Director’s Desk: Yesterday in Center City

It was a pleasure to represent CAIR-Philadelphia as I marched down Broad Street with thousands of people responding to the events of last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. United in our disgust with the president’s response to the murder of Heather Heyer by a neo-Nazi using his car as a weapon, the march was also a condemnation of white supremacist racism, the implicitly violent ideology embedded into the DNA of American history and culture.

Continue reading »

After Charlottesville

There are moments in history when time itself seems to just stop, and then abruptly change direction. Sometimes the momentous quality of these events is self-evident to those caught up in their wake: the fall of Baghdad in 1258; Lenin arriving at the train station in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1917; Rosa Parks boarding her bus in 1954; the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963; the Iranian Revolution of 1979; the attacks of Sept 11, 2001. What unities these events are their transformative impact, dividing time into a before and an after (as in before 9/11 and post-9/11).

Continue reading »

Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center Bombed in Bloomington, MN

Jacob Bender, CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director, said: “Regardless of the identities of the alleged bombers of the Minnesota Islamic Center, who we hope will be quickly apprehended, this attack comes in the midst of a nationwide campaign of vilification and demonization of Muslims and the Islamic faith by Islamophobic activists, irresponsible media personalities, and even high-ranking government officials. Only a concerted and united effort by the Muslim community and its interfaith and social justice activists will defeat the voices of hate now transgressing our national values of pluralism, democracy, and justice.”

Continue reading »

Advocacy Update: March on Harrisburg

It has been over two months since a courageous group of March on Harrisburg activists embarked from Philadelphia to a 105-mile political pilgrimage to the Pennsylvania Statehouse to demand real reform with three pro-democracy and anti-corruption bills: automatic voter registration, non-partisan redistricting to end gerrymandering, and a ban of legalized bribery.

Continue reading »

Church lecture series explores Muslim culture and faith

Many American Christians recognize the importance of learning about Muslim faith and culture; but that recognition is not as widespread as it should be. Iftekhar Hussain, a Muslim U.S. citizen and business consultant born in Bangladesh, and Chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Pennsylvania, has worked for 15 years to expand awareness among willing learners. Also a member of the Philadelphia CAIR’s executive committee, he teaches in churches, synagogues, mosques, schools and other settings throughout our region, always offering his knowledge and insight at no cost.

Continue reading »