For more on CAIR
500 People Attend Sold Out Event in Philadelphia
April 8, 2007
The Pennsylvania chapter of the Council on American-Muslim Relations (CAIR-PA) today thanked that states
s governor for taking part in its first annual banquet Saturday night in Philadelphia.
Gov. Edward G. Rendell joined Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) in addressing a sold-out crowd of some 500 people who attended the event.
CAIR-PA thanked Rep. Sestak for refusing to back out of speaking at the dinner after facing rhetorical attacks from Islamophobic internet bloggers who objected to his decision to address hundreds of local Muslims.
Sestak told dinner attendees, "CAIR does such important and necessary work in a difficult environment to change such perceptions and wrongs--from racial profiling and civil rights to promoting justice and mutual understanding--at a time when it is challenging to be an American-Muslim."
"We need to claim our values, not betray them, by ensuring there is not a psychology that pulls out of the rich fabric of our American community those who liik like 'one of them'. We are better than that," said Sestak.
Other speakers at the event included Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Shalom Center.
During the banquet, CAIR'S National Board Chairman, Parvez Ahmed praised Sestak for having the moral fiber to speak to his Muslim constitituents despite being "demonized and vilified b y the right-wing media and pro-Israel extremists."
Ahmed also said, "Islam does not only mean peace, Islam emphasizes peaceful coexistance as a supreme goal. Thus, Islamic ethos unequivocally condemns terrorism of any sort.. Each gruesome act taht shocke Americans, from the murder of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, to the bombing of a Jewish seder party in Israel, to the beheading of Nick Berg in Iraq, to the massacre in Beslan to the subway bombings in London, has equally shocked Muslims and brought with it swift and unequivical condemnations. American Muslim organizations also rallied behind a fatwa (Islamic juristic opinion) against terrorism....
"It is time apologists for Israel apartheid issue similar condemnation statements against the usurping of Palestinian land, the demolition of their homes, and the indiscriminate killing of civilians. Until this happens they stand on no moral ground t lecture us....The world needs to heal. I appeal t this gathering of Mslims, Christians, Jews and the people fo all faiths to rise and be counted as among those who are blessed--for they are peace makers."
"We thank Governor Rendell and Representative Sestak for the courage to stand up to the bigotry and extremism and to treat their Muslim constituents as equal citizens," said CAIR-PA
Chairman Iftekhar Hussain.
Some 250 people also turned out lasst night for a similar CAIR banquet in Connecticut. CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad was one of the keynote speakers at that event.
Contact: CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor, (571) 278-4658
CAIR Communications Director, Ibrahim Hooper (202) 488-8787 or (202) 744-7726
To e-mail the Governor click here.
To write a letter to the Governor send to:
Governor Edward G. Rendell's Office
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
To telephone the Governor call:
Representative Joe Sestak
Washington D.C. Office
1022 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2011
Fax: (202) 226-0280
600 N. Jackson Street
Media, PA 19063
Due to safety procedures, postal mail may take several weeks to reach
the Washington Office. In order to receive a more prompt reply, you may
email Congressman Sestak.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
The Shalom Center / web: http://www.shalomctr.org / email: firstname.lastname@example.org
6711 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia,
PA 19119, USA
tel: (215) 844-8494