CAIR In Harrisburg

Community Event Updates

On October 21, CAIR-Philadelphia brought together mental health professionals, psychologists and expert therapists with Muslim community members in a symposium titled, Peace at Home: The Power of Change is in Our Hands. / Jacob Bender, Timothy Welbeck, and Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu teamed up with local Muslim activists in Harrisburg on October 24 at the State Capitol Building. / On November 3, CAIR-Philadelphia organized a Civic Engagement 101 training in the Harrisburg-Mechanicsburg area.

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Jacob Bender’s Presentation at DHSA Global Health Symposium

It should come as no surprise to this audience that today, across the country, the immigrant Muslim community is a community living in fear. But first, some background. Over 200,000 Muslims live in the city of Philadelphia, and contrary to the distorted discourse in the public arena, over 85% of these are not immigrants, but American-born Muslims, African Americans, some of whom are second, and third, and fourth generation Muslims. These statistics should contradict the prejudicial perception of Islam as a foreign faith attempting to foster the “Shariaization” of America upon an unwitting public. And while African American Muslims certainly face anti-Muslim prejudice, that bigotry pales in comparison to the original sin of white supremacy embedded into all facets of American life.

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CAIR Staff and Board Member Activism

CAIR-Philadelphia president Osama Al-Qasem, board member Aaysha Noor and staff members Timothy Welbeck and Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu traveled to Harrisburg to meet with community leaders and mosque representatives from the Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg area communities. The meeting was kindly hosted by Islamic Society of Greater Harrisburg (ISGH) and brought together more than 15 community leaders.

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CAIR-Philadelphia at The Governor’s Mansion

Jacob Bender, CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director, and Salima Suswell, CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Committee Member, travelled to Harrisburg on September 6th to attend the 2nd Annual Eid-al-Adha Dinner at The Governor’s Mansion. The dinner was hosted by Governor Tom Wolf and his wife Francis and was attended by about 60 Muslim leaders from around Pennsylvania.

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Hatred in Harrisburg

On Sunday, August 20th at Italian Lake, Harrisburg, the Community Responders Network, a grassroots coalition committed to confronting and preventing incidents of bias in Central Pennsylvania, and the Harrisburg Mayor’s Interfaith Advisory Council, organized a unity rally we called “Speak up for Unity, No Hate Here!” The purpose of the event was to affirm equality, non-violence, cross-cultural acceptance, and interfaith cooperation.

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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).

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