Two years ago Magistrate Mahdi Sufi El started America’s first Interfaith Court. A unique and innovative Faith-Based Family Court system that provides Pastoral Mediation, Chaplaincy Services, Peer-Specialist support, and other services to Parishioners in the various Faiths & Religions. Services such as Relationship Counseling, Marriage Ceremonies, Child Support, Child Custody, Name change or correction, and much more.
As a native of Philadelphia and a member of Moorish Science Temple of America, Magistrate El is a young man with a promising vision and future. His purpose is to not only educate others with his wisdom, but also to provide the citizens of Philadelphia with an alternative court system that is based on community self-government, while also bringing the “government of Christ” to the world. Giving people the freedom and option to relate to someone within their own religion while also giving guidance and wisdom.
Yet before he began serving in 2012 as a magistrate for the Philadelphia Interfaith Court, back in 2006 he opened the Moorish International Mission. A unique program that provided emergency-housing, and social programs to Mali-Americans and other nationals from various West-African countries that domicile in America. In December of 2013, Magistrate El and staff launched Philadelphia’s 1st court TV show as they taped season one of Chaplain’s Court (a Family-Court TV show).
Families with claims may file their counseling, marriage, divorce, child custody/support claims, then attend and receive counseling and/or mediation, and/or arbitration for their personal and/or marital-problems. Episodes of Chaplain’s Court will be airing on PhillyCam (Philadelphia Public Access Channel – Verizon & Comcast) other local TV stations and hopefully national networks.
In July of 2014 Chaplains Court had its first Youth Mock Trials featuring students from Philadelphia Job Corps whom attended and played various judicial roles such as Judge, Jury, Bailiff, Attorneys, Plaintiff, and Defendant. This youth component of the Interfaith Court is apart of their grand campaign to teach and mentor the youth in the operation of Law and Justice.
While being an advent support in the community, they also have an outreach program wherein the goal is that everybody can play an essential role in the work that the Interfaith Court system does. By giving people the opportunity to join them in connecting with real people to their very own faith-based family court system. Since 2014 things have been progressing tremendously for Magistrate El. Philadelphia has definitely taken a great liking to this amazing court system. Living in a society that is full of diversity and culture, the city of Philadelphia is always booming with talent.
Besides offering people with different outlooks and perspectives Magistrate El is very passionate about what he is doing. Not only is he sending a positive message to the young people, but also to everybody that he encounters. He wants to empower the citizens of Philadelphia with his strong belief in faith and religion. By building a unique faith-based court system that allows everyone to participate and have a voice. So look out Philly. A new court system is making positive moves in the city of brotherly love!
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