(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/8/2014) -- CAIR is urging American Muslim voters to take advantage of the August recess of Congress, during which elected officials return to their home districts, to schedule meeting on important issues such as your tax dollars being used to pay for Israel's killing of more than 1900 people, mainly civilians, in Gaza. (NOTE: Congress is back in session on September 8.)
SEE: A Boy at Play in Gaza, an Israeli Missile, a Mourning Family (NY Times)
Israel's Supporters Try to Come to Terms With the Killing of Children in Gaza (NY Times)
Netanyahu Asks US to Help Israel Avoid War Crime Charges (NY Post)
We have seen that the main support for Israel's killing campaign in Gaza is coming from Congress. That is where the real change in our nation's policy toward the conflict will occur. For meetings with elected officials, you will need facts to refute the pro-Israel talking points that they will have already been given.
SEE: Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza - Debunked
War on Gaza - Debunking the Myths
The Truth Behind Israeli and Palestinian Talking Points
Debunking Israel's 11 Main Myths About Gaza, Hamas and War Crimes
Seven "Deadly Lies" about Gaza
No matter what civic issue concerns you the most, speaking directly to the officials who represent you in Washington, D.C., is more conducive to change than dinner table discussions.
Members of the House and Senate are now in their home districts for the annual summer recess and it is important for all people of conscience to schedule in-district meetings or attend town halls.
Scheduling in-district meetings is a great opportunity to meet with your members of Congress, face-to-face, in your own political backyard. It is also a lot cheaper than flying out to Washington, D.C.
CAIR's Civic Participation Handbook has concise and easy-to-follow instructions to guide you through the process. Step-by-step advice includes "Setting Up a Meeting with a Member of Congress" and "Ensuring an Effective Meeting with a Member of Congress," "Elected Official Meeting Planning Sheet," "Tips for Calling a Congressional Office," and "Elected Official Meeting Report."
Community leaders are encouraged to hold candidate forums for those running for public office at which Muslim voters may ask questions of those seeking public office.
Also, consider hosting one of CAIR's government relations experts to conduct a civic participation training in your community.
To request a CAIR speaker (Type "civic training" in the subject line.), go to: http://www.cair.com/american-muslims/request-a-speaker.html
CAIR chapters nationwide have so far collected more than 26,000 letters signed by members of the community urging elected officials to demand an end to the Israeli attacks on Gaza that left more than 1900 people – mainly civilian – death and many thousands wounded.
CAIR also launched a new community service called "CAIR Connects" designed to enable American Muslims to share their concerns about important foreign policy issues with their elected representatives. In its first "CAIR Connects" alert, the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, wrote: "This alert is provided to allow you an opportunity to communicate your concerns regarding the current crisis in Gaza to your elected officials. Please take a few moments to compose your e-mail and it will be delivered to congressional staff."