Party City just became the first major U.S. retailer to offer a product line dedicated to Ramadan.
And the decorations are coming right on time.
This year, Ramadan — the holiest month on the Islamic calendar — begins on May 15 and ends on June 14. During the month, Muslims around the world fast during the day to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad.
At the end of Ramadan, Muslims join together with family and friends to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the culminating celebration of food, family, and fun that lasts from sundown until the next evening.
With an estimated 3.45 million Muslims in the U.S., we’re thinking it’s about time there were some decorations more readily available for this celebration.
Offering Ramadan products in such a recognizable store sends a huge message: Muslim holidays are important.
In the United States — and all over the world — decorations can be an incredibly important part of holiday celebrations. After Thanksgiving is over (and sometimes sooner), Christmas decorations going up has become an experience as American as apple pie for many people.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a Christian or Jewish American who hasn’t decorated with family and friends for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Easter — all Christian or Jewish holidays. It’s a terrific tradition that many Americans cherish from childhood, and it’s one that Muslims should be able to participate in for their own culture.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. In 2011, a conservative Christian group successfully pressured Lowe’s to pull its ads from the TLC show, “All-American Muslim.” After receiving complaints, organic grocery store Whole Foods distanced themselves from a Ramadan promotion that included free giveaways. Many other major companies have had similar responses to bigoted groups, making Party City’s move all the more meaningful.
By prominently displaying Ramadan decorations, the company is making it clear that Muslims deserve to feel seen, human, and celebrated.
While marginalized groups certainly deserve and benefit from substantive policy changes that can improve their livelihood, simple, non-policy-oriented moves like this remind us of something we sometimes forget: It’s not just about policy making — it’s about normalizing Muslims experiences and culture in our stores, media, and society.
Muslims deserve to enjoy normal human experiences, like decorating for a major holiday season, and spend time with their families, enjoy holiday parties, and celebrate their cultural days of reverence just anyone else.
Decorations — a common symbol of joy and festivity during a holiday season — should be a treat that every religious group gets to indulge in.
By recognizing just how vast the Islamic faith is — and how much the other two Abrahamic religions have in common with Islamic theology and celebratory activities — Party City’s product line reminds us that Muslims are thriving and living their best lives.
Party City offering Ramadan decoration materials moves one step closer to normalizing a major holiday in an all-American store. Thousands of Muslim families will get to benefit around the country.
We weren’t paid to write this post (we would tell you if we were!). We just think it’s a really cool move by Party City!
Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/