August 2016 Is Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month
On August 1, 2016, Resolution HR 59 was presented before the California State Assembly. This was a proclamation to recognize August as "Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month". Assembly Member, Bill Quirk, proposed the resolution and by the grace of Allah it passed with 62 coauthors.
Assemblymember Quirk stated, "The rhetoric surrounding this election makes the presentation of this resolution more important for me.
"It is appropriate to acknowledge and promote awareness of the myriad invaluable contributions of Muslim Americans in California and across the country, and extend to them the respect and camaraderie every American deserves". .
An earlier press release issued by CAIR stated:
On Monday, August 1, the California chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) will join Assembly member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) in the presentation of House Resolution 59, which recognizes the month of August 2016 as “Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month.”
“I am proud to celebrate the first ever Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month by honoring generations of Muslim Americans for their many social, cultural, and economic contributions to California,” Assembly member Quirk stated. “The rhetoric surrounding this election makes the presentation of this resolution more important for me,” he said. “It is appropriate to acknowledge and promote awareness of the myriad invaluable contributions of Muslim Americans in California and across the country, and extend to them the respect and camaraderie every American deserves.”
CAIR-CA’s recently-released Civil Rights Report indicates that bias incidents spiked by 58 percent between 2014 and 2015, which is attributed to public hostility generated by international acts of violence and hateful rhetoric utilized by candidates since the start of the election cycle.
A total of 1,556 incidents were reported to CAIR-California over the course of the 2015-year. These included complaints involving employment discrimination, federal law enforcement questioning, housing discrimination, immigration issues, hate crimes, school bullying, and several categories.
“During these difficult times of increased anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate incidents, Assembly member Quirk’s resolution and recognition of Muslim Americans is uplifting for our community and immensely appreciated,” said CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra. “It is truly a historic moment for all Californians.”
Malek Bendelhoum Joins Shura Council as Associate Director
The Shura Council welcomes its new Associate Director, Malek Bendelhoum. Bendelhoum received his degrees from the University of California, Riverside, in Political Science and Forensic Psychology. He has also traveled to Saudi Arabia for Islamic Studies.
Bendelhoum is the co-founder of Sahaba Initiative, a social and community service organization located in San Bernardino. Recently, he was the Administrator at the Islamic Center of Inland Empire. He has also been involved in many organizations including IslahLA, ICUC, San Bernardino Clergy Association, Inland Empire Interfaith Coalition, and Youth Counselors of America in various capacities. He has been committed to community development for years and has received several awards from private as well as governmental agencies for his continuous commitment to service. Bendelhoum also gives khubahs and halaqas around the country. He is married and lives in the Inland Empire.
The Majlis of the Shura Council selected Bendelhoum from more than a half-dozen candidates. Due to his years of dedication, interfaith work, prior experience with the Shura Council, and leadership experience. The Majlis strongly believes that he will be able to move the Shura Council forward into the next decade and beyond.
CAIR-LA Congratulates Shakeel Syed on New Position as Incoming Executive Director of OCCORD
Anaheim, CA: The Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles Area office (CAIR-LA) has congratulated Shakeel Syed on his new position as the incoming Executive Director of Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD).
Shakeel Syed comes to OCCORD after serving as the Executive Director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California for more than a decade, serving over 80 mosques and Islamic organizations in Southern California to foster the spirit and culture of working together.
During his tenure, Syed worked on the Open Mosque Day that has now gone national, implemented the first of its kind Masjid Operations Manual that broke new ground and is now embraced by the regional Shura Councils and much more.
CAIR-LA offers its deepest gratitude and appreciation to Syed for his years of leadership, service and support in promoting CAIR-LA's services to the many Muslim mosques and communities in Southern California through the Islamic Shura Council, says a message. It adds:
CAIR-LA looks forward to working with Syed as he takes on his new role as the Executive Director of OCCORD to advance civic participation, economic justice, and political empowerment in Orange County.