U.S. Congress Passes Ramadan Bill- Allahu Akbar!

*US CONGRESS PASSES RAMADAN BILL *
This is HISTORIC for American- Muslims and Muslims around the world. This is
the first time in history that the United States Congress will commemorate
and recognize the month of Ramadan as the Islamic holy month. The language
from the bill text is below for your viewing.

*110th CONGRESS
1st Session – H. RES. 635*

Recognizing the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting
and spiritual renewal, and commending Muslims in the United States and
throughout the world for their faith.

*IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 5, 2007
*

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas (for herself, Mr. MEEKS of New York, and
Mr. KEITH ELLISON) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to
the Committee on Foreign Affairs

*RESOLUTION *

Recognizing the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting
and spiritual renewal, and commending Muslims in the United States and
throughout the world for their faith.

Whereas since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11,
2001, threats and incidents of violence have been directed at law-abiding,
patriotic Americans of African, Arab, and South Asian descent, particularly
members of the Islamic faith;

Whereas, on September 14, 2001, the House of Representatives passed a
concurrent resolution condemning bigotry and violence against
Arab-Americans, American Muslims, and Americans from South Asia in the wake
of the terrorist attacks;

Whereas it is estimated that there are approximately 1,500,000,000 Muslims
worldwide;

Whereas Ramadan is the holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal for
Muslims worldwide, and is the 9th month of the Muslim calendar year; and

Whereas the observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan commences at
dusk on September 13, 2007, and continues for one lunar month: Now,
therefore, be it

Resolved, That–

(1) during this time of conflict, in order to demonstrate solidarity with
and support for members of the community of Islam in the United States and
throughout the world, the House of Representatives recognizes the Islamic
faith as one of the great religions of the world; and

(2) in observance of and out of respect for the commencement of Ramadan, the
Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, the House of
Representatives acknowledges the onset of Ramadan and expresses its deepest
respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this
significant occasion.

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03 October 2007
U.S. House Passes Historic Ramadan Resolution
Large majority in House of Representatives backs measure
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Congressman Keith Ellison, co-sponsor of Ramadan resolution, looks at the Quran once used by Thomas Jefferson. (© AP Images)

By Lea Terhune
USINFO Staff Writer

Washington – 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. (See related article.)

“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.

California‘s Brad Sherman, who strongly supported the bill, said when presenting the resolution for discussion and a vote on the floor of the House: “The observance of Ramadan requires devotion to faith, community and family, truly universal values we all share.” He said it is “appropriate and necessary” for Congress to recognize the observance to express “the deep respect we all feel for Muslims in the United States and around the world.”

The author of the bill, Eddie Bernice Johnson, told the House, “The Muslim American community contributes to the vibrant growth of American society and culture. Muslim Americans play a significant role in our nation’s political process, economic growth, scientific development, free enterprise, religious tolerance, law enforcement and homeland security.”

“American pluralistic ideals, democratic institutions and multiculturalism are expanded and strengthened by the contribution of Muslim American civic participation,” she said, adding, “During this holy month, I’d like to say Ramadan Mubarak to all Muslims.”

Ellison told legislators that as a Muslim observing Ramadan, “I can tell you it is a time of reflection, a time of renewal, and regeneration,” adding, “It’s important to reassess your life, to contemplate your role in society and to benefit your neighbor.”

He described a joint breakfast held in this spirit by his mosque and Temple Israel in Minneapolis on the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur that drew 160 people. “We didn’t have enough chairs for everybody, but we had enough food because we shared it … showing again that we’re not too far apart.”

New Jersey‘s Bill Pascrell pointed out features Islam has in common with other faiths and said, “It should be imperative for all of us non-Muslims to learn about this faith, which too often has been misunderstood and mischaracterized.”

“As the grandson of immigrants, I know true assimilation means preserving traditions while achieving success. I am in awe at how quickly the Muslim-American community has mastered both,” Texas Representative Nick Lampson said, attributing their success to “shared values of hard work, discipline, community, family and culture.”

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.

Executive Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council Salam Al-Marayati said, “It’s definitely a milestone for America and a positive reinforcement for the tradition of religious pluralism in our country,” which has been a haven for diverse religious minorities. “It’s a sign of reassurance and a sign of inclusion and a sign of social harmony, and people are very pleased with the resolution for having accomplished these things.”

The House resolution, “Recognizing Commencement of Ramadan and Commending Muslims for Their Faith,” Ellison said, shows “solidarity between America and the Muslim community across the world.”

For more stories related to Ramadan, see Celebrating Ramadan in America.
(USINFO is produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov )

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6 Comments »

  1. Congress Crosses the Line. Where is the Outrage?

    Muslims Against Sharia condemn politically correct cowardice of the United States Congress. We call on every American Muslims to contact their congressmen, and voice their disgust with Congress’ blatant disregard for the United States Constitution.

    Congressional Resolution HRES 635 EH:
    “House of Representatives … acknowledges the onset of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal”

    First Amendment to the United States Constitution:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”

  2. Voice their disgust?

    The USA recognizes Christian and Jewish institutions to the fullest degree.
    Christmas etc…
    What kind of argument are you making here?

  3. Umm Yusuf Said:

    Alhamdullilah, this is very good news!

  4. DeLyse Said:

    I do not feel that it is cowardliness for the American government to stand in support of a religion that they themselves are not a part of. I look at them as being brave and forthright in the face of the world After all they are a world super power. What better way to show your true power by embracing some one you disagree with?
    And in Christianity we are taught to love our neighbor as our selves and we have several Muslim neighbors living among us in America. Isn’t it then the Christian thing to do? And since America is a Judaho-Christian society how is the Congress showing in your words “blatant disregard for the United States Constitution.”
    I am proud of my government and proud to be An American because of their stand.

  5. proggiemuslima Said:

    I’m glad the bill was actually able to pass even though it is only symbolic. It would be interesting to see who voted for and against.

    As for “Muslims Against Sharia”: they seem about as Muslim as David Horowitz or Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

  6. jinnzaman Said:

    Assalamu alaikum

    subhanAllah wal hamdillah wa la ilaha il Allah wallahu akbar. 🙂

    masalama


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