Hundreds of New Yorker’ gathered outside Trump Tower Thursday night to celebrate an interfaith iftar meal.
Organized by the New York State Immigrant Action Fund and Muslim advocacy group MPower Change, the event brought together Muslims and people of diverse faiths in peaceful protest against the Trump administration.
During the holy month of Ramadan, which started on May 26, many Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and engage in spiritual and community activities. Those observing Ramadan typically break their fast with an evening meal called an iftar, surrounded by friends and family.
“In the spirit of Ramadan and following the tradition of Muslim communities around the world, we came together tonight as New Yorkers to break bread and build community with people from all faiths and backgrounds, “ said Mohammad Khan, Campaign Director of MPower Change, in a statement.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently declined a request to host an iftar at the White House to mark Ramadan, breaking with a bipartisan tradition that’s been in place with few exceptions for nearly 20 years.
Anu Joshi, deputy director of the New York State Immigrant Action Fund, said Thursday’s iftar aimed to demonstrate that “New Yorkers of all stripes and faiths… reject President Trump’s many attempts to sow fear and division among our communities.”
“We stand resolute in our opposition to the policies, rhetoric, and actions by this Administration that seek to vilify and otherize the Muslim community, whether in the United States or abroad,” he said in a statement.
Hundreds of Muslims and allies prayed and ate together during an iftar outside Trump Tower on June 1, 2017.
The event was organized by M Power Change, a social justice organization, and the New York State Immigrant Action Fund.
As they would at a mosque, participants removed their shoes before joining prayers.
Linda Sarsour, a co-organizer of the National Women’s March and one of TIME Magazines 100 Most Influential People, spoke at the event.
“We as Muslim Americans are here to stay. This country was founded and built on the backs of Muslims and black people,” Sarsour told the crowd. “Islam is not a foreign entity to this United States.”
During the holy month of Ramadan, many Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset as an act of religious devotion.
During the event, which took place on Fifth Avenue — one of the busiest streets in New York City — Muslims and allies prayed together, awaiting sunset when they would break their fast.
As the sun went down, large trays of food came out and participants helped themselves to a feast.