From: Winey, Doreen [dwiney@state.pa.us]
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2011 2:50 PM
To: Hillel Zaremba
Cc: Hardiman, Michael
Subject: RE: Query re. Pennsylvania Inter-Agency Task Force on Civil Tension training materials

Dear Mr. Zaremba,

 

Good day to you.  Ms. Anderson informed me that she sent you information, specifically PHRC’s information on hate crimes per your request.  Your recent emails also noted problems with the stopbias.org website.  The PHRC does not provide oversight to that website.  It was originally designed and continues to be maintained by the Attorney General’s Office.  As I understand it, after we were notified of its inaccessibility, the problem was referred to the AG’s office.

 

You also presented a hypothetical situation in your recent email regarding how PHRC would respond in a particular situation involving potentially discriminatory activity within a school that impacted students.  As I am sure you can appreciate, the nature and details of any PHRC response would have to be framed by the actual events in any given case.  As the state agency given both investigative and adjudicative responsibilities under the statutes we enforce, we are not in a position to respond directly to hypothetical questions, whether related to how we would decide particular issues or related to the nature of any particular outcome to include training issues.  What we can state is that the PHRC, in any given case, looks to all available resources, both internal and external, to insure that should training be an appropriate remedial measure, that training would be designed to insure that those being trained fully understood the rights provided and responsibilities that accompany compliance with the statutes we enforce. 

 

Regarding the information that you provided related to CAIR, you have requested a “substantive reply to the data sent.”  Mr. Hardiman has asked me to advise you that the PHRC does not anticipate any further response to you at this time.  In this regard, we once again invite your organization to become a member of the Tension Taskforce and share your expertise with the other members.

 

           

Doreen M Winey, MBA | Director, Division of Education and Community Services

PA Human Relations Commission

Pennsylvania Place | Suite 300

301 Chestnut St.Harrisburg, PA 17101-2702

Phone:  717.783.8886 | Fax:  717.214.0584

dwiney@state.pa.us

 

Discrimination is illegal in PA.  Get the facts about equal opportunity at www.phrc.state.pa.us

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Hillel Zaremba [mailto:Zaremba@meforum.org]
Sent:
Wednesday, June 08, 2011 3:55 PM
To: Winey, Doreen
Subject: RE: Query re. Pennsylvania Inter-Agency Task Force on Civil Tension training materials

 

Dear Ms. Winey:

 

Thanks again for your prompt response.  I spoke earlier today with your colleague Kheea Anderson and she was kind enough to send me some materials produced by your office and by the PHRC. She also told me that she notified you about the problems with your website (it has become inaccessible at least to outsiders).

 

Per your response, although you are unable to furnish information about a particular incident, perhaps you can answer a question that is not contingent on any particular investigation. If there was a case in which a student felt there was a hurtful and potentially discriminatory portrayal of Muslims and Islam by a teacher or a school, what kind of training would/could you offer to help explain the faith system and those who follow it? What resources do you rely upon in such situations? The Middle East Forum is most interested in reviewing such materials as this is our area of expertise and we’d be happy to look them over for accuracy.

 

Thank you for your offer to become a member of the task force; I will let my superiors know about it and get back to you.

 

Finally, I’m interested in finding out your response to the information we provided about CAIR and whether that will impact the composition of the task force. Have either the new chairman or Mr. Hardiman received copies? As you can imagine, we’re most eager to receive a substantive reply to the data presented.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Hillel Zaremba

Associate Director, Islamist Watch

 

Middle East Forum

1500 Walnut Street, Suite 1050

Philadelphia, PA 19102

215-546-5406 x20

Fax: 215-546-5409

www.meforum.org

www.islamist-watch.org/


From: Winey, Doreen [mailto:dwiney@state.pa.us]
Sent:
Tuesday, June 07, 2011 10:22 AM
To: Hillel Zaremba
Cc: Hardiman, Michael
Subject: Query re. Pennsylvania Inter-Agency Task Force on Civil Tension training materials

 

Dear Mr. Zaremba,

 

Thank you for the information you provided to PHRC. 

 

Membership on the task force is open to agencies that are committed to quickly and appropriately addressing civil tension when conflicts occur, and promoting positive community relations among various groups in order to prevent and eliminate such tension.  We invite your agency to become a member if it so wishes. 

 

Our trainings are basically tailor-made to suit the needs of the group requesting it.  Most involve educating people about the PA Human Relations Act (PHRA) over which PHRC has legal jurisdiction.  I am attaching an example. 

 

Under Section 9 (c) of the PA Human Relations Act, members of the Commission and its staff may not disclose actions associated with the investigation of a case and I therefore cannot comment on your request for information in paragraph #4. 

 

If you need additional information or wish to discuss task force membership information, please let me know.  Thank you.

 

Doreen M Winey, MBA  |  Director, Division of Education and Community Services

PA Human Relations Commission

Pennsylvania Place | Suite 300

301 Chestnut St.Harrisburg, PA 17101-2702

Phone:  717.783.888Fax:  717.214.0584

dwiney@state.pa.us

 

Discrimination is illegal in PA.  Get the facts about equal opportunity at www.phrc.state.pa.us

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Hillel Zaremba [mailto:Zaremba@meforum.org]
Sent:
Monday, June 06, 2011 11:40 AM
To: Winey, Doreen
Subject: RE: Query re. Pennsylvania Inter-Agency Task Force on Civil Tension training materials

 

Dear Ms. Winey:

 

Thank you for your prompt response and allow me to pursue some items of concern and interest.

 

1.      You have confirmed that CAIR is represented on the Task Force. Are you or Acting Executive Director Hardiman aware of CAIR’s status as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial? CAIR is an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamist organization that seeks to impose its vision of Muslim law on all societies it can. In 2007, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg wrote in a government brief that “CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.” In the wake of the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial that resulted in guilty verdicts on 108 counts, the FBI cut off all outreach activities with CAIR and has repeatedly stood by its non-cooperation with the group. As recently as July 2009, U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis found “ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR … with Hamas.” I have provided further information about CAIR and its rocky relationship with government officials, as well as its own words and deeds, which I would hope cause you and the Task Force to reflect on its continued membership with your agency.

2.      The website to which you directed me states that “member agencies of the Task Force have continued to convene out of their own individual interests and out of a collective interest in serving the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Does this mean that member agencies serve at their own discretion or are they invited to participate by your office?

3.      Are there other PHRC-developed training materials available for review besides the two videos mentioned here? The website mentioned “numerous training initiatives for law enforcement, municipal officials and community leaders.” If so, can I receive copies of them? Per my prior email, I would gladly pay any associated shipping and handling charges. 

4.      Referring to a 2010 incident at Clairton City HS, Daniel Beisler, solicitor for Clairton City School District wrote, “Clairton City School District and the family worked through the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to come to an amicable resolution of the complaint… The parents' Complaint was resolved with the goal of promoting respect for diverse cultural traditions.” Without going into confidential details, was the complaint resolved in part through the use of PHRC developed training materials of which you wrote? Can you provide any further details concerning how this complaint was resolved? Was this incident categorized as a “Bias-Related Incident” per the Task Force’s standardized system?

 

Please let me be clear on one important point: Islamist Watch and the Middle East Forum are NOT opposed to the presence of a Muslim organization on the Task Force or any other governmental agency. We support your mission of dealing decisively with issues of alleged bias and discrimination. We are, however, strongly opposed to the legitimation of CAIR which, regrettably, the Task Force offers by including it as a representative agency.

 

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in responding to these questions.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Hillel Zaremba

Associate Director, Islamist Watch

 

Middle East Forum

1500 Walnut Street, Suite 1050

Philadelphia, PA 19102

215-546-5406 x 20

Fax: 215-546-5409

www.meforum.org

www.islamist-watch.org/


From: Winey, Doreen [mailto:dwiney@state.pa.us]
Sent:
Monday, June 06, 2011 9:35 AM
To: Hillel Zaremba
Cc: Hardiman, Michael
Subject: Query re. Pennsylvania Inter-Agency Task Force on Civil Tension training materials

 

Dear Mr. Zaremba,

 

Acting Executive Director Michael Hardiman forwarded your inquiry to me since my Division convenes the task force and I, as Director, chair it.

 

CAIR is represented on the Task Force.  For information related to the mission of the task force and its members please visit the web-site www.stopbias.org if you have not already done so.

 

CAIR has not developed training resources for use by PHRC.  PHRC develops its own training for use solely by PHRC staff in promoting equity and civil rights.

 

I suggest you contact CAIR directly regarding its training resources.

 

 

Doreen M Winey, MBA  |  Director, Division of Education and Community Services

PA Human Relations Commission

Pennsylvania Place | Suite 300

301 Chestnut St.Harrisburg, PA 17101-2702

Phone:  717.783.888Fax:  717.214.0584

dwiney@state.pa.us

 

Discrimination is illegal in PA.  Get the facts about equal opportunity at www.phrc.state.pa.us

 

 -----Original Message-----
From: Hillel Zaremba [mailto:Zaremba@meforum.org]
Sent:
Thursday, June 02, 2011 2:24 PM
To: Hardiman, Michael
Subject: Query re. Pennsylvania Inter-Agency Task Force on Civil Tension training materials

 

Mr. Hardiman,

 

Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Hillel Zaremba and I am the associate director of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

 

It is my understanding that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sits on the Pennsylvania Inter-Agency Task Force on Civil Tension and has been instrumental in developing training resources explaining Islam which are used in the teaching of diversity appreciation and tolerance.  Is my information correct, and if so, can you clarify the extent to which CAIR is involved in producing such training materials?

 

If CAIR does indeed play a role in creating such resources, would it be possible to receive a copy of the materials? I would gladly pay any associated shipping and handling charges. 

 

Thank you for your time and attention,

 

Hillel Zaremba

Associate Director, Islamist Watch

 

Middle East Forum

1500 Walnut Street, Suite 1050

Philadelphia, PA 19102

215-546-5406 x 20

Fax: 215-546-5409

www.meforum.org

www.islamist-watch.org/