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CAIR-Pittsburgh 7th Annual Banquet

Towards Becoming Valued Members of Society

Saturday, March 29th, 2014
5:30 – 10:00 pm

At Doubletree by Hilton, Monroeville
(101 Mall Plaza Blvd., Monroeville PA 15146)

$50 Adult, $25 Student, $5 Child (Babysitting)
No tickets will be sold at the door

Download flyer for more information


Town Hall Meeting – Saturday, February 1, 2014

For all Muslims (12 years or older) living in the Pittsburgh Area, you cannot afford to miss this interactive event. Please join MCCGP & CAIR Pittsburgh for tea and an afternoon of information and lively discussion on

“PROVOCATIVE INFLUENCES – Making Enduring Choices”
Growth of easily accessible worldwide media brings all types of influences to us; some of them are not wholesome “education”. Our youth needs to develop the ability to discriminate and make wise choices to guide behavior. Come and listen to expert perspectives on this sensitive contemporary issue.


  • Imam Sohail Chaudhry – Imam Islamic Center of Morgantown
  • Dr. Buba Misawa – Professor of Political Science at the Washington & Jefferson College and University of Pittsburgh
  • Dr. Safdar Chaudhary – Founding member of S’eclairer, an Integrative Psychiatric Medical Practice

Date: Saturday, February 1st, 2014
Program: 3:00 – 3:30pm – Meet and Greet over tea
3:30pm – Asr Prayer
3:45 – 5:30pm – Discussion
Venue: MCCGP Social Hall

 This event is free and open to the community.

CAIR 6th Annual Banquet 2013

Get Out and Vote on November 6, 2012


 Dear Pittsburgh community,
Be part of more than the 80% registered Muslim voters in the US who will, insya Allah, vote on November 6, 2012. 
CAIR Pittsburgh would like to remind registered Muslim voters in the community to go to the polls on this Tuesday November 6, 2012 to vote. Please remember that voters in the state of PA might be asked to show photo ID, but there is NO REQUIREMENT to show it. Also, please remember to remind friends, colleagues, relatives to go to vote on that day.
Find out your registration status and your polling location in this website; Select your category and click the Go button to find out more information relevant to your case.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released the detailed data from a recent survey indicating that 91 percent of registered Muslim voters will go to the polls on November 6 (please click here for the full article and the summary).
We believe it is essential that American Muslims participate in the nation’s democratic process. There are many ways to do this; one of the simplest and most critical is voting in national and local elections. Civic participation, especially voting, is a citizenship right. It is our duty to give our leaders sincere advice. We should support public officials who prove themselves trustworthy and a benefit to the nation.
Islam’s message is comprehensive, encompassing all aspects of life. Inaction, or worse cynicism, denies this. Good Islamic character compels us to care for others and show concern for their problems. Faith should compel us to act in ways that benefit all people. If you are not present as a voter to give your opinions, others will do so for you. As American Muslims it is vital that we actively participate in our nation’s democratic process.
We look forward to seeing the wonderful turnout of our community. We can make a difference one vote at a time.
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CAIR Pittsburgh – 1st Annual Tennis Tournament

CAIR President Dr. Azmat Qayyum initiated CAIR sponsored Tennis Tournament to promote healthy living among the muslim community. This program truly fits to one of the CAIR missions; to empower local muslim community. Insya Allah, this will become an annual sport program sponsored by CAIR Pittsburgh. This year, nineteen players showed up (after several players dropped out due to conflicting schedule) from many different areas and muslim congregation in Pittsburgh. Br. Abdul Rahman, from MCCGP, came out strong and dominated both the single and double tournament. In double, Dr. Azmat Qayyum joined the first place with him. Came out second in the double are the team of br. Mohsin Rasheed and Saleem Ahmad.

The  Round Rubin game was played on Saturday from 1 pm at the Club – Monroeville and alhamdulillah the competition went exciting and full of enthusiasm. CAIR congratulates all the participants and thank the community for the generous support. Past CAIR President; br. Asim Kokan, congratulated and awarded the winners at the end of the game. Alhamdulillah. The participants for this year are;   Br. Abdul Rahman, Dr. Mohammad Idrees,    Br. Mohsin Rasheed,  Br. Hashim Raza,  Br. Shazi Raza, Dr. Azmat Qayyum, Manal Piracha,  Br. Sami Iren, Dr. Amjad Jalil,  DR. Owais Rahim, Dr. Imran Bajwal, Rashed, Br. Khalid and Rashed Harun from ICP, and br. Sayeed.


Presentation – Bullying and religious rights in schools

Sr. Rugiatu Conteh – Outreach Coordinator of CAIR Philadelphia presented Talk on School Bullying to Pittsburgh muslim community during the Family Night program of the MCCGP (Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh). This is a collaborative program between CAIR Pittsburgh and MCCGP aimed to educate the community about the religious rights in public schools and how to identify and deal with bullying.


PIIN Public Action Meeting – Oct 18

CAIR Pittsburgh participated in the Public Action Meeting organized by PIIN (Pennsylvania Impact Interfaith Network) on October 18 from 6:30 PM at Temple Rodef Shalom, Shadyside. CAIR congratulates the Pittsburgh muslim community delegation who came out with more than 100-people strength largely organized by the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (ICP). Imam Atef Mahgoub from the ICP opened the meeting with the prayer. An excellent organization by PIIN has produced a super productive meeting with more than 1000 enthusiastic attendance flooded the sanctuary of the Rodef Shalom temple. The meeting has resulted commitments by public officers and politicians to work with PIIN in the upcoming year in the critical areas such as public transportation, education, and water treatment. CAIR Pittsburgh would like to thank the muslim community from many different congregations for demonstrating the positive participation in this critical process of Pittsburgh regional development. Particularly, CAIR also want to thank both imams from ICP; imam AbduSemih and Atef Mahgoub and the ICP Board and EC members who have worked hard in bringing the community to this event.
Politicians attended the meeting
Mike Doyle, US House of Reps, Dist. 14
Matt Smith, PA House of Reps, Dist. 47
Michael Martin Schmotzer, PA House of Reps, Dist. 22
Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive
Bill Peduto, Pgh. City Council, Dist 8
Bruce Kraus, Pgh. City Council, Dist 3
Corey O’Connor, Pgh. City Council, Dist 5
Bob Casey, US Senate, (Representative only)
Mike Critz, US House of Reps, Dist.  (Rep only)
Matt Drozd (maybe), Allegheny County Council, Dist. 1

Issues to address:

The hard work of PIIN and our partners helped avert the proposed 35% cuts in transit service in September but if the problem of insufficient transit funding is not resolved, the system will again be at risk.  PIIN and our partners are coming together to kick-off a multi-year campaign to get sufficient dedicated local and state funding for public transit. We are better together!
PIIN is seeking a commitment from Dr. Linda Lane, Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent, and Nina Esposito-Visgitis, President of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, to continue to work with PIIN and our partners to achieve equity for all of our students, which can only be achieved with a partnership of parents, community, administration and teachers.
Jobs and the Clean Rivers Campaign
ALCOSAN has proposed and plans to implement a multi-billion dollar fix to the sewer system.  PIIN, as part of the Clean Rivers Coalition, wants this, the largest infrastructure investment in Allegheny County’s history, to do the maximum good in the community.  We are pushing for good jobs, for green methods to help solve the storm water problem, and provide benefits to our communities and for strategies to reduce flooding.
Voter ID and Turnout
We will ask all present to not only commit to vote but to consider working the polls on November 6th,  work to get people in our congregations and communities to the polls, and make sure that people have an acceptable form of ID so they can vote.  Civic participation is a cherished value of each of the faith traditions represented in PIIN and we will put it into action by encouraging and protecting the vote this November.

PA New Voter ID Law – Community Town Hall Meeting

Press Release – CAIR Pittsburgh Community condemns violence in Libya

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Council on American-Islamic Relations
Pittsburgh Chapter
801 N. Negley Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Tel: 412-606-3601

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Friday September 14, 2012
CAIR-PA Pittsburgh Chapter

 CAIR-PA Pittsburgh Chapter, and the entire Pittsburgh Muslim community, are deeply disturbed and mourn the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other distinguished diplomatic servicemen, and we pray for their families. CAIR unequivocally condemns the violence in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and other countries. This violence is unrelated to any religious teachings or tradition, thus the violence can only be due to militant political motivations. The perpetrators must be brought to justice. We also deplore the sad creation of the profane video posted on the internet, replete with fabrications designed solely to insult Muslims, as an abuse of our cherished right to free speech; such abuses do not honor great American traditions and civility.

Azmat Qayyum – Chapter President



Assalam Aleikum (may peace be upon you) My deepest condolences to the families of our fallen diplomats and officers. And may God bless their families and God bless America.

Imam AbduSemih Tadese.

Director and Outreach Principal, ICP

According to Islamic teachings, representatives of foreign countries, and their belongings should be protected and highly respected. The killings that took place at the U.S. Consulate in Libya and the violence that is unfolding at other U.S. Consulates throughout the Middle East completely contradict these teachings. There is absolutely no justification for this type of behavior. Not only are those responsible committing an injustice against the United States, but they are committing an injustice against their own countrymen who have been working to build a better future for their nation.

Atef Mahgoub
Religious Director of ICP

We’re appalled at the senseless murder. Violence is the worst response to inflammatory insults. It overshadows all the good teachings of our religion.

Sarah Jameela Martin, Past president of MWAP.

MCCGP categorically condemns the killing of American diplomats and violence on the embassies in Egypt, Libya and Yemen. There is absolutely no justification for these actions. This behavior is contrary to the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Sameer Balagamwala – President – MCCGP

Our condolences go to the families of the victims of this violent attack, and we hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice soon.
Killing of U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in a mob attack in Benghazi has no place in the tradition of Islam. This is an action perpetrated by the people who are ignorant of their own faith. Their action is cowardly and contradicts the teachings of Islam.
The best way of honoring our prophet (peace be upon him) is to practice his tradition, which in this matter is to honor foreign envoys and missions as sacred guests.

Kadir Gündüz, Director, MAS Pittsburgh


The MAP unequivocally condemns the killing of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Mr. Christopher Stevens and his staff, and the attack on US Embassy in Cairo. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. As our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned, the act has been committed by a group of savage people who did it independently without support from the Muslims, Libyan people, or the government. We also strongly condemn the video that apparently spurred these incidents. While we defend the right of free speech in the American society, these messages on the social media are crafted to offend and evoke outrage in the religious communities, and can be exploited for political motives. The Prophet (peace be upon him ) is loved by over a billion Muslims across the world and no one can take this affection from our hearts.

Usman Chaudhry, MAP

We mourn the lives of our distinguished servicemen no less than we would if they were our own immediate relatives. The movie “the innocence of Muslims”, an ignorant mockery of Muslim’s sacred values, is no laughing matter; we see extraordinary attention and condemnation when opinions considered racist or anti-Semitic are voiced in public. This anti-Islam propaganda has put the peace and security of Americans overseas in peril. The provocateur that used this defamatory propaganda should be held responsible for the harm caused to the national interests of the United States.

Jibril Abdul-Hafith, Imam, Allegheny County Jail

In the early hours: Actions that explain without a word

Come Sunday, when most people would stir out of their beds late mid-morning, a group of Muslim early risers in Pittsburgh begin their Sunday routine.

A sister has risen, preparing 30 food packets – a sandwich, fruit and water bottle. Soon, cell phones begin to ring. It’s 10:00 a.m. – the group is already on their way, the brothers in one car, and the sisters in another. At 10:30 a.m. they converge in a Giant Eagle Parking lot. Bright eyed, they greet one another with “Assalamu Alaikum”.

On most Sundays they are a group of six to seven or even more – brothers full of enthusiasm, and sisters, with smiles, some in hijab, and some without. They stand in a little circle, and say a little prayer to God, reminding themselves that they are doing this for the sake of God alone. Energized by the prayer, they pick up the bags of food, and march towards the overpass bridge.

A big group of homeless people, are huddled under the shade of the bridge, away from the prying eyes of the world; some asleep, some already awake, and some in anticipation. One of them calls out “Assalam Alaikum” with a friendly familiar smile. The brothers and sisters wish them back, walk over to them, hand them the packets, and hang around asking how they were.

Once all of the packets have been distributed, they humbly trod back to the parking lot in deep contemplation.They form the little circle again, and raise their hands in prayer, asking God to give them the strength to do what they have to do, and share God’s bounty with all of His creations.

Who are these brothers and sisters? They belong to the Muslim community of Pittsburgh and represent a wide spectrum of age, ethnicity, profession and community. Sisters who prepare the food are housewives, working professionals or students. And the brothers and sisters who go to the site are students, or professionals or even stay-at-home young moms. But one common thing that binds them is the desire to wake up each Sunday morning and think of the homeless first.

The work of this group may be a drop in the ocean, but it’s a practical beginning, started only 9 months ago. It opened our eyes to the reality around us. Most of us live complaining about things we do not have. One visit to the homeless site would puts things in perspective.

The purpose behind this work is not to convert them to Islam, but to help Allah’s creations, even if it be in the form of one sandwich to one person in the entire week. Being an American Muslim is not just about planting the American flag on our front door, but it’s about being in solidarity with the rest of humanity around us.

With so much stereotyping of Muslims, most Muslims cry hoarse explaining, writing letters to the editor, publishing books debunking Islamophobes, and presenting research findings, in the hope that the stereotyping will stop. But let us stop for a moment. To be an American Muslim in true spirit, we have to prove with actions, not just mere words. When Muslims in hijab are out on the street on a Sunday morning, seen talking to the homeless and inquiring about their needs, they are demonstrating the truth about Islam with their actions.

This project took seed in a masjid gathering where I met Sister Rasheeda from Atlanta who was doing a similar activity in Atlanta. Alhamdulillah, inspired by her encouragement, we have delivered food to the homeless Sunday after Sunday since Oct 2011. Food is prepared in rotation, so that no one is burdened with the task. If you’d like to volunteer, write to: 


Zohra Lasania

Communications Coordinator

CAIR Pittsburgh Chapter

412 606 3601