Thursday, March 29, 2007

Looking forward to seeing each and everyone of you

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

I am looking forward to seeing each and everyone of you on April 7 2007 at CAIR-PA's first annual banquet. CAIR-PA has a great evening planned for you to get to know each other and to hear Congressman Sestak and Ambassador Edward Peck as well as enjoy entertainment by Noor ( from California.

You will also have the opportunity to meet with community, interfaith and civil rights leaders from the Delaware Valley who are being honored by CAIR-PA for their work in promoting justice, mutual understanding and democratic empowerment.


Iftekhar Hussain

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cars covered with anti-CAIR leaflets at Grove Methodist Church in West Chester PA

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

As I sat teaching a 10 week course on Islam and Muslims to the Adult Education group at Grove Methodist Church in West Chester PA, an individual covered the cars in the parking lot with an anti-CAIR leaflet. The leaflet contained a litany of charges against CAIR and the work it does. This is probably because I am the chairperson of the local chapter of CAIR called CAIR-PA with an office in Philadelphia.

CAIR has come across most of the charges before and some were new.

I invite you to visit and read the following 5 documents to learn more about CAIR and its work:

1. 25 Facts About CAIR: clarifies what CAIR does nationally

2. What They Say About CAIR: testimonials from political, interfaith and civic leaders

3. What Has CAIR-PA Achieved since its Inception: Local CAIR-PA work

4. De-Mystifying Urban Legends About CAIR: this document really addresses all the charges and accusations that are heaped on CAIR by anti-Muslim websites and individuals such as Robert Spencer, Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes, Joe Kauffman etc...

5. New York Times article dealing with charges leveled at CAIR

Items #4 and #5 above deal with accusations most commonly directed at CAIR


Iftekhar Hussain

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Must Read List for President Bush and Company

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

I was reading an article by Jim Lobe of the Inter Press Service regarding the Islamophobic bent of book titles that have commanded the reading attention of President Bush.

Published on Friday, March 16, 2007 by the Inter Press Service
Bush's Book List Gets More Islamophobic
by Jim Lobe

It got me thinking about which book titles I would recommend as reading material for President Bush if he were taking a sabbatical on an isolated island for the next 2 years.

Here is the list of titles for our Commander in Chief:

1. Good Muslim Bad Muslim: America, The Cold War and the Roots of Terror: By Mahmoud Mamdani

2. Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism: By Robert Pape

3. Tinderbox: By Stephen Zunes

4. Blood and Oil: The dangers and consequences of America's growing dependence on imported petroleum: By Michael T. Klare

5. American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century: By Kevin Phillips

6. Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East by Rashid Khalidi

7. The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East: By Robert Fisk

8. Poverty From the Wealth of Nations: Integration and Polarization in the Global Economy since 1760: By M. Shahid Alam

9. American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America: By Chris Hedges

10. Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam: By Robert Dreyfuss

President Bush, I hope you get the time to read these titles very soon !


Iftekhar Hussain

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Visit to the Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you)

The aspirations of American immigrants is a story that finds its rebirth with each new group. The latest group to experience both the good side and the dark side of the force that is the melting pot of America is the Muslim community, particularly the immigrant Muslim community.

I spoke to the largely immigrant Muslim community in Whitehall PA at their beautiful community and mosque center at 1988 Schadt Avenue in Whitehall PA. A wonderful and practical structure with a large and spacious lobby, a utility lecture/dinner hall and a beautifully laid out prayer space, the mosque was all that most mosques are not. I found out that the architect was an American born woman of a Libyan American father and an European American mother, and what struck me was the combination of practical American ingenuity and a humble Muslim-centric sense of dimension that had been incorporated into the design; a perfect combination of her parents' heritage.

The congregants were justly proud of their community and welcoming to my CAIR-PA associates as we talked about the work CAIR does on behalf of Muslim Americans in the USA.

The local Chief of Police, Ted Kohuth, was present at the dinner event and spoke warmly of his support for the local Muslim community and also praised CAIR's vision and mission that he had read about at its website.

This is a community I look forward to getting to know more intimately and learning from their experience in community building.


Iftekhar Hussain

Congressman Sestak and Adeeba

Dear Friends, As Salaam Alaikum (Peace be unto you).

I am writing to you to bring your attention to the pressure being put on Congressman Joe Sestak to fire his district outreach coordinator, Adeeba Al-Zaman.

Let me say a few words about Adeeba, who was an exemplary CAIR-PA employee.

During her tenure with CAIR-PA, she proactively engaged interfaith and ethnic communities, educated the general public about Islam and Muslims and represented the best of Islamic and American values.

She left CAIR-PA in September 2006 to build a career in public service. All of us who know her encouraged and applauded her when she accepted a position with newly elected Congressman Sestak.

For me as a Muslim American, it was gratifying to see a young and energetic member of my community succeeding in her dream of public service.

It therefore pains me tremendously to see that Adeeba is being smeared for her service to Muslims and Pennsylvanians.

Robert Lipshutz, a former Philadelphia assistant district attorney, distributed a letter Tuesday to Delaware County rabbis, calling on Sestak to cancel his speaking engagement at the CAIR-PA banquet and fire Adeeba. During an interview by Amy Brisson of the Delaware County News on Tuesday, I was asked to respond to the comment of a young Jewish lady who apparently asked Congressman Sestak to disassociate with CAIR and fire Adeeba because 'CAIR and Adeeba want us Jews dead'.

It shocked me to hear that a young woman could have such a misconception about a bridge-builder such as Adeeba.

It also made me realize how much work is still needed to overcome the fear and hate mongering that have been heaped on groups of US citizens simply because of race, religion, or national origin.

I ask you to join CAIR and me in reaching out across these divides to strengthen the ties of human friendship and equality between all American citizens by joining CAIR and Muslims of Philadelphia on April 7, 2007 at our first annual banquet. There, with your presence, we can demonstrate a joint resolve to strengthen the bonds of humanity with each other.

Tickets may be obtained here:

As you know, the Qur'an reminds its readers, 'O men! Behold, We have created you out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all knowing, all aware.' (Qur'an 49:13)

Thank you for your time and I ask you to keep Adeeba in your prayers.


Iftekhar Hussain