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Jewish Filmmaker, Activist Appointed Director of Muslim Civil Rights Group

Jacob Bender is now the highest non-ranked Muslim on the Council of American-Islamic Relations

By: Brittany Lauton
Published: October 21st, 2013 in News » World
Jacob Bender

Jacob Bender is now the highest-ranking non-Muslim on the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

A report from Religion News Service confirms that the Jewish filmmaker/interfaith activist has officially been appointed executive director of CAIR’s Philadelphia chapter, making him the first Jew ever to serve on the board.

"The Muslim community is under attack from Islamophobic forces, and it is the obligation and responsibility of people of good will to stand up and say this is a bigoted attack," Bender said, according to the Jewish Daily Forward, adding that his new position is in keeping with his life’s goals.

A 2006 Anti-Defamation League document charges CAIR of extremist views where Israel is concerned, but both CAIR and Bender dismiss the charges as unfounded.

"There will always be those who will try to demonize other groups," Bender added. "I find no contradiction between my long-stated opinions on the Middle East and those of CAIR."

Iftekhar Hussein, chairman CAIR-Philadelphia’s board expressed his enthusiasm in Bender’s appointment.

"The needs of the Muslim community are really the needs of any minority community in the United States. Jacob, being Jewish, understands that from his own background," the chairman said.

Related articles: Jewish News, CAIR, Jacob Bender, Muslim, Philadelphia
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