This past Monday evening, we had the privilege and honor to attend an Iftar – the traditional meal to end each day of Ramadan at sundown – with Attorney General Keith Ellison at his office. This was a historic occasion – the first Iftar held in the Minnesota State Capitol, and one hosted by the first Muslim to serve in the United States Congress. As members of a relatively small faith community, we know how validating it can be to see ourselves reflected in institutions, and with approximately 150,000 Muslims calling Minnesota home, it felt auspicious to be present on Monday night at the Capitol. Nearly 200 guests gathered to hear from Attorney General Ellison, who shared inspiring words about Ramadan and the traditional observance that Muslims around the world engage in for this month.
Fasting is a tradition both Jewish and Muslim communities share, so it was a particularly beautiful honor to share in break-fast this Ramadan as Jews.
This past year, we have seen brutal, murderous attacks on synagogues from Pittsburgh to Poway and Mosques in New Zealand. We have buried Jews and Muslims, victims of white-nationalist terror. We know that our both our communities are under attack, we feel connected in our resistance, our survival.
Our solidarity has been challenged, so it felt especially important to accept the Attorney General’s invitation and to attend this Iftar. We share enemies, yes, but we also share in each other’s celebrations. We share meals together. We learn from one another. We are in dialogue together about how to build a world of justice and human dignity, how to challenge the threatening rise of white nationalism, how to make our mosques and synagogues safe from terror.
At a time when white nationalists seek to pit Jews and Muslims against one another, we come together to break bread, to lift up our hearts
and souls, to create the world we want to live in: Where people of different faiths appreciate and celebrate our own traditions and share them with our neighbors. Gathered around our tables, feasting together, we offer each other and our community a glimpse of what the world could be.
To our Muslim friends: Ramadan Mubarack!