“It is a sign of their contempt for Americans.”

Posted on July 21, 2010 in Campaign Statements

“[People] don’t understand that "Cordoba House" is a deliberately insulting term. It refers to Cordoba, Spain – the capital of Muslim conquerors who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world’s third-largest mosque complex. Today, some of the Mosque’s backers insist this term is being used to"symbolize interfaith cooperation" when, in fact, every Islamist in the world recognizes Cordoba as a symbol of Islamic conquest. It is a sign of their contempt for Americans and their confidence in our historic ignorance that they would deliberately insult us this way.”

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An Early Look at November

Posted on July 19, 2010 in Washington Watch

White House spokesperson, Robert Gibbs, caused a bit of a stir last week when, in an appearance on Meet the Press, he suggested that Democrats might lose control of the House of Representatives in November. To be fair, Gibbs was merely saying what has become accepted as conventional wisdom in Washington. Nevertheless, his comments concerned many Democratic Members of Congress who feared the remarks might serve to depress Democratic voters while emboldening Republicans.

Democratic leaders were also upset feeling that after making tough votes supporting the White House’s agenda—a stimulus package, a “cap and trade” energy bill, health...

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Matt Heinz: Healing Arizona with a Superhuman Work Ethic

Posted by on July 02, 2010 in Blog

Working the graveyard shift as a medical professional can be an extremely taxing experience. How about negotiating that with the demands of a daytime job as well? Arab American Arizona State Representative Matt Heinz does just that—legislator by day, doctor by night, Heinz serves his community in a multitude of ways.  Born in Michigan, Heinz is half Lebanese and half German. His grandfather immigrated to Colorado, where his mother was born. Describing visits with his grandfather as a child, Heinz recalls his welcoming nature interspersed with occasional inappropriate remarks in Arabic. Heinz attended Albion College in Michigan...

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is charging ahead in his political career

Posted by on July 01, 2010 in Blog

There is a pause to ponder in almost every interview, a hiccup in the stream of words, a groping for just the right phrase, and then it emerges: “With Ray, what you see is what you get.”

He has worked for three decades in Washington, capital of spin, of parsing, of nuance, of cunning, of backstabbing intrigue, where half-truths are too common to refute and many a flat-out lie goes without rebuke.

Amid all of that, Ray LaHood, the most out-there secretary of transportation in history, is that rare mammal in modern Washington: a regular...

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Beauty Pageants and Neocons

Posted by on May 20, 2010 in Blog

Sunday night Rima Fakih, a Muslim immigrant from Lebanon who now calls Dearborn, Michigan her home, was crowned Miss USA.

Fakih’s win became a source of great pride for many in the Arab American community. And without any commentary on the role of beauty pageants and their depiction of women, as a beauty queen, Ms. Fakih is now as all-American as apple pie and baseball.

That could be the end of this nice story, but no. Because of Ms. Fakih’s ethnicity or faith, it is unfortunately just the beginning.

Talking heads from the right...

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Arab Americans at the White House and on the Hill

Posted by on April 23, 2010 in Blog

On Thursday, April 22, the Arab American Institute (AAI), in cooperation with the National Network of Arab American Communities (NNAAC), hosted over 80 Arab American leaders from across the country for an Arab American Leadership Day in Washington DC. The day included a White House Leadership Briefing, followed by a Capitol Hill Meet and Greet Lunch with members of Congress.

AAI worked closely with the White House Office of Public Engagement to organize the briefing with senior Administration officials to discuss issues affecting the Arab American community. Samuel Bagenstos, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at...

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Farouk Shami: First Palestinian American to Run for Texas Governor

Posted by on February 18, 2010 in Blog

As the first Palestinian American to run for governor in Texas, Farouk Shami embodies the classic “American Dream.” Since coming to the U.S. as a student from Ramallah forty-five years ago, Shami has worked his way to the forefront of the business world and is the Founder and Chairman of Farouk Systems, Inc. Although his company has been incredibly successful throughout the world, known for the innovative and extremely popular BioSilk and CHI products, he is now venturing from his role as a businessman into politics. Shami has entered the political scene with a desire to bring economic revival...

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Viewpoint with James Zogby:  Stephen Walt, Sameh Shoukry, Robert Borosage

Posted on February 05, 2010 in Viewpoint with James Zogby

Dr. Stephen Walt (phd), Professor of International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, spoke about various foreign policy issues currently facing the Obama Administration. Walt spoke about Iran and the Obama Administration’s efforts of re-engagement and diplomacy with the controversial regime, but sated that among other developments in Iranian politics, Ahmadinejad’s reelection last summer contributed to worst of all possible worlds for the Obama Administration. Walt also commented about the efficacy of sanctions and stated that increasing the “squeeze” on Iran in the hopes of bringing about a regime change is “like asking for a miracle”. He...

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AbiNader, Baadani talk to Army EEO advisors

Posted by on January 21, 2010 in News Clips

On Monday December 14, 2009, Jean AbiNader, AAI board member and COO of the Moroccan Center, and Jamal Baadani, founder of the Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military, presented to over 100 U.S. Army Equal Opportunity Advisors studying at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). The presentation at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. afforded a timely opportunity to explore issues unique to Arab and Muslim American soldiers in the field.

“As an AAI member, it is really important to me to continue educating people, especially those who can advocate for our community,...

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Amir Omar: City Councilman, Richardson Texas

Posted by on October 20, 2009 in Blog

Of Palestinian and Iranian decent, Republican Amir Omar became the first Muslim to be elected to the Richardson, Texas City Council last May. Omar earned a victory over incumbent Dennis Stewart to occupy the 7th seat of the Richardson City Council. This Texas A&M University graduate is an active member of his community and is involved in over ten local groups and associations. He is a proud member of the Richardson Regional Medical Center Foundation board and was honored in January with a Richardson Chamber of Commerce Volunteer Award. His achievements have brought a great sense of pride to both...

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