Hawaii’s state senate has approved “Islam Day” for September 24, 2009. The measure, already been approved by the state’s house, passed the senate 22-3 on May 6, with two Republicans and one Democrat in opposition.
According to news reports, “Islam Day” seeks to recognize the religious, scientific, cultural and artistic contributions that Islam and the Islamic world have made.
Fox News on May 7 quoted senator Will Espero, a Democrat and supporter of the “Islam Day” measure.
“We are a state of tolerance. We understand that people have different beliefs. We may not all agree on every single item and issue out there, but to say and highlight the negativity of the Islamic people is an insult to the majority" of believers "who are good law-abiding citizens of the world."
Fox News also cited Republican senator Sam Slom in opposition.
"I don't think there's any country in the history of the world that has been more tolerant than the United States of America, and because of that tolerance, we've looked the other way a lot of times, and many thousands of our citizens have been killed by terrorists."
Several reports quoted Republican Senator Fred Hemmings, telling a group of protesters, “I recall radical Islamists around the world cheering the horrors of 9/11. That is the day all civilized people of all religions should remember."
“Islam Day” drew little coverage in print media on May 7. The Los Angeles Times ran only small story, inside and below the fold. But the Hawaii measure sparked activity in the blogosphere. Michelle Malkin wondered, “Ok, where are the ACLU and Barry Lynn?”
Mr. Lynn is executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He was not cited in early reports on the “Islam Day” legislation, but the lone Democrat to oppose the measure reportedly did so on church-state grounds.
“As far as I know, no ‘Christianity Day’ designation in Hawaiian law,” wrote Malkin, “though the state did designate Good Friday a government holiday, which courts ruled was ‘primarily proposed to increase the frequency of legal holidays.’ No such rationale here.”
William Teach of Right Wing News wrote that “It has more to do with those on the far left respecting the values and objectives of Islam than other established religions.”
Teach saw the “Islam Day” as a sign of “dhimmitude.”
“What instigated this further capitulation to Islamic supremacism?” wrote Pamela Geller of the Atlas Shrugs site.
The “Islam Day” bill now moves to Hawaii governor Linda Lingle, a Republican, the state’s first female governor, and the first Jew to hold Hawaii’s highest office.