Yesterday, the County of Santa Clara presented the American Muslim community with a proclamation recognizing August as “Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month”, as designated by the California State Assembly. Assemblymember Bill Quirk initially introduced the first “Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month” last year, and will be reintroducing it this year with Assemblymembers Ash Kalra and Kansen Chu as co-sponsors on August 21st, 2017 with HR 43.
“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,” Assemblymember Quirk stated. “The rhetoric surrounding this election makes the presentation of this resolution more important for me,” he said. “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.”
“What happened in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend is a clear indication of the need to uplift and welcome the voices of marginalized communities. We must drive out all forms of hate like Islamophobia and xenophobia with the light of compassion,” said Board President Dave Cortese. “I’m honored to introduce this proclamation declaring August as Muslim Appreciation and Awareness month for the second year in a row. This proclamation is a message that in our county we will not tolerate the politics of fear and hate.”
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) recently released Civil Rights Report indicates that bias incidents spiked by 57 percent between 2015 and 2016, which is attributed to public hostility generated by international acts of violence and hateful rhetoric utilized by candidates since the start of the election cycle. CAIR finds that hate crimes targeting Muslims surged 584 percent from 2014 to 2016.
A total of 2,213 reports of potential bias incidents cases were reported to CAIR nationally over the course of the 2016-year. These included complaints involving: employment discrimination, federal law enforcement questioning, housing discrimination, immigration issues, hate crimes, school bullying, and several categories.
SEE: 2017 CAIR Civil Rights Report
“In spite of anti-Muslim rhetoric from our current federal administration, it is heartwarming that our state and local governments have remained dedicated to protecting individual religious freedoms,” said Zahra Billoo, Executive Director for CAIR-SFBA. “Santa Clara County has a large and thriving Muslim community and has upheld the fundamental principles of this nation by choosing to stand with Muslims and recognize their contributions.”