Indian Cultural Association of Howard County sends a letter to the County Council in opposition to the appointment of Sabina Taj to the Board of Library Trustees

It is not real often that you see significant opposition to pending appointments before the Howard county Council. I have seen it…but again…it does not happen often. There has been a number of social media posts recently about the pending appointment of Sabina Taj to the Board of Library Trustees in Howard County.

The Indian Cultural Association of Howard County, Maryland recently posted this letter on social media:

INDIAN CULTURAL ASSOCIATION
July 26th, 2021

Via email
Members of the County Council
Howard County, MD

Re: Council Resolution 117-2021

RESOLUTION confirming the appointment of Sabina Taj to the Board of Library Trustees

Dear County Council Members,

Ms. Sabina Taj has been nominated for a Trustee position with the Howard County Library System. We STRONGLY OBJECT to this appointment. Ms. Taj is a divisive figure who foments division in our community, as opposed to working to bring our diverse communities together. She has exhibited strong religious bias to the detriment of non-Muslims.

In 2019, ICA had arranged movie nights, a showing of four “Bollywood” movies in partnership with Clarksville Commons, as a part ICA’s community engagement activity. When Ms. Sabina Taj learned of our initiative, she immediately insisted that the Howard County Muslim Council pick 2 of the 4 movies ICA intended to show.

Sabina Taj “strongly suggests that we connect with the Howard County Muslim Council and either invite them to pick 2 of the 4 movies or at least ask for their guiding input as you pick the 4″… “Sabina explained that Hindu Indians and Muslim Indians…”

We were appalled that Ms. Sabina Taj INJECTED RELIGION into a fun, community-building event. ICA had selected movies without any regard to race or religion. Bollywood movies are mostly song-and-dance Romcoms or Family Dramas. The biggest Bollywood actors in India are Muslim and three of the four movies chosen by ICA had Muslim leads. Ms. Taj’s Muslim-centric stance (to the detriment of all others) disqualifies her for any public office.

Anyone who tries to divide us into Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, etc. takes us in the wrong direction. This tears at the social and cultural fabric of our community.

It is notable that Ms. Sabina Taj was a public servant when she attempted to impose her religious prejudice(s) upon Howard County residents. We believe that because of Sabina Taj’s advocacy for a religious organization, she has disqualified herself from holding any public office, especially one which potentially impacts Howard County children so profoundly.

We object to Ms. Sabina Taj’s appointment to the Howard County Library System’s Board of Trustees and urge you to VOTE NO to Ms. Taj’s appointment.

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Here are the images of the letter shared online:

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9,243 people like and 9,519 people follow the Indian Cultural Association of Howard County, Maryland on Facebook.

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This is not the only opposition to this appointment I have seen…but I have also seen support from some community members for Sabina Taj in regards to the appointment. (See recent written testimony here)

My understanding is that this pending appointment will be addressed (voted on) on September 8th.

Section 209(c) of the County Charter states that resolutions for appointments shall not be adopted less than 25 days after introduction. The resolutions listed below were introduced July 6th and will be included in the September 8th Legislative Session for Final Consideration.

The September 8th meeting (Wednesday, September 8 at 7pm) should be an in-person meeting for the community so it will be interesting to see if community members attend that meeting on this issue.

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Scott E

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