Posted by on October 08, 2010 in Blog

Last week, AAI published the Congressional Scorecard for the 111th Congress. This signature publication is a critical resource for voters and activists, detailing the positions taken by each member of Congress on issues of particular importance to the Arab American community and many others – from their stances on the Goldstone Report to protecting civil liberties.   

This year, there was another fierce – sometimes ugly – debate that occurred outside Congress. The Park 51 Muslim community center in lower Manhattan was misleadingly labeled “the Ground Zero mosque” and generated some of the most combative, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim rhetoric our country has seen in some time.
While some politicians echoed and pandered to the bigoted ramblings circulated in popular media, a few statesmen and candidates stood on principle and spoke up for tolerance and constitutional freedoms. This second scorecard, titled “Leadership or Pandering”, examines the statements made by policymakers and candidates as they addressed the Islamic community center issue and provides a resource to those who want to hold public officials accountable for their words. Though not comprehensive, and though no official can be judged fairly by any single action or statement, we hope it will provide a useful look at the debate and its participants.