We Are Energized!

As Jacob Bender, CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director, emphasized in his recent “Director’s Desk” article “On Losing a Battle,” despite the waves of sad and angering events in our country, we are keeping our spirits up by channeling our energies to serve and empower the American Muslim community in these difficult times.

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On Losing a Battle

Many of our readers know that I was born into a Jewish immigrant home, my parents and grandparents having migrated to this country to escape the anti-Semitic persecution and poverty of Czarist Russia. This experience, as well as the commitment to justice that lies at the heart of Jewish tradition, contributed to my family’s engagement with social justice activism across four generations.

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Judge, Jury, and Executioner

We believe the shooting death of Jeffery Dennis was an inexcusable homicide. It is our belief that the investigation presently conducted by the Attorney General’s office will arrive at a similar conclusion. Notwithstanding, some have attempted to justify the killing of Mr. Dennis by signaling he was the potential target of a police investigation at the time of his death. This is the wrong perspective. To quote Lee Merritt, Esq., the attorney representing the family of Mr. Dennis: “We have to stop distinguishing between good and bad victims of police brutality — as if there are people worthy and others unworthy of constitutional protections. The station in life of the victim is an irrelevant consideration in determining whether a shooting is justified or unjustified.”

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We Stand with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

If all goes according to plan — and that’s a big “if” given the unprecedented absurdism of the current presidential administration and its chief executive — this Thursday, a lonely woman will walk into Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in our nation’s capital to be questioned by, among others, a clique of white men determined to prove her a liar and destroy her reputation before the eyes of the world. I do not believe it is an exaggeration to say that the fate of American democracy may hinge upon how Dr. Christine Blasey Ford responds to her tormentors.

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Voting: A Right and a Responsibility

The United States of America is the oldest constitutional republic in the world, launching its “improbable experiment in democracy” nearly two and a half centuries ago; however, the nation has only granted its most sacred right — the right to vote — to all of its eligible citizenry for several decades. The Nineteenth mendment, which granted women the right to vote, is less than a 100 years old. African Americans did not receive the unencumbered right to vote until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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Recent Community Events – The Right to Vote

On Friday August 24, CAIR-Philadelphia — together with two other American Muslim organizations: Emgage Pennsylvania and MPower Change — organized a voter registration drive as part of National Muslim Registration Day (#NMVRD #mymuslimvote). The drive took place at Islamic Society of Chester County in West Chester, and CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender and Outreach and Education Director Ahmet Tekelioglu spent the afternoon registering many new Pennsylvania voters arriving for Jumma (Friday afternoon prayers).

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CAIR-Philadelphia Condemns KKK Leaflet Campaign in Pennsylvania and Maryland

The Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today condemned the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist organization, and its leafleting of moviegoers attending screenings of “BlacKkKlansman,” director Spike Lee’s new feature film. The offending leaflets, rife with crude anti-Semitic anti-Black, sexist, and anti-immigrant stereotypes, were left on cars in the parking lots of movie theaters in York, PA, and in several locations in Maryland.

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