Happy Birthday, America!
Happy 236 th Birthday, America! Today, as we set out for a festive day of celebrating our nation’s founding holiday, we must take a moment to reflect on the significance of what it means to be free and on the diverse hands that contributed to the America we see today, says an MPAC message. It adds:
The Fourth of July is more than a day off from work; it is a day to remember our nation’s origins and a challenge to continue to pursue the stated principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. The fabric of our society today consists of different threads -- each thread an important contributor to the strength of our national unity. One of the unique threads contributing to the building of our nation is Islam and Muslims.
Muslims have had a presence and lent a helping hand to the building of our nation’s foundation from the very inception of America. Indeed, early America did not just consist of colonists and Founding Fathers -- early America was built with the help of African Muslim slaves brought to the new nation. Currently, much of our national discourse from anti-Muslim bigots focuses on creating an image of American Muslims as being “the other.” Muslims have fought in every American war since the Revolutionary War. American Muslims have shown their investment in maintaining, preserving and protecting our homeland since the building of our nation. Despite ongoing efforts of Islamophobes aiming to otherize American Muslims, Muslims have been part of every facet and industry that keeps America strong and prosperous. The American Muslim narrative is a testament to the great social experiment of American democracy, which includes pluralism. America provides a rich cultural, ethc, and religious soil for creating coalitions that reflect the diversity of America as a whole.
For example, Japanese Americans and American Muslims in Southern California reaffirmed their commitment to upholding freedom for all by participating in the annual Manzanar pilgrimage to the World War II detention camp. More recently, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles expressed solidarity with American Muslims by denying Islamophobe Pamela Gellar a hate speech platform. “It is our sacred duty to protect one another, this is what it means to be a true American and a true human being,”
MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati stated at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors repeal of the 1942 resolution to repeal Japanese Americans. It is with these thoughts in mind that the Muslim Public Affairs Council honors the Fourth of July as a source of motivation for our collective journey to continue forward and to protect the core American value of freedom for all. America’s narrative includes experiences from diverse communities.
American Muslims are part of the fabric that represent America’s great heritage of diversity. The beauty of our Independence Day is that all Americans can celebrate freedom as living proof of the diverse American Dream.
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