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250 Turn Out for CAIR-Pittsburgh Interfaith Iftar

250 Turn Out for CAIR Pittsburgh Interfaith Iftar(PITTSBURGH, PA, 7/3/15) - Some 250 people turned out on Thursday for an interfaith iftar, or Ramadan fast-breaking meal, hosted by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Pittsburgh).

Highlights of the event, which took place at the Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh (MCCGP), included a thought-provoking address to the community by CAIR Pittsburgh's President, Safdar Khwaja, a presentation relating to Ramadan and spirituality given by the MCCGP’s President Salah El-Moukamal, and a pre-screening of the UPF film – “American Muslim.”

The showcase of the evening was a segment in which four people from different walks of life shared their perspectives and reflections on what being Muslim in America has meant to them.  The program concluded with the interfaith audience breaking the fast together and enjoying some social time.

Attendees included religious leaders, teachers, students, and representatives of specific congregations and organizations such as the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN) - which encompasses many faiths ranging from Christian to Jewish to Unitarian - the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee (PAJC), the Greater Pittsburgh Interfaith Coalition, the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh’s Help for the Convert, the Jewish Chronicle, the Consortium for Educational Resources in Islamic Studies (CERIS) and others. Ahmed El-Hattab, the executive director of the ISNA Development Foundation also took part in the event.

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100+ Turn Out for CAIR-Philadelphia Interfaith Iftar

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 6/29/2015) – More than 100 CAIR staff, board members, and interfaith guests gathered on the evening of June 28 at the Philadelphia Friends Center for CAIR-Philadelphia's First Annual Interfaith Iftar, or Ramadan fast-breaking meal.

Presentations were made Shaikh Yahya Rhodus of the Al-Maqasid Institute, Rabbi Yael Levy of Mishkan Shalom Synagogue, and Rev. David Tatgenhorst of St. Luke United Methodist Church.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of a gift to Rabbi Arthur Waskow by CAIR-Philadelphia Vice President Iftekhar Hussain for his lifetime of service to peace and justice, and for his furtherance of Jewish-Muslim relations.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender, 267.515.6711, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CAIR-Texas, Interfaith Leaders to Hold Vigil in Dallas in Solidarity with Community of Charleston

cair texas logo (DALLAS, TX, 6/19/15) – Later today, the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW) and interfaith community leaders from North Texas will hold a candlelight vigil to stand in solidarity with the Charleston, S.C., community and remember the nine victims who were murdered when a gunman opened fire Wednesday night inside the Mother Emmanuel AME church.

WHAT: Interfaith Candlelight Vigil
WHEN: Friday, June 19, 7:15 p.m.
WHERE: MLK Jr. Community Center, 2922 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Dallas, TX 75215
CONTACT: CAIR-DFW Executive Director Alia Salem, 817-538-8269 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/755911104528916/

Reverend Dr. Michael Waters of the Joy tabernacle AME Church in Dallas, one of the speakers at tonight’s vigil, said in a statement earlier today, "It is most appropriate that lovers of justice and peace, from many faith traditions across the Dallas Metroplex, join together in offering their petitions to God upon the grounds that bear the name of that great drum major for peace and justice, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As an A.M.E. pastor, and as chair of the King Center Board, I am overwhelmed and grateful for the outpouring of support as we stand in solidarity with our fellow A.M.E's in Charleston, and across the world."

-------Confirmed Speakers---------
1.       Rev. Dr. Ella M. McDonald, Pastor - Greater Dallas District AME Church &  St. Luke AME Church
2.       Rev. Dr. Michael Waters, Pastor - Joy Tabernacle AME Church
3.       Imam Omar Suleiman, Resident Scholar - Valley Ranch Islamic Center
4.       Rev. Dr. Eric Folkerth, Pastor - Northhaven United Methodist Church
5.       Reagan Martin aka Poetry Teacher - Poet/Spoken Word Artist
6.       CAIR-DFW Executive Director Alia Salem will emcee the event

CAIR-DFW Executive Director Alia Salem said in a statement:

"We are deeply saddened by the shooting at the historic 'Mother Emanuel' AME church in Charleston that took the lives of nine innocent worshippers. This is a national tragedy and a horrific act of racially-motivated violence. The deaths of these nine individuals is a heartbreaking reminder of how far we haven't come. We mourn for Charleston and we mourn for our country during this dark time. It is up to all of us to come together and heal as a human community while also working to end these atrocities."

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR-DFW Executive Director Alia Salem, 817-538-8269, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CAIR: Houston Interfaith Prayer Vigil to Be Held in Memory of South Carolina Shooting Victims

cair texas logo(HOUSTON, TEXAS, 6/18/15) - On Friday, June 19, an interfaith vigil and prayer service will be held in Houston, Texas, to honor the victims of yesterday's tragic shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, S.C.

WHAT: Interfaith Vigil and Prayer Service for Victims of Charleston AME Church Shooting
WHERE: Dominican Center for Spirituality, 6501 Almeda Road, Houston, TX 77021
WHEN: Friday, June 19, 4 p.m.
CONTACT: CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll, 713-838-2247 (office), 832-549-1042 (cell), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR-Houston Communications Coordinator Ruth Nasrullah, 713-838-2247 (office), 713-585-6314 (cell), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"We will come together to pray for the shooting victims, their families and for our country," said CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll. "This type of apparently hate-motivated attack should not happen in today's America."
The vigil will include prayers and statements from leaders in Houston's interfaith community including ministers from local AME churches.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll, 713-838-2247 (office), 832-549-1042 (cell), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR-Houston Communications Coordinator Ruth Nasrullah, 713-838-2247 (office), 713-585-6314 (cell), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; P.K. McCary, Think Peace International, 713-485-9214

CAIR: Minnesota Muslims to Begin the month of Ramadan this week.

CAIR MN logo(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 6/16/15) - On June 18,* the Muslim community in Minnesota and around the world will begin the month-long fast of Ramadan (rom-a-don), the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from dawn to sunset.

Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God's commandments. Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam.

The end of Ramadan will be marked by communal prayers called "Eid ul-Fitr," or Feast of the Fast-Breaking on or about July 17.

The fast is performed to exercise discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God's commandments. Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam.

Local mosques will host iftars (fast-breaking meal) on a daily basis, as well as other social activities. Mosques will also have special prayers, called taraweeh, after the daily nighttime prayer. In the last odd-numbered nights of Ramadan, Muslims mark Lailat ul-Qadr ("Night of Power" or "Night of Destiny").

Some Ramadan story coverage ideas for media include:

  • Ramadan food specialties from different parts of the Muslim world
  • Charitable giving and volunteering during Ramadan
  • Sharing Ramadan Dinners
  • Employers and religious accommodations in the workplace
  • Students fasting at school, participating in sports teams
  • Fasting long summer days 
  • Iftar (fast breaking meal) with a Muslim family
  • Economic impact of Ramadan, businesses that market to Muslims during this time

On Friday, June 26 at 6;30pm, CAIR-MN will hold its 9th Annual Ramadan Dinner on Civil Rights at the Mounds View Community Center (5394 Edgewood Drive Mounds View, MN 55112). For more information, visit www.cairmn.com

[*NOTE: Because the beginning of Islamic lunar months depends on the actual sighting of the new moon, the start and end dates for Ramadan may vary. Consult local Muslim communities for the beginning and end dates of Ramadan. ]

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-406-0070, E-Mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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