Oakland Muslim community celebrates Muslim-American contributions to U.S.

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-24 19:23:53|Editor: xuxin
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SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Muslim community in Oakland city, Northern California, on Friday celebrated the outstanding contributions made by Muslim Americans to the United States.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf presented a proclamation to the Muslim community at Masjidul Waritheen, a predominantly African American Muslim congregation in Oakland, to honor the designation of August as "Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month" in California.

She said more than 90,000 Muslim are living in Alameda County and have made innumerable contributions to the cultural, political and economic fabric and wellbeing of California and the United States.

"I want to thank you for the gift that you give your city, your faith, the food, the language, the practices, the fact that we are so (en)rich(ed) by all the traditions and histories that come together and are celebrated and honored in this place," she said.

She slammed U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration policy that places more restrictions on Muslim immigrants who are seeking their dreams in the United States.

"I believe our president is incredibly misguided and ignorant. What makes America great is our diversity," she said.

Talking about Trump's intention to "very seriously" consider ending the right to citizenship for children born in the United States to non-citizens, Schaaf said: "This is un-American in my view. He is misguided. He is a racist, and he is not taking this country to a good direction."

Faheem Shuaibe, resident Imam of Masjidul Waritheen, said Schaaf's visit to the event to celebrate with the Muslim community is "very special."

"Inclusiveness is one of the words that's important at times like this, because there are so many people who are building walls to try to separate people, one from the other, whether those walls be political walls or racial walls or economic walls," he said.

He said Trump's policy to limit immigration from particular countries that are targeting Muslims is very "bad."

Sameena Usman, government relations coordinator of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) California, the largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization in the country, told Xinhua that the celebration aims to show that Muslims have been part of this country since even before its founding.

"We've been in a part and parcel of this community and to have our city of Oakland and the state of California recognized this month really truly means a lot to the Muslim community, especially given the negative rhetoric that we have heard" from other people.

She said the first executive order issued two years ago by President Trump, which was also known as the Muslim Ban, has separated thousands of Muslim families who came from Syria, Somalia, Iran and Sudan.

She noted that her organization will help Muslim immigrants know their rights when they are "encountered by FBI or other law enforcement" and how to manage any situation when they met with hate crimes and incidents.

The California State Assembly first recognized August as "Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month" in 2016.