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500 plus people of all faiths gathered under one roof to recognize July as "Muslim American Heritage Month"

Muslim American Heritage Month Gala, July 29, 2023

US Senator Jon Ossoff

Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler, House Minority Leader James Beverly and Rahim Shah Akhunkhail

We - across faith communities, geographies, demographics, and political spectrum- are here to express our love and respect for our Muslim American brothers, and sisters.””
— Said US Senator Jon Ossoff
ATLANTA, GA, UNITED STATES, August 1, 2023/ -- Voices of Muslims (VoM) worked with legislature on both sides of the aisles to introduce Georgia House Bill 360 recognizing Muslim’s contributions to Georgia, USA, and the world. VoM worked with mayors, city council members of 30 cities and commissioners of 6 counties across Georgia organizing proclamation presentation ceremonies with participation of Muslims and Non-Muslims. For the first time in the history of America, VoM brought 100’s of people from all faiths under one roof celebrating and recognizing July as “Muslim American Heritage Month”.

Muslim American Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the contributions made by Muslims to the fabric of society in the United States, Georgia, & around the Globe.

“I am delighted to be among my friends including but not limited to Senate Minority Leader Senator Gloria Butler, House Minority Leader Representative James Beverly, members of the state legislature, County Commissioners, City Councils Members, Mayors, Judges, District Attorneys, Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs, Sheriffs, and so many other leaders from across Georgia as a demonstration of the unity with which we celebrate “Muslim American Heritage Month.” Said the key note speaker of the Gala US senator Jon Ossoff.

Although often overlooked, America’s engagement with Muslims and Muslim cultural heritage goes back to the country’s earliest days and has touched many central American institutions, from the Marines’ Mameluke sword to the Supreme Court building.

“This was a stellar event showcasing unity, love and the rich culture of the Muslim community and their contributions. The state of Georgia should take pride in the many religious and cultural traditions of residents of this great state and seek to afford all people in Georgia the opportunity to learn and experience the shared principles of the Muslim heritage. This was an experience I will long remember.” - Senate Minority Leader Senator Gloria Butler.

Muslims such as Omar Ibn Sayyid and Ayuba Suleiman Diallo and many more arrived in America in the 1600s helping to build even the white house. The founding fathers Thomas Jefferson studied Quran (Holy Book of Muslims) and regularly hosted Iftar dinners at the white house. The artist of statue of liberty mimicked an Egyptian Muslim woman. Morrocco was the first Muslim country recognizing America and treaty of Tripoli in the 1700s protecting American assets from pirates. First introduced in 1826 to America by Muslims, U.S. Marine officers still wear Mameluke sword as part of their uniform.

“This powerful event displayed unity and joy as we joined together with Muslims for a celebration. I look forward to working together to continue the mission of promoting diversity and inclusion in our communities.” -Georgia House Minority Leader James Beverly

The attack of 9/11 changed everything for Muslims in America and even after twenty-two years Islamophobia has not gone away. Muslims face fear, hatred, oppression and discrimination and prejudice in everyday life.

US Senator Jon Ossoff said, “I'm also here to join all of you in denouncing and rejecting islamophobia and bigotry that targets Muslims in the United States and in the world”

America is home to one of the most diverse Muslim populations in the world. Approximately one third of the Muslim community are African-American, one third of South Asian descent, one quarter of Arab descent, and the rest are from all over the world, including a growing Latino Muslim population.

“What an honor & privilege it was to be invited to the Gala. We look forward to a great dialogue & building a lasting relationship with Georgia’s Muslim Community.” Said Reynaldo (Rey) Martínez, Republican Georgia State Representative

Today, there are millions of Muslims in USA growing to 8.1 million, or 2.1 percent of US population and ISLAM to become the 2nd largest religion by 2050. A survey conducted by ISPU found that Muslim Americans are just as likely to join the military as any other American. The US armed forces have thousands of Muslims and high-ranking officers such as Army Colonel Khalid Shabazz defending the land of the free. Yet, many Muslims children do not want their classmates to know they are Muslims fearing retaliation and bulling.

“The Gala was truly a remarkable affair, illuminating the incredible power of unity that emerges when we embrace diverse religions, races, genders, and political philosophies.” - Fulton County Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman

American culture will be incomplete without Dave Chapppell, Hasna Minhaj, and Maysoon Zayid, all Muslims. DJ Khalid, French Montana, Shakil O’Neal, Karim Abdul Jabar, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Ice Cube, Shahid Khan, Jawed Karim, Bella Hadid, Dr. OZ, Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, G. Willow Wilson, Fareed Zakaria, Sheeran Sabet, Imam Omar Suleiman, Lisa Vogl, Dr. Jeffrey Lang, Nusrat Choudhury and Nadia Kahf, Anousheh Ansari, Jasmin Moghbeli, Hamdi Ulukaya and many more contributing to America in their own unique ways.
“A great event bringing together people from various religious beliefs, Christians, Muslims, and others who came together around the message of humanity and the message of love. I look forward to supporting other efforts allowing unity and the message of love.” - Bishop Greg Fann Pastor of Liberty International Church

There was a whopping 63% increase in 2022 in the volume of complaints filed by Muslim school children in the U.S - Bullying and Islamophobic material in classroom teaching being the main causes of the rise. The vulnerable children and faith practicing women seem to be the main targets.

“The observance of Muslim American Heritage Month is a way for Muslims and children to have a sense of pride and belonging living in America. Georgia HB360 is an important bipartisan bill for Muslims and I hope and expect legislature on both sides of the aisle to pass it in the 2024 session.” Said Rahim Shah Akhunkhail, founder of Voices of Muslims.

About Voices of Muslims:
Voices of Muslims (VOM) is a grass-root organization of Muslim Americans encouraging participation in our democracy for better quality of life, religious freedom, universal justice and human rights, racial equality, equal economic opportunities, voting rights, promoting awareness about Muslim American history and contributions, and combating Islamophobia narrative.

Voices of Muslims
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Don Mahmood
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