Party City, the party supply store, says it has become the first national retail chain in the U.S. to offer a range of decorations for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the festival of Eid al-Fitr, which ends the Ramadan fast.
Ramadan began at sundown on Tuesday evening, and Eid al-Fitr begins at sundown on June 14. According to Islamic belief, the month of Ramadan commemorates the archangel Gabriel’s visit to the prophet Muhammad, in which he began to reveal the Quran, Islam’s central religious text.
The U.S. has a growing Muslim population, estimated to total 3.45 million at the moment, but surveys have shown that many still don’t believe the religion is accepted in the American mainstream.
As an article in the Houston Chronicle notes, Muslin community leaders have for years been urging retailers to tap into the expanding Muslim market, which has an estimated purchasing power of up to $200 billion.
The retailers’ efforts are “a step forward to making Muslims feel welcomed,” American Muslim woman Farah Zubair told the Chronicle.