Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes Introduction of July Muslim-American Heritage Month Congressional Resolution

  • Introduced by Rep. Karen Bass and other 22 Members of Congress 
  • Resolution celebrates heritage and culture of American Muslims in the United States 

(Washington, D.C., 7/22/21) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Project Islamic Hope and the Greater Los Angeles Area office of CAIR (CAIR-LA) today welcomed the introduction of congressional House Resolution 541, expressing support for the recognition of July as “Muslim-American Heritage Month” and celebrating the heritage and culture of Muslim Americans in the United States.   

Championed by U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) and 22 other members of Congress, the resolut

ion was introduced on Tuesday to coincide with the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha. CAIR, CAIR-LA and Project Islamic Hope worked together with Rep. Karen Bass and other members of Congress to help introduce H.Res 541 designating July as Muslim Heritage Month at the federal level.

TAKE ACTION: Urge Your Member of Congress to Support the Adoption of Muslim-American Heritage Month 

https://action.cair.com/a/take-action-urge-your-member-congress-support-adoption-muslim-american-heritage-month

In addition to the resolution supporting the congressional designation of “Muslim-American Heritage Month,” the H.Res 541 seeks to:  

  1. Honor the contributions and integral role of Muslim Americans in the economy, culture, and identity of the United States, and  
  2. Urge Americans to honor the month with appropriate ceremonies, programs, and activities that celebrate the contributions of Muslim Americans to the U.S. 

“I’m proud to join my House colleagues in introducing this legislation to acknowledge and appreciate the numerous contributions and achievements of Muslim Americans – both throughout history and today. We must also recognize and address the persistent discrimination and bigotry Muslim Americans have faced and continue to face in this country. This July, and all year long, we commit ourselves to combating prejudice and doing all we can to support Muslim American communities in California and across our nation,” said resolution primary sponsor Congresswoman Karen Bass in a statement.

CAIR thanks Representative Karen Bass and the many other members of Congress who stand in solidarity with the American Muslim community to recognize July as Muslim-American Heritage Month. Muslims have been in the Americas before the founding of our nation and have contributed to our nation’s rise at every stage of its development. It is time our nation recognizes and celebrates the heritage and culture of American Muslims in the United States,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. 

“With the rise of Islamophobia globally, it is more important than ever to recognize the contributions of Muslims to our everyday lives. We are thankful to Congresswoman Bass and the more than 20 co-sponsors of this resolution who are further amplifying the contributions of Muslims to society. We have a long way to go to ensure the rights and humanity of Muslims in this country and abroad, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. 

CAIR publicly thanks the following members of Congress for being original co-sponsors of the Muslim-American Heritage Month resolution: Representative Karen Bass [primary sponsor], Andre Carson (D-IN), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Judy Chu (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Marie Newman (D-IL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Juan Vargas (D-CA), and Nikema Williams (D-GA). 

CLICK HERE: READ THE RESOLIUTION 

Copied below is the resolution text: 

117th CONGRESS 

1st Session 

H. RES. 541 

Expressing support for the recognition of July as “Muslim-American Heritage Month” and celebrating the heritage and culture of Muslim Americans in the United States. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

July 20, 2021 

Ms. Bass (for herself, Mr. Carson, Ms. Omar, Ms. Tlaib, Ms. Moore of Wisconsin, Ms. Norton, Mr. Vargas, Ms. Williams of Georgia, Mr. Raskin, Mrs. Dingell, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Jones, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Pocan, Mr. Grijalva, Ms. Chu, Mrs. Lawrence, Ms. Newman, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. Meeks, Ms. McCollum, and Ms. Lee of California) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Reform 

RESOLUTION 

Expressing support for the recognition of July as “Muslim-American Heritage Month” and celebrating the heritage and culture of Muslim Americans in the United States. 

Whereas the House of Representatives is proud to recognize and commemorate “Muslim-American Heritage Month”, an observance that celebrates the contributions of Muslim Americans; 

Whereas in keeping with its time-honored traditions, the House of Representatives recognizes and pays tribute to those who foster cultural pride and enhance the profile of diverse communities across the United States; 

Whereas emigration of Muslims to the American colonies began with the arrival of indentured workers; 

Whereas during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, a significant number of slaves of Muslim heritage were brought to the United States; 

Whereas Muslim Americans contribute greatly to charitable organizations that help people from all faiths in the United States and around the world by providing medical assistance, family services, scholastic supplies, before- and after-school programs, feeding the hungry, and providing recuperation efforts following natural disasters; 

Whereas Muslim Americans have contributed to every part of American society to make advancements in architecture, arts, business, culture, government, law, medicine, military, religion, and sports; 

Whereas Bangladeshi-American Fazlur Rahman Khan left his mark on America’s cityscapes by pioneering a new structural system of frame tubes used to construct iconic buildings like the World Trade Center in New York City, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, and the Willis “Sears” Tower in Chicago; 

Whereas many Muslim Americans pursue the American dream and contribute to the Nation’s economy as business owners and entrepreneurs, including Pakistani-born billionaire Shahid Khan, owner of the auto-parts company Flex-N-Gate and the National Football League Jacksonville Jaguars; 

Whereas Syrian immigrant Ernest Hamwi’s invention of the ice cream cone is a practical confection with a near ubiquitous presence in American life; 

Whereas, in 2006, Keith Ellison of Minnesota was elected to the House of Representatives, becoming the first Muslim American to serve in Congress; 

Whereas, in 2021, Zahid Quraishi was confirmed as the first Muslim American to serve as an Article III Federal judge as a District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey; 

Whereas Pakistani-American neurosurgeon Ayub Ommaya’s invention of the intraventricular catheter system provides chemotherapy to treat brain tumors; 

Whereas Muslim Americans have fought in support of America in every major war, from Bampett Muhamed and Yusuf Ben Ali under the command of General George Washington in the American Revolutionary War to Captain Humayun Khan, who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq in 2004; 

Whereas Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, the first Muslim American to deliver the invocation for the Senate, and El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, civil rights activist and reformer also known as Malcolm X, were prominent religious leaders and scholars; 

Whereas professional athletes like National Basketball Association Hall of Fame members Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Shaquille O’Neal, and two-time world heavyweight champion Hasim Shariff Rahman thrilled sports fans across the Nation and around the globe during their respective careers; 

Whereas Olympians like boxer Muhammad Ali, track and field athlete Dalilah Muhammad, and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad won medals in international competitions; 

Whereas with roots in at least 77 different countries, and identifying racially as White, Black, Arab, and Asian, Muslim Americans are an extremely diverse population; 

Whereas the current population of Muslims living in the United States is estimated at over 3,450,000; 

Whereas over 4,500 Muslims serve on active duty and over 2,300 Muslims serve as selected reserve personnel in the Armed Forces; 

Whereas the Muslim population has been growing in the United States and today’s Muslim-American population is a tapestry of ethnic, racial, linguistic, social, and economic groups; 

Whereas nearly 50 percent of Muslim Americans have reported experiencing religious discrimination, with that number rising to 64 percent for Muslim Americans whose appearance identifies them as Muslim, such as women who wear the hijab, or headscarf; 

Whereas there is a need for public education, awareness, and policies that are culturally competent when describing, discussing, or addressing the impacts of being Muslim American in all aspects of American society, including discourse and policy; 

Whereas “Muslim-American Heritage Month” will be observed in the month of July; and 

Whereas the incredible contributions and heritage of Muslim Americans have helped to build a better Nation: Now, therefore, be it 

Resolved, That the House of Representatives— 

(1) supports the designation of “Muslim-American Heritage Month”; 

(2) honors the contributions and integral role of Muslim Americans in the economy, culture, and identity of the United States; and 

(3) urges the people of the United States to observe “Muslim-American Heritage Month” with appropriate ceremonies, programs, and activities that celebrate the contributions of Muslim Americans to the United States. 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.      

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT:  CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw, (202)-999-8292, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR-LA Social & Digital Manager Enjy El-Kadi, (714) 776-1847 or eelkadi@cair.com

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