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CAIR: American Muslims Stand with Jewish Community After Kansas Shootings

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/13/12) –- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said today that American Muslims stand in solidarity with the Jewish community after a man who reportedly shouted “Heil Hitler” opened fire at a Jewish community center and an old-age home in Overland Park, Kan.

SEE: 3 Killed in Shootings at Kansas Jewish Community Center and Senior Home

In its statement, CAIR said:

“American Muslims join their fellow citizens in standing in solidarity with the American Jewish community in condemning this deadly hate attack and in offering condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured. We are saddened by this vicious act of hatred. Americans of all faiths must join together to reject the kind of extremist ideologies that can lead to such inexcusable and unconscionable acts.”

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CAIR-Philadelphia in today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Brandeis Cancels Plan to Give Honorary Degree to Rights Advocate, a Critic of Islam” (news article, April 9):

The Council on American-Islamic Relations welcomes Brandeis University’s cancellation of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an activist with a long record of vicious anti-Islam statements, some of which are quoted in your article. Honoring Ms. Hirsi Ali would have been an insult to the legacy of Justice Louis D. Brandeis and his great defense of religious freedom and civil liberties.

We should all take note, however, that opposition to the honorary degree for Ms. Hirsi Ali did not come only from the Muslim community, but also from Jewish students and faculty members at Brandeis, one of America’s great Jewish-sponsored institutions of higher learning.

The lesson here is that those committed to a nation and a world of justice and peace can accomplish wonders when working together across different communities. This is in keeping with the values of pluralism, compassion and human dignity enshrined within both Islam and Judaism.

JACOB BENDER
Exec. Director, Philadelphia Chapter
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Philadelphia, April 9, 2014

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SCAM ALERT: Beware of false IRS requests!

There is currently a nationwide scam targeting Muslims with calls from people falsely claiming to be IRS agents to obtain sensitive information or demand money. The fake agents claim that money is owed and threaten dire consequences, including arrest, if it is not paid — sometimes asking the community member to transfer the money while the scammer is still on the phone.

ACTIONS REQUESTED:

If you receive a phone call from someone who claims to be an IRS agent or other government employee, please:

  • REFUSE. Do not give any information to the caller or send any money. If they leave a message, do not return their call.
  • RECORD. Ask the person for their contact information, and tell him or her your lawyer will be in contact.
  • REPORT. Tell CAIR-Philadelphia about the incident by calling 215-592-0509.
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A letter to CAIR-Philadelphia’s Friends and Supporters

Asalaam Alaykum. As you read in our last newsletter, our 2014 Annual Banquet was a huge success, and we continue to hear overwhelmingly positive feedback about the banquet program.

Due to the community’s generosity, we raised over $170,000 in donations and pledges at the banquet. Although this was a great start, this amount only covers about half of our ambitious annual budget. If you did not attend this year’s banquet, now is your opportunity to help CAIR help you, as well as the entire Muslim community, with daring and innovative programs, described below, as well as in our forthcoming Annual Report (available online in the beginning of May).

To donate, simply click the button below, or send a check to the office today.

Thank you,


Osama Al-Qasem
President


Sally Selim
Banquet Chair

Donate Now

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Director’s Desk, April 3, 2014

jacob-picIslam and Climate Change

I was very excited that Imam Zaid Shakir, Co-Director of Zaytuna College in Berkeley, CA, and the keynote speaker at our Annual Banquet on March 15, devoted the first few minutes of his inspirational talk to the subject of climate change. For those new to the discussion of faith-based responses to this issue, the subject of climate might seem like an odd choice for a banquet presentation, and perhaps a not especially Islamic question.

It was the opinion of Imam Zaid, as well as other contemporary Muslim scholars I have read in the last few years, that far from being irrelevant, climate change is the single greatest challenge facing humankind, and a profoundly Islamic issue for the following reasons. (To read an article on Islam and climate change, click here).

First, numerous Muslim scholars have made the case that the Quran and Hadith see humans as temporary caretakers of God’s creations.

“And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is one the earth.” (4:131)

We are not the world’s masters; we are its guardians.

“Do not allow any change to corrupt what Allah has thus created.” (30:29) “It is Allah who has appointed your guardians on the earth…” (6:165)

Today, the international scientific consensus is that the planet is facing an unprecedented challenge due to climate change caused by human activity, namely, the over-reliance on fossil fuel as the world’s primary energy source, and the unsustainable and wasteful economies that follow from the industrial world’s energy policies. Read more…

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