Trump Administration continues to exacerbate the terrorism trope

Posted by Ryan Suto on August 08, 2017 in Blog

The late Jack Shaheen observed in 1984 that U.S. media and culture portray Arabs as only “billionaires, bombers, and belly dancers,” creating flat Arab characters which form the popular tropes that inhabit the mind of millions of Americans and others around the world. Since 9/11, however, many U.S. government officials and politicians have become disinterested in discussing billionaires or belly dancers, leaving only one lens to frame Arab American and American Muslim communities. Despite the broad political trend to frame these communities as only having use as counter-terrorism pawns, the Trump campaign and now the Trump Administration have taken this political trope...

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American Attitudes Toward Arabs, Muslims, Immigration, Civil Rights, and Surveillance (July 2017)

Posted by Arab American Institute on July 31, 2017 in Blog

The Arab American Institute (AAI) released a new Zogby Analytics poll in July, 2017, tracking American Attitudes towards Arabs, Muslims, immigration, civil rights, surveillance, and hate crimes. AAI President James Zogby breaks down the headlines: To download the full poll results click here.    To read "Negative Campaign Against Arabs and Muslims Has Consequences" by James Zogby, click here.  Key Findings: American attitudes toward Arabs and Muslims are sharply divided along partisan lines, with Democrats holding a favorable view of...

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Let’s Make the State Department Better

With Secretary Tillerson on vacation (don’t worry, he’s “not going anywhere”), it appears that President Trump felt the State Department was a bit understaffed: on Wednesday, the President formally nominated Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to serve as the Department’s ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Perhaps most thrilled about the nomination are the residents of Kansas, whose beleaguered Governor has, according to a local House representative, wreaked “carnage and destruction” upon their state through the implementation of calamitous fiscal policies. While not the shiniest of governors (he’s rated second...


Update: The Muslim Ban in the Courtroom

Posted by Ryan Suto on July 19, 2017 in Blog

Today the Supreme Court affirmed an expansion of “familial relationships” exception to Trump’s Muslim Ban, but allowed the Administration to further limit refugee resettlement until later courts weigh in. 

WHERE WE ARE NOW: Citizens of Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Iran are not allowed to travel to the United States unless they have 1) familial ties or 2) bona fide relations with US persons or entities. Family ties include: parent, parent-in-law, spouse, fiancé, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling (whether whole or half), step relationships, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law...

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Sam Harris: Perpetually Misunderstood

Posted by Omar Baddar on July 18, 2017 in Blog

If you ever go online to criticize renowned ‘New Atheist’ Sam Harris for any of his baseless assertions or wrong-headed arguments, you’ll likely find yourself on the receiving end of literally hundreds of tweets claiming you were misquoting him, misunderstanding him, or reading him out of context. Though Harris’s tweeps are ostensibly anti-religion, it’s really remarkable how much their reaction resembles that of a cult whose infallible leader has been questioned. Harris is more obsessed with Islam and Muslims than most contemporary atheist intellectuals, painting this religion as a unique threat to the world. He gained notoriety after...

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U.S. Government avoids investigating and defining the faith of nearly two billion people by five votes

Posted by Ryan Suto on July 14, 2017 in Blog

Early in July Representative Trent Franks of Arizona offered a troubling amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. That amendment was entitled “Strategic assessments of the use of violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine to support extremist or terrorist messaging and justification.”

The amendment sought to empower the Secretary of Defense to create two assessments of "the use of violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine,” one by “relevant” government employees and the other by ‘non-governmental experts from academia, industry, or other entities with appropriate...

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Statement Regarding Supreme Court Action on Muslim Ban

Posted by Arab American Institute on June 26, 2017 in Blog

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26, 2017 Contact: Jennifer Salan jsalan@aaiusa.org / 202-429-9210   Arab American Institute Executive Director Maya Berry issued the following statement on today’s Supreme Court action regarding the Muslim Ban: Today’s announcement from the Supreme Court is a disappointment but it does not mean that bigotry has won the day. In fact, contrary to how the White House has portrayed the Court’s action, what we know is that the Muslim Ban will get a full hearing in October and that the stay granted in...

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When a Crime is Used to Justify Anti-Muslim Legislation

Posted by Guest on June 21, 2017 in Blog

By Haley Arata

Anti-Muslim hate has spread rapidly through the U.S. over the years. While some politicians are stepping up to promote anti-discriminatory efforts, others are pushing more xenophobic legislation like Michigan’s anti-Sharia bill, HB 4499, proposed in April. This bill joins the ranks of proposed anti-Sharia bills across the country. Since 2010, 35 states have either attempted to outlaw, are in the process of outlawing, or have successfully outlawed the legal application of foreign law in their states’ judicial system. These bills emerge from the desire to limit the freedom of religion for certain groups, a direct contradiction to the First Amendment,...

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Arab American Representative Leads a Policy Response to Rising Xenophobia

Posted by Guest on June 19, 2017 in Blog

By Haley Arata As opponents of comprehensive immigration reform ratchet up their rhetoric, some law makers are stepping up and pushing back against growing xenophobia. In Michigan, Rep. Abdullah Hammoud has been quick to oppose discriminatory actions, recently proposing a pro-immigration resolution as part of the Michigan Civil Rights Expansion bill package. The package aims to extend protections to all Michigan residents and ensure that policies don’t discriminate based on place of birth. Hammoud and fourteen other representatives have sponsored 15 separate bills or resolutions as part of the package....

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