By Michael Ishii
This evening a number of representatives from the DOR (New York Day of Remembrance) Committee and other Asian orgs attended an Interfaith Iftar in Brooklyn Heights. The event was sponsored by the Interfaith Center of NY and the NY Disaster Interfaith Services. It was a beautiful summer eve in Cadman Plaza and 500 people of different backgrounds and faiths came to Break Fast and stand in solidarity with our Muslim Brothers and Sisters. Buddhist monks, Rabbi’s, Bishops, Ministers and Imams broke the fast together, observant people said evening prayers facing Mecca on the big lawn, and then everyone sat at communal tables under the Brooklyn moonlight and shared a beautiful meal together. I was asked to speak on behalf of the NY DOR Committee and shared our community experience and our commitment to safeguard civil liberties and stand with any community whose civil liberties and human rights are under attack, and in this time in particular, the Muslim community.
As I left the stage a Muslim man stood up from his table and hugged me, he told me his own brother had been shot and killed in a hate crime. We looked into one another’s eyes and shared a moment of love and solidarity. A number of Muslim women in hijab had been on the subway near me on my way to the event. After the event as I was walking with DOR members back to the subway, the women all stopped and thanked us for coming.
It was a good eve.
Thank you to fellow committee members, Kim Ima and Tsuya Yee for helping to pull this together and to Konrad Aderer and his wife Michelle Chen for helping to connect us to the event. Suki Ports is the heart of us all and her presence at the event made the evening very special.