April - June 2005, Other

Cinco de Mayo Parade

Houstonian Muslims Part of Cinco de Mayo Parade Downtown Houston

By Ilyas Hasan Choudry


The Council on American-Islamic Relations Houston Chapter (CAIR-Houston) in collaboration with the Islam Public Outreach Department (Dawah) of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA-Houston) organized the Muslim cavalcade at the famous Cinco de Mayo Parade in Houston . This occasion is celebrated to honor the 1862 Battle of Puebla, where Mexican forces overcame better-equipped French forces, who invaded the country demanding repayment of loans from 1846-48 Mexican-American War.

CAIR-Houston created a special banner on this occasion of
Cinco De Mayo Parade, which read in Spanish:

“¡ VIVA LA DIVERSIDAD! / ¡Musulmanes Latinos Por La Paz!”
meaning “Let’s Celebrate the Diversity / Latino Muslims for Peace”.

Another banner said: “MUSULMANES LATINOS”
meaning Latino Muslims.

This occasion was very significant since the very fact that many Muslims carrying flags, banners and distributing brochures were mostly of Latino backgrounds speaking Mexican to the cheering crowds plus presence of Muslims of other background demonstrated the true diversity and universality of Islam, the true picture of peace.

In order to commemorate this victory, Mexican Communities in various cities across the world especially in USA organize the Cinco de Mayo Parades followed by a Festival. In Houston , this Parade has been organized by the famous organization formed to preserve the Civil Liberties of people from Latin America called he League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

The 12th Annual LULAC District VIII (Houston) Cinco de Mayo Parade was held this year on Saturday, May 06, 2005 between 9:30AM.-11:30AM . It started at the intersection of Hamilton and Texas just besides the famous Minute Maid Baseball Stadium and took about this route: Texas to La Branch / La Brach to Lamar / Lamar to Austin / Austin to Preston / Preston to La Branch / La Branch Hamilton and Hamilton to Texas .

Over the past few years, (CAIR-Houston) has been working in close coordination with several community organizations involved in maintaining the civil liberties of all Americans and in social services. Based on the partnership created with LULAC Houston District VIII, CAIR-Houston was invited to be part of this year parade.

This Years’ Parade was inaugurated by Mayor Bill White of Houston . Also in their open motorcade were US Congresspersons Sheila Jackson Lee and Al-Green. City Councilperson Adrian Garcia, who used to be a cop, came mounted on a horse. Several other City Councilpersons, Sheriffs, Constables and other elected officials were also in the procession. Many Middle and High Schools, the Houston Community College , the Texas Southern University and major businesses like Fiesta, Washington Mutual Bank were part of the procession.

As many are aware, CAIR’s vision is to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. It is a nonprofit 501(c)(4), grassroots civil rights and advocacy group, since its inception in 1994. CAIR seeks to empower the American Muslim community and encourage their participation in political and social activism. Please visit these two websites: http://www.cair-net.org – http://www.cairhouston.org

ICNA is also a nonprofit 501(c)(4), non-ethnic, non-sectarian, open to all, independent, North America wide, grass root organization. The main goal of ICNA is to seek the Pleasure of Allah (SWT) with the formulation of several programs so as to convey to all the mankind the Message of submission to One Creator Allah SWT by using all means of communications. ICNA’s programs also intend to motivate Muslims to perform their duty of being witnesses unto mankind by their words and deeds, offer educational and training opportunities to increase Islamic knowledge and enhance character. ICNA opposes immorality and oppression in all forms, and support efforts for civil liberties and socio-economic justice in the society. Idea is to strengthen the bond of humanity by serving all those in need anywhere in the world, with special focus on our neighborhood across North America and to cooperate with other organizations for the implementation of this program and unity in the Ummah. For more information on ICNA activities, please visit these two websites: www.icna.org – www.icna.org/Houston

Ilyas Hasan Choudry is the Secretary of ICNA-Houston


May 7, 2005 – Build Bridges, Help show Islam’s diversity

Latino Muslims to participate in LULAC’s Annual Cinco de Mayo Parade.

When: Saturday, May 7, 2005
Time: 9:30 a.m. (please arrive at 9:15)
Where: Hamilton Street (by Minute Made Park) on the 500-600 blocks

The parade route goes through downtown approximately 16 blocks.

Sponsored by: CAIR-Houston
Co-Sponsored by: ICNA-Houston

For more information, please visit: http://www.lulac8.org/CINCODEMAYO_2005.htm