On Monday (August 1), the California State Assembly passed House Resolution 59, which proclaims August 2016 “Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month.” Introduced in June by Assembly member Bill Quirk (D), the resolution lays out the need for the month in very direct terms:
WHEREAS, The United States benefits greatly from the expertise, patriotism, and humanitarianism of Muslim Americans, who represent 10 percent of America’s physicians, helping to heal hundreds of thousands of Americans each year; who have long distinguished themselves as courageous and dedicated members of the United States Armed Forces, fighting and sacrificing in every major war from the American Revolutionary War to present-day conflicts; and who regularly contribute to the health and vitality of their communities, giving food to the hungry, sheltering the needy, and providing inexpensive or free health services, among other community services…
WHEREAS, Although the majority of Muslim Americans within California and throughout the nation strive to promote peace and understanding between all faiths, identities, and nationalities while upholding those values and principles that define the American people, they have nonetheless been forced to endure harassment, assault, and discrimination since the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and during the year 2015 alone, there were approximately 174 reported incidents of anti-Muslim violence and vandalism in the United States. It is therefore appropriate to acknowledge and promote awareness of the myriad invaluable contributions of Muslim Americans in California and across the country, and extend to them the respect and camaraderie every American deserves…
“I am proud to celebrate the first ever Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month by honoring generations of Muslim Americans for their many social, cultural and economic contributions to California,” Assembly member Quirk said in a statement. “The rhetoric surrounding this election makes the presentation of this resolution more important for me. It is appropriate to acknowledge and promote awareness of the myriad invaluable contributions of Muslim Americans in California and across the country, and extend to them the respect and camaraderie every American deserves.”
The statement also says that California is home to 240+ mosques—more than any other state in the U.S.
Leadership from the California chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations attended Monday’s assembly meeting for the presentation, and separate celebration, of the resolution. “During these difficult times of increased anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate incidents, Assembly member Quirk’s resolution and recognition of Muslim Americans is uplifting for our community and immensely appreciated,” CAIR-Sacramento Valley executive director Basim Elkarra said in a statement. “It is truly a historic moment for all Californians.”
Watch video of the resolution presentation below.
(H/t NBC News)