City of Brass

City of Brass


Islam Day in Hawai’i – Aloha Akhbar!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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.

Mahalo!

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).



  • http://poll.starbulletin.com Abdul Rashid Abdullah

    The Hawaii state Legislature passed a resolution that marks Sept. 24 as Islam Day to recognize the “rich religious, scientific, cultural and artistic contributions” of Islam and the Islamic world. Do you approve of this resolution?
    Please go to the URL and vote.

  • Indira

    Nice work, that is also September 11 on the Julian calendar, no wonder you are laughing at kufr

  • Wasim K.

    Nice article Aziz.
    I been to some sites, which states that the Gov. of Hawaii is being harassed by the “mainland” (i.e. lower 48 states) esp. the thugs of ACT, Brigette Gabriel, WND, Spencer, and Pipes and are calling for a boycott…YES YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT BOYCOTT of Hawaii!
    And they accused some Muslims of being crazy for protesting the cartoonish insulting their most precious and beloved figure, the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s blessing be upon him).
    Anywho, Hawaii can have a Baha’i day, Buddhism day, etc. but when a Muslim constituent request his religion be honored and an opportunity be presented to learn real peaceful Islam, the bigots go haywire at the prospect of God-forbid the uneducated masses may learn about peaceful Islam, thereby undermining their hateful projection of it as being violent.
    I love it. Its not a taxpayer holiday but a recognition and the REPUBLICAN Governor succumbs to the bigots. Gov. Lingle should resign.
    Someone needs to remind her, that young Americans servicemen and women are dying in Iraq to defend and protect its Sharia’ Constitution and the safety of its Muslim citizenry, so honoring the people’s most precious identity…Islam is the best way to win over their hearts and minds. Duh!!!

  • Sadik

    The purpose of Hawaii Islam Day is supposedly to learn about Islam.
    OK, let’s learn:
    Islam has a history of
    • 270 million killed, with over 80 million in India alone!
    • slavery both much longer and in much larger numbers than the European trans-Atlantic slavery. The male Black slaves were commonly castrated by their Islamic owners!
    • severe oppression of the conquered Christians and Jews based on the Islamic legal doctrine of inequality.
    • forcible conversions of Hindus and other non-Abrahamic religions deemed “idolatrous”.
    Islamic Jew-hatred is based on words of Muhammad. Modern Islam has inherited the Nazi Jew-hatred form the defeated Nazi Germany. Hundreds of the most wanted WWII Nazi criminals found refuge in Arab-Muslim countries where they assisted the local governments in their war on Jews.
    Perhaps the most inhuman is the Islamic oppression of women.– Koran condones:
    • wife beating with a stick,
    • child marriage
    • rape of “infidel” women
    • Men have a legally higher status then women in the Islamic court of law
    • Islamic law supports honor killing leading to death of 5000 women/year
    • Half of girls and women in Islam had their genitals mutilation often cutting out clitoris!
    The civil liberties, that we take for granted, are contrary to the Islamic law:
    • No freedom of religion Muslims who change religion are beheaded
    • No freedom of expression: Anyone who criticizes Islam, or Muhammad is liable to be beheaded.
    • Today in the countries of Western Europe, where there is a sizable Muslim minority, ordinary people are afraid to speak up.
    • In America it is increasingly difficult to publish book or article critical of Islam as the publisher receives death threats from Muslims.
    All of the 55 Muslim countries in the world:
    • have terrible human rights record.
    • are poor, uneducated, unhealthy and filthy with exception of the Oil Emirates.

  • Brian

    To the above,
    While the above may be (technically) true, its really not that much different than any other religion. The reason why so many negative things are done in the name of Islam in the third world is because….its the third world! These are violent, poor places with desperate people, where religious fanaticism runs rampant. Unfortunately however, the fanatics often control the politics of these areas….moderate Muslims are basically ignored or even killed or imprisoned. Before Christianity was a first world religion (with a first world center), I would say that it was just as barbaric as Islam often can be in the third world. Religion usually gets hijacked and turned into some kind of rationale for violence, control, and abuse in desperate areas. Islam is usually practiced in the first world by moderate and progressive Muslims. But because its ‘center’ is the third world, the fanatic maniacal perversion of it remains as what people see it as.
    That’s not to say that even within the first world it does not have its share of dogma. Religion as a whole, in my opinion, is too focused on ‘holiness’ and could do well to focus more on how to treat ones’ fellow human beings better with the focus on the person them self, rather than divine entities (which religious texts delve into in depth, but is often miss). I find that often people get too wrapped up in God and miss the message entirely. I myself am not an atheist, but I wouldn’t quite call myself religious either…something like a philosophical agnostic semi-deist/pantheist if you could call it anything.
    People who scream about how Islam is evil because bad things happen supposedly its name ignore the multi-thousand year history of religion being used as a weapon in desperate and violent environments. Doing so just misses the whole point and undermines correcting the problem, as social factors are often overlooked.

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