19 June 2018. Houston, Texas.
Mayor Sylvester Turner celebrated Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of Ramadan at a Dawoodi Bohra masjid (mosque) on Monday. The mayor has a warm relationship with this Muslim community that became even stronger during Hurricane Harvey, when the masjid kitchens prepared and delivered over 10,000 hot meals to the evacuees at George R. Brown Convention Center, along with other assistance to the city.
“I want to personally thank this community for what you did during Harvey, it was exceptional,” the Mayor said. “In our city we cherish and build relationships, we stand up for each other, we protect each other, we support each other, we undergird each other, we embrace one another and we say to the rest of the globe, if you want to see what a family looks like, come to the city of Houston — because around our table, are people that come from all over, but we are supportive of one another because we are Houston Strong, and we are Houston Proud.”
Friends of the Bohras who attended included Art Acevedo, Chief of the Houston Police Department and US District Judge Vanessa Gilmore, candidate for Congress Lizzie Fletcher, the Consul General of Pakistan and pastors from neighboring churches.
“Members of this community have made their mark in the wider community of Houston,” said Aisha Farooqi, Consul General of Pakistan. “As proud Houstonians, and proud Muslims, they have been exemplary in reaching out to their fellow Houstonians whether it’s during Hurricane Harvey, or other times of need. In making this contribution the Bohra community of Houston is taking forward the rich heritage of Islam that insists upon inclusiveness.”
Dawoodi Bohra Muslims follow the guidance of their spiritual leader His Holiness, Dr. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin who lives in India. His brother, Prince Malekul Ashtar Bhaisaheb Shujauddin lives in Houston, and welcomed the mayor to the masjid.
“Our community has been in Houston for fifty years,” said Mohammed Zakir, a spokesperson for the Prince. “We couldn’t have this masjid here without the friendship and cooperation of our neighbors and government and fellow Houstonians, and tonight, we are celebrating that spirit of fellowship.
“Our faith teaches us to be loyal and patriotic to the country we live in, and to be the best citizens we can be,” said Zakir. “Mayor Turner is warm and inclusive in his outlook, a Mayor for all of us. As Houston residents, we are happy to support the initiatives of the Mayor’s office and make our resources available as much as we can. We are thrilled that he, and the others, make the effort to come to our masjid.”