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U.S. Constitution 3, Trump 0

For the third time in less than 100 days, a court has prevented Trump and his administration from violating the U.S. Constitution.

This past week, Judge Orrick, a federal district judge in San Francisco, placed a temporary hold on Trump’s executive order that threatened to defund sanctuary cities. Sanctuary cities seek to reduce cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement to enhance public safety and foster positive relationships with immigrant communities.

The Trump administration repeatedly threatened to withhold all federal funds from cities that refuse to help federal immigration officials facilitate the deportation of immigrants, including law-abiding individuals that have lived in this country for decades and have families and jobs. In response, San Francisco and Santa Clara sued the federal government claiming that a president cannot withhold all federal funding from a city that refuses to abide by federal immigration law. Judge Orrick agreed with San Francisco, temporarily halting the order while the case is fully litigated in court. The judge stated that the constitution permits only congress to limit federal funding to the degree outlined in the executive order.

Lawyers for Trump’s administration argued in court that the executive order would not be used to wholly defund sanctuary cities. However, as was the case with Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0, the judge pointed to several comments made by Trump and his administration that completely contradicted those arguments. Judge Orrick stated “If there was doubt about the scope of the order, the president and attorney general have erased it with their public comments.”

CAIR-Philadelphia commends Judge Orrick for providing the necessary checks and balances on an administration that continues its efforts to trample upon the Constitution of the United States of America.

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Faith Climate Action Week: CAIR-PA co-hosting Spiritual Ecology event series and mobilizing for The People’s Climate March

With Earth Day around the corner, and the People’s Climate March just two weekends away, CAIR encourages our Muslim sisters and brothers throughout the Delaware Valley to join Faith Climate Action Week. Together with people of all faiths, we can be part of a global solution to the greatest challenge facing humanity on God’s great earth: climate change (and humanity’s own greed and waste).

CAIR-PA invites the wider Muslim community to a series of events on Spiritual Ecology that we’ve organized with faith leaders in Bethlehem, Trooper, and West Philadelphia this Earth Day weekend. Join us to learn what Islam teaches about the environment, living with a green-conscience, and what we must do to prevent global catastrophes resulting from climate change.

We are also excited to announce that Muslim-Americans have been asked to lead the Interfaith Contingent ahead of the People’s Climate March on Washington. Be sure to reserve your seat online (or by leaving a voicemail at 267-515-6713) to join CAIR’s bus to the march for an inspiring and historic Saturday. The bus will depart to Washington D.C. at approximately 8am on Saturday, April 29. Please arrive early to join us for breakfast at Philadelphia Masjid/Clara Muhammad School (47th St. and Wyalusing Ave, Philadelphia, PA). We will return after sunset, Insha’allah (at around 10pm). Recommended donations are $10-$20 per person to cover transportation costs, but are not required.

In addition, we encourage members to get involved with the wider ecological and climate movement, with many active groups and activities that help improve our environmental condition happening this week and beyond. Read more…

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Faith Climate Action Week & Event Series

Human-caused global warming has already begun causing worldwide suffering: extreme weather, drought, flooding, refugee crises, and the terror of warfare. Our Islam calls us to be a force of mercy for all of humanity and to protect God’s beautiful miracle of nature, preserving her purity and gaining benefit from her nourishment.

Over the long term, true justice on earth only exists with peace and sustainable economies. Without clean air, water, and earth, people become sick and hungry and there can be neither peace nor justice.

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, warned us to, “take care of the earth, verily she is your mother” (al-Mu’jam al-Kabir 5:65). In service to God, we are all earth’s keepers — khulafa, or stewards, of God’s beautiful earth. The virtue of earth stewardship long remains an important part of the Islamic tradition.

That’s why this month, CAIR-Philadelphia has teamed up with Green Muslims, Green Faith and Interfaith Power and Light to mobilize a nation-wide Muslim Contingency for the People’s Climate March on Washington, converging dressed in white with green signs on April 29 at 11am on the Western Steps of the U.S. Capitol Building (facing the Washington Monument). Read more…

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Director’s Desk – The Meaning of Passover 2017

By Jacob Bender
CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director

Jews around the world, and my family and I, are now celebrating the eight day-long holiday of Passover (peysakh in Hebrew), commonly known as “The Festival of Freedom.” Passover celebrates four themes or moments of redemption: the liberation of the earth from the harshness of winter; the liberation of the Hebrew slaves from their enslavement in Egypt; the freeing of humankind from idolatry and ignorance; and the personal and spiritual liberation of every human being from darkness and pain.

Passover begins with a festive meal known as the Seder, complete with ceremonial foods symbolizing the themes of the holiday: greens representing the coming of the Spring; bitter herbs representing the bitterness of slavery; salt water to represent the tears of our enslaved ancestors; an egg representing the coming of new life; matzah, unleavened flat bread which the slaves ate in their haste to leave Egypt; and khorosis, a sweet mixture of fruit and nuts representing the sweetness and joy of freedom. Read more…

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MEMPHIS + 49: Honoring Dr. King

Today, April 4th, 2017, marks 49 years since the assassination of one of America’s greatest faith leaders and civil rights advocates, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

One year before his death, Dr. King delivered a historic speech at The Riverside Church of New York that forever binds the peace movement with the movement for civil rights and social justice. [Listen to the speech (YouTube) and read the full text of the speech.]

He asked why the US was spending billions of dollars on wars in Southeast Asia, when millions of Americans lived in deep poverty. Dr. King reminded the world on that day that any “nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

In this same speech, Dr. King called for a “True Revolution of Values” where loving compassion for all humanity, not mere profit motives, would drive work and daily deeds. Only then can the root causes of social injustice — the evil triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism — be defeated.

Remembering Dr. King means making a commitment to bring peace and social justice to all of humankind. CAIR-Philadelphia urges you to participate in one or more of the following events and projects: Read more…

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