Two Muslim guys photo-blog 30 NYC mosques in 30 days


The "30 mosques in 30 days" blog documents Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq's "Ramadan journey through NYC's Muslim Community." It's a really neat project, and ends on September 19th (the last day in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan). Snip from one post, each one is about a different mosque, all are delightful.

After the dhikr session, we broke our fast with dixie cups of water and prayed. The imam's recitation was incredible. This may sound hokey, but his voice sounded a lot like a perfect pitch violin, the way his voice glided seamlessly from letter to letter in his recitation. You couldn't help but close your eyes and take it all in. (...)

After a few minutes of breaking the ice, I mentioned the word "Call of Duty 4" and immediately a group of kids swarmed me. We had a blast during dinner cracking jokes. One thing I really love is seeing younger kids come to mosques because they genuinely enjoy being there, not because they are dragged by their parents. Its kids like these that make me feel good about where the Muslim community as a whole is headed in this country.

(via @ethanz via Global Voices)


  1. One thing I really love is seeing younger kids come to mosques because they genuinely enjoy being there, not because they are dragged by their parents.

    That’s a neat perspective.

    I feel the same way about Unitarian churches.

  2. In my junior year of college I took a class on Islam which had us attend a local mosque several times.

    Now, I was raised in a Christian setting but have long been a well read agnostic who values the good bits of all religions and tries to weed out the bad. Still, I was pleasantly surprised during my visits by the sheer feeling of community and the welcome I was shown. I’d never felt that sort of feeling as a child, being dragged to churches full of intolerant and insistant people who were there more out of tradition and appearances than any real emotions or spirituality.

    However, Islamic communities in America may have this quality of tight-nit communities in large part because they are a minority which is poorly understood and which is publicly discriminated against. Whereas Christianity in America is content in its supremacy and unquestionable social status, Muslims have a shared feeling of being the under-dogs, of being targeted by bigots and ignorami and thus needing more than ever to band together and be accepting of differences, even to the point of welcoming openly those outside their religion who simply wish to support their communities.

    ~D. Walker

  3. I’m Jewish, not Muslim, but on my few visits to Mosques, I found the same kind of welcoming, egalitarian warm-fuzzy-friendliness that I got from liberal Reform and Conservative shuls in Berkeley and San Francisco.

    Loved the photos, and will pass this around to friends. Thanks for doing this great project!

  4. You incorrectly state that September 19th is “the last day in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan”. The exact date of the end of Ramadan varies each year, and it varies by a country’s government. Some countries intentionally delay the start of Ramadan so as not to coincide with a neighboring country (that they are unfriendly with).

  5. awesome work guys! this is a fantastic idea and glad you went through with it to the end! (well almost)

  6. Thank you mister pedant. I’m aware of this. The holy month of Ramadan does indeed end on September 19th this year, so the sentence is correct, if not as specific as you’d like.

  7. wow what nice feedback from all the strangers here: i encourage all of you to look into islam and try to wipe clean all the misconceptions you have. it can’t hurt–after all, it’s a very common way of life and it’s in every neighborhood of the planet. laterz. it took me a while…i was the biggest secularist and now i;m way more open minded, not just wit religion but with other things also.

  8. I look at the lead picture and see cute faces, makes me wanna read, but I also feel something is not right. I ask myself, what’s wrong with this picture? There are no girls. Sorry, that is a major stumbling block for me. Stops me in my tracks in fact.

  9. Wll, grt, bt why s t tht ths whlsm gd ppl r nvr sn pblcly dnncng th vlnc tht s cmmttd n th nm f thr rlgn? vr.

  10. Gregory,

    Why is it that wholesome good [Christians] are never seen denouncing the [myriad of political, social and educational abuse] that is committed in the name of their religion? Ever.

    /Perspectivized that for you.

    While I agree that any moderate middle should make a distinction between themselves and the extremist edges, if they want to fly the same flag but not be tarred with the same brush; it is not solely a Muslim issue.

    And if you watch the news, at all, Muslim councils (in the UK, for example) regularly condemn and disassociate from violent extremism.

  11. This project is really awesome. To reply to the person who mentioned they didn’t see any girls. The women section is separated from the men, since the bloggers are men that is the side they are writing about.

    The way I see it, this separation allows you to spiritually focus on what you are there for, rather than being distracted by the opposite gender.

  12. there are no girls.

    Yes, there are women and girls at these mosques, just not in this snapshot, and not sitting at that table full of boys, and there are cultural/religious reasons for that. It’s a different culture/religion than yours. Not everyone is the same. Spend some time traveling around the world to truly different places, and you’ll be less quick to condemn.

    One NYC-based Muslim woman wrote a wonderful guest-post on the “30 Mosques” blog, about the female side of things in her community (it also addresses the fact that yes, some activities or spaces are segregated by gender, for the reason another commenter noted above).

    Go have a read.

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