Fresno, Calif. — Love notes, stylish shirts, grrl gangs and pizza. Friday, Jan. 27 saw Fresno residents come together to enjoy a night of music, poetry and crafts. Besides rocking out to terrific tunes from Fresno’s premier femme powered anti-fascist band, Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries, attendees of the event stood in solidarity with the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno and the Syrian refugee families the center supports.
The benefit show saw the community stand against the hateful rhetoric that’s been espoused in our heated political climate with much of that hate being directed at Islamic peoples.
“We wanted to show the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno that they were loved,” stated Amber Fargano, who, alongside Randa Jarrar, curated the event that raised $701 for the center.
The evening was filled with performances by various poets, musicians and skilled lyricists. Those who attended the event also had the opportunity to write and create cards expressing their ideas and wishes for the center.
Reza Nekumanesh, director of the center, thanked those in attendance, but also called on the audience to start making the changes they want to see become a reality.
“We have to start calling people for what they are. The alt-right are not just the alt-right, they’re a bunch of racist assholes; they’re neo-nazis,” said Nekumanesh as he described the need to stand up and fight back against what he described as “islamophobic, racist, xenophobic legislation.”
Our new president has made calls for a Muslim registry during his campaign, and he has signed an executive order imposing a ban on travel from seven majority Muslim countries.
The crowd’s thoughts on our president and his actions were neatly summarized by the “F-ck Donald Trump” shirt that Fargano was proudly wearing.