CAIR Philadelphia puts Islam in perspective

by Gloria Blakely
The Examiner, April 11, 2010

The Council on American Islamic Relations has advocated Muslim civil rights and world peace, and promoted a better understanding of Islam in Philadelphia since 2008. Banner efforts for mutual understanding continue in the form of youth education programs, making CAIR’s Explore Islamic Civilization and Culture collection available in local libraries, protesting alleged injustices, and more.

Mayor Michael Nutter joined in the call for balanced media coverage and respectful treatment of Muslims at the 4th annual CAIR banquet. The mayor went even further by announcing plans for cultural sensitivity training for his team of officials and support staff, which CAIR lauded as civil rights complaints by Muslims increase across the nation.

“One of the reasons we host our annual banquet is to inform the public on how CAIR works to eliminate bigotry and promote inclusion, equality and mutual understanding,” says CAIR Outreach Director Rugiatu Conteh. “We plan to ‘Lead the Change’ by example. We at CAIR disseminate authentic information on Muslims and the religion of Islam, and collaborate with many faith-based congregations in the Greater Philadelphia Area.”

People are never too young or too mature to learn religious and cultural tolerance. In that vein, CAIR’s Muslim Youth Leadership Program will sponsor the Spring 2010 Conference: Community and Interfaith Relations on April 24 and 25. High school students are invited to understand the history of Muslims in the Delaware Valley and learn how to interact with people of different religions. This event will occur in Houston Hall at 3417 Spruce Street on the University of Pennsylvania campus in West Philadelphia. Registration is available on the CAIR website.

A multi segment course called Understanding Islam and Muslims through History and Jurisprudence takes place on Sundays. And, expect CAIR protests this Friday, April 16 to commemorate Al-Nakba, which Muslims refer as the “Great Catastrophe” in 1948 when masses of Palestinians lost their lands to Israel. These protests additionally will recognize the pressures on Palestine today. A more extensive list of events can be found on the CAIR website.

Anyone wishing to donate to CAIR-PA can do so on the website. The organization makes donation easy with its Dollar-a-Day program.

For more info: visit or call 267-515-6710.