American Muslims have long been a part of the history of the United States and have contributed to the production of wealth and construction of this country, dating back to enslaved Muslim Africans who were kidnapped and brought to the United States under the institution of human chattel enslavement. Estimates range between 15% to 40% of Africans stolen from their homelands were Muslim.
Now, nearly 400 years later, The Sacramento Valley and Central California regions host one of the most diverse Muslim communities in the United States with more than 150,000 Muslims and over 100 diverse mosques, religious centers, and community institutions. American Muslims pursue diverse professions and make rich contributions to the social, cultural, and economic vibrancy and fabric of the United States. They have distinguished themselves by fostering greater respect and understanding among all people through faith and community services. Muslim Americans have long contributed to the welfare, humanitarian, social justice, and community-building initiatives throughout the Sacramento Valley and Central California through founding grassroots organizations that challenge inequality and center people for community justice.
Nonetheless, American Muslims in California continue to face harassment, assault, and discrimination. In order to cultivate a welcoming cultural climate for all residents, it is necessary for our state and cities to embrace the diversity of our communities and afford everyone the opportunity to better understand, recognize, and appreciate the rich history and shared principles of American Muslims. It is appropriate to acknowledge and promote awareness of the many invaluable contributions of American Muslims in California and across the country and extend to them the respect and appreciation every American deserves. To that effect, City Councils across the Sacramento Valley and Central California have joined communities throughout the State of California in recognizing the month of August 2021 as American Muslim American Appreciation and Awareness Month.
We are proud to announce that in addition to a statewide resolution, the cities of Sacramento and Fresno issued local resolutions to the Muslim community. These resolutions are intended to affirm the contributions and impacts that local Muslims, Mosques, and organizations have had on the respective city and community.
CAIR-SV/CC also wants to take advantage of this visibility to celebrate our people as well, and especially those who may be invisible to the larger community. There is so much history in the Muslim communities of Northern and Central California, and it is imperative that we do our part to study, celebrate, and teach this history to our communities. We are hoping you can support our efforts by nominating a community member that you feel represents the Muslim community’s commitment to love, hope, power, service, accountability, and justice. Submit your nomination here: https://forms.office.com/r/j1jTis6qzk
Recommended Reading List for 2021 AMAAM
As part of AMAAM, we have curated a list of 20 books that we feel represents the creativity, power, consciousness, and internationality of our community. These books are intended to help us enhance our understanding of ourselves and our community in the United States, and ground us in a necessary commitment to racial, economic, and gender justice.
We hope that you take this opportunity to learn, be challenged, and engage critically with the texts. For any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X – by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
- We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility – by Marc Lamont Hill
- Muslim Cool: Race, Religion, and Hip Hop in the US – by Su’ad Abdul-Khabeer
- Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom Beyond America – by Sohail Daulatzai
- American Muslim Women: Negotiating Race, Class, and Gender Within the Ummah Book – by Jamillah Karim
- With Stones in Our Hands: Writings on Muslims, Racism, and Empire – by Sohail Daulatzai, Junaid Rana
- Islam and the Black American – by Dr. Sherman Jackso
- We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future – by Deepa Iyer
- Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Davis
- Servants of Allah – African Muslims enslaved in the Americas – by Sylviane A. Diouf
- Agenda to Changing Our Condition – by Imam Zaid Shakir
- Perfect Man Book – by Morteza Motahhari
- Reclaim Your Heart – by Yasmin Mogahed
- The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary – by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Caner K. Dagli, Maria Massi Dakake, Joseph E.B. Lumbard, and Mohammed Rustom
- 2 Parts Oxygen: How I Learned to Breathe – by Tariq Touré
- Black Boy Poems: An Account of Black Survival in America – by Tyson Amir
- Love, Gnosis & Other Suicide Attempts -by Amir Sulaiman
- Amira’s Picture Day – by Reema Faruqi
- Mommy’s Khimar – by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
- The Proudest Blue: A story of Hijabs and Family – by Ibtihaj Muhammad