Senator JOSEPH PENNACCHIO
District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)
Designates month of Ramadan of each year as “Muslim Awareness and Appreciation Month” in New Jersey.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
A Joint Resolution designating month of Ramadan of each year as “Muslim Awareness and Appreciation Month” in the State of New Jersey.
Whereas, The State of New Jersey takes great pride in the varied religious, political, and cultural traditions enjoyed by the residents of this State, and in supporting individual religious freedom; and
Whereas, There are more than 160,000 Muslims in New Jersey, representing a greater percentage of the State’s population than the national average; and
Whereas, The history of Muslims in this country dates back to before the country’s founding, originating with African slaves who brought their beliefs with them and who later contributed in numerous ways to the founding of the nation, including as courageous and dedicated members of the United States Armed Forces in every major war from the American Revolutionary War to present-day conflicts; and
Whereas, The Muslim heritage has provided significant ideas and objects that have shaped our world, including such achievements as the first university, the first pin-hole camera, surgical instruments, and brewed coffee, as well as achievements in astronomy, modern chemistry, optics, and music; and
Whereas, Muslims strive to promote peace and understanding between all faiths, identities, and nationalities, while upholding the values and principles that define the people of the United States of America; and
Whereas, Muslims and followers of Islam observe Ramadan, a holy month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, a holy book believed to contain the exact words of God given to Muhammed via the angel Gabriel; and
Whereas, Ramadan is the most important month of the Islamic calendar and its annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a series of formal acts of worship; and
Whereas, Ramadan, the ninth month of the 12-month Islamic calendar, is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting from dawn until sunset; and
Whereas, In addition to fasting, Muslims also engage in increased prayer and charity, and self-discipline; it is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship; and
Whereas, The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day festival known as Eid al-Fitr, one of Islam’s major holidays and includes special prayers and meals with family and friends, and gifts are often exchanged; and
Whereas, Ramadan is based on a lunar calendar and, therefore, doesn’t start on the same date of each year; and
Whereas, The State of New Jersey greatly benefits from the expertise, patriotism, and humanitarianism of Muslims and the health and vitality they contribute to communities; and
Whereas, New Jersey recognizes the positive impact Muslims have made, and continue to make, to the advancement of this State and the nation, and believes it is appropriate to acknowledge and promote awareness of the invaluable contributions of Muslims and Muslim communities, and recognize the importance of the observance of Ramadan; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The month of Ramadan of each year is designated as “Muslim Awareness and Appreciation Month” in the State of New Jersey.
The Governor is respectfully requested to issue a proclamation each year calling upon public officials and citizens of the State to observe the month with appropriate activities and programs.
2. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.
This Joint Resolution designates the month of Ramadan of each year as “Muslim Awareness and Appreciation Month” in the State of New Jersey. This designation would allow the State and its residents to respectfully acknowledge and promote awareness of the many contributions of Muslims who reside in this State and in the United States, and the importance of the observance of Ramadan.