As Salaamu Alaikum (Peace Be Upon You),
Reflecting on the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we learn that he made every effort to spread goodness and encourage others in the larger society to live in peace, justice and mutual understanding – regardless of their faith. CAIR-Philadelphia’s proactive interfaith and educational efforts reflect this tradition. Staff and Executive Committee members conduct presentations, courses and workshops on a regular basis to counter Islamophobic rhetoric and to educate the public about Muslims and Islamic traditions. We also coordinate city and state wide interfaith events, and sponsor programs to initiate dialogue and collaboration.
It has been a successful year of interfaith coalition building. I want to share with you my Top 5 best CAIR-Philadelphia Interfaith and Educational moments so far:
1. CAIR-Philadelphia along with the Nationalities Service Center (NSC) and American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) co-sponsored the program – Muslims in America: Building Brides in a Climate of Fear in February.
This event included a short film screening of Hawo’s Dinner (a video based on the longer documentary Welcome to Shelbyville that tells the story of a small southern town grappling with new immigrants and issues relating to their integration) and a cross cultural dialogue.
Three local Muslim community leaders, Lisa Abdelsalam, author of “A Song for Me, A Muslim Holiday Story,” Madina Hasson, president and founder of the Somali Community of Central PA; and Bahjat Abdulwahed, Iraqi refugee and former journalist, described personal accounts in their lives and talked about immigration related issues.
2. I participated in Harvard University’s Pluralism Project – America’s Interfaith Infrastructure in my capacity as a member of the Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation, which is a grassroots interfaith group that coordinates the annual Philadelphia Interfaith Walk.
3. CAIR-Philadelphia held an event at the Free Library of Philadelphia to educate the public on Sharia – Sharia: Friend or Foe? Understanding Sharia and its place in American Society in February.
4. I conducted a Women in Islam presentation at a Fielding University gathering last month in Virginia. About 30 to 45 students attended the presentation and asked questions relating to Islam, women in the Qur’an and how spirituality is viewed in Islam. It was a positive educational experience for students as they mentioned how they are bombarded with negative images of Muslim Women in mainstream media.
5. CAIR-Philadelphia co-sponsored the Philadelphia Premiere of Unity Productions Foundation’s documentary, Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in June.
All of our outreach events are FREE to the public. We don’t charge entrance or registration fees.
As we witness the last days of this blessed month, I ask you to invest in the spirit of peace, collaboration and mutual understanding by donating generously to CAIR-Philadelphia. Your contribution will help to eradicate ignorance, bring about awareness and promote peace in the Delaware Valley.
All donations to CAIR-Philadelphia are tax-deductible and zakat-eligible.
Thank you for your support!
CAIR-Philadelphia Outreach and Communications Director