Abdul-Malik Ryan serves as Assistant Director of the Office of Religious Diversity and DePaul’s Muslim Chaplain. In this role he serves as Advisor to UMMA and the Interfaith Scholars student groups.
Recent days have been trying for many different people in our country and around the world, among them the Muslim community which has been targeted through both inflammatory rhetoric and government policies that have caused suffering and created fear for many in American Muslim communities. At the same time, we have also seen an outpouring of action from Muslims and from others acting in solidarity which has given us hope and determination to continue to struggle for dignity for all communities.
Many people have been asking, “What can I do?” For those looking to show solidarity with the Muslim community at DePaul, we would like to extend a special invitation to participate in Fast a Thon on February 16.
Fast a Thon is an annual program organized by DePaul’s UMMA (United Muslims Moving Ahead) student group which invites people of all faiths or none to join us in experiencing fasting, community, and service together on the same day. We recognize that everyone is busy and has many different commitments on their time, so we have created several different ways in which people can participate in this effort.
1) People are invited to pledge to fast (as best they are able) on February 16. Simply go to this link and enter your name and email and you will get a reminder the day before with some suggested guidelines around fasting. This will include an invitation to wear green on that day in a display of solidarity with the Muslim community.
2) People are also invited to attend our iftar (breaking of the fast) dinner on February 16 at 5 PM in Cortelyou Commons. The breaking of the fast (at sunset) will be at 5:27 PM that day. We will share a delicious meal as a community, reflect together on the experience of fasting, and be entertained by a unique comedian Jeremy McLellan. McLellan is a Christian who has caught on with Muslim and other audiences for his unique take on issues like immigration, race, religion, Islamophobia, politics and disabilities – he celebrates diversity and critiques bigotry through his comedy. Please RSVP for the dinner here if you know you can commit. An RSVP is necessary to ensure we have space (and food) for you at the dinner.
3) Finally, Fast a Thon will raise money as a community for a great cause. As part of this Fast a Thon, UMMA is collaborating with Zakat Foundation, an international humanitarian relief organization, to raise money to support education for Syrian refugees, the youngest and most innocent victims of the world’s greatest contemporary humanitarian crisis. People can donate through this link, by bringing a donation on the day of the Fast a Thon, or visiting the Muslim Life Center in Lincoln Park Student Center room 329 at any time leading up to the dinner. Please look out for Fast a Thon tabling in the Student Center and spread the word about ways to get involved. If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions do not hesitate to reach out to me.