Ramadan, a religious event for persons of the Muslim faith, begins on July 20, 2012, and ends on August 18, 2012. TSA understands that this is a significant religious event for the Muslim community. TSA has reminded its security workforce that traveling passengers may be observed at various areas in the airport - including 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 at airports:
- 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 at other times during 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 Quran or Qur’an at airports and on airplanes.
- Passengers observing Ramadan may carry prayer beads and “whisper” prayers constantly.