The Scene at SALAM on
By Zaki N. Syed
The faithful respectfully listen to
scene at SALAM on Eid day was a familiar one: the parking
lot was packed, and from inside SALAM’s hall one could
hear the melodious chants of Allah. The hall was filled
with whites, blacks, Arabs, Asians, people from every nationality,
race, and ethnicity sitting side by side dressed in their
best clothes to signify their happiness on the eve of Eid.
Imam Aziz was giving a kutbah on what it means to be a Muslim
in America. He also talked about the match of American ideals
and Islamic values. “We have a responsibility to protect
and to preserve the values of freedom in this country,”
said Aziz, “because they are the very values the Qur’an
advocates.” Aziz continued to talk about how America
has been good to the Muslims by providing them a safe haven,
to practice their rights, pursue education, and have the
ability to raise their children in security, safety, and
happiness. What did Aziz have to say about the erosion of
civil liberties of Muslim-Americans?
“We can either pack our suitcases or decide to leave
to some other place and leave America in the hands of fear-mongers,”
said Aziz. He added, “Or we can decide to stay and
fight the legal fight to restore the freedoms that gave
this country its uniqueness.”
youngsters having fun after the Eid prayers
of fighting the legal fight, US congressional candidate
Bill Durston dropped by on SALAM’S Eid celebration
on Sunday October 29, 2006 to congratulate the Muslims on
their religious celebration. “I advocate we apply
the golden rule to our life and foreign policy, which is
do unto others as they do unto to you.” Durston said
the torture issue is the most appalling to him as a US congressional
candidate. “I am repeatedly asked as a US congressional
candidate, what is my position on torture,” says Durston.
“I always tell them that I am opposed to torture.
Period.” Not only were the Muslims involving themselves
politically, but they were also practicing the very American
values that Imam Aziz talked about in his Khutbah.
In the parking lot kids of different races gathered to participate
in games of football and basketball. Inside, a Muslim rap
group known as After Hijrah, was rapping to the youth about
Islam and emphasize leading a clean righteous life. The
After Hijrah rap group brought energy to the crowd as they
rapped and sang encouraging the audience to join in. After
their performance was over young kids in the audience surrounded
the members of After Hijrah rap group asking for autographs.
After Hijrah was as diverse as the audience itself, never
once questioning race or color, amazing the young kids,
and having a good time because they knew that they were
among fellow Muslims. A group of Sacramento State students
visiting SALAM commented on the diversity at the Eid celebration.
All across SALAM people of different ethnicities were socializing
together, relaxing, and just basically having a good time.
Durston with Link’s reporter and others
one week SALAM accomplished what America has been trying
to accomplish for centuries: People of different colors,
shapes, and races united for one common purpose. To say
goodbye to the glorious month of Ramadan, and celebrate
a religious holiday, known as Eid. It has been said by many
people that Eid can work miracles, but to Muslims the gathering
of different races and ethnicities is nothing new. Since
the time of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) people of different
races and ethnicities have gathered year after year to make
their rounds around the sacred Kabah. With everybody wearing
the same white piece of cloth, accepting and greeting neighbors,
and knowing that they all have one thing in common: Islam.
Islam is all about accepting differences, and SALAM is no
exception to this rule.