security fears for American Muslims had arisen after an unfortunate shooting incident in which a US-born Palestinian-American young man killed four marines at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Along with the other Americans, Muslims too mourned for the Chattanooga dead and they prayed for peace for all of America and the world. Fortunately, Eid celebrations have so far passed without an incident.
The Washington Post put the Chattanooga shooting in perspective with a history of several attacks by various groups starting with the anti-war groups during the Vietnam war. The paper cited earlier attacks on US military recruitment offices by Black Panthers, Neo-Nazis and the Japanese Red Army.
President Barack H. Obama offered Eid greetings to all Muslims on the occasion. The President said, "I hope today brings joy to all of your homes, both here in the U.S. and around the world. From my family to yours, Eid Mubarak!" "As Muslim Americans celebrate Eid across America, the holiday is a reminder to every American of the importance of respecting those of all faiths and beliefs."
|New York Empire State Building Lit Green on Eid July 17, 2015|
|Pakistani-American Demographics. Source: Migration Policy Inst.|
Pakistan-Americans make up only 6% of the total Pakistani diaspora but they sent home 15% ($2.6 billion) in remittances totaling $18.4 billion received by Pakistan in the last fiscal year, according to figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan for 2014-15. It's important to note that the $18.4 billion in remittances helped Pakistan deal with its gaping $22 billion trade deficit in 2014-15.
In addition to outsize remittances, Pakistani diaspora also contributes generously to education, health care, nutrition and other programs run by NGOs in their country of origin.
Pakistani-Americans are a thriving community in America. While some of them have faced some backlash since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the larger community has been relatively unscathed by the fall-out from multiple wars waged in the Middle East by the United States since 911.
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