Right now, the Pennsylvania legislature is considering a bill which is part of a national effort to vilify, stigmatize, and demonize Islam and Muslims. Fortunately, CAIR-Philadelphia is working to make sure that this bill never becomes law. On its face, House Bill 2029, introduced by Rep. RoseMarie Swanger (R-Lebanon) and titled “American and Pennsylvania Laws for Pennsylvania Courts,” is a bill which prohibits Pennsylvania courts from considering applying any “foreign law” which would limit an individual’s constitutional rights. Unfortunately, the plain language of this bill hides a much more sinister purpose – to demonize Islam and Muslims.
Calling the Bluff – House Bill 2029’s anti-Muslim origins and threats to religious freedom by Moein Khawaja
As our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate Hanukkah and Christians prepare for Christmas, Muslims must contend with the fact that their own elected officials have capitulated to the hysteria of Islamophobia and are contemplating an anti-sharia bill. On Wednesday, December 14, CAIR-Philadelphia and interfaith leaders held a press conference to challenge House Bill 2029. House Bill 2029 is the latest in a series of bills introduced in state legislators across the country, many of which have passed. They are written by anti-Muslim, white supremacist David Yerushalmi. Although the bill itself does not mention sharia, the legislative intent is clear by its sponsors. Blatant government action against sharia, and by extension all Muslims, will not be tolerated and CAIR-Philadelphia will take a stand.
Did you know that the United States Government has an official policy which indicates that federal employees can be denied promotions, and other opportunities for job advancement, simply because they have a friend, relative, or acquaintance in a Muslim-majority country? It’s true. For federal employees, promotions, and other opportunities for job advancement, are highly dependent upon the ability to obtain a requisite security clearance, and such clearances can be denied due to concerns over “foreign influence.”
An Analysis of the Norway Terror Attacks, the Influence of Islamophobia and How We Label Terrorists by Moein Khawaja
Two very important themes have emerged from the terrorist attack in Norway this past weekend, both of which require analysis and offer some interesting conclusions. One, some media have demonstrated a desire to jump to the conclusion that if an act of terrorism occurs, then there must be some Muslim involvement. Moreover, others have shown a clear double standard after learning the attack was committed by someone who is not a Muslim. Two, the attacker, Anders Behring Breivik, has revealed himself to be a right-wing, extremist Islamophobe. The question then emerges, why did he attack a government building and a youth camp, and not a mosque or Muslim institution?
CAIR-Philadelphia would like to congratulate youth of Voorhees Islamic Center for the successful completion of a MYLP workshop last Sunday. Participants were very engaged and asked many questions. One point of discussion was properly dealing with religious bullying and teasing. How should a student go about reporting being bullied because he or she is Muslim?
I’ve conducted youth workshops over the course of a few months and parents always seem to ask about topics and discussions. Inquisitive parents sometimes listen to what’s being presented and have their own questions. CAIR-Philadelphia’s model is that youth workshops must educate, empower, and inspire. We’ve prepared the best hands-on, interactive activities for MYLP students. Participants receive practical information that they can use daily, and most importantly, they get their voices heard. We teach young American Muslims that what they contribute is equally as valuable as any other religious group.
CAIR-Philadelphia along with the Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation sponsored a screening and interfaith dialogue of the documentary film, Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think last week. About 45 people of different faiths came together to have a real conversation on Islamophobia, American Muslims and the war on terror. Inside Islam debunks common stereotypes of Islam and Muslims based on hard facts. Research experts featured in the film discuss controversial issues highlighted by a world-wide Muslim public opinion poll conducted by the Gallup organization. Muslims in more than 35 Muslim majority countries and American Muslims reveal personal thoughts on terrorism, democracy and women’s rights.
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