One of only 1 percent of non-Christians in the General Assembly, N.C. Rep. Nasif Majeed, D-District 99, believes the public service he gives to the people of North Carolina is tied more to the good of society than to religion.
In light of the recent attacks in two mosques in New Zealand, Majeed is taking action in the legislature by introducing House Bill 312, or the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, on March 11. The bill would increase the penalty for hate crimes from a misdemeanor to a felony, create and maintain a statewide statistics database on hate crimes, provide training for law enforcement to recognize and respond to hate crimes and provide greater training for district attorneys on how to prosecute hate crimes.
“I’m an elected official, and I have served many years in the city of Charlotte, and my service was linked to the people and being a representative for the people," he said. "My religion, I just happen to be a Muslim."
He said during his eight years on the Charlotte City Council, most of the members would give an inclusive prayer that he could relate to and take part in. He said many legislators who have given the prayer in the House have also been inclusive.
“I would say there have been some people who have some exceptions, where they would say, ‘In Jesus Christ’s name we pray,’ and that prayer is not inclusive for me,” he said. “I guess they have a right to say that, but the majority of people have said prayers in the name of God, ‘In God’s name we pray,' and I can really appreciate that.”