The Ramadan Bill


MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS) announces and celebrates with the entire Muslim community, the unanimous passage of House Resolution 635- 'The Ramadan Bill'- "recognizing the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and commending Muslims in the United States and throughout the world for their faith."

Rick Jauert, Rep. Keith Ellison's Communications Director in Washington, D.C., confirmed the unanimous (376-0) vote in favor of the 'Ramadan Bill' took place earlier today before the Committee on Foreign Affairs. 

The resolution, originally submitted by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) (for herself, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), was brought to a vote before the Committee on Foreign Affairs early Tuesday morning and additionally states: 

"Whereas, since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, threats and incidents of violence have been directed at law-abiding, patriotic Americans of African, Arab, and South Asian descent, particularly members of the Islamic faith;

Whereas, on September 14, 2001, the House of Representatives passed a concurrent resolution condemning bigotry and violence against Arab-Americans, American Muslims, and Americans from South Asia in the wake of the terrorist attacks;

Whereas, it is estimated that there are approximately 1,500,000,000 Muslims worldwide;

Whereas, Ramadan is the holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal for Muslims worldwide, and is the 9th month of the Muslim calendar year; and

Whereas, the observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan commences at dusk on September 13, 2007, and continues for one lunar month: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That--

(1) during this time of conflict, in order to demonstrate solidarity with and support for members of the community of Islam in the United States and throughout the world, the House of Representatives recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world; and

(2) in observance of and out of respect for the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, the House of Representatives acknowledges the onset of Ramadan and expresses its deepest respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this significant occasion."

"This is indeed a symbolic, historic event and it again recognizes the growing religious pluralism of the United States, we wish to express our appreciations to the sponsors and co-sponsors of this resolution," stated MAS Freedom Executive Director, Mahdi Bray. 

Passage of the Ramadan Bill is something the American Muslim community will be especially thankful for as they enter the 'Last 10 Days of Ramadan' beginning Oct. 3, 2007. The 'Last 10 Days' are marked, in emulation of the practice of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him), by contentious exertion in devotion and worship- more so than in any other time during the Ramadan season. 

The Congressman's remarks from the Floor debate yesterday on H.Res 635- Recognizing the commencement of Ramadan

OCTOBER 2, 2007

Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Speaker, let me thank the gentleman for yielding time and for this excellent resolution. I'd like to thank all of the authors, including Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and everyone who signed on to the resolution commemorating the month of Ramadan. 

I am celebrating Ramadan myself personally, and I have been doing so ever since my 19th birthday. I'm 44 now, and I can tell you that it is a time of reflection, a time of renewal, and regeneration. 

It's true that we fast during the daylight hours during Ramadan, but it also says in the sayings of Prophet Mohammed, that if you do not refrain from ill speech, bad speech, bad words, basically a bad attitude and negative disposition, then God has no use of your refraining from food and drink. And so in this month of Ramadan, it's important to reassess your life, to contemplate your role in society and to benefit your neighbor. 

I think it's very important when we talk about "neighbor'' that we reflect upon what that word really means, "neighbor.'' It was Jesus, who the Muslims call Esau and who they revere very highly, who told the lawyer in the Bible that his neighbor really wasn't even somebody of his own religion or his own tribe but really was that Samaritan from that other group who lended assistance and gave a helping hand when it was needed. And that is the origin of the story of the Good Samaritan. 

This idea of the neighbor is something that's very important in Islam, especially during Ramadan where Muslims, all colors, all backgrounds, reach out to our neighbors, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist of all types. 

I want to report to you, Mr. Speaker, that over the course of the last several weeks we've had several Iftar celebrations right here in the Capitol and also in the Pentagon and a tremendous demonstration of interfaith cooperation, interfaith working together and mutual respect and recognition. 

As was said earlier, and I quite agree, every faith tradition relies on fasting as a means for spiritual regeneration. I also want to report to you that on the date of Yom Kippur, which is the Jewish holiday of atonement and the commemoration of the time of the new year, that my mosque in Minneapolis and the synagogue Temple Israel in Minneapolis joined together to break fast together, and we ended up with a good problem, Mr. Speaker, and that is, that there were 150 people who RSVP'ed and said they wanted to come. We ended up with about 160 people coming, and we didn't have enough chairs for everybody, but we had enough food because we shared it, Mr. Speaker, showing again that we're not too far apart. 

Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to let you know that many of our Christian friends came to celebrate the breaking of the fast with the Muslims and Jews together, and we're really warmed and encouraged by the fact that we can all come together even though we have different faith traditions. 

So, Mr. Speaker, let me again thank the wonderful, excellent commemoration we're having today as a true expression of American values, religious tolerance, inclusion of everyone. 

MAS Freedom (MASF) is a civic and human rights advocacy entity and sister organization of the Muslim American Society (MAS), the largest Muslim, grassroots, charitable, religious, social, cultural, civic and educational organization in America- with 55 chapters in 35 states.


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Older Comments:
SHEENA FROM INDIA said:
how can anybody follow any religion but islam?you need a scripture or a set of rules taught by the founder of a particular religion in it's original form to follow it.islam is the only religion which has it in the form of quran.so even if i want to be a buddhist i can't be for the lack of availablity of buddha's teachings in an uncorrubted form.besides i can't find a single mistake in islam or quraan...otherwise i would have become an athiest.
this is in response to the buddhist's query.





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MOHAMMAD KHANZAI FROM HONG KONG said:
THIS IS WONDERFULL AND GREAT JOB WHO MAKE THIS ALLAH GIVE HIM A JANNET- TUL- FERDOSS.
LET US PRAY FOR ALL WORLD. FOR EVERY BODY ALLAH GIVE HIM GOOD HEALTH AND GOOD MUSLIM.TO TELL THE TRUTH ALL THE TIME. WHAT IS THE QURAN SAY. MUST BE FOLLOW THE QURAN.IF EVERY ONE TELL THE TRUTH.THEN ALL THE WORLD WILL BE VERY HAPPY .
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SOME RANDOM PERSON FROM UNITED STATES said:
i am confused on why you would want to be muslim i am buddist and it's alot better
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AL HAJJI YUSEF MAISONET FROM UNITED STATES said:
As salaamu alaikum, Peace, Shalom there are a lot of inter-faith dialoge going on across this Great Land of America and Iftar dinners are a way of sharing what God has giving every one of us a time to clean our souls and our bodys, i hope that next year they will invite some of us Muslims from the Latino community which is very large in the United States, but so far we are very much impress by the White house and the Pentagon, Happy Eid Al-Fitr To everyone
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HYAT FROM CANADA said:
This is a wonderful! Great job to the people who made this possible it really great that the House of Representatives acknowledges the on set of Ramadan and expresses its deepest respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this significant occasion." Let us pray that this respect will extend to the Muslims in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and everywhere else that Muslims are been oppressed and murder. Let's extend our solidarity to those Muslims May God bless us all.
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KRIS MACPHERSON FROM MALAYSIA said:
Assalamualaikum and greetings,

I am not an American but I'm a Muslim. I hope that this bill is one of the many sincere efforts to bridge the gap of greater understanding between the peace loving Americans and the Muslim populace at large.

I have always distinguish between the right thinking Americans who are rational and peace loving and some of the policies of the U.S administrations. But I am not anti Americans per se, I am against all forms of oppression and injustice every where.

I don't wish to comment much on the Ramadan Bill because I don't have access to the introductory purposes in which the bill stemmed from. Unlike in the U.K., when a bill is introduced in the House of Commons, the purpose of the bill can be traced from the speeches in the Hansards.

But be that as it may, I truly hope that the contents of the Ramadan bill will always be respected by all Americans. Perhaps it is a door of opportunity to initiate dialogues and help build a bridge of understanding between the Islamic world and the west. May be.

Wassalam,

Peace and regards to all.
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SWDR FROM USA said:
Now if only mainstream media would show this over and over again to the public. All I tend to see is news of anti-terrorism and deaths in Iraq. This is usually accompanied by pictures of muslims, although the direct relationship is not spoken, it's shown. The general public still gets the wrong message, and has a negative opinion about muslims. Media doesn't talk about the peace efforts of the muslims. It just shows how the US is so nice to bring 1 or 2 kids to the US to do surgical repair of wounds they inflicted in the first place. I only get this news from Islamicity not NBC, ABC,CNN, and God forbid FOX news. Hmmmm.
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ABDUL ALI FROM USA said:
I am an American Muslim Prasie Allah!
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IMRAN FROM US said:
RAMADAN has been made a month of fasting for all Muslims, with some exceptions, by ALLAH (SWT) and communicated to us in The Holy Quran.

So what difference does the bill make to the words of ALLAH?

Am I to understand the bill should make me feel better when the Palestinians are being treated worse than we treat our animals?

Will these sponsors have the courage to introduce a bill asking for Palestinian rights?

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MARIYAH FROM USA said:
Alhamdullilah!
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