Indian Muslim Community celebrates Eid at the Indian Consulate in New York City

From left, Ahmed Shakir, Ilayas Quraishi, Sibu Nair, Kashif Hussain, Yusuf Salaam, Jenifer Rajkumar, John Liu, and Dr. Varun Jeph delivering remarks at the Consulate General of India in New York on April 21, 2024. PHOTO: News India Times

New York City: Continuing its long-standing tradition to showcase the community’s “unity and strength,” the Indian Muslim Community (IMC) of NY/NJ/CT hosted Eid Celebrations 2024, at the Consulate General of India (CGI) in New York on April 21, 2024.

Welcoming the gathering, Acting Consul General of India in New York, Dr. Varun Jeph underscored, “Eid marks the culmination of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, and it is celebrated across India cutting across faiths and religions. It is an integral part of the larger civilizational ethos of the cultural landscape of India” adding, “It reflects on India’s millennia-old composite culture and our unity in diversity. We are in New York City, one of the most diverse cities in the world. The diversity is also a hallmark of India, the birthplace of religions like Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, and land of more than 100 languages…”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer addressing the audience via his video message. Photo: CGI
Ilayas Quraishi receiving New York State Assembly’s special citation from Jenifer Rajkumar at the Consulate General of India in New York on April 21, 2024. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer in his video message noted “I am sorry that I can’t be with you to celebrate in person, but I am with you in spirit. This Eid celebration is especially meaningful this year with so much hatred, division, and bigotry in the world. Eid reminds us there’s great unity possible in love and faith…”

New York State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar said, “As the first Indian woman elected in this state, I have had the opportunity to show my love for the Muslim community right here in New York City” and that she undertook “five boroughs Ramadan tour this year” where she participated in Iftars in all five boroughs and broke the fast. She commended the “discipline” of the Muslim community in New York City and called it “truly inspiring.”

Rajkumar expressed “Muslim community is family to me, and I have been so honored to work to empower the community, including working with the City of New York to expand halal food options in our public schools, which we got done.”

She emphasized, “You no longer need a sound permit in New York City” for the Muslim call to prayer – the Adhan. “The NYPD’s new legal guidance clarifies for mosques and masjids that the call to prayer is allowed in New York City and not prohibited despite sound restrictions in city neighborhoods” said a statement from New York City Mayor Eric Adams in August 2023.

IMC’s core committee members along with Dr. Varun Jeph, Jenifer Rajkumar, Yusuf Salaam and representatives of New York State Governor, New York City Mayor, and New York City Public Advocate at the Consulate General of India in New York on April 21, 2024. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Rajkumar presented special citations from the State of New York to IMC’s Founding member and COO of Parikh Worldwide Media, Ilayas Quraishi, and others including Ali Mohammed. The citation referred to Quraishi as “the pride of the Indian Diaspora.”

According to Quraishi, a few years ago, a small group of Muslim community embarked on a journey to revive the tradition of celebrating Eid at CGI in New York. He expressed humility in witnessing the community’s progress in preserving this tradition while thanking the core committee members and the broader community for their “unwavering support.”

Full house at the Eid Celebration at the Consulate General of India, New York. Photo: CGI

“I am acutely aware that I am not just representing myself, but I am the voice of over 200 plus million Indian Muslims and Indian American Muslims who call the United States home. It is a profound honor and responsibility that I do not take lightly,” added Quraishi. “As we gather here today to celebrate Eid, let us reflect on the journey that has brought us together, and the bonds that unite us across oceans and continents. Eid is not just a religious celebration; it is a celebration of our shared humanity, of the values of compassion, generosity, and unity that transcend borders and boundaries.”

New York State Senator John Liu said India boasts a significant Muslim population within its diverse cultural landscape. This diversity extends globally, evident in the thriving and impactful Indian American community here in New York alongside a notably influential Muslim community.

Sumayya Ahmed recited the Quran to start the event. Photo CGI
Zoha Ahmed explained the significance of Eid at the event. Photo CGI


Expressing happiness to be part of Ramadan celebrations this year, Liu recalled, “But it wasn’t always like that. Just about 20 years ago, right here in New York, elected officials did not go to Iftars. They stayed away from Iftars… Because, after September 11, Muslim community suffered a great deal from discrimination and outright hatred.”

NYC Councilman, Yusef Salaam said “Eid is not merely a festival of happiness, but it symbolizes the boundless gratitude that resonates within the hearts of Muslims across the globe. It epitomizes the spirit of brotherhood, unity, and sisterhood as well.”

New York City Deputy Public Advocate, Kashif Hussain, on behalf of New York Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, expressed his gratitude to the Indian Consulate and the Muslim Community for the invitation. Hussain also presented citations from the Public Advocate to Quraishi and other community members Ahmed Shakir, and Shabbir Adip.

Deputy Director of Asian American Affairs for New York State, Sibu Nair presented a letter from New York Governor Kathy Hochul congratulating the community on the occasion. The letter said, “New York State’s diversity is its strength and as such forges strong partnerships with national bodies from across the world to facilitate both cultural and economic exchange,” while thanking the Indian Consulate for extending its invaluable support to the Indian American community.

IMC committee members provided plaques to Dr. Jeph, Rajkumar, Consul (Political & PIC), CGI, Shruti Pandey, Senator Liu, and Nair.

A ghazal performance being presented by Suman Laskar at the Consulate General of India in New York on April 21, 2024. PHOTO CGI
Surya Makkar played traditional drums at the event. Photo CGI

IMC’s Founding member Ahmed Shakir delivered the opening remarks and thanked Dr. Jeph and Rajkumar for their support. NYC Mayor’s South Asian Community Liaison, Sookranie Dhanpat also spoke on the occasion. Additionally, Sumayya Ahmed recited the Quran, Zoha Ahmed explained the significance of Eid, Suman Laskar performed Ghazals, Surya Makkar played traditional drums, and Mohammed Darbar entertained the audience with a stand-up comedy performance.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here