Community Rallies in Response to Attack on Gay Rights Activist
On June 30, 40 people stood outside a Queens, NY restaurant where Zaman Mohammed Amin was beaten a week before, chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, all the violence has got to go.”
New York police are investigating the attack as a hate crime, making it the 23rd known targeted attack against a LGBT New Yorker in 2013, including the May murder of Marc Carson.
Amin, a Trinidadian performer and activist, was cheering on his brother who had entered a cooking competition at the restaurant, when the event emcee made homophobic remarks about Amin and his friends. According to Amin, he and his brother confronted the emcee and were subsequently dragged outside by a band of musicians, ending with Amin being struck on the head with a competition trophy.
The following Sunday, organizers gathered outside of Players Bar & Restaurant to express their support for the LGBT community. According to attendees, it was one of the biggest LGBT events ever seen in the area. “There isn’t a big movement here in Queens,” Jim Silvestri told DNAinfo New York. “It’s great to see this tonight but it's a shame that it took violence to make it happen.”\
Celebrating the Changing Face of the American Family
After a Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial couple sparked widespread backlash online, Michael David Murphy and Alyson West created a crowdsourced website that celebrates interracial families, according to the Christian Post.
Interracial families are at an all-time high in U.S. history. The 2008 census states that 15 percent of new marriages are interracial, providing a namesake for Murphy and West’s project, “We are the 15 Percent.” Thousands have come forward to share their family images on this website, which aims to “publicly reflect the changing face of the American family.”
Attack on Hindu Temple Strengthens Interfaith Solidarity
In the days leading up to a community vigil to mark the 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182, believed to be conducted by Sikh terrorists, windows were smashed at a Hindu temple in Surrey, British Columbia. The timing of the incident, along with a broken bat inscribed with Sikh symbolism found at the scene, has prompted temple leaders to regard the attack as a religious hate crime, according to VancouverDesi.
"We're treating it as nothing more than mischief," said Sgt. Dale Carr of the Surrey Royal Canadian Mounted Police. But temple president Parshotam Goel remains convinced it’s a hate crime.
In the wake of the vandalism, the vigil attracted a record turnout and interfaith message. World Sikh Organization of Canada president Prem Vinning condemned the incident, saying “If they’re trying to cause friction between the two communities–I don’t think they’re going to succeed... Acts like that only will bring us closer together where we stand up for one another as Canadians.”