Following similar declarations by the state legislature and other California cities, the American Canyon City Council has proclaimed August as Muslim American Appreciation and Awareness Month.
The proclamation, adopted on July 31, represents the first time American Canyon has honored Muslims through an official decree, according to community members and leaders.
“I think this was a huge milestone for the Muslim community,” said Councilmember Mariam Aboudamous in an interview. “At a time when there is a lot of negativity at immigrants in general, and Muslims especially, it’s important to recognize immigrants because that’s what the county is made of.”
“We’re all products of immigrants, and it’s important to appreciate them,” said Aboudamous, a Muslim whose parents emigrated from the Middle East and settled in American Canyon decades ago.
Other local Muslims heralded the City Council’s proclamation, saying it represents a positive step towards acceptance of worshipers of Islam.
Najim Khan, who accepted the proclamation on behalf of the local Muslim community, called the decree “a great honor.”
“I think it’s an excellent idea,” Khan said following the council meeting. “I think more cities and counties should do that.”
He said the media often portrays Muslims in a negative light, and wants people to understand that he and others are not a threat.
“Most people have a misconception about Islam and Muslims,” Khan said.
He said local Muslims come from all walks of life and professions, from doctors to civil engineers. Khan offered as one example a local Muslim who works for Caltrans and regularly wears a head scarf.
“People when they see him dressed like this, they think, ‘Oh, what is this man going to do next?’” said Khan. “’Is he going to blow us up or what?’”
“It’s all a misconception,” he added.
The American Canyon proclamation states the local community “is enriched by the unparalleled diversity of its residents and takes great pride in supporting individual religious freedoms and is strengthened by the diverse religious, political, and cultural traditions of its residents, including those who practice Islam.”
It goes on to say there are about 1 million Muslim Americans in California, “the highest number of any state in the United States.”
“Whereas, the Muslim community is recognized as having made innumerable contributions to the cultural, political, and economic fabric and well-being of California and the United States,” the proclamation states.
It further says “it is appropriate to acknowledge and promote awareness of the myriad invaluable contributions of Muslim Americans in our community and across the country, and extend them the respect and camaraderie every American deserves.”
Two years ago, we responded to California proclamation with 50 examples of misunderstandings in California: 50 Recent ‘Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month’ Episodes. Here’s another dozen contributions Islam and Muslims have brought to California and America. Many more examples in the archives.
- California: Muslim Refugee Serving 25-Year Terrorism Sentence Gets Another 20 For Trying to Kill Prison Warden
- California: Muslim convert sentenced to 15 years for Christmas Day jihad plot on Pier 39
- California: Muslim who wanted to bomb San Fran gay club pleads guilty to helping ISIS
- California: Muslim immigrant drove flaming car with propane tanks and gas cans into Travis Air Force Base
- San Francisco: Muslim opens fire on police, one officer and five others injured
- California Democrats’ endorse grandson of Munich Olympics terrorist for Congress
- California Man Arrested For Trying to Join Islamic State
- California: 43-year-old youth counselor converted to Islam, joined ISIS
- California: Muslim killed patrol officer, charged with 2nd degree murder
- San Diego: Brother of ISIS jihadi lied to FBI, gets 10 years in prison
- California: Muslim immigrant (honor) kills two daughters following custody dispute
- California: Muslim Kills 3 in Fresno Shooting Spree, Screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’