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The Philadelphia and Pittsburgh chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released a public letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro denouncing his statements in reaction to the recent cycle of violence in the Middle East.

More than 60 representatives of Pennsylvania’s Muslim organizations, mosques and schools have co-signed the letter, which criticizes Governor Shapiro’s disregard for his Palestinian-American constituents who have lost family members or are concerned for their safety due to Israel’s indiscriminate attacks against civilian areas.

“Governor Shapiro deliberately chose to ignore the humanity of Palestinians who are once again being ignored by the international community,” said CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Tekelioglu. “Our community expected better from someone who has spent time at our events and in our community centers. There are leaders he personally knows who have lost family members to airstrikes in Gaza. His silence on Palestinian civilians sends a strong message. We applaud and join countless organizations that chose to speak out against this hurtful and unethical stance.”

The letter was composed after Shapiro’s recent comments, including Wednesday’s interview on KDKA Radio in which the governor said that “Hamas is hell bent on destroying Israel and ridding the region of Jews. They do not seek peace, and they do not seek lasting compromise. And I think for anyone who tries to paint a picture of moral equivalency here, I asked you, you know, is taking innocent civilians hostage? Is that okay? We are witnessing crimes against humanity by Hamas. They are a terrorist organization. Period.”

“Governor Shapiro’s refusal to acknowledge the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people, in the face of decades of oppression, is deeply disheartening,” said CAIR-Pittsburgh Executive Director Christine Mohamed. “If we truly value human rights, it is imperative that we stand in solidarity against violence and that includes the Palestinians who continue to endure immense hardship. Our community joins the chorus of numerous organizations that have chosen to raise their voices against this hurtful and morally untenable stance. It is our hope that Governor Shapiro reconsiders his position and takes a more compassionate and just approach to this pressing issue.”

In the letter, CAIR expressed its disappointment and dismay with the governor and his statements, writing that the governor “failed to represent, recognize, and respect all Pennsylvanians, despite your rhetoric to the contrary in numerous talks in the last year — some uttered in our houses of worship where we hosted you.

“We are a people of justice and balance. We do not condone violence against civilians, whoever may be the perpetrator; our faith dictates that we condemn injustice even when it may be done by our own. We value all human life — whatever faith they hail from. We had hoped you would join us in recognizing the humanity of over 2.5 million people being held hostage, facing death and famine in Gaza.”

The letter continues by emphasizing that there are those that have lost family members to airstrikes targeting civilians in Gaza and that a Muslim’s most cherished quality is justice.

“Since last weekend, you have not even once publicly recognized the inhumane treatment of civilians, systematic occupation and apartheid, and dehumanization by Israel against civilian Muslim, Christian, Druze Palestinians. Not only did you fail to recognize the structural root causes of the conflict, you chose to intentionally ignore the civilian loss of life in Gaza. With all due respect, Governor Shapiro, you missed the opportunity to speak as the Governor of all Pennsylvanians. Your one-sided statements are not shared by our beautiful, dynamic, long-standing, and proud Community.”

Shapiro, who shared his pride in being an American Jew during the interview, also said that “I think it’s also important for all of us as Pennsylvanians, once our loved ones are home, to not lose sight of what’s happening in the region. We need to gird ourselves for what appears to be going to be a long war and we need to remain on the side of Israel. We need to stand with Israel. We need to stand up against this type of terror. We cannot allow this anywhere in the Middle East or anywhere in our area.”

“Words matter, Governor Shapiro,” CAIR responded. “The rhetoric coming from our elected officials create a context where anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate found flourishing ground and we are concerned for our communities. Your statement on Monday October 9, 2023 (referring to his comments at the Kaiserman Jewish Community Center in Wynnewood), is an effective endorsement of all these policies and the racist, militaristic discourse coming from Israel.

“We will continue to call you out when you fail and celebrate when you serve. Choosing to ignore and disrespect thousands of Palestinian Pennsylvanians for whom this state has been a home for decades will be marked as a shame on your record.

“We are used to politicians who visit our communities for photo-ops. We thought you were different.

“We are sad to be proven wrong by our Governor.”

The Philadelphia and Pittsburgh chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released a public letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro denouncing his statements in reaction to the recent cycle of violence in the Middle East.

More than 60 representatives of Pennsylvania’s Muslim organizations, mosques and schools have co-signed the letter, which criticizes Governor Shapiro’s disregard for his Palestinian-American constituents who have lost family members or are concerned for their safety due to Israel’s indiscriminate attacks against civilian areas.

“Governor Shapiro deliberately chose to ignore the humanity of Palestinians who are once again being ignored by the international community,” said CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Tekelioglu. “Our community expected better from someone who has spent time at our events and in our community centers. There are leaders he personally knows who have lost family members to airstrikes in Gaza. His silence on Palestinian civilians sends a strong message. We applaud and join countless organizations that chose to speak out against this hurtful and unethical stance.”

The letter was composed after Shapiro’s recent comments, including Wednesday’s interview on KDKA Radio in which the governor said that “Hamas is hell bent on destroying Israel and ridding the region of Jews. They do not seek peace, and they do not seek lasting compromise. And I think for anyone who tries to paint a picture of moral equivalency here, I asked you, you know, is taking innocent civilians hostage? Is that okay? We are witnessing crimes against humanity by Hamas. They are a terrorist organization. Period.”

“Governor Shapiro’s refusal to acknowledge the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people, in the face of decades of oppression, is deeply disheartening,” said CAIR-Pittsburgh Executive Director Christine Mohamed. “If we truly value human rights, it is imperative that we stand in solidarity against violence and that includes the Palestinians who continue to endure immense hardship. Our community joins the chorus of numerous organizations that have chosen to raise their voices against this hurtful and morally untenable stance. It is our hope that Governor Shapiro reconsiders his position and takes a more compassionate and just approach to this pressing issue.”

In the letter, CAIR expressed its disappointment and dismay with the governor and his statements, writing that the governor “failed to represent, recognize, and respect all Pennsylvanians, despite your rhetoric to the contrary in numerous talks in the last year — some uttered in our houses of worship where we hosted you.

“We are a people of justice and balance. We do not condone violence against civilians, whoever may be the perpetrator; our faith dictates that we condemn injustice even when it may be done by our own. We value all human life — whatever faith they hail from. We had hoped you would join us in recognizing the humanity of over 2.5 million people being held hostage, facing death and famine in Gaza.”

The letter continues by emphasizing that there are those that have lost family members to airstrikes targeting civilians in Gaza and that a Muslim’s most cherished quality is justice.

“Since last weekend, you have not even once publicly recognized the inhumane treatment of civilians, systematic occupation and apartheid, and dehumanization by Israel against civilian Muslim, Christian, Druze Palestinians. Not only did you fail to recognize the structural root causes of the conflict, you chose to intentionally ignore the civilian loss of life in Gaza. With all due respect, Governor Shapiro, you missed the opportunity to speak as the Governor of all Pennsylvanians. Your one-sided statements are not shared by our beautiful, dynamic, long-standing, and proud Community.”

Shapiro, who shared his pride in being an American Jew during the interview, also said that “I think it’s also important for all of us as Pennsylvanians, once our loved ones are home, to not lose sight of what’s happening in the region. We need to gird ourselves for what appears to be going to be a long war and we need to remain on the side of Israel. We need to stand with Israel. We need to stand up against this type of terror. We cannot allow this anywhere in the Middle East or anywhere in our area.”

“Words matter, Governor Shapiro,” CAIR responded. “The rhetoric coming from our elected officials create a context where anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate found flourishing ground and we are concerned for our communities. Your statement on Monday October 9, 2023 (referring to his comments at the Kaiserman Jewish Community Center in Wynnewood), is an effective endorsement of all these policies and the racist, militaristic discourse coming from Israel.

“We will continue to call you out when you fail and celebrate when you serve. Choosing to ignore and disrespect thousands of Palestinian Pennsylvanians for whom this state has been a home for decades will be marked as a shame on your record.

“We are used to politicians who visit our communities for photo-ops. We thought you were different.

“We are sad to be proven wrong by our Governor.”

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The Philadelphia and Pittsburgh chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released a public letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro denouncing his statements in reaction to the recent cycle of violence in the Middle East.

More than 60 representatives of Pennsylvania’s Muslim organizations, mosques and schools have co-signed the letter, which criticizes Governor Shapiro’s disregard for his Palestinian-American constituents who have lost family members or are concerned for their safety due to Israel’s indiscriminate attacks against civilian areas.

“Governor Shapiro deliberately chose to ignore the humanity of Palestinians who are once again being ignored by the international community,” said CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Tekelioglu. “Our community expected better from someone who has spent time at our events and in our community centers. There are leaders he personally knows who have lost family members to airstrikes in Gaza. His silence on Palestinian civilians sends a strong message. We applaud and join countless organizations that chose to speak out against this hurtful and unethical stance.”

The letter was composed after Shapiro’s recent comments, including Wednesday’s interview on KDKA Radio in which the governor said that “Hamas is hell bent on destroying Israel and ridding the region of Jews. They do not seek peace, and they do not seek lasting compromise. And I think for anyone who tries to paint a picture of moral equivalency here, I asked you, you know, is taking innocent civilians hostage? Is that okay? We are witnessing crimes against humanity by Hamas. They are a terrorist organization. Period.”

“Governor Shapiro’s refusal to acknowledge the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people, in the face of decades of oppression, is deeply disheartening,” said CAIR-Pittsburgh Executive Director Christine Mohamed. “If we truly value human rights, it is imperative that we stand in solidarity against violence and that includes the Palestinians who continue to endure immense hardship. Our community joins the chorus of numerous organizations that have chosen to raise their voices against this hurtful and morally untenable stance. It is our hope that Governor Shapiro reconsiders his position and takes a more compassionate and just approach to this pressing issue.”

In the letter, CAIR expressed its disappointment and dismay with the governor and his statements, writing that the governor “failed to represent, recognize, and respect all Pennsylvanians, despite your rhetoric to the contrary in numerous talks in the last year — some uttered in our houses of worship where we hosted you.

“We are a people of justice and balance. We do not condone violence against civilians, whoever may be the perpetrator; our faith dictates that we condemn injustice even when it may be done by our own. We value all human life — whatever faith they hail from. We had hoped you would join us in recognizing the humanity of over 2.5 million people being held hostage, facing death and famine in Gaza.”

The letter continues by emphasizing that there are those that have lost family members to airstrikes targeting civilians in Gaza and that a Muslim’s most cherished quality is justice.

“Since last weekend, you have not even once publicly recognized the inhumane treatment of civilians, systematic occupation and apartheid, and dehumanization by Israel against civilian Muslim, Christian, Druze Palestinians. Not only did you fail to recognize the structural root causes of the conflict, you chose to intentionally ignore the civilian loss of life in Gaza. With all due respect, Governor Shapiro, you missed the opportunity to speak as the Governor of all Pennsylvanians. Your one-sided statements are not shared by our beautiful, dynamic, long-standing, and proud Community.”

Shapiro, who shared his pride in being an American Jew during the interview, also said that “I think it’s also important for all of us as Pennsylvanians, once our loved ones are home, to not lose sight of what’s happening in the region. We need to gird ourselves for what appears to be going to be a long war and we need to remain on the side of Israel. We need to stand with Israel. We need to stand up against this type of terror. We cannot allow this anywhere in the Middle East or anywhere in our area.”

“Words matter, Governor Shapiro,” CAIR responded. “The rhetoric coming from our elected officials create a context where anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate found flourishing ground and we are concerned for our communities. Your statement on Monday October 9, 2023 (referring to his comments at the Kaiserman Jewish Community Center in Wynnewood), is an effective endorsement of all these policies and the racist, militaristic discourse coming from Israel.

“We will continue to call you out when you fail and celebrate when you serve. Choosing to ignore and disrespect thousands of Palestinian Pennsylvanians for whom this state has been a home for decades will be marked as a shame on your record.

“We are used to politicians who visit our communities for photo-ops. We thought you were different.

“We are sad to be proven wrong by our Governor.”

The Philadelphia and Pittsburgh chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released a public letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro denouncing his statements in reaction to the recent cycle of violence in the Middle East.

More than 60 representatives of Pennsylvania’s Muslim organizations, mosques and schools have co-signed the letter, which criticizes Governor Shapiro’s disregard for his Palestinian-American constituents who have lost family members or are concerned for their safety due to Israel’s indiscriminate attacks against civilian areas.

“Governor Shapiro deliberately chose to ignore the humanity of Palestinians who are once again being ignored by the international community,” said CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Tekelioglu. “Our community expected better from someone who has spent time at our events and in our community centers. There are leaders he personally knows who have lost family members to airstrikes in Gaza. His silence on Palestinian civilians sends a strong message. We applaud and join countless organizations that chose to speak out against this hurtful and unethical stance.”

The letter was composed after Shapiro’s recent comments, including Wednesday’s interview on KDKA Radio in which the governor said that “Hamas is hell bent on destroying Israel and ridding the region of Jews. They do not seek peace, and they do not seek lasting compromise. And I think for anyone who tries to paint a picture of moral equivalency here, I asked you, you know, is taking innocent civilians hostage? Is that okay? We are witnessing crimes against humanity by Hamas. They are a terrorist organization. Period.”

“Governor Shapiro’s refusal to acknowledge the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people, in the face of decades of oppression, is deeply disheartening,” said CAIR-Pittsburgh Executive Director Christine Mohamed. “If we truly value human rights, it is imperative that we stand in solidarity against violence and that includes the Palestinians who continue to endure immense hardship. Our community joins the chorus of numerous organizations that have chosen to raise their voices against this hurtful and morally untenable stance. It is our hope that Governor Shapiro reconsiders his position and takes a more compassionate and just approach to this pressing issue.”

In the letter, CAIR expressed its disappointment and dismay with the governor and his statements, writing that the governor “failed to represent, recognize, and respect all Pennsylvanians, despite your rhetoric to the contrary in numerous talks in the last year — some uttered in our houses of worship where we hosted you.

“We are a people of justice and balance. We do not condone violence against civilians, whoever may be the perpetrator; our faith dictates that we condemn injustice even when it may be done by our own. We value all human life — whatever faith they hail from. We had hoped you would join us in recognizing the humanity of over 2.5 million people being held hostage, facing death and famine in Gaza.”

The letter continues by emphasizing that there are those that have lost family members to airstrikes targeting civilians in Gaza and that a Muslim’s most cherished quality is justice.

“Since last weekend, you have not even once publicly recognized the inhumane treatment of civilians, systematic occupation and apartheid, and dehumanization by Israel against civilian Muslim, Christian, Druze Palestinians. Not only did you fail to recognize the structural root causes of the conflict, you chose to intentionally ignore the civilian loss of life in Gaza. With all due respect, Governor Shapiro, you missed the opportunity to speak as the Governor of all Pennsylvanians. Your one-sided statements are not shared by our beautiful, dynamic, long-standing, and proud Community.”

Shapiro, who shared his pride in being an American Jew during the interview, also said that “I think it’s also important for all of us as Pennsylvanians, once our loved ones are home, to not lose sight of what’s happening in the region. We need to gird ourselves for what appears to be going to be a long war and we need to remain on the side of Israel. We need to stand with Israel. We need to stand up against this type of terror. We cannot allow this anywhere in the Middle East or anywhere in our area.”

“Words matter, Governor Shapiro,” CAIR responded. “The rhetoric coming from our elected officials create a context where anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate found flourishing ground and we are concerned for our communities. Your statement on Monday October 9, 2023 (referring to his comments at the Kaiserman Jewish Community Center in Wynnewood), is an effective endorsement of all these policies and the racist, militaristic discourse coming from Israel.

“We will continue to call you out when you fail and celebrate when you serve. Choosing to ignore and disrespect thousands of Palestinian Pennsylvanians for whom this state has been a home for decades will be marked as a shame on your record.

“We are used to politicians who visit our communities for photo-ops. We thought you were different.

“We are sad to be proven wrong by our Governor.”

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?


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