Plainfield, Indiana - Azhar Azeez, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), with the compliance of Hamtramck, Michigan, stated he is planning on changing the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance to replace “under God” with “under Allah, praise be unto Him” during ISNA’s annual national convention.
The Pledge of Allegiance as we know it today has been around since 1954. First written in 1892, it has gone through two edits; the first to include the phrase “the Flag of the United States of America,” and the second added the ever controversial “under God.”
ISNA is pushing it’s edit of the Pledge because it aligns with the Muslim community’s religious view. Azeez denounced it’s current iteration during his speech.
“This change was never meant to be politicized. Simply put, it aligns with our goal to to be an exemplary and unifying Islamic organization in North America that contributes to the betterment of the Muslim community and society at large." said Azeez during the convention, regarded as the largest gathering of American Muslims in the United States.
“The Muslim population of the United States has been nothing but supporting of the American people, bringing virtue, morality, and graciousness into every community. It is time we receive recognition, recognition we and the Muslim religion so rightfully deserve,” declared Azzez, as the crowd cheered on in support.
The change to the Pledge of Allegiance will first be voted on in March in the city of Hamtramck, Michigan. If the Pledge’s edit does pass, it will be issued the following school year to every public school across the city. It seems, though, that there is very little that can be done to stop Azeez and ISNA.
In late 2015, Hamtramck, Michigan made news because it was the first city to elect a Muslim city council, consisting of a Muslim major and 4 Muslim city council members, of the six. Going back a decade, Hamtramck was dominated by Polish Catholics but in 2013 has turned into the first United States city to have a Muslim-majority population.
The city’s muslim roots, however, date back to 2004 when the city council gave permission to a mosque to broadcast its prayers from the speakers on its roof, a decision that angered the city residents, who called it “an intrusion of Islamic practice onto a public space.” Ever since then, it has become a sort of sanctuary for people of Muslim descent.
The new Pledge of Allegiance will read;
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under Allah, praise be unto Him, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Following Azeez’s speech, members of the city had two very different reactions to the news.
ISNA expects their new Pledge of Allegiance to be instilled in other Muslim communities around the US in 2018, following the result of Hamtramck.