Barbershop: Reflections On A Particularly Difficult Ramadan


Now it’s time for a Barbershop. That’s where we speak with a organisation of engaging folks about what’s in a news and what’s on their minds. And this weekend, what’s on a minds of millions of mindful Muslims is a finish of a annual duration of fasting and thoughtfulness famous as Ramadan. Ramadan ends tomorrow with a festival, Eid al-Fitr.

But we wanted to note that this has been a quite formidable Ramadan for many Muslims in opposite tools of a world. Worshippers withdrawal services were pounded in apart incidents in London and Virginia. There was also that harmful automobile explosve blast in Afghanistan on a initial day of Ramadan. On Thursday, an 800-year-old mosque was broken in Iraq, a al-Nuri mosque in Mosul. So we suspicion this would be an suitable time to ask a organisation of Muslim suspicion leaders to join us for their reflections as they interpretation this critical duration of eremite observance.

Joining us in a studios in Washington, D.C., is Congressman Andre Carson. He represents a 7th District in Indiana, that includes Indianapolis. He’s one of dual Muslim-Americans now portion in Congress.

Congressman Carson, welcome. Thank we so most for fasten us.

ANDRE CARSON: What an honor, appreciate you.

MARTIN: Also with me in a studios here is Buzzfeed contributor Hannah Allam. She has won awards for her coverage of a Iraq War. She’s now stating on Muslim life in a U.S. Hannah Allam, acquire to you. Thank we so most for fasten us as well.

HANNAH ALLAM: Thanks for carrying me.

MARTIN: And fasten us from WCPN ideastream in Cleveland, Ohio, is Julia Shearson. She’s a executive executive for a Cleveland section of a Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR. Julia Shearson, appreciate we so most for fasten us once again.

JULIA SHEARSON: Hello from a Muslim village in Cleveland.

MARTIN: And competence we hail we all with Ramadan Mubarak?

ALLAM: Thank you.

SHEARSON: Ramadan Kareem.

CARSON: Ramadan Kareem.

MARTIN: And we know – we only wanted to ask if we all had been looking brazen to Eid, or is it bittersweet given of all these issues that we only mentioned? And those are only a few. That indeed doesn’t even incorporate all of a things that have been function this – only this duration alone. Hannah, can we start?

ALLAM: Sure. we consider a lot of people went into Ramadan looking brazen to that duration of thoughtfulness and just, we know, a possibility to whisper after what had been this unequivocally formidable year – a lot of anti-Muslim tongue on a debate route and traffic with a transport anathema and a fallout from that. And so, we know, we consider people went into it thinking, we unequivocally need this time with my family. we need this time to simulate and, we know, also only to have fun – we mean, trade DJ Khaled memes about fasting and things like that, just, we know. But, of course, a troubles were never distant from hand.

So yeah, we had a lot of – a fibre of attacks. And that unequivocally injured a month for a lot of people. So maybe, we think, there’s a clarity that maybe Eid, this three-day duration of celebration, maybe that will kind of revive some of that assent and reflection.

MARTIN: Congressman Carson, we know, what about you? Now, we know we didn’t grow adult in a faith, so we don’t know if we have arrange of childhood memories to pull upon. But for you, has this been a joyous time in a past? And was it opposite for we this time?

CARSON: we consider it has been. I’ve been a Muslim given we was 16, 17. And we consider a Eid is always a time for celebration, recalibration, digging in. But this year was quite trying. And we consider now Muslims have come to a crossroads of sorts in unequivocally identifying who we are as a community. we mean, we have opposite schools of thought. We positively are not monolithic. But a incomparable doubt becomes, what will a appearance be in a incomparable society?

We can no longer lay behind and be fearful and be bashful about who we are. We don’t have to indispensably be pronounced, though we consider we need to be conspicuous in a clarity of saying, this is who we are. We will not mount for targeting. We will not mount by while Muslim women are attacked. We have to take a stand.

I consider entrance out of a inland Muslim community, we consider that there has been a tradition of safeguarding Muslim sisters in particular. But we consider now, some-more than ever, in a post-9/11 reality, we consider that view has turn some-more widespread that we need to concentration on being unapproachable of who we are though also safeguarding a communities in a unequivocally genuine way.

MARTIN: Julie, can we ask we something? There’s something that we know has been a unequivocally unpleasant experience, that is something we alluded to earlier. In, we know, Virginia, a male has been charged with abduction and murdering a teen named Nabra Hassanen after she was walking with a organisation of friends to have breakfast.

You know, and one of a unchanging commentators, Arsalan Iftikhar, was revelation us that this is something of a sermon of thoroughfare for teenagers, we know, to go out together to have breakfast to mangle a – we know, before a quick starts during daylight. And we only wanted to ask, Julia, if we could ask we as a lady who wears hijabs, as a lady who wears conduct covering, does something like this make we feel some-more vulnerable, even some-more exposed than we maybe competence have felt before?

SHEARSON: Well, we think, yes. we mean, we live in – we live in Cuyahoga County, that is unequivocally cosmopolitan. But we consider of some some-more farming areas in a country, or in that case, it was a suburban area. we mean, it is intolerable and concerning. Last night, we were during a commemorative use for her, a vigil, during a Islamic Society of Akron and Kent. There were people there from all opposite faith communities.

And what is unequivocally touching about it was that it was led by immature people, immature American Muslims who’ve unequivocally stepped brazen and wish to explain their place in American multitude as partial of a tapestry of this society. And what we see, we know, in this time of tremendous, we know, tragedy, of eremite bigotry, where a fabric of a American tapestry is unequivocally arrange of unwinding, we see on a other side this implausible wish and resilience and honour and bravery to see a village stepping adult together with a interfaith community.

I mean, right now, in a office, we have a Christian volunteer. She’s 90 years old. She came in and worked on a Ramadan interest with us. People, when they streamed to a airports during a Muslim ban, we consider that that unequivocally repelled a demur of a American people given they saw – we consider they unequivocally finally saw how terrible eremite dogmatism can be. And they stepped brazen to, we know, to mount adult and defend. So yes, it’s frightening, though it’s also a possibility of entrance together.

MARTIN: Hannah, only briefly, if we would, we know that you’ve combined about this. we know that many people have been articulate about a fact that a authorities in Virginia have been demure to call this a hatred crime. They are pronounced – instead they are observant that this was an occurrence of highway fury that escalated to this unimaginable level. And we haven’t even given all a sum because, frankly, we find it only very, unequivocally unpleasant to even discuss. And we wanted to ask, since is it critical what it’s called? we mean, quite we wish to ask we this as a author and as a publisher yourself, where pointing is partial of your job. But since do we consider it’s critical what it’s called?

ALLAM: Sure. And this one has been formidable to news on given it is not labeled a hatred crime. And yet, that is unequivocally how it’s, we know, being perceived, that there was some proceed in that Nabra Hassanen’s possibly skin tone or sacrament played a purpose in this. And it’s, we know, unequivocally – either or not it’s personal that by authorities, a lot of – to a lot of Muslims, it’s being just, we know, one some-more sign of their vulnerabilities and generally for Muslims of color.

MARTIN: And, Congressman Carson, to that end, we know, we’ve talked a lot on this module and in many forums about a whole – a talk, we know, this whole doubt of a review that African-Americans have felt that they have had to have with – about how to rivet with authorities.

Now, what – all of we have children. I’m going to ask we if we could speak to me about have we talked with your kids about this? And what do we say? we mean, there’s no – what would one say? we mean, this is something that seems to have come out of nowhere. Have we talked about this with your kids? And what do we say?

CARSON: Yeah. You know, my daughter’s 10 years old. She’s African-American. She’s Muslim though she’s still 10. And we think, as a father – we know her mom talks about – talks to her about these things. But as a dad, we consider my proceed is substantially riddled with a lot of concern, anxiety, paranoia though entrance from a African-American knowledge and meaningful full good what it’s like to be profiled.

So being black and Muslim, it comes with carrying double a suspicions, double a assumptions, double mythology surrounded – by who we are as a tellurian being. But we think, in a unequivocally genuine sense, I’ve had to travel her by a realities of what it means to be black in America, being targeted and entrance out of a lot of hurtful mythologies that have been codified by sacrament and even open policy. And so my wish is to navigate her around this to a best of my ability.

MARTIN: Hannah, what about you? we know we have dual boys, and they’re still kind of small but…

ALLAM: You know, no – well, we have one. And only this morning, he listened – we know, we pronounced hey, we competence go to a mosque tomorrow for Eid. And he knew that we had only come from a mosque to cover Nabra Hassanen’s funeral, so we didn’t even consider of this tie in his mind. But he said, no, mommy, we can’t go to a mosque, maybe we’ll be pounded if we leave. And he’s 6-and-a-half, so that stopped me.

MARTIN: Julia, what about you? we know we have a daughter, too. And only briefly, if we would, are we articulate to her about this?


MARTIN: And what do we say?

SHEARSON: Oh, absolutely. we mean, my – as a daughter of a polite rights activist, my daughter is unequivocally well-aware of all a opposite things that have happened to a Muslim-American community. So we consider she’s – she doesn’t wear a headscarf to school. She went to an Islamic propagandize for 4 years, and now she’s in a open school. But we consider she started to be means some-more to claim her Muslim identity. She did a bake sale for a homecoming for a Syrian refugees. She recently did a debate – review from a debate on Malcolm X.

So, we mean, she’s – we know, these immature Muslims are perplexing to rise their temperament in a unequivocally severe circumstance. But we consider that they’re going to come by this well. But, of course, we have to be clever as a community. And we – we – we know, we have to be cautious. And we have to be warning and aware. But we have to go forward. we mean, we can't quiver in fear and conjunction can a country.

MARTIN: That’s Congressman Andre Carson, Hannah Allam and Julia Shearson. we wish to appreciate we all so most for fasten us today. We do wish we have a sanctified Eid. And we do wish to know what you’re going to eat to mangle a fast. Do we know?

ALLAM: We’re going to a Lebanese restaurant.

MARTIN: OK, well, there it is.


MARTIN: Thank we all so most for fasten us.

SHEARSON: We’re going for Korean.



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