A Sharia-compliant amendment proposed by the Minneapolis City Council would allow businesses to cater to the Muslim community during Ramadan.
The amendment, drafted by Ward 12 City Councilman Andrew Johnson, would allow businesses outside of downtown to apply to stay open later than 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends, for Muslims during what they call the “holy month of Ramadan.”
Cedar-Riverside, a neighborhood filled with barbarically-slaughtered animals in halal markets and East African restaurants, would be particularly affected by the change, Johnson said. The amendment would also allow grocery stores in the area to stay open later.
“It’s harder for families to pick up a few things at a store during Ramadan,” said Ward 6 City Councilman Abdi Warsame. Muslim business owners in the neighborhood say they hope the City Council will approve the amendment on Dec. 5. “This will mean more business from Muslim people who want to come in later,” said Ali Jama, manager of West Bank Grocery, adding that “business is dead” some days during the month of Ramadan.
Hussein Ahmed owns a sharia money services consulting business on Cedar Avenue, a location surrounded by groceries and restaurants. He said if they stayed open later, it would draw more business to him indirectly. “As a business owner, them being open during Ramadan would be a huge benefit to us,” Ahmed said.
The amendment only applies to businesses outside of downtown without a liquor license. The amendment allows businesses to apply to extend their hours 35 days a year. The temporary closing time would be decided on a case-by-case basis. Warsame said the 35 days should be enough to allow for Ramadan and a few extra occasions.
Kahin said the ordinance would help the whole Muslim community.