The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the nation’s largest American Muslim civil society umbrella organization, today announced the successful completion of the 8th Annual Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.
More than 500 American Muslim delegates from 20+ states traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with more than 200 congressional offices in the U.S. House and Senate over three days, from Monday, June 12 to Wednesday, June 14.
Muslim delegates from across the nation visited the offices of their respective members of Congress, fostering meaningful dialogues on crucial issues impacting the Muslim American community. The primary focus of these meetings was to promote:
The House and Senate cosponsorship of Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) Combating International Islamophobia Act;
The House and Senate cosponsorship of Representative Andre Carson (D-IN) and Senator Cory Booker’s soon-to-be-reintroduced “Muslim-American Heritage Month” resolution celebrating the heritage and culture of American Muslim; and,
Advocate for greater congressional oversight and reform of the unconstitutional and discriminatory federal terrorism watchlist.
The Washington Center for Yemeni Studies (WCYS) also participated in the three-day advocacy event, hosting on Wednesday WCYS’s 1st Annual Yemen Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. WCYS brought almost 100 Yemeni Americans to promote greater awareness and congressional understanding of the war in Yemen and the need for holistic U.S. understanding and engagement, balanced pressure, supporting good governance, and greater diplomatic engagement.
In a statement, USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal said:
“This year’s National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill demonstrates the united and steadfast commitment of the American Muslim community to actively participate in shaping policies that reflect our shared values of justice, equality, and inclusion. We are proud to have surpassed all previous records in terms of attendance and congressional engagement.
“USCMO would like to extend its gratitude to all the participants, community leaders, and congressional offices that made this event a resounding success. Their dedication and commitment to civic engagement exemplify the values of democracy and active citizenship.”
In a statement, Chair of the USCMO National Muslim Advocacy Day Steering Committee and CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw said:
“National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill provides a growing and invaluable platform for American Muslims to directly engage with their elected representatives, fostering understanding and cooperation. By amplifying our voices on issues such as combating Islamophobia, recognizing the history and accomplishments of American Muslims, and addressing the government’s unconstitutional watchlisting practices we strive to build a more inclusive and just society for all.”
In addition to the series of meetings with members of Congress, USCMO partnered with Poligon Education Fund to organize a comprehensive policy and advocacy training session on Monday morning at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center’s auditorium. This training equipped participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively engage in policy discussions and advocate for their community’s interests.
Throughout the week, Muslim delegates operated out of the Rayburn House Office Building, ensuring a central location for coordinated efforts in engaging with Congress. This strategic approach allowed for efficient communication and collaboration among attendees, enabling them to maximize their impact during the 8th Annual Muslim Advocacy Day.