Ramadan brings change and unity. Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq wanted to have a novel way of approaching the Ramadan and to consolidate their friendship. They conceived the project 30 Mosques in 30 days in 2009 and had iftar that year at 30 mosques in New York. This year they are visiting 30 different mosques in 30 states in the US. The updates about their spirited and spiritual trip are being updated in their website 30mosque.com.
The Muslim community in the US comprises those who have settled there for many generations, migrants from different parts of the world, and those who have embraced Islam. Islamophobia which has become prevalent in the aftermath of 9/11 has affected their life. The accounts of Bassam’s and Aman Ali’s trip bring to us a different picture of Islam from the stereotypes prevalent in the western media in the aftermath of the 9/11.
Al Aman says in an interview with Al Jazeera: ‘We don’t aim to preach Islam, but want instead to focus on the diversity of Muslim life in the US.’ Aman and Basam Tariq also reached the Park 51 mosque aka the Ground Zero Mosque. They say: We spent time playing with the children in Jacksonville, Florida and speaking to Bosnians in Idaho. Most of the Indo-Pak communities in Mein are married to American Muslim women. American youth, who have married Moroccan women, have settled there. Here, different cultures co-exist. We have seen an Iraqi refugee there, who came there with his little children in search of better situations of life. For us, Muslims are merely Arabs and Afro-Americans. But we meet people different from these stereotypes from different walks of life.’
They also address the anti-American Muslims in their blog, and their tone is sharp. I was finding myself getting angrier and angrier about the constant abuse being heaped on America about our so-called intolerance to Islam. I mean, really, the religion of ... Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, al-Qaeda lecturing us on tolerance? But then I read your blog. It brought my focus back to what I already knew. That the hateful groups mentioned above are about as relevant to the average American Muslim as the KKK, the Inquisition, the Westboro Baptist Church, and pedophile priests are to the average American Christian.’
They have one message to impart: Ramadan is the month in which people should be together. ‘We impart this message through our trip and social media.
The project became famous on account of features and reports in media like CNN, ABC News, NPT. But Aman and Bassam have gratitude to social networking media, including Facebook and Twitter which have made their active. The new design of 30 mosque project is in such a way that readers can share their ideas to the site. Without depending on big sponsors, the duos go ahead with the income generated from their site. Bassam works as a film advertisement professional and Aman is a writer and comedian