Starting Sunday night, Muslims in Calgary will mark the start of Ramadan.
For the next 30 days, Muslims around the world will abstain from eating or drinking during daylight hours.
This year, there are concerns that some will stop going to mosques for fear of attacks.
“People are a bit nervous,” said Atthar Mahmood, the vice president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and president of Muslims Against Terrorism.
“We the people of faith are defenceless when we are in the synagogue or mosque or church. We cannot defend ourselves when we are engaged in our peaceful prayers. People in Sri Lanka, what were they doing? They were just gathered to do their prayers.”
Mahmood said there was a drop in the number of young people attending prayers in Calgary after the New Zealand mosque attacks that killed 50 people.
“Right after the incident in New Zealand, when I held the prayers, I had a lot of my young people come to pray there and in the next two Fridays, only a few of them showed up and I knew that was the cause going on,” Mahmood said.
Recent attacks against racial and religious groups have sparked a group of Calgarians to create an anti-hate task force. The first gathering, organized by Calgarians Against Racism Violence and Hate, was held in early April. The group is comprised of concerned members from religious groups and cultural associations.
READ MORE: Calgarians launch anti-hate task force
Mahmood met with local RCMP this year, saying police offered congregation members advice over security in mosques and how to spot suspicious people.
The month-long celebration of Ramadan commemorates Allah giving the first verses of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. Observing Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, involving fasting, praying and giving to charity.