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Director’s Desk, August 14, 2014

From Jacob Bender
Executive Director, CAIR-Philadelphia

At ISD

On Friday, Aug. 8th, I joined CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Committee member Iftekhar Hussain at the Islamic Society of Delaware for jumah. Iftekhar gave a wonderful khutba on the theme of how Allah (SWT) requires us to respond to injustice in the world, which was much appreciated by the community in light of the events in Gaza this summer.

Following the khutba, I also addressed the community on the same theme, and specifically about the anger and sadness I feel as an American Jew watching Israel’s brutal attacks against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

At Newark DE Community Forum on Gaza

On Monday, Aug. 11th, I was one of the speakers (including Muslims, Christians, and Jews) at a Community Forum on the crisis in Gaza, organized by Prof. Muqtedar Khan of the University of Delaware, was held at the Tarbiyah Islamic School of Delaware. Read an article about the Forum (in which I am quoted).

On the Radio This Saturday Morning

I will be interviewed about the Gaza war this Saturday morning, Aug. 16th, at 8:40 AM, on EL Zol 1340 AM. Please tune in with your breakfast!

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Press Release: CAIR Reiterates Condemnation of ISIS Violence, Religious Extremism

(WASHINGTON, DC, 8/11/2104) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today reiterated its condemnation of the “un-Islamic and morally repugnant” violence and religious extremism of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In a statement, CAIR said:

“As we have stated previously, American Muslims view the actions of ISIS as both un-Islamic and morally repugnant. No interpretation of Islam condones the torture and murder of civilians, the destruction of churches and other houses of worship or the targeting of religious minorities.

“We reiterate our condemnation of the violent actions and religious extremism of ISIS and reject the false claim that it in any way represents mainstream Islamic thought or practice. ISIS’s actions are neither Islamic nor humane, they are simply insane.

“We applaud the humanitarian effort to assist those surrounded by ISIS extremists in Iraq and hope the compassion expressed for Iraqi civilians will lead to similar actions to alleviate the suffering of civilian populations of Gaza, Burma (Myanmar), Syria, and the Central African Republic.”

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, arubin@cair.com

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Guided by History, a Jew Tries to Unite Two Faiths Divided by War in Gaza

The New York Times
by Samuel G. Freedman
The New York Times

Shortly after the latest cease-fire expired in Gaza on Friday, Jacob Bender gingerly climbed the steps of the mimbar, the pulpit at the Islamic Society of Delaware here. A Jew in a mosque, his hands palpably quivering but his reedy voice steady, he read some brief comments to close the afternoon’s worship service, called Juma’a.

Mr. Bender offered both hope and censure, twinned: Muslims and Jews could still be “partners for peace and justice,” he said. Israel and Hamas bore shared responsibility for the current carnage, he added, and more hatred would lead to more violence, while love would lead to reconciliation. Read full article at NYTimes.com

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Thank You

Dear Friends and Supporters of CAIR-Philadelphia,

Asalaam Alaykum. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who donated this Ramadan to CAIR-Philadelphia. Your generous contributions will enable us to continue serving the Delaware Valley Muslim community with free legal services, educational and cultural programs that confront Islamophobia while empowering American Muslims, and media engagement.

Best regards and JazakAllah Khair,


Jacob Bender
Executive Director


Osama Al-Qasem
Executive Committee President

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Director’s Desk, August 6, 2014

From Jacob Bender
Executive Director, CAIR-Philadelphia

Mayor Michael Nutter Speaks About CAIR

In our last Newsletter, I reported on the opening of a photo exhibit at Philadelphia International Airport on the history of civil rights in Philadelphia at which Mayor Michael Nutter spoke both about CAIR and my own role as Executive Director.


See video of Mayor Nutter’s remarks Read more…

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