Important Community Events and Updates

Dr. Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, Education and Outreach Director at CAIR-Philadelphia and CAIR-PA Advisory Board Member Aaysha Noor were invited to join the “Equity and Inclusion Committee” at Pennsylvania Department of Education. Tekelioglu and Noor participated in a committee meeting in Harrisburg on February 8th at which Tekelioglu presented CAIR-Philadelphia’s “Anti-Bullying Workshop.” The Committee’s members include representatives from multiple NGOs and agencies that work to ensure a safe and welcoming educational environment in the State’s schools.

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Panel discussion held on immigration in Indian Valley area

Timothy Welbeck, a civil rights attorney for the Philadelphia chapter of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, spoke about the impact of current policies on American Muslim communities. “I can almost without even watching my television know when the president says something inflammatory because I’ll get a significant wave of calls within a couple days,” he said. The Muslim travel ban, he said, is “codified bigotry.”

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From Jerusalem to Newark, building understanding can lead to peace

Jacob Bender of the Council on American and Islamic Relations, who is Jewish but works for a Muslim organization, was scathing in his criticism of the Israeli occupation of West Bank. He argued that the settlements project had left no land to make the two state solution a reality. He also was critical of Dr. Hoffman for arguing for a no preconditions approach to negotiations while simultaneously insisting that Jerusalem was not on the table. 

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A Less than Perfect Union: Trump’s State of the Union address does not negate the Islamophobia he inspires

Yesterday evening, President Trump addressed the 115th Congress on the State of the Union. Some, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and others, have described the address as a departure from President Trump’s polarizing, tumultuous, and chaotic first year in office. Notwithstanding, as Greg Sargent writing for The Washington Post noted, “The real core of the speech was his effort to rhetorically recast the key elements of that approach as unifying and conciliatory, without moving past them at all.” Thus, while President Trump’s State of the Union address did not feature the sort of flagrant Islamophobic remarks he has made in the past, his rhetoric, past and present, has emboldened many who share his distorted worldview.

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