SenHunterSultanAhmedCIOGCSPRINGFIELD – Chicago senators took on hate in a statehouse press conference by recognizing April 19 as Illinois Muslim Action Day.

Senate Resolution 1748 recognizes the national Take on Hate Day and efforts to fight anti-religious hate crimes.

State Sens. Mattie Hunter and Jacqueline Y. Collins joined the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) for a press conference and recognized pages for the day on the Senate floor.

"The great state of Illinois has always welcomed, supported and protected people of all races, religions and walks of life," said Hunter, sponsor of the resolution. "We must work together to inspire a movement to restore our inherent American value that all people deserve to live free of bigotry, hate and violence."

Illinois has the third largest concentration of Muslims in the United States with 500,000 people.

In Chicago, State Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins has the highest percentage of Muslim residents in the state.

"American and Illinois Muslims are our neighbors, our fellow citizens, our teachers, our doctors, our patterns in social justice and our friends," said Collins, a co-sponsor of the measure. "We take on hate today by declaring that fearing and excluding any group of people on the basis of their faith is un-American and wrong. It is a betrayal of our founding principles and better natures."

According to CIOGC, nearly one out of every four hate crimes with a religious bias takes place near a victim’s home, and 15.6 percent occurring in churches, synagogues, temples or mosques.

“Minority communities make valuable contributions in our state every day, and it’s important that no one in Illinois is discriminated against because of their race, religion or nationality,” said State Sen. Iris Y. Martinez, who is a chief co-sponsor.

Senate Resolution 1748 addresses the growing national rhetoric and worsening anti-religious hate crimes.

Click here for video.

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