Tech Entrepreneurs Affirm Commitment to Civil Liberties & Community Partnership Ahead of Trump Meeting

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on December 14, 2016 in Blog

The Trump transition team held a much anticipated discussion on Wednesday with technology leaders regarding a litany of issues at the intersection of technology, national security, and the economy. Ahead of the meeting, 50 tech entrepreneurs signed an open letter stating their commitment to civil liberties and a "categorical refusal" to build tools that could threaten them. The letter is a not so subtle condemnation of some of Trump’s national security plans that were laid out on the campaign trail – including reinstating NSEERS...

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Combating the Trend of Hate: AAI Brings Together Rights Groups For Hill Briefing

Posted by Guest on December 12, 2016 in Blog

By Mahamad Omar On Thursday, December 8th, the Arab American Institute held a briefing to discuss the recent post-election uptick in hate incidents, the historic problem of underreporting, and potential reporting and policy solutions. The panel, which attracted a standing room only crowd, included Arjun Singh Sethi, Director of Law and Policy at the Sikh Coalition, Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Project Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Madihha Ahussain, Staff Attorney for Muslim Advocates, and Nadia Aziz, Government Relations Director of the Arab American Institute. These...

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How to Report Discrimination

Posted by Arab American Institute on December 12, 2016 in Blog

Federal civil rights laws were put in place to protect our constitutional rights. Yet despite mechanisms to submit complaints of discrimination, instances of discrimination and hate often go unreported.  In order to protect our civil rights and ensure equal protection, it is imperative that we report instances of discrimination to the proper government entities who can, where appropriate, pursue prosecutions. Below are resources and information on where to report various instances of discrimination and hate.

Employment Discrimination The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission...

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Combatting the Trend of Hate, Experts Examine Underreporting of Hate Crimes, Uptick & Solutions

Posted by Arab American Institute on December 07, 2016 in Blog

Washington, DC – On Thursday, Dec 8, the Arab American Institute will hold a briefing at 10:30AM to discuss the recent post-election uptick in hate incidents, the historic problem of underreporting considering the 2015 hate crime data and potential reporting and policy solutions. This panel provides an excellent opportunity for congressional staffers who are preparing for 2017 legislative priorities and confirmation hearings to learn first-hand from community experts about what they are witnessing and what policy solutions they envision. “Our nation has witnessed an...

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Political Dissent is Not Hate

Posted by Ali Albassam on December 07, 2016 in Blog

Last week, the Senate passed a bill called the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act” to counter rising anti-Semitism. Sounds like a sensible bill, right? But dig deeper, and you will find the legislation vaguely defines anti-Semitism in a way that conflates well founded criticisms of Israel’s human rights abuses and discriminatory policies with hatred. This bill, which was presented in a manner that provided no opportunity for debate, used the State Department's working definition of anti-Semitism and applies it in domestic settings of schools and college campuses. It seeks to expand...

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Washington Watch: Senate Passes a Dumb and Dangerous Bill

Posted on December 06, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Last week, without debate or an actual vote, the US Senate stealthily passed a disturbing and dangerous piece of legislation introduced by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA). Called "The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016" (AAA), the Scott-Casey bill requires the Department of Education (DOE) to apply the State Department's (DOS) definition of anti-Semitism in evaluating complaints of discrimination on US campuses.  The DOS definition of and guidelines on anti-Semitism were designed to help US officials monitor anti-Semitism abroad. They were not intended to be applied to police speech on college...

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Urge Your Member of Congress to Support Free Speech

Posted on December 02, 2016 in Action Alerts
U.S. Representatives Roskam (R-IL) and Deutch (D-FL) introduced legislation that would infringe on free speech.HR 6421, the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016” conflates political opposition with instances of hate. This bill uses the State Department definition of anti-Semitism and applies it in domestic settings of schools and college campuses. It would expand the definition of Title VI protection to include criticism of Israel. This would threaten free speech.
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Support Free Speech

Posted on December 01, 2016 in Action Alerts
Senator Casey (D-PA) and Senator Scott (R-SC) co-sponsored a bi-partisan bill titled “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016.” This bill uses the State Department definition of anti-Semitism and applies in domestic settings of schools and college campuses. It would expand the definition of Title VI protection to include criticism of Israel. This would threaten free speech. At a time when hate crimes against minority communities have increased, it is imperative that our elected officials do not conflate criticisms of policies and political opposition with instances of hate.
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Washington Watch: Standing Rock and Palestine: The Struggle for Justice is One

Posted on November 28, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Last week, I joined several hundred protesters in a sit-in in front of the Army Corps of Engineers' Headquarters in Washington, DC. We were protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline designed to daily transport over 500 thousand barrels of fracked oil southward to be refined.   The DC protest was part of an international day of solidarity with efforts led by Native Americans at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. In all, demonstrations were held in over 300 cities worldwide. On one level, the issues involved are presented as complicated matters...

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Arab Americans Oppose NSEERS

Posted on November 21, 2016 in Press Releases

Download here   For Immediate Release: November 21, 2016 Arab Americans Oppose NSEERS Coalition Calls on Obama to Dismantle Framework

  The Arab American Institute joined nearly 200 groups calling on the Administration of President Obama to do away with the framework of the discriminatory National Security Exit-Entry Registration System (NSEERS). Full text of the letter below:

November 21, 2016

President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:...

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