“The Year in Civil Rights” by Timothy Welbeck, Esq., Civil Rights Attorney

Every year, CAIR-Philadelphia updates you about how our chapter organizes against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-black racism, white supremacy, and all forms of bigotry. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic imposed unique challenges for all of us, requiring greater flexibility in how we navigated what appeared to be the strange new normal. Even in the midst of this devastating pandemic, my colleagues and I found new ways to protect the constitutional rights of Muslims in the Greater Philadelphia area.​

So, while you are reading this request for support from CAIR-Philadelphia, please consider the following numbers, which demonstrate the work your generous support provides for:
  • We fielded 100+ complaints of harassment and discrimination
  • We represented the following:
    • 5 victims of hate crimes
    • 10 people facing harassment and discrimination at the work
    • 2 people who experienced racial profiling from law enforcement
    • and 5 students bullied at their schools
What follows are just three examples of the free legal services CAIR-Philadelphia provided because of your generous support.
In the first case, a woman experienced a violent attack from another motorist while she drove in the area near her office in the Philadelphia suburbs. The attacker followed her to a nearby parking lot, blocked her in a parking space, threatened her with violence, and hurled racial epithets and misogynistic slurs against her. I worked directly with this woman and the local district attorney’s office to successfully identify and bring charges against this individual. He now faces five criminal charges, including misdemeanor assault and ethnic intimidation.
In the second case, our office helped identify an individual who attacked his neighbor and used slurs that demeaned his faith and national origin. Our office worked with local law enforcement and the local district attorney’s office to identify the attacker and ensure he was adequately charged for his crimes. We also represented the victim in the media.
I also represented a Muslim woman who alleged her suspension (without pay) and demotion were due to religious and gender-based discrimination. After my representation of her, she received an agreement from her former employer to pay her salary for the period of her suspension. Additionally, we are presently in the course of litigation to reverse her demotion as well.
I was also regularly interviewed in media outlets like WURD 900 AM and The Philadelphia Tribune where I had the opportunity to expand upon CAIR’s mission statement of “building coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”
Finally, I hosted 10 of CAIR-Philadelphia’s webinars, where I discussed issues of great relevance to the Muslim community (such as voting rights, civil rights protections during the pandemic, and how the restrictions have impacted immigration), including these webinars:
In the coming year, rest assured that CAIR-Philadelphia will remain steadfast in fighting for the civil rights and liberties of American Muslims, and for an America living up to its self-proclaimed ideals of EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW.