CAIR-Philadelphia Encourages Governor Shapiro to Move Away from Performative Engagement and Toward Meaningful Action with Muslim Pennsylvanians

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 4/2/24) – Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro yesterday hosted an Iftar dinner at his official residence. CAIR-Philadelphia welcomes government officials’ acknowledgement of key religious holidays. At the same time, during one of the most painful episodes for our Muslim community, we share a concern that such acknowledgement must move beyond the performative and step into meaningful action.

Because Gov. Shapiro’s words and actions since the fall of 2023 has created much harm and hurt among Muslim, Arab and pro-Palestinian Pennsylvanians of all backgrounds, and because his March 1 statement in Washington Post signals he is not steeped in reality about where our communities stand, two of CAIR-Philadelphia’s board members decided to not attend the Iftar dinner.

At a time when governors of California and New Jersey have underlined in public statements their support for a ceasefire in Gaza, Gov. Shapiro has failed to do that. His attacks on academic freedom, intentionally depicting protests in a negative light, failure to care for and listen to Palestinian Pennsylvanians whose families are being massacred day in and out by Israeli government, and his behind-the-scenes antagonization of community organizations cannot be ignored and easily forgiven.

We expect the Governor to take steps in rectifying these mistakes. While we are not holding our breath on it, we would encourage Governor Shapiro to not deceive himself and his constituents into thinking these missteps are lost on our communities and will be forgotten. We fear he shares this misperception with the White House.

It is never too late for politicians to learn from their mistakes but that requires a genuine interest to hear out our communities.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, PhD;

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