June 20 Luncheon Speaker
What does it mean
Interfaith Iftar for Refugees
Iftar is the evening meal that Muslims eat after a day of fasting, from sunrise to sunset, during the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month-long spiritual journey of spiritual growth and community building. The iftar may be with one’s family, but often the meal is prepared and consumed in a group. Also in New York, there are many larger Iftars celebrated in multi-faith community.
Thursday evening (May 9) an interfaith Iftar was held at Union Theological Seminary, sponsored by Union, Justice for All/Burma Task Force, Muslim Community Network, Muslims for Progressive Values and Peace Island Institute. The title of the evening was “Interfaith Iftar for Refugees.”
The hour from the beginning of the event to sundown, when the Muslims are free to eat, was filled with a panel discussion on The Spiritual Journey of Refugees. Representatives of the three Abrahamic faiths each explained how their communities value and support refugees. Hakan Yesilova, editor of Fountain Magazine and a Muslim, pointed the Prophet Muhammad was himself a refugee when he was forced by the religious elder to leave Mecca. Matthew Dalamore, Assistant Director for Integration at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, explained how Jesus was always calling on his followers to “invite the stranger in,” or “love your neighbor.” And Micah’s own Rabbi Michael Feinberg raised the Jewish exodus from Egyptian slavery, making all Jews at that time refugees, and closing with a powerful prayer from the Passover Haggadah (the prayer book used for Passover).
As sundown arrived, final prayers were said by the Muslims and a multi-faith feast was enjoyed by all. Lots to talk about!
MICAH LOOKS AT REPARATIONS:
FROM VOICES OF NY
SOURCE: NY CITY LENS
APRIL 15, 2019
On April 13, some bodega owners in the Yemeni American Merchants Association in NYC started a boycott of the New York Post by not selling the newspaper in their stores. The paper’s April 11 front page had an image of the World Trade Center attacks with a quote from Rep. Ilhan Omar saying that 9/11 was “some people did something.” Its
headline read: “Here’s your something – 2,977 people dead by terrorism.” In a media advisory, YAMA wrote that it strongly condemns the “editorial decision to weaponize images of 9/11 to provoke hatred and fear.” On March 23, the Minnesota representative said at a Council on American-Islamic Relations event, in relation to Muslims being treated as second-class citizens, that CAIR was founded after 9/11 “because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
On Sunday, YAMA board secretary Dr. Debbie Almontaser joined members of the organization at a press conference in front of the News Corp building in midtown Manhattan, the parent company of the New York Post. Alice Chambers covered the event for NY City Lens.
Yemeni bodega owners are among the best organized Muslim groups in New York. The Merchants Association represents about 5,000 bodega owners in the city and sprung out of a mass protest against President Trump’s travel ban in 2017.
“This was the first time for our community to rise, to exist,” says Ayyad Algabyali, advocacy director at the merchants’ association. “Grass roots are powerful,” he added.
As of Sunday, the group estimates that several hundred Yemeni bodega owners have decided to boycott the New York Post by refusing to sell it in their stores. It may take some time for them to sever distribution contracts with the Post, but in the meantime, they are simply not putting the papers on their newsstands. A bodega in Manhattan might be expected to sell 80-90 newspapers a day, according to Algabyali. Multiply this across the city and the Yemeni merchants’ association might wield enough economic power to get the Post to give into their demands.
Go to NY City Lens to see how the YAMA campaign emerged in under a day and read more from the press conference.
Tags: New York Post, Yemeni American Merchants Association
of most months
The Riverside Church
120th & Riverside Dr.
NEW MICAH COMMITTEE
TO WORK ON HEALTH JUSTICE
The new Health Committee of the Micah Institute aims to provide information on health services available to diverse neighborhoods in all boroughs as well as strive to bring equity and justice to health systems that are part of the lives of all New Yorkers, including immigrant communities. We see health as a whole-person issue affected by lifestyle, nutrition, exercise and mental state. Our definition of Health Services is expansive, including allopathic medical services, allied medical services, alternative and complementary health services (including respect for traditional and indigenous methods), mental health services, lifestyle information, and the use of arts in physical and mental health. Furthermore we recognize that environmental factors, from poverty to rigid mind-states to pollution and racial/cultural environmental injustices, are key systemic factors in health that must be remedied. This new committee will be co-chaired by Dr. Martha Eddy and Eugenia Espinosa.