CAIR-NJ Celebrates the Assembly’s Historic Vote in Support of Muslim Heritage Month Resolution

CAIR-NJ Celebrates the Assembly’s Historic Vote in Support of Muslim Heritage Month Resolution

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 03/30/2023) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today celebrated the State Assembly’s historic vote in support of the Muslim Heritage Month Resolution [AJR194], moving it from the legislature to the Governor’s desk.

The resolution, which designates January of each year as “Muslim Heritage Month” in New Jersey, calls upon local government agencies and organizations to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and educational programs that pay homage to the growing American Muslim community.

SEE: CAIR-NJ, Coalition Partners to Testify at State House in Support of Muslim Heritage Month Resolution   

SEE: CAIR-NJ Leads Coalition Urging NJ State Assembly to Pass Muslim Heritage Month Resolution 

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Government Affairs Manager Madina P. Ouedraogo, MPA-PNP said:

“Our celebration today is twofold: We are marking the month of Ramadan, and celebrating the Assembly’s historic and monumental vote in favor of the Muslim Heritage Resolution. 

“For the first time ever, New Jersey could be among a few states that recognize and pay homage to the American Muslim legacy. In the same way that negative depictions of Muslims heighten anti-Muslim bigotry, this resolution could play a role in pushing back against those sorts of prejudices. 

“New Jersey has the highest percentage of Muslims in the U.S., at 3.5 percent. It is also one of the most diverse states in the country, with nearly one in four residents identifying as immigrants. It is only appropriate that we recognize the beautiful diversity of the Garden State, and we look forward to seeing Governor Murphy sign this resolution into action.” 

New Jersey has the highest percentage of Muslim residents in the U.S., at 3.5 percent, according to 2020 US Religion Census and the Association of Religion Data Archives.  Earlier this month, two Muslim women who wear hijab, the Honorable Nadia Kahf and Dalya Youssef, were appointed to the New Jersey Superior Court bench. New Jersey also leads the way for local representation, with over 40 Muslim elected officials. The state elected the first ever Muslims to the New Jersey State Legislature, Sadaf Jaffer (LD-16) and Shama Haidar (LD-37), last year.

Still, however, anti-Muslim incidents are on the rise. CAIR-NJ received over 150 calls for help in 2022 alone. This resolution seeks to push back against anti-Muslim bigotry by celebrating American Muslims and shedding a positive light on the community.

The resolution is sponsored by Assemblywoman McKnight (LD-31), Assemblywoman Speight (LD-29) and Assemblywoman Chaparro (LD-33) and co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Jaffer (LD-16), Assemblyman Stanley (LD-18), Assemblywoman Haider (LD-37), Assemblyman DePhillips (LD-40), Assemblyman Atkins (LD-20) and Assemblywoman Park (LD-37).

BACKGROUND

Muslim Heritage Month started with a vision from the Honorable Imam Warith Deen Mohammed. The first practicing Muslim in the United States were enslaved Africans who carried their faith with them and utilized it as a way to stay connected to their identities that were being brutally stripped from them while in bondage. It was their descendants, Black and African American Muslims, who would go on to later lay the foundation for the modern day American Muslim experience, which has allowed Muslims from diverse backgrounds to practice their faith within the United States as we know it today. The Honorable Imam Mohammed sought to make sure that this history is acknowledged and celebrated.

 

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592

CAIR-NJ Congratulates Hon. Dalya Youssef for Being Among the First Hijab-Wearing Women to Sit on NJ Superior Court Bench

CAIR-NJ Congratulates Hon. Dalya Youssef for Being Among the First Hijab-Wearing Women to Sit on NJ Superior Court Bench 

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 03/29/2023) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today congratulated Dalya Youssef, who wears hijab, on her swearing in to the New Jersey Superior Court.

Judge Youssef will serve on the bench in Somerset County, NJ. A larger, official swearing-in ceremony will soon follow.

Youssef joins at least two hijab-wearing Muslim women in serving on New Jersey court benches, including the Honorable Nadia Kahf of Passaic County and the Honorable Ma’isha Aziz of Lawnside. Kahf serves on the NJ Superior Court bench while Aziz served on the Municipal Court of the Borough of Lawnside for seven years.

SEE: ‘Proud and historic’: Two hijab-wearing women sworn in as judges in NJ 

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:

“Seeing more and more Muslim women who wear hijab being sworn in to judgeships is a testament to their will, wit, and perseverance, and we couldn’t be any more proud of the Honorable Dalya Youssef.

“Judge Youssef served as a mentor to many in the Muslim community and was involved in numerous legal spaces, including local New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association chapters. She and the several Muslim women before her are together breaking glass ceilings and making space for more and more Muslims to not only join the legal profession, but to excel and thrive.

“Thanks to the Honorable Aziz, Kahf, Youssef, and other Muslim women, we can optimistically look forward to seeing benches that more accurately reflect the communities they serve. The future of Muslims in New Jersey is bright.”

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592

CAIR-NJ to Support Muslim Heritage Month Resolution Vote at State Assembly

CAIR-NJ to Support Muslim Heritage Month Resolution Vote at State Assembly

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 03/29/2023) On Thursday, Mar. 30, the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) will join New Jersey community leaders at the Assembly Chambers in support of the Muslim Heritage Month resolution [AJR194]. The State Assembly is expected to vote on the joint resolution at 1pm.

WHAT: Muslim Heritage Month Resolution Vote at NJ State Assembly

WHEN: Thursday, March 30, 2023, at 1 p.m.

WHERE: Assembly Chambers, State House Annex, 125 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592

The resolution, which designates January of each year as “Muslim Heritage Month” in New Jersey, calls upon local government agencies and organizations to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and educational programs that pay homage to the growing American Muslim community.

SEE: CAIR-NJ, Coalition Partners to Testify at State House in Support of Muslim Heritage Month Resolution

SEE: CAIR-NJ Leads Coalition Urging NJ State Assembly to Pass Muslim Heritage Month Resolution 

New Jersey has the highest percentage of Muslim residents in the U.S., at 3.5 percent, according to the 2020 US Religion Census and the Association of Religion Data Archives. Earlier this month, two Muslim women who wear hijab, the Honoraries Nadia Kahf and Dalya Youssef, were appointed to the New Jersey Superior Court bench. New Jersey also leads the way for local representation, with over 40 Muslim elected officials. The state also elected the first ever Muslims to the New Jersey State Legislature, Sadaf Jaffer (LD-16) and Shama Haidar (LD-37), last year.

Still, however, anti-Muslim incidents are on the rise. CAIR-NJ received over 150 calls for help in 2022 alone. This resolution seeks to push back against anti-Muslim bigotry by celebrating American Muslims and shedding a positive light on the community.

The resolution is sponsored by Assemblywoman McKnight (LD-31), Assemblywoman Speight (LD-29) and Assemblywoman Chaparro (LD-33) and co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Jaffer (LD-16), Assemblyman Stanley (LD-18), Assemblywoman Haider (LD-37), Assemblyman DePhillips (LD-40), Assemblyman Atkins (LD-20) and Assemblywoman Park (LD-37).

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

Photo: CAIR-NJ and coalition partners at the Assembly State and Local Government Committee Hearing on March 20th, 2023 in Trenton, NJ during which the Assembly Joint Resolution to designate January as Muslim Heritage Month [AJR194] passed unanimously. 

 

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CONTACT:  CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592  

 

CAIR-NJ Congratulates Former Board Chairwoman Nadia Kahf on her Swearing-In to NJ Superior Court

CAIR-NJ Congratulates Former Board Chairwoman Nadia Kahf on her Swearing-In to NJ Superior Court 

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 03/22/2023) The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today congratulated Nadia Kahf on her swearing in to the New Jersey Superior Court.

Kahf, an immigration and family law attorney from Wayne, will be the first judge to wear a hijab (Islamic head scarf) on the Superior Court bench in New Jersey.

Ma’isha Aziz, Esq. is the first to wear a hijab on the bench in New Jersey. She served on the Municipal Court of the Borough of Lawnside for seven years.

Kahf, who is also the former Board Chairwoman of CAIR-NJ, joins two other Muslim women, Sharifa Salaam and Kalimah Ahmad, on the Superior Court bench.

SEE: CAIR-NJ Congratulates Nadia Kahf on her Confirmation as NJ Superior Court Judge 

SEE: She’s the first judge to wear a hijab on the bench in NJ. It’s not her only accomplishment 

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said: 

“Nadia has long served the Muslim community in New Jersey, and I am honored to have worked under her leadership and guidance here at CAIR-NJ. To see her finally sworn in, a year after her nomination, is nothing short of incredible.   

“Nadia may be the first to wear a hijab on the Superior Court bench in New Jersey, but she certainly won’t be the last, insha Allah. She walks on the paths of many firsts before her, and with her accomplishments and vast experiences, she has set the bar high for other Muslim women.” 

Governor Murphy nominated Kahf one year ago, but her confirmation, which came earlier this month, was stalled by Sen. Kristen Corrado.

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT:  CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592  

 

CAIR-NJ, Coalition Partners to Testify at State House in Support of Muslim Heritage Month Resolution 

CAIR-NJ, Coalition Partners to Testify at State House in Support of Muslim Heritage Month Resolution   

MEDIA ADVISORY 

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 03/17/2023) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) will join New Jersey community leaders at the State House Annex in Trenton to testify in support of the Muslim Heritage Month resolution [AJR194].

WHEN:  Monday, March 20, 2023, at 2pm  

WHERE:State House Annex, 125 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608, Committee Room 13, 4th floor  

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592         

The resolution, which designates January of each year as “Muslim Heritage Month” in New Jersey, calls upon local government agencies and organizations to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and educational programs that pay homage to the growing American Muslim community.   

The resolution is sponsored by Assemblywoman McKnight (LD-31), Assemblywoman Speight (LD-29), and Assemblywoman Chaparro (LD-33), and co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Jaffer (LD-16), Assemblyman Stanley (LD-18), Assemblywoman Haider (LD-37), Assemblyman DePhillips (LD-40), and Assemblyman Atkins (LD-20).  

SEE:  CAIR-NJ Leads Coalition Urging NJ State Assembly to Pass Muslim Heritage Month Resolution  

SEE:  New Jersey State Legislature Livestream 

New Jersey has the highest percentage of Muslims in the U.S., at 3.5 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. New Jersey also leads the way for local representation, with over 40 Muslim elected officials. Last year, the state elected the first ever Muslims to the New Jersey State Legislature, Sadaf Jaffer and Shama Haidar.  

Still, however, anti-Muslim incidents are on the rise. CAIR-NJ received over 150 calls for help in 2022 alone. The resolution seeks to push back against anti-Muslim bigotry by celebrating American Muslims and shedding a positive light on the community.

 

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CONTACT:  CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592  

 

CAIR-NJ Congratulates Nadia Kahf on her Confirmation as NJ Superior Court Judge

CAIR-NJ Congratulates Nadia Kahf on her Confirmation as NJ Superior Court Judge 

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 03/01/2023) The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today welcomed the New Jersey Senate’s vote to appoint Nadia Kahf as a Superior Court judge in New Jersey.  

Kahf, an immigration and family law attorney from Wayne, will be the first judge to wear a hijab (Islamic head scarf) on the Superior Court bench in New Jersey.

Ma’isha Aziz, Esq. is the first to wear hijab on the bench in New Jersey. She served on the Municipal Court of the Borough of Lawnside for seven years.

Kahf, who is also the former Board Chairwoman of CAIR-NJ, joins two other Muslim women, Sharifa Salaam and Kalimah Ahmad, on the Superior Court bench. 

SEE: She’s the first judge to wear a hijab on the bench in NJ. It’s not her only accomplishment  

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:  

“Nadia has long served the Muslim community in New Jersey, and I am honored to have worked under her leadership and guidance here at CAIR-NJ. 

“She brings a wealth of experiences that span across the legal field and meet at the intersections of Muslim and other marginalized communities, and we can’t think of anyone more fit for this position than her.   

“Benches and juries must reflect the communities they serve. Nadia’s appointment is a step in the right direction and brings us closer to an inclusive legal system.” 

Kahf was nominated by Governor Murphy a year ago but her confirmation was stalled by Senator Kristen Corrado. Since then, 90 community leaders, including mayors, council members, school board members, and leaders of the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association signed a letter urging the Senator to act to advance Kahf’s nomination.  

 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.    

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592 

CAIR-NJ Leads Coalition Urging NJ State Assembly to Pass Muslim Heritage Month Resolution

CAIR-NJ Leads Coalition Urging NJ State Assembly to Pass Muslim Heritage Month Resolution

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 3/1/2023) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) and more than 70 organizations and religious institutions, known as the “Muslim Heritage Month Coalition,” today urged the New Jersey State Assembly to pass the Assembly Joint Resolution AJR194, which designates January of each year as Muslim Heritage Month in New Jersey.

The coalition today wrote to Assembly State and Local Government committee members: Chair Assemblyman Verrelli (LD-15), Vice-Chair Assemblywoman Swain (LD-38), Assemblywoman Jaffer (LD-16), Assemblyman Simsonsen (LD-1), and Assemblyman Thomson (LD-30) urging them to hold a public hearing on Assembly Joint Resolution AJR194.

They also wrote to Assembly Speaker Coughlin (LD-19) urging him to facilitate passing the joint resolution on the Assembly side, so Governor Murphy can sign it into law, making New Jersey one of a few pioneering states committed to the celebration and recognition of American Muslims.

Earlier this month, the resolution advanced through the Senate but remains in the Assembly.

SEE:Pennacchio Bill to Establish Muslim Heritage Month in NJ Advances 

SEE: CAIR-NJ Welcomes State Senate’s Passing of Muslim Heritage Month Resolution, Calls on Assembly to Follow Suit

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Government Affairs Manager Madina P. Ouedraogo, MPA-PNP said:

“Given the growing population of Muslims in New Jersey, it is only appropriate that the New Jersey State Legislature recognize and acknowledge the diverse and vibrant Muslim community.  

While we celebrate the State Senate’s passing of Senate Joint Resolution [SJR105], in tandem with our coalition partners and community members, we are calling on the Assembly State and Local Government Committee to hold a public hearing on the Assembly Joint Resolution [AJR194] and release it from the Assembly Committee so that it may move to an Assembly voting session and pass.” 

In a statement, Council of Imams in New Jersey Convener Imam Wahy-ud Deen Shareef said:      

“The history of Islam and the growing Muslim Community in New Jersey is rich in the lessons of how the human spirit struggles against social, political, and economic adversity to successfully establish a model life working to serve G_d and bring forward a model human society.  

The late Muslim American Leader, Imam W. Deen Mohammed, encouraged Muslims to establish the best spiritual and social life possible reflecting the high morals and ethics taught by the Qur’an, G_d’s Word, and exhibit in practice the model traditional life of Muhammad the Prophet (prayers and Peace be upon him). This month acknowledges and celebrates these honorable objectives for Muslims and all citizens of New Jersey.”

In a statement, NJ Muslim Organizer Jessica Berrocal said:   

“We ask elected officials to make history with Resolution AJR 194 in order to show the tapestry of New Jersey. 

The resolution began four years ago, when I met with Assembly Angela Mcknight and Annette Chaparro to advocate for our children’s acceptance in public schools and to raise awareness of Muslim children’s religious identities.”

The coalition letter sent to state legislators states, in part:

“From restrictions placed on Muslims to practice their faith, to profiling, bullying, bias incidents, hate crimes, and discrimination stemming from a lack of understanding of Islam, the need for a Muslim Heritage Month is crucial.

“The resolution to designate January as Muslim Heritage Month will play a critical role in public education and help discuss and celebrate American Muslims in culturally competent ways. By extension, this can help push back against anti-Muslim bigotry.”

SEE: Letter to Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin

SEE: Letter to Assembly State and Local Government Committee

Coalition Partners:

32BJ SEIU

Alchemy Consulting LLC

AlGhazaly School Inc – Jersey City

American Muslims for Palestine – New Jersey

Bakka Corp – Jersey City

Bergen County Islamic Education Center

Black Lives Matter Paterson

Center for Islamic Life at Rutgers University

Center for Security, Race and Rights

Council of Imams in New Jersey

Darul Islah Masjid of Teaneck

Eid Committee

Fair Share Housing Center

Faith in New Jersey

Green Muslims of New Jersey

IMI

Indian American Muslim Council

Indonesian Muslim Society in America

Islamic Center of Ewing

Islamic Council of Greater Trenton

Islamic Center of Jersey City

Islamic Center of Morris County

Islamic Center of Passaic County

Islamic Center of Union County

Islamic Circle of North America

ICNA Council for Social Justice – New Jersey

Islamic Community Cultural Center

Islamic Society of Basking Ridge

Islamic Society of Central Jersey

Jam E Masjid of Boonton

League of Women Voters of New Jersey

Make the Road New Jersey

Masjid Al-Iman of Jersey City

Masjid As’Habul Yameen Inc

Masjidullah, Inc.

Masjid Muhammad – Newark

Masjid Shuhada

Masjid Ul Wadud of Montclair

Moroccan American Recreational and Organizational Council

Muslim Center of Middlesex County

Muslim Center of Somerset County

Muslim Community of New Jersey

Muslim Foundation Inc

Muslim League of Voters of New Jersey

NAACP New Jersey State Conference

National Domestic Workers Alliance – New Jersey

New Afrika Halal Group

New Brunswick Islamic Center

Newark Communities for Accountable Policing

New Freedom Works, Inc

New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice

New Jersey Citizen Action

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association

New Jersey League of Conservation Voters

New Jersey Muslim Officers Society

New Jersey Policy Perspective

New Jersey Working Families Party

NIA Masjid & Community Center

NJ Sisterhood

North Hudson Islamic Center

Northern New Jersey Jewish Voice for Peace

North New Jersey Muslim Federation

Occupy Bergen County

Palestinian American Community Center

Salvation and Social Justice

Sikh Coalition

Shia Assocation of North America

Sheefa Pharmacy

Teaching While Muslim

United We Serve

 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. 

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CONTACT:CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592