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Director’s Desk: Now More Than Ever

by Jacob Bender CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director (Wednesday evening, Nov. 9) These are moments I will remember forever: the eerie hush in this morning’s subway car, the only sound that of grown men and women sobbing. Whispered phrases float through the train: “This is worse than 9/11.” Silence.

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Fifty Years Ago. Reflections on Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize and the 50th Anniversary of the Film “The Battle of Algiers”

by Jacob Bender Executive Director, CAIR-Philadelphia I awoke yesterday morning to hear the news on the radio that Bob Dylan had been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. To many in the post-war baby boomer generation, I am sure this news was met with near-rapturous joy, as it was by me. Dylan’s words and… Read more…

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Director’s Desk: The Obligation to Vote

by Jacob Bender, Executive Director The Battle for the Ballot The right of all American citizens to vote for president and other elected officials has taken us as a nation over 200 years after the founding of the United States to achieve. The story of American democracy is the story of the expansion of the… Read more…

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Director’s Desk: What Are Muslim Lives Worth?

By Jacob Bender, Executive Director Nearly one week ago, three gunmen wearing suicide vests killed 44 people and wounded at least 239 in an attack on Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul. According to the latest information released by the Turkish Government, the three attackers were Russian, Uzbek, and Kyrgyz nationals, each with ties to ISIS. Though… Read more…

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Director’s Desk: Muhammad Ali and Me

By Jacob Bender CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director I saw him in person once. It was during his exile from the ring, after his championship title had been stripped from him by the white establishment that controlled the sport. But to the African American community, he was still “The Greatest,” and in summer of 1967, Muhammad Ali… Read more…

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Director’s Desk: Trump and “America First”

By Jacob Bender, Executive Director This past Tuesday, April 26, Donald Trump won all five Republican primaries held on that day, and emerged as the presumptive candidate of his party for President of the United States. The following day, basking in his victories, Trump delivered a speech at the Center for the American Interest in… Read more…

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Director’s Desk: Blood Libels, Trump, and How to Oppose Islamophobia

By Jacob Bender, Executive Director My aunt was blind in one eye. When she was a child in Czarist Russia, anti-Semitic gangs rode through the Jewish village where she lived, burning and shooting. A sliver of glass went into her eye. The reason for this destruction: a local child had gone missing, and the Christian… Read more…

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Director’s Desk: Reflection on the Two Eids Campaign

January 29, 2016 by Jacob Bender Sixty-two years ago, in the landmark case of Brown vs Board of Education, a unanimous Supreme Court of the United States ruled that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional. Separate educational facilities, the Court said, “were inherently unequal.” The ruling paved the… Read more…

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Director’s Desk: Remembering Dr. King

by Jacob Bender When I was 12 years old, my parents took me to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak at an outdoor rally for civil rights in the Watts section of Los Angeles. We were some of the very few white folks in the crowd. I can still remember the eloquent words pouring… Read more…

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Director’s Desk: Responding to Hate

Governor Tom Wolf signs “The Pledge to Combat Bigotry.” Marwan Kreidie (seated at right) and Jacob Bender (standing at right) were in attendance. By Jacob Bender CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Last Wednesday, September 30, I travelled to Harrisburg with a group organized by the Arab American Institute (AAI) in Washington, DC and Marwan Kreidie, an AAI… Read more…

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