(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/19/2015) — Some 330 delegates from more than 28 states are scheduled to meet this week with 225 elected officials and congressional staffers during the “record-breaking” second National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
The lobbying effort, the largest congressional Muslim advocacy event in the country, is sponsored by theÂ US Council of Muslim OrganizationsÂ (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local American Muslim organizations.
Last year, 280 Muslim delegates from 20 states met with 200 congressional offices.
Muslim delegates participating in this yearâ€™s Muslim hill day event are scheduled to meet with a third of the House of Representatives and almost half of the Senate.
Participants posted photos and commentary about National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill on social media using the hashtag #MuslimHillDay.
â€œThis advocacy day is taking place during a challenging year as Islamophobia is increasing,â€ said Nihad Awad, national executive director for the USCMO member organization the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). â€œAmerican Muslims are affirming their commitment to civic engagement in order to make sure their voices are heard on important issues.â€
â€œAmerican Muslims have demonstrated their commitment to civic participation and support for social justice during this record-breaking advocacy efforts,â€ said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. â€œWe look forward to an even greater turnout at next yearâ€™s advocacy day.â€
On Monday, USCMO hosted a civic engagement and congressional advocacy training seminar for Muslim delegates in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room. Later that day, members of Congress and staff joined hill day participations for an evening reception.
National Muslim Advocacy Day delegates are promoting a legislative agenda in support of equality and social justice, and will outline the domestic priorities of the American Muslim community, including:
Support for House and Senate resolutions recognizing and condemning Islamophobia.Support legislation that enables individuals to build a credit history without taking on credit debt.Support legislation that promotes greater access to fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthful whole foods in impoverished areas.Address American Muslim community concerns regarding the oversight, management and approach of federal Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs.
While some key figures and groups within the inner-core of the American Islamophobia network attempted to derail the event by asking congressional offices to cancel already-scheduled meetings â€“ the Muslim hill day continued without any meeting cancelations.
Founding members of USCMO: American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed).