Mixed signals from US over Libya draw criticism, praise

Posted by Barbara Ferguson on March 16, 2011

WASHINGTON: Following President Barack Obama’s announcement that diplomat Chris Stevens — the number two official at the US Embassy in Tripoli until it was suspended when fighting began last month — had been appointed as the special US representative to Libya’s rebel leaders, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held out on the possibility of economic and political aid to the Libyan resistance at a meeting with one of their leaders in Paris, US officials said.It was the highest-level talks she has had with the opposition, and officials present said that late Monday she went beyond offering humanitarian aid but stopped...

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Congressional Hearings on American Muslims

Posted by PBS on March 11, 2011

As Congress prepares for March 10 hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims called by Rep. Peter King of New York, watch highlights from a recent Capitol Hill briefing on Islamophobia in the United States hosted by the Arab American Institute and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Speakers included Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute; Matthew Duss, national security editor for the Center for American Progress; Deepa Iyer, executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together; Suhail Khan, senior fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement; and Alejandro Beutel, government and policy analyst for the Muslim Public...

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Arab-American Groups Offer Civil Society Models to Middle East

Posted by M. Scott Bortot on March 10, 2011

Washington — Arab-American civic activists say they are ready to help build democracy in their homelands — if asked.The activists say they are excited to see political protest across the Arab world. And with a long history of fielding candidates and educating voters about their rights and responsibilities, they say they are ready to share their experience with new democratic movements.“We firmly believe, as Americans of Arab descent, some of us who have been here for generations and some of us who are newer immigrants, we have an incredible connection to our countries of origin, and because of that, I...

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Faith leaders condemn hearings

Posted by Eric Marrapodi on March 09, 2011

Clergy from across the nation's religious spectrum condemned Muslim radicalization hearings by Rep. Peter King, R-New York, which they said unfairly targeted Muslims. The clergy spoke at a press conference Thursday in the Cannon Congressional office building, one floor below the radicalization hearings.The clergy group called Shoulder-to-Shoulder came from Protestant, Catholic, and Evangelical churches; Conservative, Reform, and Orthodox temples; and mosques. Group members said violent extremism was a threat to national security, but it was morally wrong to lump all Muslims into the category of violent extremists."We also stand shoulder-to-shoulder in opposing the singling out of any one religious community...

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Muslims anxious, active ahead of radicalization hearings

Posted by Dan Gilgoff on March 07, 2011

On every day this week, American Muslim activists are working overtime to prepare for congressional hearings on "the radicalization of American Muslims," that open on Thursday.Sunday saw Muslim protestors gather in New York's rain-drenched Times Square to protest the hearings, standing with celebrities like Russell Simmons and other non-Muslims who held signs declaring "I am Muslim, too."On Monday, representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations - a national Muslim advocacy group - met will sympathetic Capitol Hill staffers to discuss communications strategy and grassroots organizing around countering Islamophia.On Tuesday, a coalition of major Muslim, interfaith and civil rights groups will...

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American Muslims Decry ‘Cottage Industry Of Hate’ Ahead Of Pete King Hearings

Posted by Ryan J. Reilly on March 02, 2011

Muslim Americans concerned about anti-Islam rhetoric in the United States described a "cottage industry of hate" during a Capitol Hill panel Wednesday a week ahead of Rep. Peter King's hearing on the radicalization of the Muslim community in America."What they're doing is fear mongering," former Bush administration official Suhail Khan said, describing a group of uber-conservative pundits that includes Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Frank Gaffney who continue to issue dire warnings about the threat Islam purportedly poses to America.The panel was co-hosted by the Arab American Institute and the Muslim Public Affairs Council."We need to understand this as an...

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Scott Horton Interviews Maya Berry

Posted by Scott Horton on February 28, 2011

Maya Berry of the Arab American Institute discusses the March 2nd briefing for congressional staffers, “Islamophobia: A Challenge to American Pluralism,” designed as a counterpoint to Rep. Peter King’s hearings on Muslim “radicalization;” the very lucrative business – the new “Red Scare” – of whipping up fear of Muslims; and the knee-jerk response of many Americans to scary sounding Arabic words they don’t know the meaning of.

Listen to the interview

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