California Assembly Honors August as Muslim American Appreciation and Awareness Month
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymembers Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), Kansen Chu (D-Milpitas) and Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) authored House Resolution 118 (HR 118) to recognize the month of August 2018 as Muslim American Appreciation and Awareness Month.
“This is the third year that I have proudly introduced a resolution to highlight the achievements and many contributions the Muslim American community has made to California and the country,” explained Assemblymember Quirk. “My friends and neighbors continue to experience harassment on a daily basis for no other reason than being Muslim. This resolution is an opportunity to look beyond the hate, the negative headlines and the hurtful rhetoric.”
Joining Assemblymember Quirk, Chu and Kalra for the ceremony on the Assembly Floor was Aziz Akbari. Aziz grew up in Fremont, graduated from the University of Southern California and returned home after graduation. He was elected to the Alameda County Water District in 2016. Aziz is the youngest candidate to be elected in the Water District’s 102-year old history and the youngest Muslim American to be elected into public office in the country.
“For the Muslim American community to thrive, we rely not only on having representation in each body of government, but also on having strong allies who will voice our concerns and be there to support us. Assemblymember Quirk has been one of the strongest allies of our community, and I tremendously appreciate the work that he has done,” said Aziz in response to his recognition on the Assembly floor. “The Muslim American community is one of the most vibrant in the world because of the work and dedication in building mosques, community centers and education programs. It is because of our community’s support that young Muslims, like me feel comfortable and resilient enough to run for elected office - especially given the incendiary rhetoric we hear about our community on the national level,” he concluded.
“HR 118 is not just about awareness of the contributions that Muslim Americans have made and continue to make; it is also about California’s long-standing support of the Muslim American community. As a proud supporter and co-author of HR 118, I thank Assemblymember Quirk for his commitment to promoting diversity and condemning hate. With the upsetting news that we hear daily, this is the time for all communities to stand united and fight against any attempt to discriminate or isolate any member of our community,” said Assemblymember Chu.
"I am proud to co-author HR 118 with Assemblymembers Quirk and Chu to recognize August as Muslim American Appreciation and Awareness Month. Never was there a more important time than now to recognize the importance and value of the Muslim American community. Whether as soldiers and scientists or teachers and entrepreneurs, Muslim Americans have contributed mightily to the success of our state and nation. Let us use this opportunity to better understand, recognize, and appreciate the rich history and shared principles of Muslim Americans, and rise above instances of hate and intolerance to a place of respect and admiration for our fellow Americans,” stated Assemblymember Kalra.
“I appreciate Assemblymembers Chu and Kalra’s leadership in working with me to dedicate August as Muslim American Appreciation and Awareness Month. Nationwide, there has been a push to create a Muslim registry and to implement travel bans against the Muslim community. HR 118 is a signal of California’s efforts and determination to stand with, not against, our Muslim brothers and sisters,” concluded Assemblymember Quirk. In 2016 Assemblymember Quirk became the first legislator to introduce a resolution to designate a month in honor of Muslim Americans.