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SCAM ALERT: Beware of spoof calls from “NYPD” requesting information

Our office has been informed of a scam targeting Muslims with calls from people falsely claiming to be New York Police Department officials attempting to obtain sensitive information from community members. The fake “officials” have asked personal questions regarding birthplace and citizenship status and also made threats that the community member’s immigration status may be in danger.

The NYPD has confirmed to CAIR-Philadelphia that their phone number has been “spoofed” to contact individuals unlawfully.

ACTION REQUESTED

If you receive a phone call with the ID “NYPD” or from anyone claiming to be a police/government official and asking questions about your immigration status, please:

  • Do not give any information to the caller or send any money. If they leave a message, do not return their call.
  • Ask the person for their contact information, and tell him or her your lawyer will be in contact.
  • Tell CAIR-Philadelphia about the incident by calling 267-515-6712.
  • Share this message with your contacts.
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Recent Legal Victories

Bensalem Masjid Case

As many of you already know, CAIR-Philadelphia has filed a lawsuit against Bensalem Township for prohibiting the construction of a masjid. On July 21, 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) also filed suit against Bensalem Township, echoing our claims of discrimination and injustice. Only under extraordinary circumstances does the DOJ file lawsuits against Municipalities. The mere fact of their involvement speaks volumes about the egregiousness of Bensalem’s conduct against the Bensalem Masjid and their broader policies regarding places of worship. We are currently awaiting a judge’s decision as to whether our case will be joined with the DOJ.

We applaud the DOJ’s commitment to protect the religious rights of Muslims. It is a welcome relief to see the United States government work with its Muslim population to ensure equal rights.

Philadelphia Public Pool Case

It was brought to our attention that a Muslim mother was facing harassment and discrimination when accompanying her children to various Philadelphia public pools. The mother wore her traditional Islamic attire to the pool, as she had no intention of entering the pool, and her children were wearing Islamic bathing suits made from traditional swimwear material. The mother was prohibited from entering several Philadelphia pools in her Islamic attire, and staff would harass and interrogate her children concerning the appropriateness of their bathing suits.

CAIR-Philadelphia teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA), to inform the city that this conduct violates state and federal law, and demanded a change in policy. We are happy to report that the city agreed to implement a policy that conforms to state and federal religious freedom laws.

To the city’s credit, they were apologetic and cooperative in adopting a new policy. It is now the policy of Philadelphia pools to permit a parent who is accompanying their children to the pool to wear street attire on the pool deck.

Megabus Case

Last month a group of Muslim honors students were rewarded with a trip to New York City. While en route to New York City, a Megabus driver continually accused the children of being too loud and boisterous, despite the fact that none of the children were making any noise. These accusations were so blatantly false that several passengers, unaffiliated with the students, assured the driver that the children were not being disruptive. The driver went so far as to attempt to photograph several of the children. One chaperone called the police, who met them upon arrival at New York City.

CAIR-Philadelphia wrote a letter to Megabus informing management of the driver’s conduct and highlighted Megabus’ own non-discrimination policy. (Because the children were not denied service, as they were taken to New York City, there is no legal cause of action.)

Megabus investigated the incident and reprimanded the driver accordingly. In addition, they agreed to reimburse the group the price of their tickets. Read Megabus’ response letter (PDF).

These legal victories are further evidence of CAIR’s invaluable service to the Muslim community of the Greater Delaware Valley.

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Report from Islamophobia Town Hall and Press Conference

This past Sunday evening, CAIR-Philadelphia, American Friends Service Committee, and Jewish Voice for Peace hosted a town hall meeting on “Countering Islamophobia” at the Friends Center in Philadelphia. In attendance were more than 200 community members, local leaders, and Democratic delegates from around the country.

Speakers at the event included Jacob Bender (CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director); Keith Harvey (Regional Director, AFSC); State Representative Jason Dawkins; Nihad Awad (Executive Director, CAIR National); US Representative Keith Ellison; Linda Sarsour (Executive Director, Arab American Association of New York); Donna Nevel (Network Against Islamophobia, Jewish Voice for Peace); Raed Jarrar (Government Relations Manager, AFSC); and The Rev. Dr. David D. Grafton (Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia).

A musical interlude was provided by Al-Bustan Music Director Hanna Khoury.

View recorded video on Facebook | Photos on Flickr

On Monday morning, CAIR-Philadelphia held a press conference to follow up on the issues raised at the town hall meeting in relation to the ongoing Democratic National Convention and to urge the Convention to adopt a platform that focuses on civil rights, refugees, policing reforms, economic equality, and the climate crisis.

Speakers included Jacob Bender, Nihad Awad, Nick Taliaferro (900AM-WURD radio host, pastor and longtime public servant), Oussama Jammal (US Council of Muslim Organizations), Nancy Fuchs Kreimer (Reconstructionist Rabbinical College), Reverend David Tatgenhorst (St. Luke United Methodist Church), Rabbi Shawn Zevit (Mishkan Shalom), Jameelah Malik (Maryland activist), and Ijaz Chaudhry, Esq. (representing the Bensalem-area Muslim community).

View recorded video on Facebook

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CAIR to Urge Dems to Focus on Civil Rights, Refugees, Policing Reforms at Philadelphia Convention

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 7/21/16) – The Philadelphia Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is sponsoring two major events during the week of the DNC to urge the Convention to adopt a platform that focuses on civil rights, refugees, policing reforms, economic equality, and the climate crisis.

Countering Islamophobia Town Hall

WHEN: Sunday, July 24, 6-9 p.m.
WHERE: The Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
WHAT: On Sunday, July 24, CAIR-Philadelphia, together with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Jewish Voice for Peace, will host a town hall meeting on “Countering Islamophobia.” Speakers at the town hall will include Rep. Keith Ellison, (D-MN); CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad; Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York; Kameelah M. Rashad, Muslim chaplain at University of Pennsylvania; Raed Jarrar, government relations manager at AFSC; Donna Nevel of the Network Against Islamophobia, Jewish Voice for Peace; and Rev. Dr. David D. Grafton of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia

CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender, 917-660-3805, jbender@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

Muslim and Interfaith News Conference to coincide with the opening of the DNC

WHEN: Monday, July 25, 10 a.m.
WHERE: The Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
WHAT: Interfaith and Muslim Press Conference to focus on advancing Muslim and progressive agendas.
CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender, 917-660-3805, jbender@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

CAIR recently held a news conference at the site of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, to challenge the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim stance of the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump and of other party officials and representatives. (See video)

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender, 917-660-3805, jbender@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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Don’t Miss Our Town Hall on Countering Islamophobia + Philadelphia DNC Events

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