The California State Assembly is to consider a bill Monday declaring August “Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month,” in accordance with a resolution proposed by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), and supported by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
(Update: The bill passed unanimously in the Assembly on Monday afternoon.)
CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial, and has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates. After the San Bernardino terror attack in December last year, CAIR offered assistance to the terrorists’ family, and suggested U.S. policy was partly to blame.
The resolution declares, “The history of Islam in this country dates back to before its founding,” referring to slaves with Muslim beliefs — though, curiously, it avoids mentioning the slave trade in the Islamic world. The resolution also says that Muslims have been “fighting and sacrificing in every major war from the American Revolutionary War to present-day conflicts” — but it fails to mention the Barbary Wars, which were fought against Muslim potentates who kidnapped Americans for ransom, nor does it mention the radical Muslims who launched the War on Terror. The bill is also silent about recent Islamic terror carried out in California itself, such as the attack in San Bernardino, which claimed 22 innocent lives.
Instead, the resolution complains of “harassment, assault, and discrimination” that Muslim-Americans have been “forced to endure” since 9/11. It makes no mention of harassment, assault and discrimination by Muslims against others — such as the Muslims who jeered “Allahu Akbar” at Jewish students at the University of California Davis last year, or those who have driven a wave of antisemitic discrimination throughout the California university system as part of an anti-Israel campaign.
The bill has not yet passed, but Quirk and CAIR are seizing the moment to promote it, capitalizing on an ongoing controversy between Republican nominee Donald Trump and the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, who are Hillary Clinton supporters and who spoke at the Democratic National Convention against Trump.
“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,” said Quirk in a CAIR press release.
“The rhetoric surrounding this election makes the presentation of this resolution more important for me,” he added. “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 full text of AB 59 is as follows:
WHEREAS, Freedom of religion holds distinction as a cherished right and a foundational value upon which the laws and ethics of the United States are based; and
WHEREAS, Enriched by the unparalleled diversity of its residents, the State of California takes great pride in supporting individual religious freedoms and is strengthened by the many varied religious, political, and cultural traditions of its diverse population, including those Americans who practice Islam; and
WHEREAS, The history of Islam in this country dates back to before its founding, originating with African slaves who brought their Muslim beliefs with them to the Americas and who later contributed in numerous ways to the founding of the nation, and there are today millions of Muslim Americans, both immigrant and native-born, of diverse backgrounds and beliefs; and
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; and
WHEREAS, The earliest Muslim immigrants to California mostly worked on farms and made significant contributions to early agricultural efforts, and since the abolition of the national quota on immigration in 1965 by the passage of the Hart-Celler Act, more and more Muslims have migrated to California, with approximately one million Muslim Americans currently residing in communities throughout the state, the highest number in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Similarly, there are currently more than 240 mosques in California, more than any other state in the nation, and the people of California and the greater United States benefit from the several large Muslim religious, educational, charitable, advocacy, and empowerment organizations that operate within the state, as well as from the countless prominent Muslim community leaders who distinguish themselves professionally as business owners, law professionals, doctors, engineers, teachers, and farmers, among numerous other valued professions; and
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; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly joins communities throughout the State of California in recognizing the month of August 2016 as Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month, respectfully acknowledges the rich history and guiding virtues of Muslim Americans, and commends Muslim communities in California for the lasting positive impact they have made, and continue to make, toward the advancement of the state and the nation; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.