Muslim-Americans in the Los Angeles area celebrated Eid al-Fitr — an important Muslim holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan — with a two-day Eid festival with food, games, entertainment, and musical performances.
But early Saturday, three men came to protest the event, with signs that read, “Islam is a religion of blood and murder.”
One man, ranting for minutes, could be heard shouting, “You call yourself a religion of peace? You guys are walking time bombs.”
That’s when Ibrahem Dalati, 18, stepped in.
Dalati walked away, only to return to some music. And that’s when the dancing began.
Dalati told BuzzFeed News he saw the sound guy putting on the music and he thought, "this was the perfect opportunity to drown out the protesters." He turned the music up and walked back with a couple dance moves.
“Hold my walkie,” Dalati said before really letting loose on the makeshift dance floor counter-protest.
"The whole reason why the dance thing started is because we’re not here to be political. We’re here to celebrate a festival. It’s about love. It’s about peace. And why would anyone want to ruin that?" said Dalati.
There were some really awesome moves.
The protestors tried to use their bullhorn, but they were drowned out by the music. The clapping and feelings were too strong.
"I did it to make a statement that we’re about love and peace," Dalati said.
"All I have to say is, this is a world that’s so full of hate lately and it's up to us to realize that it doesn't have to be. We can come together," said Dalati, who graduated from high school last month.
He added: "America used to be a place where we look at our neighbors and smile. We should look at our neighbors and ask them how they are and if they need help. In America, we’re not supposed to just be neighbors. We have to be family."
Talal Ansari is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. His secure PGP fingerprint is 4FEE 894C 8088 7E08 E170 A515 2801 7CC6 95D3 11C2
Contact Talal Ansari at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.