Our view: We support Muslim Day at the Capitol and its participants for engaging with state government and sharing insight into their community with Oklahoma lawmakers.
Muslim Day at the Capitol is positive political news in a state plagued by multiple outlandish legislative bills. The event is planned for Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m at the Oklahoma State Capitol and is intended to promote civic engagement within the Islamic community. Oklahoma is not a particularly religiously diverse state and the event has drawn the attention of supporters and detractors alike. We don’t support the message of people who’ve RSVP’d to a Facebook event to protest Muslim Day, but we do fully support every Muslim Oklahoman who will be participating in honoring the day.
The Oklahoma Chapter of The Council on American-Islamic Relations is hosting the event, and Muslim Day will feature activities to both educate Muslims about the democratic process and allow them to interact with their state legislators. The event is designed to allow Muslims and their interfaith supporters to engage with state government. We think Muslim Day is a great way for legislators to interact with minority constituents, and we urge lawmakers to listen to and consider the needs and concerns of the Islamic community in Oklahoma.
We also give major kudos to Muslim students participating in Muslim Day. Those students will be the future leaders of Oklahoma’s Islamic community, and we believe their desire to engage in state government should be supported. We commend the Muslim Day participants for striving to learn more about state government and sharing a fair representation of Islam with Oklahoma lawmakers, even in the face of adversity from planned protestors.
Fortunately, a number of interfaith organizations have pledged their support of Muslim Day, which restores a little of our hope that acceptance is stronger than hate. We believe every American citizen, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity has the right to visit the Capitol and we support Muslim Oklahomans exercising that right. We hope Oklahoma’s lawmakers with learn from the Muslim Day participants and that all participants will feel accepted and supported.
Oklahoma doesn’t have to only make headlines when our legislators propose wacky bills. Though it’s rare, sometimes Oklahoma is known for inclusive events such as Muslim Day, and we hope to hear about Muslim Days for years to come.