Muslim Americans commend NJ Legislature for introducing Muslim Heritage Month bills
If passed, the bills (SJR105/AJR194) would designate January of each year as Muslim Heritage Month in the State of New Jersey.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Jersey (December 4, 2022) – A coalition of civil rights groups today commended the New Jersey Assembly and Senate for introducing bills (AJR194/SJR105) to designate January of each year as Muslim Heritage Month to promote awareness and appreciation of Muslim Americans and recognize the many contributions of the State’s Muslim community.
“This Joint Resolution designates the month of January of each year as ‘Muslim Awareness and Appreciation Month’… This designation would allow the State and its residents to respectfully acknowledge and promote awareness of Muslims and recognize the many contributions of the State’s Muslim community,” the bill states.
The bill was introduced after a delegation representing Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) NJ chapter, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), American Muslims for Democracy (AMD), and Islamic Circle of North America’s Council for Social Justice (ICNA CSJ) NJ chapter met with the Assembly and Senate leadership.
Mohammed Jawad, President of IAMC’s NJ chapter said: “We are beyond pleased to see that our elected officials are putting in the effort to recognize the Muslim community, which is so often labeled as ‘the other,’ as a vibrant and crucial part of American society. Recognition builds stronger bonds, and we are confident this will be a step towards greater understanding and appreciation between all communities in New Jersey.”
Shaheen Khateeb, another representative of IAMC’s NJ chapter said: “After Muslim communities across New Jersey – from Edison to Teaneck, to Woodridge – became the target of hateful displays and intimidation, we see the designation of Muslim Heritage Month as a major step towards combatting hate and making a marginalized group feel seen and heard.”
Madina P. Ouedraogo, MPA-PNP, Government Affairs Manager at CAIR-NJ said: “New Jersey has the highest percentage of Muslim residents in the U.S., with a percentage of 3%, according to the Pew Research Center. It is critical that New Jersey acknowledge, promote awareness and celebrate its Muslim residents through the passage of the Muslim Heritage Month (AJR194/SJR105) legislation.”
Dr. Atif Nazeer, Director of ICNA CSJ’s New Jersey chapter said: “We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the New Jersey Senate for their efforts to recognize the contributions of the Muslim community by introducing this bill,” said, “As New Jersians, we should embrace the diversity of our communities and afford everyone the opportunity to better understand, recognize, and appreciate the rich history and shared principles of American Muslims.”
Ayaz Aslam, Secretary of AMD & NJMVP said: “With the rise in Islamophobia nationwide, we feel it is more important than ever to amplify the contributions of New Jersey’s many Muslims. We hope this bill will serve as both a tribute to this community and as a recommitment to stand with Muslim Americans in building a more tolerant and equitable nation.”