So to my surprise there was a Muslim Day Parade in New York City. I never knew such a parade even existed and neither did my husband who for most of his years as a Muslim, has been pretty active with several Muslim organizations across the US. I found out about the event while searching for themes for a Muslim parade float (I’ll get back to my reason for searching that later). Sadly, in my google searches, I mostly came across websites that critiqued the parade and used anything they found at the parade to bash Islam with their narrow extremist views. The hottest topic among the bashing was the jihadi flag or what is now known as the ISIS flag. This flag that many are associating with this evil group, is simply the Muslim declaration of faith, what we call the shahada. The flag is usually in either black or white and in Arabic letters says
“I bear witness that there is no deity (none truly to be worshipped) but, Allah, and I bear witness that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.”
The transliteration is something like this “ASH-HADU ANLA ELAHA ILLA-ALLAH WA ASH-HADU ANNA MOHAMMADAN RASUL-ALLAH”.
This flag is not something that represents terror, beheadings or any evil. If anyone carried this flag in the parade last year, there’s a good chance that they were simply doing so out of their pride for Islam and to showcase one of the most important concepts in our faith. I don’t think anyone carried this flag this year because it’s being plastered all over the media as being associated with a group that is completely un-Islamic in every shape and form. For more information on the controversy over this flag feel free to read http://www.islam21c.com/politics/banning-the-isis-flag-will-outlaw-the-muslim-declaration-of-faith/
When I first arrived to the parade, around 1 p.m. , we arrived at the corner of 35th street and Madison avenue, where the parade starts. The first group that began the march was the NYPD band, with the NYPD Muslim Officers Society group following behind them.
A Mexican flag was proudly hung over the parade divider. We all have a right to celebrate!
The kaba rolled out on a float with everyone just chilling on the float!
Something that warmed my heart was the Jewish group that marched in the parade holding signs in their support for Gaza. My husband and I tip our hats to these courageous Jews that stand up for humanity!
One of the most interesting moments of the parade was the political demonstrations made to highlight US support of Egypt’s President Sisi. Three masked men – Obama, Cheney and Kerry, walked in front of “Sisi” whom stood on a rolling chariot holding a whip that he used to strike the pavement. It was quite a sight to see and probably nothing too shocking for the average New Yorker. We decided to walk along with the short parade , from where I was able to witness the expressions of the spectators watching this demonstration. Some people looked at him in disgust, I heard one muslim woman say “This is disgusting!”, then shortly after 2 women in front of us were complaining that the media does enough to depict Muslims in a violent manner-there was no need to act like this in a parade. The average New Yorker may not be familiar with politics in Eypt, so we can’t expect everyone passing by to understand the significance of this demonstration- to this person it may seem like something barbaric, but to the Egyptians that have lost their loved ones, their rights, their former President Morsi, whom they elected in a democratic election – it means so much more.
My dear Palestine, we will never forget you. We will always stand beside you and remind others of your constant struggle, your courage, strength and determination to rise high above those that oppress you.
Some folks are not shy about showing their love for Muslims.
After taking the picture above, he asked me to also photograph the back of his shirt, which showed his true objective. HA!
It’s all good, we welcome everyone at our parade =)