Multi cultural Eid celebration in Mangere

It was a pleasure to be able to celebrate the Eid yesterday with members of the Muslim community at a big event in Mangere. It was a very multi-cultural event. There are 27 nationalities represented in the Auckland Muslim community.

The ignorant American rednecks who have been demonstrating against Islam in recent days could lean something from Eid, which is a time of charity and community togetherness.

President Obama

has rightly defended the right

of Muslims to build a new mosque on the site of the World Trade Centre, but this doesn’t absolve him from much of the responsibility for the widespread anti-Muslim prejudice in the United States.

The last two US administrations have used “Islamic extremism” as an excuse for invasions of Afghanistan and Iran, and the targeting of Muslims as part of a so-called ‘war on terror’.

Anti-Muslim sentiment can only be properly combated by addressing the real problems in the Middle East and South Asia, such as Israel’s occupation of Palestine and America’s propping up of corrupt regimes to gain access to the oil riches of the region. If people are not told the truth they can easily succumb to prejudice.