district councilor how to get a council resolution recognizing it.

Shouldn't be all that hard given that there's an actual Christian Arab community in Boston, centered on West Roxbury (where the residents of Syriatown moved after the state razed their neighborhood for the Expressway ramp into Chinatown).

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As an Arab Christian whose family is from Lebanon , we are pretty invisible it seems. Which is odd because at one point maronites and other Christian’s were the majority in Lebanon .

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"Inclusion and diversity are nice."

Ed Flynn: "NO (EXPLETIVE) YOU"

South Bostonians weren't - and aren't - my friends.

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Sounds like you are.

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The willfully hateful and unwilling to learn serve me no immediate purpose.

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Take note South Bostonians.

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Take note South Bostonians.

Oooh. I bet he's big scared now.

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The batteries in your sarcasm detector are dead again.

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Is a thing. Karl Popper. Look it up.

It’s why I “accidentally” spill drinks on MAGAlos and don’t respect them as people.

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Remember a few months ago when you were championing loopholes that force Black people into unpaid labor?

And how there should be a "no blacks sign" above the door of bars in Boston?

What exactly did someone say in Southie that's worse than that? Also there's also tons of people that don't say that stuff at all in South Boston but they get ironically stereotyped and looped in too (by a guy who supports racism.)

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You get stuff like this.

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What is the point of this article, other than to continue your attack on Ed Flynn? We get it, Ed’s not the brightest bulb. He’s a bit silly.

But this is a ridiculous non event at the city council. It’s fair to wonder whether the council should even be discussing the Israel/Hamas war. It has no impact on city affairs and business.

Happy Eid for all of our Muslim friends and family, and prayers for all impacted by the violence in Gaza. Boom done. Nothing more needs to be said.

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I don’t see any other explanation for Ed Flynn’s behavior here.

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No, I didn't forget to capitalize it.

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Does this mean that Flynn wants Ramadan to never end? Like when he was a surfer chasing the waves - an endless summer?

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Last year he was a co-sponsor of a resolution to celebrate Ramadan.

My guess is that his vote had little to do with Eid, but you’d have to ask Ed Flynn why he did what he did.

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Is a bad joke. Embarrassing. They exist to virtue signal and avoid any serious discussions and solutions that would better the average city resident.

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