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Mayor Nutter Recognizes Contributions of CAIR and Muslims to Philadelphia

Dear Friends and Supporters of CAIR-Philadelphia,

As-Salamu-Alaikum. As this Sacred Month comes to a close, CAIR-Philadelphia and I wish you and your family a Ramadan Kareem. I pray that all your prayers and wishes will be accepted by Allah (SWT).

CAIR-Philadelphia was honored to be included in an exhibition at the Philadelphia International Airport on the history of civil rights in Philadelphia. The exhibition, in Terminal A, includes a photograph illustrating CAIR’s fight against Islamophobia. We were represented at the recent VIP opening ceremony for the exhibition by our Executive Director Jacob Bender and EC Member Katera Moore. In his remarks at the opening ceremony at the airport, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter extensively praised the contributions of CAIR to the ongoing struggle to protect the civil rights of all the city’s religious and ethnic communities. Read more…

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A few minutes of your time will help American Muslims

Dear Friends and Supporters of CAIR-Philadelphia,

As-salam Alaikum,

We are planning a campaign to expand awareness of healthcare information and healthcare-related rights, as well as to educate medical providers as to cultural and religious issues that may arise in treating Muslims. To determine the content of the campaign, we have developed a short survey. If you are a Muslim who has received medical care in the United States, your participation in our survey would be greatly appreciated. Your feedback will help us shape our campaign.

Please take our survey: Healthcare Experiences: CAIR Survey.

Responses will be collected until August 30, 2014.

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Help stop the war in Gaza

Dear Friends and Supporters of CAIR-Philadelphia,

As-salam Alaikum,

CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. Our primary concern is to defend the rights of Muslim Americans, as well as to challenge Islamophobic stereotypes in the media.

There are certain times, however, when the organization feels compelled by what is happening in the world to respond to international events. As we have all watched with horror the accumulating tragedy in Gaza, we believe this is one of those times when the Muslim American community should make its collective voice heard on a matter that it considers of grave importance.

Consequently, we are asking you to participate with thousands of other CAIR friends and supporters around the country in responding to the events in Gaza by writing your elected representatives and demanding that the United States calls for an immediate end to all violence between Israeli and Palestinian forces and a return to the negotiating table as the only mechanism to insure a nonviolent solution bringing peace and justice to Palestine.

ACTION REQUESTED:

1) Visit the CAIR Connects: Gaza Campaign page

2) On that page, fill out your contact information then click “Submit”

3) The next page will allow you to personalize a letter to your elected officials or you can copy/paste text from this template letter: Gaza-Campaign-Letter.doc

4) Click “Submit” to send the letter to your elected officials.

Sincerely,

jacob-sig
Jacob Bender
Executive Director

sig-OAQ
Osama Al-Qasem
President

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What is the Council on American-Islamic Relations?

Bucks Co. Courier-Times
By Rebecca Guterman
Bucks County Courier Times

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is the “most pre-eminent and largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the country,” according to the Philadelphia chapter’s executive director, Jacob Bender.

It began 20 years ago and now has 30 chapters across the country, about half of which have attorneys on staff. The Philadelphia chapter started in 1994.

The council has a two-pronged mission, as Bender described it: One, legal protection of civil rights; and two, advocating for and educating the public about the Muslim community. Read more…

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Jewish advocate uses interfaith work to fight Muslim stereotypes

Bucks Co. Courier-Times
By Rebecca Guterman

Bucks County Courier Times

Although it might seem unusual for a Jew to lead a Muslim organization, it was a natural next step for Jacob Bender.

In October, he became executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Philadelphia chapter — and the first non-Muslim to head up any of the 30 chapters. The organization focuses on civil rights protection for Muslims and counteracting negative stereotypes about Islam through education and advocacy.

“The question a lot of people ask is: Did I receive opposition in the Muslim community about being a Jew working with their community? And the answer is no, across the board,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean it was without controversy.

“There has been some opposition to my working here from, let’s say, extreme right wing, anti-Muslim elements, both in the Jewish community and not,” he said. Read more…

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