Ramadan, a religious event for persons of the Muslim faith, begins on August 1, 2011, and ends on August 29, 2011. TSA understands that this is a significant religious event for the Muslim community. TSA has reminded its security workforce that passengers may be observed in various areas in the airport - including in security checkpoints - or on aircraft, engaged in religious practices and meditations during Ramadan. TSA would also like to inform the traveling public that they may notice passengers observing Ramadan engaging in the following activities:
- Passengers observing Ramadan will abstain from any food, water, smoking or vices of any kind.
- Passengers observing Ramadan are more likely to engage in prayer at airports or on airplanes while traveling than during other times of the year.
- Before prayer, Muslims go through ablution, i.e., a cleansing or washing of certain areas of the body that is usually done in private if possible, but may be observed in airport restrooms.
- Passengers observing Ramadan may be seen reading, listening to or orally reciting the Holy Qur’an at airports and on airplanes.
- Passengers observing Ramadan may carry prayer beads and “whisper” prayers constantly.