Florida Senate - 2016                            (NP)    SR 1772
       By Senator Bullard
       39-03346-16                                           20161772__
    1                          Senate Resolution                        
    2         A resolution recognizing February 11, 2016, as
    3         “Florida Muslim Capitol Day.”
    5         WHEREAS, Florida Muslim Capitol Day was created by and for
    6  American Muslims living in this state to increase their civic
    7  engagement and political participation, and
    8         WHEREAS, Florida Muslim Capitol Day is an annual community
    9  based event organized through the collaborative leadership of
   10  the Florida Muslim community to educate Muslims on the state’s
   11  political process and to encourage them to engage in political
   12  activism in Florida, and
   13         WHEREAS, the Pew Research Center estimates that there are
   14  3.3 million Muslims now living in the United States, composing
   15  about 1 percent of the total population, a figure that is
   16  expected to double by 2050, and
   17         WHEREAS, approximately 523,000 Muslims, or 3 percent of the
   18  total Florida population, currently reside in Florida’s 67
   19  counties, and
   20         WHEREAS, Florida is home to one of the most diverse Muslim
   21  populations in the world and includes people of every school of
   22  thought and ethnic groups originating from more than 80
   23  countries on four continents, and
   24         WHEREAS, Florida’s Muslim community includes immigrants and
   25  second- and third-generation Arabs, Latinos, Asians, Europeans,
   26  and Africans, and
   27         WHEREAS, persons from Southeast Asia and Arab nations each
   28  compose about a third of Florida’s Muslim population, American
   29  born blacks compose a fifth of the total, and a growing number
   30  of Muslims in this state are native-born Anglo and Hispanic
   31  converts, and
   32         WHEREAS, a survey released by the Public Religion Research
   33  Institute shows that Floridians’ perceptions of Muslims have
   34  turned increasingly negative in recent years, with 56 percent of
   35  those surveyed expressing the belief that the values of Muslims
   36  are at odds with American values and our way of life, up from 47
   37  percent who expressed that belief in 2011, and
   38         WHEREAS, to combat these alarming statistics, Florida
   39  Muslim Capitol Day brings hundreds of Muslim leaders, community
   40  members, and students from across the state to Tallahassee to
   41  meet with elected officials, and
   42         WHEREAS, Florida Muslim Capitol Day empowers the Florida
   43  Muslim community to participate in the state’s democratic
   44  political process, to not be intimidated and silenced by the
   45  voices of intolerance, and to inform Florida’s elected officials
   46  about the concerns of their Muslim constituents, and
   47         WHEREAS, the growth of the American Muslim community has
   48  fostered the development of a variety of religious, civic,
   49  political, cultural, economic, social, ethnic, feminist,
   50  artistic, and professional organizations, and it is fitting to
   51  recognize and commend Florida Muslims who are at the forefront
   52  of civic engagement as informed, effective, and responsible
   53  citizens, NOW, THEREFORE,
   55  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida:
   57         That, in recognition of the hard work, commitment, and
   58  dedication of the Florida Muslim community to knowledgeable
   59  participation in our democracy and our democratic institutions;
   60  in recognition of the dedication of Florida’s Muslims to making
   61  significant contributions to the community; and in honor of
   62  educated citizens who understand and accept the responsibilities
   63  and obligations of citizenship, February 11, 2016, is recognized
   64  as “Florida Muslim Capitol Day.”