US Texas representative votes against recognition of Ramadan
A state representative from Texas has voted against a resolution recognizing the holy month of Ramadan.
On Wednesday, Republican Representative Tony Tinderholt issued a statement saying, “As a combat soldier, I served alongside many local translators who were Muslims and good people. I can also attest that Ramadan was the most violent period during each deployment.”
“Texas and America were founded on Christian principles and my faith as a Christian prevents me from celebrating Ramadan.”
Ramadan 2023: When does the holy month begin and why do Muslims fast?
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Muslims are a fast growing community in the state. There are at least 420,000 Muslims in Texas, the Texas Standard reported in 2021. On the eve of March 22, Muslims around the world began the month of Ramadan.
The bill says that the “House of Representatives of the 88th Texas Legislature hereby recognizes the holy month of Ramadan 2023 and extends to Muslims throughout the Lone Star State a heartfelt wish for a meaningful and joyous observance.”
It was sponsored by Salman Bhojani, who was sworn in as one of the first Muslims and South Asians in the Texas legislature earlier this year.
The bill is still in committee and moved to the Resolution Calendar.
Bill Essayli, the first Muslim elected to the California state legislature, was one of the first to respond.
“This is wrong. As the first Muslim elected to the [California Legislature], I have no question on the anniversary of Christmas or Passover. Our nation was founded on freedom of religion and we should celebrate all faiths, while ensuring that people are always free to practice any faith.”
Fred Wellman, a combat army veteran and host of the On Democracy podcast, responded to Tinderholt and said, “Absolutely disgraceful. You are the worst representative of the veteran community. We honor those we serve.”
“You are just a Christian Nationalist. Do your plural marriages honor Christianity, too, or did you skip that part of the book too?”
Brandon Friedman, a board member of the Dallas community police oversight board, also responded to the state representative. He said: “Tony, I promise you, your military service overseas was not racist. Hundreds of thousands of US troops have served in combat and have not given up on their races. This is about you, boy.”