JCUA Partners to Create an Inter-Religious Rapid Response Network

December 18, 2012

For the past few months JCUA has been in conversation with partnering faith organizations in an effort to create a unique model of inter-religious collaboration in times of crisis. These conversations have led to the creation of the Chicagoland Inter-Religious Rapid Response Network (CIRRN).

Stop the RacismIn a final planning meeting on December 7th, hosted by JCUA and facilitated by Asaf Bar-Tura – JCUA’s director of programs – Network partner organizations met to finalize the goals and guidelines for the newly formed CIRRN.

The CIRRN states its purpose as “to streamline communication dedicated to mobilizing multi-faith responses to acts of hate and discrimination targeting faith communities in Chicago and its collar counties.”

As explained by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, the Network aims to provide solace to the victims, and to make a stand against all faith-based hate crimes and discrimination by standing strong and providing a united front regardless of religious background.  CIRRN plans to achieve this through a listserve that connects between the leading religious organizations in Chicago to promote communication, provide up-to-date information, and present opportunities for engagement in the aftermath of any incident targeting a faith-based community.  This will allow the various faiths to remain informed on incidents of any kind, and will facilitate a rapid response from all representatives.

This network is the first of its kind in Chicago, and a model to be learned from and implemented across the nation.

For more information please contact Asaf Bar-Tura at asaf@jcua.org


People Responding to JCUA’s Social Media Anti-Hate Campaign

November 16, 2012

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2012, JCUA responded to anti-Muslim ads posted on CTA buses by launching a social media campaign titled “Not in My Chicago.” Since then, JCUA’s response has been covered by many media outlets (see here for full media coverage).

But perhaps most inspiring have been the responses in the community, of Jews and non-Jews alike. We thank you for your support. Here’s are just a bit of your comments:

Thank you for your support and commitment to our work!


10/22/12 Online Event: “Webinar: Coordinating Multi-Faith Partnerships To End Anti-Muslim Sentiment”

September 28, 2012

Asaf Bar-Tura, JCUA’s Director of Programs will speak at an interactive online gathering where faith leaders discuss strategies to combat anti-Muslim sentiments and actions on Monday, Oct. 22, 3:00 CST. To RSVP, please email Asaf Bar-Tura (asaf@jcua.org).

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Bar-Tura speaking about Islamophobia and anti-Semitism at a previous conference

In the beginning of August, America watched as shootings, fires and vandalism targeted American Muslims and American Sikhs.  At least six communities in one week saw acts of hate perpetrated on their places of worship.

Here in the Chicagoland Area we saw:

Read the rest of this entry »


9/5/12 Online Event: “Webinar: Coordinating Multi-Faith Partnerships To End Anti-Muslim Sentiment”

August 31, 2012

Asaf Bar-Tura, JCUA’s Director of Programs will speak at an interactive online gathering where faith leaders discuss strategies to combat anti-Muslim sentiments and actions on Wednesday, Sep. 5, 3:00 CST. To RSVP, please email Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, who will send call-in information.

==========

Bar-Tura speaking about Islamophobia and anti-Semitism at a previous conference

In the beginning of August, America watched as shootings, fires and vandalisms targeted American Muslims and American Sikhs.  At least six communities in one week saw acts of hate perpetrated on their places of worship.

Here in the Chicagoland Area we saw:

Read the rest of this entry »


ACTION ALERT: On Friday 8/17, Vigil Against Islamophobia

August 16, 2012

[UPDATE: Due to weather, the vigil was rescheduled for FRIDAY, 8/17, 5pm. These changes are reflected below]

In response to the recent violence against the Chicagoland Muslim community (shooting at mosque in Morton Grove and home-made bomb thrown at an Islamic day school in Lombard), JCUA, the Muslim community and our interfaith allies will be holding a vigil to express our concern.

When: Friday,  8/17, 5:00PM
Where: Downtown Chicago, corner of Congress and Michigan.

Judy Levey, JCUA’s CEO, will be speaking at the vigil . Earlier this week Levey was quoted in the Chicago Tribune saying: “”Our own Jewish historical experience of being a minority has taught us of the dangers of stereotyping and demonization a vulnerable community. The Jewish community must not, and will not, stay silent.”
Please join us as we take this important stand against hate and bigotry.
“How many disasters do we have to go through in order to realize that all of humanity has a stake in the liberty of one person; whenever one person is offended, we are all hurt. What begins as inequality of some inevitably ends as inequality of all” (Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel)

Lowe’s Helps to Bring the Treatment of American Muslims to a New Low

December 15, 2011

 JCUA Statement

Click the picture to sign a petition protesting companies' decisions to pull advertising from "All-American Muslim."

The treatment  of  American Muslims by the media has reached a new low.

It has been clear for a while that there seems to be a concerted effort to demonize the Muslim community, and now corporate America is caving in to pressure from anti-Muslim groups to pull their ads from a reality TV show on the TLC cable network.

The latest battleground is a TV show. All American Muslim features the lives of American Muslim families. The show humanizes Muslims and challenges  negative stereotypes.

As depicted in the series, these families face the same types of issues as “average” Americans, compounded by the challenges of racism, religious conflict and the epidemic of Islamophobia that has been growing since 9/11.

Last week, anti-Muslim groups, led by the Florida Family Association, pressured American companies to pull their advertising dollars. They succeeded.  Lowe’s Home Improvement pulled their ads from the show.

Religious bigotry here in America? How is this possible?

A country founded by groups fleeing religious persecution?

As a  Jewish organization that has been partnering with Muslim organizations for more than 10 years to protect civil liberties and civil rights, we are asking you to take a stand against Islamophobia. A country founded by those who fled religious persecution should not and cannot tolerate bigotry of any kind.

Click here to sign the petition. (Once you sign, your name will be added to the 20,000 others who have spoken out already.)

This petition demands that American companies reject fear-mongering and stand for an America that values the dignity and the contributions of all its people.

As a Jewish community, we will not stand idly by and witness discrimination and prejudice against a people because of their religion.  Someone’s faith cannot be a tool for oppression. We stand in solidarity with Muslim-Americans in confronting Lowe’s and other companies’ bigotry.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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www.thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:404234
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Comedian Jon Stewart Pokes Fun

The campaign  to pull ads from All-American Muslim is so offensive it is almost funny. Use the link above to see how Jon Stewart frames this absurd controversy.


Chicago Leaders Stand Together Against Peter King Hearings

March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011– Chicago leaders gathered to share their concerns about the controversial congressional hearings being led by Rep. Peter King on the supposed radicalization of American Muslims. Below are statements of several leaders on the issue.

Jane Ramsey

Jane Ramsey, executive director of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs

The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs will remain vigilant with our friends from the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and many other Muslim organizations with which we work and partner. It has been our joy to work together over the number of years to create a better Chicago and to create a better nation.

Azam Nizamuddin

Azam Nizamuddin, chair of Interfaith Coordinating Committee for the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago

Our concern is while our nation is in the midst of one of the worst economic periods since the Great Depression, while our local, state and federal governments are unable to balance their budgets, Congressman King is engaging in Islamophobia merely for political posturing… We are concerned that the hearings are not really seriously engaging in these issues but are really more or less trying to foment fear and misunderstanding of a religious minority.

Asaf Bar-Tura

Asaf Bar-Tura, coordinator of JCUA’s Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative

In these 10 years of the Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative, our Muslim counterparts have been true partners on the journey towards a more healthy, strong and diverse democracy in America. As communities of faith, we share a commitment to civically engaging our members and we all face various challenges. But to single out one community is not only an insult to all of us, but it is dangerous to all of us. We call on our elected officials to carry out the task of ensuring national security with determination and with sensitivity, but not with misguided media spectacles. Read the rest of this entry »


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