href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/devinish/6061948943/" target="_blank">Devin Smith is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/devinish/6061948943/” target=”_blank”>Devin Smith is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

D.C. citizens fasted in solidarity against anti-Muslim discrimination and helped the community by inviting the homeless to iftar.

Prominent Muslim personalities and institutions are doing everything they can to spread awareness about Islam and stop discrimination against Muslim people.

The recent episodes of possible ISIS-linked Istanbul airport attack and Orlando gay club massacre have further fueled the anti-Muslim sentiments that have already been already rampant in the country. Last Wednesday (June 29), a one-day campaign tagged as “Fast With DC Muslims” were conducted in the District of Columbia by Muslim advocacy organizations, mosques, and other prominent organizations in D.C., in collaboration with the District of Columbia government. The campaign saw D.C. citizens fasting in solidarity and against anti-Muslim discrimination. The day also saw members of a mosque near to the largest homeless shelter in D.C., sharing their iftar meal with the homeless. They fed the homeless people first before breaking their day-long fast.

According to Ieasha Prime, who worships at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Northern Virginia; the trend nowadays is to blame the whole Muslim community for the behavior of the few. “It’s important that we just not fast in our community, ” Prime added, stressing the need to break down barriers.

The “Fast With DC Muslims” campaign also saw its participants wearing a customized pins. The purpose of the pin was to prompt the observers to ask the reason for fasting and thus initiate a few short talking points on the diversity of Muslims. The talking points included making people aware about the anti-Muslim discrimination happening in the state, to remind them that Muslims have been part of America for over 400 years, to educate people that not all Muslims are Arabs and not all Arabs are Muslims, that Islam is a peaceful religion, and so on.

Director of the D.C.'s Human Rights Office, Monica Palacio, during the iftar, said “The Muslim community indicated it felt left out of anti-discrimination work,” and campaigns like “Fast With DC Muslims” are a great response. Palacio's customized pin said “Catholic and Fasting”.

According to Rahim Jenkins, a human rights commissioner, feeding hungry people before breaking the fast is not just good PR. “Let those that are fasting feed those that are hungry,” Jenkins said of the teachings of Ramadan. There are blessings in feeding people.

Abdul Kareem Adebayo, a Nigerian Muslim visiting the United States, during the iftar meal, said that the people in America are not as familiar with Islam as the people in Nigeria are. Adebayo said the food is good and so is the vibe. “The love in Nigeria is the same love here.”

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