Monday, July 11, 2016

US media didn't care when Muslims danced after haters tried to intimidate them!

As a founding member of the Eid Festival Committee, a group that plans the annual Eid Festival in Anaheim that was launched in 2013, it was extremely difficult to garner the media's interest to produce or write stories about a Muslim festival... until a controversy happened.

Muslims and Arabs usually receive media coverage when there's a terrorist attack, war, or some kind of crisis, leaving people wondering why Muslims are always angry and at war. The Eid Festival was one of many examples of Arabs and Muslims gathering in a celebratory atmosphere that could show them more positively. But despite my efforts to reach out to local media outlets including radio, TV, and print, there was little to no interest.

Then a group of bigots showed up at the festival to intimidate the community and disrupt the event as they shouted the most outrageous things to a bunch of happy Arabs and Muslims. That's when I pulled out my phone and streamed the incident live on Facebook, which went viral (only then some media showed interest).

People responded to hate with love and kindness by blasting loud music to drown out the hate, and hundreds reacted by dancing (one dance move was bizarre though Buzzfeed called it 'awesome'), to the sound of Imagine Dragons, Selena Gomez' Kill them with Kindness, and some debkeh, too!

The video was viewed more than half a million times, and received a little media attention from Buzzfeed, the Orange County Register, and Fusion, however, not a single American TV station has been interested so far.. except Alhurra TV - the Arabic-language propaganda TV that streams in the Middle East!

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