A resolution recognizing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and expressing the "deepest respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world" was adopted in the U.S. House of Representatives October 2 by a vote of 376-0.
The resolution acknowledging the importance of Muslims in America, the first of its kind, was introduced by Texas Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson and co-sponsored by 30 legislators, including Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota. Ellison is the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress.
"It’s a sign of respect and recognition. It’s a very American thing to do. We are a nation of religious tolerance and religious inclusion," Ellison told USINFO.
"The basic idea is to demonstrate not only to the Muslim world but to the whole world that the U.S. Congress is a place where all faiths are respected, all faiths are recognized, where we embrace our diversity and where we believe that the promise of America is that you may seek the Divine as you see fit within your own judgment, and in your own tradition and in your own way," he said. . .
The resolution reiterates support for American Muslims in the face of hate crimes, and maintains a strong stand against intolerance. "May Ramadan this year truly be a time when Muslims and people of all faiths embrace freedom and tolerance for all, and reject violence and extremism," said Texas Representative Ted Poe.
A hate crime is "a violation of law, it’s a violation of our culture and a violation of the American way of life," Ellison said later.
American Muslim reaction to the resolution is "overwhelmingly positive," according to Corey Saylor of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "It’s a sign that Muslims in America are growing in their recognition as being part of the mainstream fabric of the United States."
"America is a pluralistic society, and it welcomes all different faiths, but it’s up to each of those different faiths to assert itself in the public sphere, and what this resolution does is shows that American Muslims are learning more and more how to assert themselves in the public sphere," he said. (MORE)