January 28th, 2011 19:56 EST
Americans Should Support Freedom in Egypt, Muslim World
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on all people of conscience to contact their elected representatives to ask that they support freedom, democracy and the rule of law in Egypt and throughout the Muslim world. CAIR`s call comes as protesters seeking governmental reforms are clashing with security personnel throughout Egypt. Other protests are taking place in Tunisia, Yemen and other nations in the Middle East.
In a statement, CAIR said:
"All governments should reflect the will of the people and operate in an open and transparent manner. People must have the right to peaceful protest without intimidation or fear of attack by government forces. They must also have the right to communicate without interruption by government agencies.
"Recent events have demonstrated clearly that governmental reforms are long overdue throughout the region. Our own government can best assist this process of reform by working with the people to support freedom, justice and respect for human rights.
"We agree with Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Jim McGovern (D-MA), who today issued a statement that read in part: `We call on the Government of Egypt to stop using violence against its own people; allow the free flow of information over the Internet, phone networks and in the media; immediately release Mohamed ElBaradei and all others wrongly detained; and allow reforms toward a more democratic election process.
"We also support U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton`s demand that the Egyptian government end the use of violence against protesters and `engage immediately` with the Egyptian people on reforms."
CAIR noted that the executive director of its Chicago chapter is, in his personal capacity, on the ground in Egypt and blogging on the ongoing protests.
IMMEDIATE ACTIONS REQUESTED:
1) Contact your elected representatives, through: http://www.congress.org/
On the right-hand side of the page, enter your ZIP code. On the resulting page, click the names of your elected representatives. Click the "contact" tab on the resulting page for your officials` phone numbers.
You may also contact the Capitol Hill Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (have your Zip code ready).
2) Contact President Obama to express support for freedom and justice in the Middle East.
President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Copy to: email@example.com
3) Contact the State Department and ask for the relevant country "desk" such as the "Egypt Desk."
State Department Switchboard: 202-647-4000
4) Write editorials and letters to the editor based on the points in CAIR`s statement and submit them to your local newspaper or publish them on your blog, Twitter or Facebook account. Send copies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
5) Put your cell phone to good use. Call your friends and family members and ensure that they contact their elected officials. Act as a facilitator. You can enter their ZIP code into the congress.org website and help them get the phones numbers they need to call.