30 Mosques/30 days goes worldwide
Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq are two young American Muslims who, a year ago, completed an eye-opening road trip -- crossing the U.S. in a quest to worship at 30 mosques, in 30 states, in the 30 days of Ramadan. The previous year, in a kind of rehearsal, they broke their 30 daily fasts at 30 different mosques in New York City. Both years they reported to Disaptches.
Here's what they wrote Dispatches about this year's trip -- a visit to the 20 states they missed last year: (link to earlier reports)
We started out in Alaska at the beginning of the month and made our way to the east coast with over 13,000 miles of driving underneath our belt. We conclude in our hometown of NYC.
One of the questions we're raising this year is what is the relevance of Islam in America? With the 10th anniversary of 9/11, have Muslims only formed their identity in response to the attacks?
Some of the highlights of our trip include meeting a gay Imam in Washington DC, getting berated by a mosque for visiting a woman's prayer space in Arkansas (both of which caused heated discussions on our blog, almost 500 comments), hanging out with a Native American Muslim and meeting devout Muslims covered in tattooes and piercings.
We also got the friends of the convicted Christmas tree bomber in Oregon to write him letters about how they felt betrayed about what he did and wrote a love story about woman who left her entire life in Malaysia to marry an incarcerated prison convict in South Dakota she was pen pals with. The list goes on and on.
We raised over $12,000 to fundraise this trip through individual contributions through Twitter and Facebook. This year we also started a movement where we now have people in Belgium, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Chicago, Toronto, Washington DC, and the Netherlands doing 30 Mosques in 30 Days in their respective communities.
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