New Jersey lawmakers are considering naming January “Muslim Heritage Month” to bring more awareness to the Muslim communities in the state.
Introducing the bill, state Sen. Joe Pennacchio seeks to elevate awareness and appreciation of the Muslim American community and their accomplishments in New Jersey.
“The fact the Legislature is taking time to consider this during the holiday season demonstrates how ecumenical we really are as a state,” said Pennacchio (R-26).
“This is a time when all faiths come together, sharing pride in each other’s efforts, beliefs, traditions, and customs. At this special time, it is appropriate that we recognize our Muslim brothers and sisters for their contributions to the diverse fabric of New Jersey.”
According to the bill, there are nearly 300,000 American Muslims in New Jersey, including numerous current and former elected officials dedicated to public service in their communities.
In a Monday’s session at the senate, the Council of American-Islamic Relations testified on behalf of the new legislation.
“If the state of New Jersey truly takes great pride in the religious and cultural diversity of its residents, it is critical to pass Senate Joint Resolution, SJR-105, which would recognize our large community in the state,” says Madina Ouedraogo, government affairs manager for CAIR-NJ, Bronx News 12 reported.
CAIR says it hopes the new bill can bring more awareness to the rise of anti-Muslim incidents in New Jersey.
This follows in line with the stances of other states that have recognized the contributions of Muslims and their achievements.
Last July, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox declared July as Muslim American Heritage Month.
Last year, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a proclamation in December to celebrate January as Muslim History Month.
Also in 2021, the city of Fullerton, Los Angeles, recognized August as “Muslim-American Appreciation Month”
Ohio also celebrates the Islamic Day of Ohio every second Saturday in October since 1987.