It is early morning on Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of Ramadan, and hundreds of Muslims are streaming into a recreation center in Roxbury to pray. They are Nigerian, Somalian, and African-American; the men in prayer caps and knee-length robes, the women in head scarves and flowing garments.

A tall, gray-bearded man moves through the crowd, his handshakes melting into hugs. He spots a toddler on the loose and catches him.

"This yours?" he says, handing the wriggling boy to his father. "Well, hold onto him."

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