Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Blog
The slanderous attacks hurled at Arab American professional football player, New York Jet offensive lineman, Ouday Aboushi were appalling. Since we know the source of the vitriol is Front Page Magazine, an online website published by known Islamophobe and anti-Arab activist David Horowitz, it’s not surprising how outrageous and erroneous the accusations leveled against Aboushi truly are. It should be noted that Horowitz’s Front Page Magazine, which is published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. We have come to expect this kind of behavior from Horowitz and his gang of propagandists, but the fact that a sports journalist writing for Yahoo! News and a social media professional working for MLB.com, thought it was ok to espouse Horowitz’s brand of hate speech is not only unethical but morally reprehensible .
Earlier this week, Yahoo! News published a feeble piece by Adam Waksman in which Waksman alleges that Aboushi’s “anti-Semitic activism” could perhaps get him tossed out of the NFL. Dave Zirin, the Sports editor at The Nation points out that the Waksman article never gives any firsthand evidence of “anti-Semitic activism.” Waksman couldn’t point out one instance where Aboushi said something anti-Semitic or otherwise distasteful. Waksman did, however, quote Front Page’s Joe Kauffman. Kauffman, who contrived this appalling “controversy,” called Aboushi a “Muslim extremist.” His evidence: a tweet from Aboushi that reads: “88 year-old Palestinian evicted from home in Jerusalem by Israel authorities to make room 4 Orthodox Jews.” The Yahoo! News piece has since been taken down.
In another ridiculous instance of slander, MLB.com new Media Coordinator, Jonathan Mael compared Aboushi to former Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez who is facing murder charges. Mael tweeted: "The @nyjets are a disgrace of an organization. The Patriots have Aaron Hernandez, the Jets have Oday Aboushi." Mael apologized, later stating that his tweet was "beyond inappropriate." Yes, it was.
Ultimately public push-back and renouncement of these unfounded attacks on Aboushi flipped the focus on Front Page’s bigotry. Aboushi was attacked for nothing more than his ethnicity and faith. For a Palestinian American Muslim to be subjected to such vitriol because he takes pride in who he is and engages with his community is an absolute shame. Thankfully the xenophobia and extremism in these attacks represent marginal voices that should be ignored. We know the majority of Americans take pride in Mr. Aboushi, as do the New York Jets, the National Football League and the countless people coming to his defense.
Arab Americans have contributed to every facet of American life--from creating Hollywood classics to groundbreaking advances in medicine to seeking the highest elected office. Our accomplishments are as diverse as our community. We take pride in our ethnicity and continue to work to defeat anti-Arab bigotry in all its forms. Unfortunately, Aboushi is now experiencing this hatred first hand. Arab Americans want him to know that we not only take pride in his accomplishments but also in the dignity and grace he's shown to those who slander him. To those who have attacked Aboushi, including those who apologized and those who refuse to do so: you have failed.