Defending Your Civil Rights

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right of American citizens and residents to freely practice religious beliefs and engage in any corresponding religious actions and/or rituals made in accordance with those beliefs. Additionally, federal law expressly prohibits workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender/sex, or national origin. 

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Director’s Desk: Sacred Synchronicity

This past Wednesday marked the beginning of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar. The first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah are a time imbued with great holiness. The rituals of the hajj are performed during the eighth, ninth, and tenth day of the month, culminating in Eid al-Adha, the “Festival of the Sacrifice,” which begins on the tenth day.

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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.

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In Defense of Free Speech

Last week Robert Spencer spoke at Gettysburg College, at the request of the Young Americans for Freedom, an activist group with conservative views. Robert Spencer espouses extreme anti-Islamic views. According to Southern Poverty Law Center, his work was cited numerous times by the Norwegian terrorist that murdered over seventy people, and he has been deemed an extremist by the U.K. and thus barred from entering the country.

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U.S. Constitution 3, Trump 0

For the third time in less than 100 days, a court has prevented Trump and his administration from violating the U.S. Constitution.

This past week, Judge Orrick, a federal district judge in San Francisco, placed a temporary hold on Trump’s executive order that threatened to defund sanctuary cities. Sanctuary cities seek to reduce cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement to enhance public safety and foster positive relationships with immigrant communities.

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Director’s Desk – The Meaning of Passover 2017

Jews around the world, and my family and I, are now celebrating the eight day-long holiday of Passover (peysakhin Hebrew), commonly known as “The Festival of Freedom.” Passover celebrates four themes or moments of redemption: the liberation of the earth from the harshness of winter; the liberation of the Hebrew slaves from their enslavement in Egypt; the freeing of humankind from idolatry and ignorance; and the personal and spiritual liberation of every human being from darkness and pain.

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MEMPHIS + 49: Honoring Dr. King

Today, April 4th, 2017, marks 49 years since the assassination of one of America’s greatest faith leaders and civil rights advocates, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One year before his death, Dr. King delivered a historic speech at The Riverside Church of New York that forever binds the peace movement with the movement for civil rights and social justice.

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My Thoughts on the Death Penalty

China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. These five countries execute more of its citizens than any other countries in the world, in that order. It is interesting to note that three of these countries are predominantly Muslim. While the Qur’an does allow state sanctioned killing in specific situations, Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl of the UCLA Law writes:

Entrusting the state to play this hazardous and often untenable role of carrying out the Divine mandate, if one does in fact exist, raises a set of theological and ethical problems that are not adequately addressed by simple reliance on procedural guarantees or by augmenting the integrity of the process that results in the decision to terminate life.

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Muslim Ban 2.0 Halted: Trump’s Rhetoric Finally Catches Up to Him

Last evening may have marked the first instance where Donald Trump’s words have come back to haunt him. Prior to last evening, Trump’s myriad offensive comments have had little effect on his ability to gain support among the American people and Republican legislatures across the country. Trump supporters either wholeheartedly embraced his xenophobic, sexist, racist, bigoted comments or routinely downplayed them by urging people not to take Trump’s words literally. Well, fortunately for those who still believe in the Constitution, Derrick Watson, a federal judge in Hawaii, decided to hold Trump to his words.

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