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Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill
NJ Muslim Delegation Meets Congressman Donald Payne
NJ Muslim Delegation Meets Congressman Leonard Lance
2016 CAIR National Council Meeting
If a presidential candidate really wanted to keep American families safe, which threat would he focus on more: a), the one that has resulted in over 150,000 Americans being killed over the last 15 years on U.S. soil; or b), the one that has killed fewer than 50 Americans?
I’m going to bet that most would say the threat that has taken over 150,000 American lives including thousands of children. That threat, of course, is gun violence. In 2015 alone, 13,286 Americans were killed by firearms and over 25,000 were wounded.
Donald Trump, however, doesn’t want to talk gun violence. But he loves to talk about the danger posed by Muslim terrorism, which literally has resulted in zero American deaths in 2016 on U.S. soil. (The San Bernardino terror attack was in 2015.) In contrast, gun violence in 2016 has already claimed over 5,000 lives, including 219 children under eleven years old.
For years the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been challenging the anti-Muslim hate spewed by the likes of Donald Trump, Pam Geller, and Frank Gaffney by taking an earnest, serious approach to the issue grounded on facts. (Not that the bigots care about facts.) But now CAIR is trying a new weapon: comedy.
That’s why on Wednesday, CAIR’s national office unveiled a humorous approach to counter anti-Muslim bigotry centered on the product they created named “ISLAMOPHOBIN.” Think an anti-anxiety drug designed for people freaked out at the slightest sight or mention of Muslims. (That’s basically about 70 percent of GOP primary voters.)
Jersey City public schools will be closed to students one day this September for the Muslim holy day Eid al-Adha, with the school board last night voting unanimously to add the holiday to the school calendar.
The vote came during a four-hour meeting during which some speakers compared the fight to win the school holiday to the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.
"On behalf of the Muslim community, we made history," said Jessica Abdelnabbi, a Muslim mother of three who pushed for the district to close for the holiday. "My children will not be excluded."
Jersey City joins other districts around the state, including in Paterson, Trenton and Atlantic City, by officially recognizing Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice.
Some 330 delegates from more than 28 states met 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, was sponsored by the US Council of Muslim Organizations (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 year’s Muslim hill day event were scheduled to meet with a third of the House of Representatives and almost half of the Senate.
The New Jersey delegation consisted of 17 members and were able to visit 10 of the 12 members of the Congressional delegation representing New Jersey.
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 – 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).
This is election season and as Muslims we cannot afford to sit on the sidelines. We have a civic obligation to vote. Your vote can make a difference. Remember just because you may not take an interest in politics, it doesn't mean that politics won't take an interest in you. You can choose who gets to the White House. The date for the New Jersey primary is June 7. The deadline for registration for the New Jersey primary election is May 17. The deadline for the general election registration is October 18. Click on the New Jersey Muslim Voters Project (NJMVP) below to register.