First-Ever Muslim Festival Held in Portland

Zahra Hadid draws a henna tattoo on Amy Johnson’s hand at the Portland International Muslim Cultural Festival, Saturday, July 8, 2017. Photo: KUOW


Portland, 14 Shawwal 1438/9 July 2017 (MINA) – In the shade of a festival tent, Zahra Hadid delicately painted a henna tattoo onto the wrist and hand of Amy Johnson. Hadid has perfected her art over the course of 20 years. It was Johnson’s first henna tattoo. KUOW reported.

People from many different backgrounds, practicing and nonpracticing Muslims, gathered at the city park to celebrate at the first-ever Muslim-focused festival in Portland, and possibly in the Pacific Northwest.

Hosted by the Muslim Educational Trust in partnership with a number of other agencies, including Portland Parks & Recreation and Portland Police Bureau, it’s called the Portland International Muslim Cultural Festival. Organizers and local city leaders plan to make it an annual tradition going forward, with a hope to dispel myths about the religion, which some people have come to associate with terrorism, the News Review reported.

Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman, along with other police bureau officers, was present at the festival, where he told audiences that they don’t want the bureau to be a symbol of fear to the community.

He said they are actively working with IRCO, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, to better understand the needs of those particular populations, which are growing in Portland. Officials declared Portland a sanctuary city earlier this year. Marshman noted that some police officers at the event that day were immigrants and refugees.

“We can look back at the first six months of this year and have just a lot of negativity,” Marshman said. “I tend to look at it differently. I think that negativity is drawing people together to have these conversations.”(T/RE1/RS5)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)