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What You Should Know About Muslim Ban 2.0

Dear Community Members and Friends,

Yesterday, Donald Trump signed another Executive Order, aiming to ban Muslims from entering the United States. This order is a scaled-back version of the president’s first Muslim ban that prompted an inspiring wave of solidarity from American civil rights defenders of all backgrounds. Packed town halls, marches, and advocacy from the people pressured the government to protect our rights as Muslims. Eventually, the courts stopped the last ban in its tracks. To those who continue to stand for our rights, the rights of all the oppressed, and refugees fleeing violence, thank you.

While the newest ban is a partial victory for civil rights defenders, the order remains in fact a ban on travel from Muslim and Arab countries and a blanket ban on all refugees who need our assistance the most. The Department of Homeland Security reports that this ban does nothing to make America safer. Rather, it reflects that a current of xenophobia and Islamophobia runs through this administration and that our community ought counter alongside our allies in the civil rights movement.

We encourage you to take direct action by signing this powerful petition to Trump’s corporate advisors and calling or writing your members of Congress to let them know you oppose the xenophobic travel ban on Muslims and refugees.

More details about the order’s execution will be revealed in the near future, but below, you will find some essential information based on what we know now. Read more…

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Travel ban drawing fire despite the tweaks


by Michael Matza

Philadelpha Inquirer

President Trump’s executive order “do-over,” derided by critics as “Muslim Ban 2.0,” is drawing fire despite the tweaks.

“Muslims still feel harassed, ridiculed, and persecuted in their traveling,” said Jacob Bender, director of the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“Just recently, Muhammad Ali’s [Philadelphia-born] son was detained” and questioned about his religion, Bender said. “Religious screening should remain out of bounds in a multireligious, multiethnic society such as ours.” Continue reading…

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Local Lawyers Scrutinize Trump’s New Travel Ban


by Pat Loeb

KYW Radio

Ryan Houldin of the Council on American-Islamic Relations finds it ironic that the new order comes on the anniversary of the reviled Dred Scott decision that denied citizenship to African-Americans.

“It’s very unfortunate that 160 years later we haven’t really learned any lessons, and we’re just targeting another group of people at this point in time,” Houldin said.

Houldin says the new order is scaled back, quite a bit, from the first one. A victory, he says, both for the lawyers who sued and the citizens who protested.

Nonetheless, he doesn’t think it will pass constitutional muster.

“This is still a Muslim ban. I mean, there’s no other way to interpret that,” Houldin said.

Houldin and attorneys who raced into court after the first travel ban have a little breathing room to decide how to respond, since the order doesn’t take effect until next Thursday. Continue reading…

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Muslim leaders express solidarity with Philly Jewish cemetery after headstones are vandalized


by Sam Newhouse
Metro.us

The 100 headstones toppled over at Mount Carmel’s cemetery in Frankford happened sometime on Saturday night. It came a day before dozens of Jewish centers along the East Coast received bomb threats, including 11 in Pennsylvania.

Local leaders of all faiths have deplored the Mount Carmel incident, with some openly connecting the rise in hate crime-related incidents, including those in Philadelphia, to the election of President Donald Trump.

Jacob Bender, who is executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations-Philadelphia office, was one of them. He said all faiths should “join together to defeat the extremist elements now on the rise throughout our nation, including some at the highest echelons of our national government.” Continue reading… 

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CAIR-Philadelphia Condemns Desecration of Jewish Cemetery

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 2/27/17) — The Philadelphia Chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), condemns in the strongest terms the desecration of over 100 tombstones in the Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery in the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia.

Jacob Bender, Executive Director of CAIR-Philadelphia said, “As both an American Jew and the head of one of 30 local chapters of the nation’s leading Muslim civil rights organization, I am deeply affected by the sight of broken Jewish tombstones at the Mount Carmel Cemetery. This act of hate is another clarion call for Jews, Muslims, and all people dedicated to justice, equality, and pluralism, to join together to defeat the extremist elements now on the rise throughout our nation, including some at the highest echelons of our national government.”

Osama Al-Qasem, President of CAIR-Philadelphia said, “The desecration of Jewish tombstones at the Mount Carmel Cemetery is a vile act of anti-Semitism. CAIR-Philadelphia and the entire Muslim community condemns this vandalism, and calls upon all communities of faith to work together to oppose bigotry in all its manifestations.”

Imam Salaam Muhsin of Masjidullah said, “Our prophet, peace be upon him, gave clear understanding, and through demonstration, that all religions are to be protected from injustice, and harm. He also stated that we are to honor this even with our lives.”

CAIR-Philadelphia calls upon law enforcement officials to thoroughly investigate this crime of ignorance and intolerance.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director, 267-515-6711, jbender@cair.com.

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