Culture

In Southern California, Muslims And Latinos Eat Tacos Together After Breaking Ramadan Fast

Credit: CBS Evening News / YouTube

This is how food can be used to bring people together for the common good.

Activists Rida Hamida and Benjamin Vazquez are trying to bring together the Latino and Muslim communities with tacos. Hamida and Vazquez are using Ramadan and the meal that follows fasting, called iftar, to bring together two minority groups facing increased societal discrimination: Latinos and Muslims. Ramadan is a holy month in the Muslim faith when religious Muslims fast from sun up to sundown. It takes place during the month when the prophet Mohammed first received the revelations that would make up the Quran.

According to the L.A. Times, Hamida and Vasquez recently organized an event that took place in the parking lot of the Islamic Center in Santa Ana, Calif. It’s part of a movement in Orange Country called #TacoTrucksAtEveryMosque.

The first #TacoTrucksAtEveryMosque got Latinos and Muslims to sit down for a meal after fasting for Ramadan was over that day.

CREDIT: CBS Evening News / YouTube

“This is perfect timing. The purpose of this month is to give charity, to grow our character and our inner lives and to nourish our soul through service,” Hamida told the L.A. Times. She added: “What better way to do that than by learning from one another?”

According to the L.A. Times, more than 400 Latinos and Muslims attended the event that was catered by the Tacos “El Moy” food truck.

Attendees were able to sit with one another, break bread, and talk religion, family, and, of course, politics.

CREDIT: CBS Evening News / YouTube

“We’ve been guilty of prejudice toward one another,” Vazquez told The OC Register. “And this is the way we break it all down — with food. Today, we’re celebrating one another’s culture. We’re making connections.”

Hamida, one of the coordinators, told the CBS Evening News that the point of the event is for more than just eating together, it is about growing a community.

CREDIT: CBS Evening News / YouTube

Hamida says that it is through food and conversation provided by #TacoTrucksAtEveryMosque that those conversations and relationships can start to grow. According to The OC Register, the event is expected to visit other mosques in the Orange County area in an attempt to spread peace and unity among Muslims and Latinos.


READ: These Muslim Latinos Practice Their Faith At The Only Spanish Speaking Mosque In The Country

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The Latina Muslim Foundation Is Raising Money To Give Muslim Asylum Seekers A Place To Worship In Tijuana

Culture

The Latina Muslim Foundation Is Raising Money To Give Muslim Asylum Seekers A Place To Worship In Tijuana

Scott Sherrill-Mix / Flickr

It may come as a surprise to some but in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico, the population of Muslim migrants as well as Mexican converts to Islam are growing. While some have arrived there from other countries, many are waiting as they seek asylum in the U.S. due to President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy. All of this has resulted in a rising number of Muslims that are looking for any kind of shelter or housing situation while they wait.

Making the situation more difficult is adjusting to life in a foreign land. Some have arrived from places as far as Syria, Togo, Somalia, and Ghana. Then there are the constant stares from strangers when they see a hijab and the ensuing questions about it. 

The toughest aspect for Muslims in Tijuana is finding a place to pray throughout the day. There is currently only one mosque, the Playas de Tijuana, in the city which has made this a challenge, especially for migrants living in shelters.

This is why Sonia Garcia, the founder of the Latina Muslim Foundation is currently raising money to build a shelter for Muslim migrants and deported women.

Credit: @themuslimvibe / Twitter

Garcia knows firsthand about the struggles that many in the growing Muslim community in Tijuana are facing. She was born in the city and was raised as a Catholic before converting to Islam. Like many of the other Muslim women that have arrived in Tijuana, Garcia knows how hard it is to navigate through the city.  

“They don’t know the food, the culture, the language,” Garcia told the San Diego Tribune. “It is very difficult for them. People thought I was Arabic. They asked why I was in Tijuana.”

This is why Garcia and Mayte Gutierrez, another Latina who has converted to Islam, have put forth efforts to help the growing Muslim community near the border city. Their plan is to raise awareness and money to build a permanent shelter for Muslim migrants and deported women. They see the shelter as a place where migrants can receive help with their social services, receive medical care and most importantly, an area where they can come to pray. 

Those at the Latina Muslim Foundation hope that the shelter becomes a hub of some sort where all Muslims in the local area can come together to connect and celebrate their religion all while feeling more at home in Mexico. But it won’t be that easy without support.

For years both Garcia and Gutierrez have been doing whatever they can to help when Muslim migrants arrive in Tijuana. Now, they need the help of others to raise money for this much-needed shelter.

Credit: The Latina Muslim Foundation / Facebook

Garcia says that the organization is currently planning to purchase a nearby warehouse that is located about 10 minutes away from the U.S.-Mexico border. They plan to transform it into a large two-story shelter that will have room for social workers and lawyers, a kitchen, showers and a room for prayer that will have multiple copies of the Quran. 

As of now, the organization has found a location for the shelter as well as a blueprint by an architect and a group of volunteers that are willing to provide free legal and social services. 

“The only thing we need is the money,” Garcia says. 

Currently, the Latina Muslim Foundation has raised close to $30,00 but said it needs a total of roughly $250,000 to have enough for their entire project. They are currently raising money by reaching out to people online through a fundraiser. 

“We are seeking to purchase a warehouse where the need is most great, thereby being able to provide these individuals with a place to stay, eat, and learn skills where they can make themselves marketable in order to find a job to maintain themselves and their families.  We will also have a musala located in this facility so that prayer can be established 5 times a day, Islamic studies classes can be given, and the Quran can be taught,” the fundraising page reads. 

With a growing population of asylum seekers, the shelter situation in Tijuana is also growing worse. So Gutierrez sees the Latina Muslim Foundation’s goal of building this shelter as dire. 

“There exists a big gap of misunderstanding, of ignorance,” Gutierrez said. “Being Latino, being Muslim, we can connect.”

READ: 2019 Has Been The Year Of Body Positivity: Get To Know The Plus Size Latinas Who Are Leading The Body Positive Game By Example

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Burger King Goes Nationwide With Their $1 Tacos And A Lot Of People Have Questions For The Fast Food Chain

Culture

Burger King Goes Nationwide With Their $1 Tacos And A Lot Of People Have Questions For The Fast Food Chain

GrubGrade / Twitter

If you want a real Mexican taco, you don’t go to Taco Bell.

But if you want a reliably tasty American-style hard-shell fast-food taco, you go to Taco Bell.

So when we heard that Burger King was bringing back its tacos, we naturally wondered how they compared with Taco Bell’s tacos. At $1, Burger King’s Crispy Tacos have the potential to pose a threat to Taco Bell’s Crunchy Tacos, which are $1.49.

But turns out Taco Bell has nothing to worry about.

Burger King announced the nationwide launch of their $1 taco on Wednesday.

Credit[ @BurgerKing / Twitter

Yup, Burger King is being weird again. However, unlike when it tweeted cryptic messages and unleashed alarmingly colorful burgers, this is the supposedly good kind of weird. The Whopper slinger announced that it’s adding a taco to its nationwide menu. Yes, a taco… at Burger King.

No, this isn’t some weird IHOP nonsense where Burger King is going to show you a burger and call it a taco. The Crispy Taco is hitting BK menus nationwide for just $1, and you can get it now (it will cost a little more in Hawaii and Alaska). The menu item features seasoned beef, shredded cheddar cheese, lettuce, and taco sauce, all encased in a crispy tortilla shell.

And the reviews of this supposed taco are already rolling in.

Credit: @GrubGrade / Twitter

With one reviewer saying: “I’d like to believe I’m not picky about my fast food choices. I didn’t go to Burger King with grand expectations on what a $1 taco would taste like. I expected seasoned ground beef, a crispy shell that wasn’t filled quite right but had a reasonable enough meat-to-tortilla ratio, some identifiable cheese, taco sauce, and lettuce. That’s what was advertised, at least. What I got was a bizarre, sludgy, half-filled taco with translucent chunks of lettuce spilling out. The ground meat mixture was so overly processed that biting into it felt like eating a meat paste —  like a wet, uncooked sausage without the casing. It’s perplexing because BK could easily use leftover ground beef from their burgers, hit it with some taco seasoning, and stuff it into their tacos. It makes me curious about what I’m actually biting into — unless it is burger meat that’s been blended beyond recognition.”

Yea, that doesn’t sound great.

Some of the reviews are down right savage…

Credit: @thanqoui07 / Twitter

Like this one that called out the taco filling for how it looked – like canned dog food. I don’t think that’s the look that Burger King was going for.

I mean the tacos are so bad people are like mad confused.

Credit: @Frodocatsmom / Twitter

Though as this Twitter user pointed out, maybe they just missed the mark because it wasn’t #TacoTuesday…?

Even people on Snapchat were sharing their Burger King taco horror stories.

And yea, if I got a taco like that, I’d be making that exact same face and probably a lot worse.

People seriously took to Burger King’s original tweet just to tell them how gross their tacos really were.

Credit: @Senai41366820 / Twitter

You know things are bad when people who don’t even use social media take to social media to come for a brand…in this case…Burger King.

Many urged the burger chain to stick to what they already do – burgers!

Credit: @PABUrAmazin / Twitter

There are all sorts of brands these days wanting to capitalize on Latino culture, including our food. In fact, several major fast food chains already offer rough versions of traditional Mexican classics (looking at you Jack In The Box). So it’s not too surprising that now the classic burger chain, Burger King, is getting in on the action.

While others pointed out the obvious…

Credit: @arkasiaaaa / Twitter

The obvious being that you kind of deserve a bad taco if you’re going to Burger King expecting a good one.

Even if they’ve tried the tacos, people are still wondering what they just saw.

Credit: @2KEY2TIMEZ / Twitter

People are not having it.

Considering that Burger King briefly rolled out a similar beef taco nine years ago, this menu item might also have a certain nostalgia factor for some customers. And if the tacos are a big hit, perhaps Burger King will consider bringing more bringing back more oddball junk foods from years past. (Hopefully, the Whopperito will stay locked safely in the vault.)

The dollar tacos are landing on menus nationwide starting this week for an unspecified limited time.

READ: Latinos Had The Most Savage Things To Say About Burger King’s Mental Health ‘Real Meals’

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