Today is the fifth day of #APAHM and the first day of Ramadan.
Although I am not Muslim, I’ve always really enjoyed seeing my friends celebrate Ramadan with their loved ones.
So, I’m taking the day to celebrate and uplift the many Asian Muslims in the US and across the world. Islamophobia has done a lot to racialize Islam as a faith of only those from the Middle East. But, Asians are the largest group practicing Islam in the world.
Asian Americans who don’t practice Islam or identify as Muslim still should acknowledge the many ways that Islamophobia negatively impacts our communities. Just several weeks ago, a white supremacist intentionally ran into a group of South Asian pedestrians in Sunnyvale because he suspected them of being Muslim. Dhriti, a 13 year old middle school student was critically injured in the attack. Her family is currently seeking donations for her hospital care.
Luckily, there are groups already forging interethnic & interreligious solidarities around the U.S.
The first group I’m highlighting is #VigilantLove based in Los Angeles, California. The group formed between Japanese American and Muslim American communities in Southern California. They’re hosting their 4th Annual Bridging Communities Iftar (for those who don’t know, an iftar is the meal that those who are fasting consume in order to break their fast). While I haven’t been able to attend one of their iftars, I have always wanted to.
The next group which I only learned about through the work of Deepa Iyer, is South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT). What I love about SAALT is how despite being a national organization, they really work to support community-based organizations. They work on a lot of progressive issues that I’m passionate about and discuss the importance of intersectionality in their programming.
If you are at all interested in supporting these groups during Ramadan or just want to learn more about them, click some of the links above!
And Ramadan Mubarak to all my friends celebrating. Inshallah, I can celebrate with some of you in person!