Fresno Group Petitions Mayor to Disavow Islamophobia

Although these victims are Sikh, it is presumed that they were targeted for appearing Muslim.

Following Islamophobic attacks in Fresno and a rising trend of Islamophobia across the nation, a coalition of faith based groups have started a petition to Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Council President Paul Caprioglio.

The petition reads:

Resolution Condemning Islamophobia in the City of Fresno

Authored By: The Central Valley Islamic Council

Co-sponsored By:

The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno,

Faith in Community,

Pastor Chris Breedlove, Community UCC,

Pastor DJ Criner, Saints Rest Baptist Church,

Rev. Tim Kutzmark, Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno,

Father Art Gramaje, Saint Anthony Mary Claret,

Rev. Akiko Miyake-Stoner, United Japanese Christian Church,

Pastor Phil Skei, On Ramps Covenant Church,

Pastor Steve Ratzlaff, Pastor Emeritus Mennonite Community Church,

WHEREAS, the City of Fresno acknowledges the wealth of contributions of the Muslim community in the Central Valley, and rooted here for many generations, in different capacities; as educators, developers, farmers, entrepreneurs, health care professionals, civic leaders, engineers, philanthropists, etc.;

and, WHEREAS, the City of Fresno condemns hate speech, racism, and xenophobia against fellow Muslims and Islam;

and, WHEREAS, the City of Fresno prides itself on its diverse citizenry of all religions, race, gender, ethnicity; and is committed to strengthen a welcoming experience for people of all backgrounds, especially fellow Muslim Americans;

and, WHEREAS, Islamophobia is defined as the fear of Islam, Muslims, or anything related to the Islamic or Arab cultures and traditions;

and, WHEREAS, since September 11, 2001, Islamophobia has become the latest “hazing” technique across the United States and has created a chilling effect for Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in their communities, work-environments, and campuses;

and, WHEREAS, A Gallup Study found that 60% of Muslim Americans say that Muslims face prejudice from other Americans [1]; and 48% of Muslim Americans say that they have personally faced racial or religious discrimination, which is on par with Hispanic Americans (48%), and African Americans (45%), while 54% of Arab Americans say they have experienced this type of discrimination[2];

and, WHEREAS, the election rhetoric by some candidates is extremely toxic and un-American and creates an unsafe and divisive environment for Muslim, Middle Eastern (Christians & Jews), South Asians, and others who may be perceived as being of similar descent, and these claims are completely opposite to the American values;

and, WHEREAS, the City of Fresno is no place for hateful and inflammatory rhetoric and is committed to foster an all inclusive and safe environment that welcomes and respects all its residents/citizens;

therefore, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Fresno condemn all inflammatory, divisive and hate speech;

and, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Fresno urges all Presidential candidates to refrain from inflammatory and hateful speech against Muslims and Islam;

and, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Fresno write a letter to the County Board of Supervisors, California State Assembly and Senate Representatives, Governor of California, and House and Senate Representatives, recommending them to also pass a similar resolution/bill;

and, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Fresno urges other cities to also pass similar resolutions.