The Texas House of Representatives approved a resolution on Tuesday recognizing March 7, 2023, as “Texas Muslim Capitol Day.” the resolution coincided with the 20th anniversary of Muslim Day at the Texas Capitol.
Rep. Salman Bhojani (D–Euless) and Rep Suleman Lalani (D–Sugar Land), the two Pakistani Americans and the first South Asians and Muslims ever to be elected to the Texas state legislature, welcomed the visiting Pakistani-Americans.
“As one of the first Muslims elected to the Texas Legislature, it’s an honor to celebrate this historic milestone with my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters,” said Rep. Bhojani in a tweet.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Muslim Day at the Texas Capitol!
As one of the first Muslims elected to the Texas Legislature, it’s an honor to celebrate this historic milestone with my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters.
— Salman Bhojani (@BhojaniForTexas) March 7, 2023
The resolution passed by the State House on March 7 stated that Texas “made history” in 2022 with the election of the first two Muslims to the Legislature: State Reps. Suleman Lalani and Salman Bhojani.
“The Muslim community is one of the fastest-growing communities in Texas, with almost 500,000 residents who identify as Muslim, constituting 1.7 percent of the state’s population,” the resolution states.
“The unwavering dedication of the leaders from the Islamic community in the State of Texas has served as an impetus for a more equal and altruistic population.”
The resolution also says, “By bringing their perspectives to the legislative forum, members of the Muslim community are contributing to the dialogue on policy issues and helping to work toward a brighter future for all residents of the Lone Star State.”
The Muslim Day resolution was sent to the House Resolutions Committee, which is chaired by Democrat State Rep. Bobby Guerra (Mission), before being approved by the entire House.
According to media reports, 13 of the 150-member house, all Republicans, voted against the resolution. They included: Charles “Doc” Anderson (R–Waco), Cecil Bell (R–Magnolia), Briscoe Cain (R–Deer Park), Caroline Harris (R–Round Rock), Cody Harris (R–Palestine), Brian Harrison (R–Midlothian), Richard Hayes (R–Denton), Cole Hefner (R–Mt. Pleasant), Dennis Paul (R–Houston), Nate Schatzline (R–Ft. Worth), Carl Tepper (R–Lubbock), Ellen Troxclair (R–Spicewood) and Cody Vasut (R–Angleton).
Bhojani and Lalani have brought to the Texas legislature the diversity it was missing as well as an opportunity for Pakistani American community to project its political power. They have already started the job.
Because of the efforts of the two Pakistani-American Reps, the State House of Representatives will pass a resolution commemorating Pakistan Day at the Texas Capitol in Austin on March 20th. The House resolution will come on the eve of the March 23 celebrations of the Pakistan Resolution, also known as the Lahore Resolution which was passed in Lahore in 1940. The landmark resolution lead to the establishment of Pakistan as an independent state seven years later on August 14, 1947.