Muslims And Latinos Fight Hate 'One Taco Truck At A Time'

by
Alice Salles
As Muslims in Southern California observed the end of Ramadan, taco trucks served halal tacos at a local Santa Ana mosque.

As the holy month of Ramadan came to a close, Muslim activists joined forces with Latino activists to break their fast during the first Taco Trucks at Every Mosque event.

The inaugural bash took place in the parking lot of a new Islamic Center in Santa Ana, California, where halal tacos were served to Muslims and Latinos, the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to organizers Muslim mother Rida Hamida and history teacher Ben Vazquez, the event is, in part, a response to President Donald Trump given one of his supporters once said that if he didn't win, “you're going to have taco trucks on every corner.”

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“This is perfect timing,” Hamida told the LA Times. “The purpose of this month is to give charity, to grow our character and our inner lives and to nourish our soul through service. What better way to do that than by learning from one another?”

With the goal of seeing taco trucks serving halal tacos at every mosque in Orange County, Hamida and Vazquez first had the idea after Trump won the 2016 presidential election, as he posed a threat to both immigrants and Muslims.

Apparently, their brilliant partnership is a now a great success.

During the event, attendees like Idrees Alomari, 13, a Muslim of Yemeni and Mexican descent, said this get-together shows how different people can appreciate differences without fighting.

Since many “don't get my religion,” Idrees said, “I wish they would listen more instead of being hot-headed about what they think could be right or wrong.”

Santa Ana resident Michael Abdul, originally from Peru, also attended the Saturday night celebration. To the clothing salesman, answering hate with hate is not the way.

“What I figured out is this religion not only unites Muslims but anyone who has mercy and is able to forgive people,” he told reporters.

“It takes energy and compassion to live among cultures,” said Claudia Perez, 24, an event attendee who's a sociology major at UC Irvine. “And because our Muslim community seems to be invisible, that's why I'm here.”

Resilience OC, a nonprofit pushing for partnerships between immigrants and law enforcement, partnered with Hamida and Vazquez for the taco event. She said that the sentiment Saturday night was of openness and celebration.

“All the way from the parking entrance to inside, everyone's been like, 'Welcome, welcome, we're so glad to have you here,'” she told the LA Times.

In the future, the Taco Trucks at Every Mosque event is set to take place at mosques in Anaheim, Garden Grove, Irvine, and Mission Viejo.

To Hamida, this is an opportunity to build bridges "one taco truck at a time," and hopefully, she's right. After all, if this trend continues, more communities will be able to develop the same ties, strengthening these groups and proving that Trump's policies cannot destroy their spirit and their willingness to help one another in spite of the president's threats.

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