The main target of the picnic organized by the Western New York Muslims community is to give Muslim kids a chance to get together, adults to talk and show diversity in Buffalo’s growing Islamic community, WBFO reported.
“It’s very important because they need to see that in the community there are other kids similar to them so they can see that they are not alone,” Attiq Rahman said, “and I think it reinforces their identity to see other Muslims in the community.”
The picnic, held Sunday in Martin Luther King Jr. Park, was pretty standard. It had halal hot dogs, cold pop, bounce houses and translations of the Holy Qur’an.
Though Williamsville School District is welcoming and supportive of Muslim kids, the picnic was an important chance for Muslims to be Muslims, Group Community Outreach Coordinator Farina Mirza said.
“Spreading awareness for our youth. But you are absolutely right, they’re confused,” Mirza said.
“That’s the reason why we started this organization, that our youth can recognize their position, their friends as a Muslim and how can they survive as an American Muslim.”
Sana Iqbal is a third-year pre-med student at the University at Buffalo, shared a similar opinion on the importance of holding such events “To maintain the religion.”
“Me, personally, I absolutely love my religion. I love my culture. I try to speak in my own language as much as possible. So, again, it’s down to the individual of how they feel, if they want to maintain their culture or they want to adopt the one here in America or they want to combine the two.”
New York City is home to an estimated 769,000 Muslims.
They make up about 9 percent of the city’s population, but represent 22 percent of all Muslims living in the United States, according to Muslims for American Progress.
American Muslims usually hold outdoor events to bring the community together.
In May 2017, members of a Memphis mosque and Presbyterian church went out in a picnic, breaking bread and barriers together.