CAIR-NJ Congratulates Dr. Jabeen Ahmed on Appointment as VP for NJ State Board of Pharmacy

CAIR-NJ Congratulates Dr. Jabeen Ahmed on Appointment as VP for NJ State Board of Pharmacy        

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 7/20/2023) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today congratulated Dr. Jabeen Ahmed on her appointment to the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy as vice president.   

Dr. Ahmed is likely the first Muslim to be appointed to such a position. She is also a board member of the Paterson Coalition Against Substance Abuse and Commissioner of the Passaic County Board of Social Services. 

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh previously honored Dr. Jabeen Ahmed with the Key to the City for her efforts during the COVID pandemic. The City of Paterson said that Dr. Ahmed was instrumental in Paterson achieving the highest vaccination rates in the state through her work at Sheefa Pharmacy.   

SEE: Paterson doctor honored with Key to the City for efforts in the community during COVID-19 pandemic   

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:  

“Dr. Jabeen Ahmed has played a pivotal role in uplifting the Muslim community in New Jersey and the Paterson and Passaic communities at large through her pharmaceutical work.   

“We’re exceptionally proud of her and we’re excited to see her accomplish more and reach more professional and personal milestones.    

“In her new role at the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, Dr. Ahmed paves the way for Muslims — and Muslim women especially — to continue excelling and serving their respective communities.”   

In a statement, New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy Vice President Dr. Jabeen Ahmed said:  

“I am humbled to have the confidence and support of my colleagues and board members to serve as the Vice President for the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy.     

“As a woman, and the first Muslim to serve in this role, there is an added responsibility — a responsibility to encourage diversity, provide insight into the challenges of minorities and those living in inner cities, and, most importantly, a responsibility to continue carrying my faith-based values in this new capacity.     

“I did not seek this endeavor, but I hope it encourages more women, especially Muslim women, to seek positions where we can protect and serve the public effectively. I look forward to being a student and a guide on issues of focus, such as women’s health and substance use disorders.”   

The State Board of Pharmacy, which falls under the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, works to protect the health, safety, and welfare of New Jersey residents. The Board also regulates pharmaceutical practices, reviews regulations and legislation that govern the practice of pharmacy, and issues (or withdraws) practicing licenses. 

 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.       

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592  

CAIR-NJ, Partners Call on Clifton City Council to Uphold Free Speech, Reject Controversial IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

CAIR-NJ, Partners Call on Clifton City Council to Uphold Free Speech, Reject Controversial IHRA Definition of Antisemitism 
    

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 07/18/2023) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today joined community partners in calling on the Clifton City Council to uphold the principles of free speech and to reject the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.   

The Clifton City Council will be deliberating on adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism on Tuesday, July 18 at a general council meeting at 8pm.    

Antisemitism is generally defined as prejudice against and/or hatred of those who identify as Jewish or are associated with Judaism. The IHRA definition of antisemitism expands antisemitism to also include critiques or criticisms of Israel, including Israeli settler colonialism, occupation of the West Bank, its apartheid leveraged against Palestinians, and the ethnic cleansing and oppression of the Palestinian people. Numerous human rights groups, including the major Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, have found these to be violations of international human rights law.   

SEE: International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance muzzles critics of Israel   

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Government Affairs Manager Madina P. Ouedraogo said:        

“The IHRA definition wrongly conflates criticisms of Israel with antisemitism. It silences political debate and muzzles critics of Israel and its far-right racist government. It also delegitimizes the Palestinian movement for self-determination.   

“Adopting the IHRA definition in any capacity poses a threat to residents’ free speech and stifles political discourse in the classroom. We are optimistic that the Clifton City Council will protect residents’ rights and reject the definition.”   

In a statement, Palestinian American Community Center Executive Director Rania Mustafa said:   

“PACC was established in 2014 and over the last 9 and a half years, our existence has been a testament to the fact we have become an integral and staple part of the city of Clifton, but adopting the IHRA definition threatens the existence of our community-oriented and civic engagement work.   

“As an organization we stand firmly against any form of antisemitism, but if this resolution passes, much of our educational work will be put at risk. We cannot teach about the Palestinian struggle or for social and humanitarian justice without calling out Israel, which, based on the IHRA definition, would be deemed as antisemitic.   

“We urge the City Council to combat bigotry in all its form and shapes, but absolutely not at the expense of another community — and definitely not at the expense of our growing Palestinian community.”   

In a statement, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return Co-Founder David Letwin said:   

“As a Jewish resident of Northern New Jersey, and a descendant of victims of antisemitic violence, from Tsarist pogroms to the Holocaust, I strongly urge you not to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) ‘Working Definition of Antisemitism.’ 

 “Misrepresenting itself as a framework for understanding antisemitism, the IHRA definition is in fact a contrivance to smear and silence those who rightly condemn the racism inherent in Zionism and the apartheid Israeli regime.     

“Formally enshrining the sham IHRA definition will serve no purpose other than to undermine local solidarity with Palestinians seeking justice throughout their historic homeland. I once again implore you to reject it.”   

SEE: NJ Palestine solidarity organizations oppose resolution to adopt IHRA antisemitism definition   

In a statement, American Muslims for Palestine New Jersey Chair Wassim Kanaan said:   

“IHRA’s weaponizing of anti-Semitism as a means to stifle advocacy for Palestinian human rights is unethical.    

“Criticism of Israel is rooted in its oppressive policies toward the Palestinian people, not identity. The effort to adopt IHRA in Clifton is not isolated, rather it is part of a broader plan to stop the growing shift in American public opinion calling for Justice for the Palestinian people.” 

 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.        

END        

CONTACT:CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592

CAIR-NJ Calls on New Jersey Members of Congress to Boycott Israeli Pres. Herzog’s Address to Congress

CAIR-NJ Calls on New Jersey Members of Congress to Boycott Israeli Pres. Herzog’s Address to Congress    

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 07/18/2023)– The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today joined in the call for members of Congress to boycott Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, July 19, on the grounds of Israel’s glaring human rights law violations.   

SEE: Boycott Israeli Pres. Isaac Herzog’s Address to Congress     

Israeli settlers stormed the West Bank village of Turmusayya and set fire to homes and cars, where Afif Alasmar, a Clifton business owner, was visiting family. He and his family tried to reach the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem for four hours.        

SEE: NJ residents say US turned its back on them when they were attacked on vacation          

Israeli settlers’ attacks in Turmusayya coincided with Israel’s deadly large-scale raid on Jenin, a Palestinian city home to one of the largest refugee camps in the Occupied West Bank. Israeli settlers killed at least seven Palestinians and injured at least two dozen others. The raid on Jenin began in the midst of Eid ul-Adha, one of two major Islamic holidays.         

SEE: Israel stages a deadly large-scale raid on Palestinian Jenin camp in the West Bank         

Videos also show the Israeli military ploughing through roads in Jenin and targeting journalists, in violation of international human rights law.          

SEE: Israeli bulldozer destroys Jenin street during raid     

SEE: Palestine: Journalists targeted by Israeli forces during raid in Jenin         

CAIR-NJ also directly wrote to New Jersey representatives and Senators urging them to stand by their constituency and boycott President Herzog’s address.

SEE: Progressives plan boycott of Israeli president’s speech to Congress 

SEE: CAIR Applauds Lawmakers Boycotting Speech by Israeli President Due to Country’s ‘Systematic and Escalating’ Human Rights Abuses     

[NOTEIn June, CAIR-NJ welcomed Rep. Watson Coleman’s principled boycott of Prime Minister Modi’s address to Congress]   

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Government Affairs Manager Madina P. Ouedraogo, said:         

“The Israeli government has been found, by many respected groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, to be guilty of grave human rights and international law violations. Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address comes on heels of Israeli settlers’ attacks in Turmusayya and Israel’s deadly large-scale raid on Jenin, a Palestinian city home to one of the largest refugee camps in the Occupied West Bank. 

“Inviting Israeli President Herzog to address a joint session of Congress at a time when the far-right, racist government he represents just set a record for illegal settlement approvals — and during the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank, no less — sends the message that the U.S. government condones war crimes and human rights violations.   

“We urge all New Jersey members of Congress to boycott Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address and to call on the Israeli government to end its illegal occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people, including Palestinian-Americans who are New Jersey residents.” 

Earlier this month CAIR-NJ called on New Jersey Gov. Murphy to ensure protections for Palestinian Americans under attack by Israeli settlers. 

   

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.       

END         

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592

CAIR-NJ Calls on Gov. Murphy to Ensure Protections for Palestinian-Americans Under Attack by Israeli Settlers

CAIR-NJ Calls on Gov. Murphy to Ensure Protections for Palestinian-Americans Under Attack by Israeli Settlers

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 07/07/2023) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on Gov. Murphy’s administration to ensure protections for Palestinian-American dual citizens under attack by Israeli settlers in the Occupied West Bank      

Israeli settlers stormed the West Bank village of Turmusayya and set fire to homes and cars, where Afif Alasmar, a Clifton business owner, was visiting family. He and his family tried to reach the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem for four hours.     

Israeli settlers’ attacks in Turmusayya coincided with Israel’s deadly large-scale raid on Jenin, a Palestinian city home to one of the largest refugee campin the Occupied West Bank. Israeli settlers killed at least seven Palestinians and injured at least two dozen others. The raid on Jenin began in the midst of Eid ul-Adha, one of two major Islamic holidays.      

Videos also show the Israeli military ploughing through roads in Jenin and targeting journalists.       

U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said of the Israeli attacks, “obviously in this situation, there was an excessive force used by Israeli forces.”     

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Government Affairs Manager Madina P. Ouedraogo, said:      

“Between large scale, deadly raids in Jenin and the burning of cars and homes in Turmusayya — during one of the holiest times of the Islamic calendar, no less — Israeli settlers’ surge in violence in recent weeks is especially concerning. A number of Palestinian civilians have since been killed and several more injured.  

“Hundreds of Palestinian families in New Jersey trace their ancestry to the West Bank village of Turmusayya and the camps of Jenin. It is unacceptable that the U.S. Embassy did not respond to families’ calls for help.       

“We urge Governor Murphy to take concrete action to ensure the protection of Palestinian-Americans in the Occupied West Bank against Israeli settler violence. We also urge the Governor to fulfill the promise of citizenship and ensure the immediate safety of Palestinian-American citizens.      

“Furthermore, we call on New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way to reevaluate New Jersey’s partnerships with Israel through the New Jersey Israel Commission. It is unbefitting of New Jersey, one of the most diverse states nationwide with a vibrant Arab and Muslim population, to partner with such a foreign government that has been found, in numerous courts of law, to be guilty of grave human rights violations.”      

CAIR has written a letter to Yael Lempert, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and Hady Amr, Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, calling on them to take concrete actions to protect Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans under attack by Israeli settlers.     

    

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.      

END      

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmeddsayedahmed@cair.com, 551-221-5592