Given my recent trip, I admit that I am looking for pretty much any excuse to write about Hawai’i. Earlier I mentioned how the diversity of the muslim community on the islands was in some ways a negative. I should clarify that diversity is not a bad thing, but it can be a challenge in forming a unified perspective (and that’s probably a good thing, actually). There’s a lesson in Hawai’i for the ummah as a whole.
Still, the muslim community in Hawai’i is a vibrant and integral one, and in recognition of this, the state legislature just adopted a resolution proclaiming September 24th as Islam Day. Here’s the full text of the resolution (HCR 100):
PROCLAIMING SEPTEMBER 24, 2009, AS ISLAM DAY.
WHEREAS, Hawaii is known for the wealth of its cultural and religious diversity and the harmony with which people of many cultures and religions live together; and
WHEREAS, Muslims constitute an ethnically diverse part of Hawaii’s cultural fabric, with around 3,000 practicing members; and
WHEREAS, the Prophet Mohammad left his house to migrate to Madinah and reached Quba in the vicinity of Madinah on the 12th day of Rabi ul-Awwal according to the lunar calendar, or September 24th according to the Gregorian calendar, thereby marking the birth of Islam; and
WHEREAS, Islam, a religion with a long and noble history, is the second largest religion in the world, with over one billion followers spread across every continent, and including members of many nations and cultures; and
WHEREAS, the Islamic world preserved and made original contributions to works of science and philosophy during the Middle Ages when these disciplines were threatened by bigotry and prejudice in other parts of the world; and
WHEREAS, Islamic artists, scientists, and philosophers have a rich history of contribution to world literature and our collective scientific understanding; and
WHEREAS, the Islamic faith shares common teachings found in the texts of both Christianity and Judaism, whose followers are respected and considered “People of the Book”; and
WHEREAS, Islamic doctrine encourages generosity in its adherents, maintaining that those who possess much have a responsibility to care for those in need; and
WHEREAS, Islam, along with its monotheistic counterparts, holds that peace is a divine quality and necessary for collective human happiness; and
WHEREAS, Islam strives for a world-wide community which, in the words of one Islamic poet-philosopher, “does not recognize the superficial differences of race, or history, or nationality”; and
WHEREAS, the United States and countries of the Islamic world hold in common many beliefs and values including concepts of world community and mutual responsibility; and
WHEREAS, international understanding and peace, as well as understanding and peace in our local communities, are strengthened by free and open communications among everyone representing various cultural and religious traditions; and
WHEREAS, the 96th United States Congress officially recognized the noble qualities of Islam in a concurrent resolution on October 15, 1979 (SCR 43), honoring the religion’s 14th centennial; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, the Senate concurring, that September 24, 2009, shall be known as “Islam Day” to recognize the rich religious, scientific, cultural, and artistic contributions Islam and the Islamic world have made since their founding; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to Hawaii’s congressional delegation, the Governor, and the Board of the Muslim Association of Hawaii.
It also occurs to me that if Hawai’i is paradise, then eventually all muslims should end up there, inshallah!
Related: Naturally, there are some (conservative, Republican) people who see this as dhimmitude incarnate. This fellow for example warns starkly of burkas and bikinis (maybe he should read my essay…) and intones seriously, “the muslims are laughing”. Why, yes, we are indeed.
UPDATE 070809: FrontPageMag links to me with words of praise. They don’t seem to be able to distinguish between mocking laughter and diabolical, Bond Villain laughter, so I’ll be explicit: I am laughing at the paranoid nuttiness of people who think a symbolic, but legally meaningless, recognition of the faith of some of its loyal citizens is paramount to the end of Western Civilization. Frankly I think Western Civilization is stronger than that, but ironically the putative defenders of the West are precisely the ones who seem to have the least faith in it. As far as Bond Villain diabolical schemes to enslave the world, this is probably more relevant (but still, not really).