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Advocacy Update: March on Harrisburg

It has been over two months since a courageous group of March on Harrisburg activists embarked from Philadelphia to a 105-mile political pilgrimage to the Pennsylvania Statehouse to demand real reform with three pro-democracy and anti-corruption bills: automatic voter registration, non-partisan redistricting to end gerrymandering, and a ban of legalized bribery.

As we traveled by foot, we educated people along the way and met with legislators in their in-district offices. We held rallies in small-town public squares and held panels with journalists and other guest speakers, making new friends and allies in the striving for a good government that serves us better.

Upon arrival in Harrisburg, activists and volunteers delivered hundreds of hand-written letters and postcards to dozens of State representatives. Then we committed to three days of nonviolent civil disobedience, which upped the political pressure and gained the attention and admiration (or frustration!) of many at the Pennslyvania Statehouse. Read more…

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Church lecture series explores Muslim culture and faith

by John W. Coleman
Eastern PA Conference of the United Methodist Church

That which is, is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out? I turned my mind to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the sum of things… Ecclesiastes 7:24-25a (NRSV)

Grove UMC in West Chester, Pa., offers an Adult Forum on Sundays that reaches beyond the usual Bible study and Sunday school to serve inquiring minds who seek to understand “the sum of things.” Indeed, the church went deeper in that quest this year by examining a topic that may seem “far off” but is very close to home: the history, faith and culture of Muslim people.

Many American Christians recognize the importance of learning about Muslim faith and culture; but that recognition is not as widespread as it should be. Iftekhar Hussain, a Muslim U.S. citizen and business consultant born in Bangladesh, and Chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Pennsylvania, has worked for 15 years to expand awareness among willing learners. Also a member of the Philadelphia CAIR’s executive committee, he teaches in churches, synagogues, mosques, schools and other settings throughout our region, always offering his knowledge and insight at no cost. Read full article at EPAUMC.org

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Jacob Bender in Tempo magazine (Indonesian)

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CAIR-Philadelphia Issues Travel Alert To Pennsylvania Muslims After Supreme Court Reinstates Parts of President Trump’s Muslim Ban

(PHILADELPHIA, PA – 6/27/2017) — The Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today responded to the Supreme Court’s partial reinstatement of the Muslim Ban by issuing a travel alert to Pennsylvania Muslims, as well as local businesses and schools, with connections to citizens of the six targeted Muslim-majority nations: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Jacob Bender, Executive Director of CAIR-Philadelphia, said: “As a civil rights organization, CAIR has great respect for the judicial system of the United States, and notes with approval that three lower courts suspended President Trump’s ‘Muslim Travel Ban’ and questioned its constitutionality. And without assigning any racial or religious animus to the SCOTUS judges themselves, we believe that the Supreme Court overlooked the broader atmosphere of anti-Muslim bigotry in the nation and the failed to consider, as did the lower courts, the President’s contribution to the current Islamophobic climate.” Read more…

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Updated Travel Advisory

Assalamu Alaikum, Brothers and Sisters,

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States allowed parts of President Trump’s Muslim Ban to take effect on a temporary basis, while blocking other parts of the Ban. The Supreme Court plans to make a final decision about the case later this year.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about how this development may impact you, your family, your education or your business in regard to the six targeted countries: Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, Libya, and Yemen. Read more…

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