The city of Dublin recently honored the contributions of American Muslims in California and the United States.
Spojni Nasin and Eman Tai, both board members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), were invited to the City Council meeting on Aug. 20, when the elected leaders proclaimed August as Muslim Awareness and Appreciation Month. They asked residents to extend the “respect and camaraderie every American deserves” to Muslims.
“More than ever, we are glad to have the support of community leaders,” Nasin said, noting the contrast with federal anti-Muslim policies, such as President Trump’s travel ban. “We are part of the fabric of this country. We are doctors, lawyers, teachers, and community leaders. But our loyalty is questioned by this administration.”
Tai, a graduate of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, has lived in Dublin with her family for six years. Her children attend Cottonwood Creek Elementary School, where she volunteers. She said Dublin has been welcoming minorities to the American dream, and welcoming everyone into the Dublin family.
Councilman Shawn Kumagai said it’s important to recognize community members, especially “when a portion of them are marginalized.” He hopes the recognition can expand next year into three or four events to mark August as a month to honor Muslim-American relations.
While Kumagai credited the Dublin Unified School District’s efforts to promote harmony, he said, no place is immune.
He read from a CAIR survey that found nearly 20% of Muslim students reported not feeling comfortable in class discussions or with teachers’ comments about those who practice Islam.
About 10% reported physical bullying, 50% said they’ve heard “mean comments” and 20% cited online bullying.
“We don’t tolerate hate and discrimination,” Mayor David Haubert said. “We are a citizenry of inclusiveness and tolerance and law and order.”
Kumagai and Councilmember Jean Josey said they also met recently with the Bay Area Japanese consul to talk about the possibility of establishing a sister city relationship.