SACRAMENTO — Seven hundred Muslims from across California gathered Monday for the 6th Annual Muslim Day at the State Capitol in Sacramento.
This year’s theme — Action Trumps Fear.
“We have an opportunity for citizens to come out, and really speak with our legislators and have our voices heard,” civil rights attorney Saad Sweilem said.
In the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, California Muslims say they’ve felt a great amount of injustice. They’re fighting for four bills.
The first one, SB 31, known as the anti-Muslim ban.
“We saw multiple attempts at a Muslim ban that, thankfully, have been stopped by the courts,” Sweilem said.
Then, there’s SB 54 — better known as the Sanctuary State bill. This would prohibit local agencies from assisting ICE with deportations.
“The reality set in of the Trump presidency for California Muslims. Because of the impact we felt immediately, we wanted to take part in advocate to other immigrants through SB 5,” CAIR Legislative and Government Affairs Coordinator Yannina Casillas said.
Next, there’s AB 158, a bill that would ensure that hate crimes are properly recorded by peace officers.
“Our ideas also matter as well, not just adults,” Mehreen Chauhan said.
This is 15-year-old Chauhan’s first time participating in Muslim Day at the Capitol. The teen from Fremont says she hopes her voice will be heard by her legislators, especially regarding AB 1318, a bill that would require the Department of Education to asses if educators have the proper information when dealing with students who face bias or bullying.
“Implement these laws and advocate for students like us, especially bullying. They’re not just doing the Islamic Community. They’re going Jewish, Sikh, Christians, Catholics, whatever. Everybody is involved. So I think that is really amazing,” Chauhan said.
The goal, she says, is a more inclusive California.