Saturday, March 17, 2007

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

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