CAIR-Philadelphia Blog

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Why I Work for CAIR: A Letter from Executive Director Jacob Bender

As most of you know by now, I am not a Muslim. I spend my days, and many evenings, however, working for the nation’s preeminent Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. And so, since starting as CAIR-Philadelphia’s Executive Director in October 2013, I have been asked, and sometimes confronted, with the question: “Why would a… Read more…

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Director’s Desk, November 21, 2014

I had the pleasure of representing CAIR at several venues these past weeks. First, on Nov. 3, I gave a talk at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster. About 100 people (faculty, students, and community guests) turned out to hear my talk about my experiences working for one of the leading institutions in the American Muslim community.

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Director’s Desk, October 27, 2014

I will be speaking about CAIR and Muslim-Christian-Jewish relations at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA on Monday evening, Nov. 3. I will also be screening my documentary film, “Out of Cordoba,” at New African Center on Friday night, Nov. 14.

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Director’s Desk: At the Climate March

This past Sunday, Sept. 21, I was privileged to join over 400,000 of my fellow human beings in the largest demonstration in history to warn of the dangers of climate change to future life on earth.

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Director’s Desk, August 14, 2014

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.

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Director’s Desk, August 6, 2014

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…

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Director’s Desk, July 10, 2014

Opening of Airport Exhibit Last week, Katera Moore, CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Committee Member, and I had the honor to be invited guests at the official opening of an exhibit at the Philadelphia International Airport called “Civil Rights in Philadelphia” that includes a photograph of a CAIR-Philadelphia action.

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Director’s Desk, June 23, 2014

On Sunday, June 15, I was one of the speakers at an all-day Symposium at Masjidullah on the theme of “The Muslim American Community: Our Legacy and Our Destiny.”

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Director’s Desk, June 12, 2014

Last week I travelled to Harrisburg to represent CAIR at the “Annual Connections Event” of the CRN-Community Responders Network, a coalition of local religious and secular leaders “who seek to build a more inclusive community by preventing and responding to acts of bias and intolerance in Central Pennsylvania.” The organization was started in 2008 following an incident that targeted a local Muslim family, and concerned individuals from different faith communities came together to stand with their Muslim neighbors.

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Director’s Desk, May 27, 2014

CAIR’s mission is to provide legal services to the Muslim American community in matters of job discrimination and government abuse, whether related to security or immigration issues, as well to combat Islamophobia and educate the American public about Islam and Muslims. Consequently, CAIR deals almost exclusively with domestic issues, except when foreign issues become part of the domestic Islamophobic discourse, and therefore impact the public’s perception about Muslims in general.

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