(PHILADELPHIA, PA., 6/11/19) – The Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, and coalition partners today welcomed the decision of US Army War College to “postpone” a lecture scheduled for June 19 by Islamophobic speaker Raymond Ibrahim.
CAIR-Philadelphia previously sent a letter to the US Army War College requesting the removal of Ibrahim’s lecture from the college’s prestigious 50th Annual Lecture Series. The letter said: "Mr. Ibrahim’s analysis is based on poor research and carries a high potential to instigate hatred against Muslims. We are deeply concerned that his troubling views would skew our servicemen and servicewomen’s perceptions of Islam and Muslims."
In a statement, Jacob Bender, CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director said: “We are glad to see that the US Army War College and the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center decided to postpone the lecture. However, the statement by the College spokeswoman falls short of repudiating Mr. Ibrahim’s racist views. A postponement is not enough - the college should reject hate. We will continue to advocate for inclusion of solid academic analysis and exclusion of anti-Muslim racist theories in the college’s programming. As our letter to the college highlighted, we are ready to provide an alternative viewpoint and suggest a pool of academic analysts who can provide an objective assessment of military and historical perspectives to the US Army War College community.”
Last week CAIR and its allies launched an online campaign highlighting Ibrahim’s Islamophobic views and their negative impact. Led by CAIR-Philadelphia and MPower Change and supported by Community Responders Network, About Face, and Common Defense, the campaign drew more than 1800 signatures and received widespread support from its interfaith allies.
In response to the coalition’s campaign against his lecture, Ibrahim restated his bigoted claim that “Islamic terrorism and ‘extremism’ are intrinsic to Islam, and have been from its first contact with Western civilization in the seventh century.”
CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
The Washington-based civil rights organization recently released a groundbreaking report, called “Hijacked by Hate: American Philanthropy and the Islamophobia Network,” listing the philanthropic foundations, many of them mainstream, that were used by anonymous special interest donors to funnel almost $125 million to anti-Muslim hate groups between 2014 and 2016.
The report’s authors noted that one outcome of the funding and promotion of anti-Muslim hate and conspiracy theories has been the measurable nationwide increase in anti-Muslim hate violence, bullying of children and discrimination. The period covered by the report showed a marked increase in anti-Muslim hate violence and discrimination.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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 Jacob Bender, 917-660-3805 (cell), 267-515-6711 (office), firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-Philadelphia Outreach and Education Director Ahmet Tekelioglu, 617-401-5397 (cell);email@example.com