Washington Watch: Reporting Hate Crimes: The Arab American Experience

Posted on July 07, 2018 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby 

This week, the Arab American Institute Foundation will release a comprehensive study on anti-Arab hate crimes in the US. The result of eight months of work, "Underreported, Under Threat: Hate Crime in the United States and the Targeting of Arab Americans," fills a gap in available research on hate-based crime. More than just a compilation of acts of violence or threats against persons of Arab descent, the AAIF study also reviews the history of how law enforcement agencies have dealt with (or rather has not dealt with) anti-Arab hate crimes. The report then rates the performance...

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Washington Watch: The Consequences of Upholding Trump’s Ban

Posted on June 30, 2018 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James Zogby

The Supreme Court decision upholding the Trump Administration's infamous "Muslim ban" will have consequences far beyond its restriction on visas for nationals from the affected countries. Of the greatest concern is the validation it has given to the president's virulent anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric. It was Trump's inflammatory language against Muslims that caused lower courts to strike down his first iteration of the ban. While the Administration claimed to hold no anti-Muslim animus, the courts noted that during his campaign for the White House, Trump had said "I think Islam hates us...we can't allow people coming into this...

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Arab American Civil Rights Group Responds to SCOTUS Decision on Muslim Ban Case

Posted on June 26, 2018 in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 26, 2018

CONTACT: Ryan J. Suto

rsuto@aaiusa.org / (202) 652-4984

Statement from AAI Executive Director Maya Berry on the Supreme Court’s decision in the Muslim Ban case, Trump v. Hawai’i.

Washington, DC — Today, Arab American Institute Executive Director Maya Berry released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Muslim Ban case: “Along ideological lines, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s xenophobic Muslim Ban that discriminates against individuals predominantly because of their Muslim faith or national origin. A vast majority of those impacted by the ban are Muslim,...

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Washington Watch: Lasting Damage to the "Idea of America"

Posted on June 23, 2018 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

The sights and sounds of Central American children being ripped from their parents by U.S. Border Patrol officers have, by now, spread across the globe. The experience has been traumatizing to its victims and deeply painful to watch. It has also done incalculable damage to the very idea of America.

This is June when we are supposed to be celebrating "Immigrant Heritage Month." Each year, I have taken this opportunity to recall my family's immigrant story—the opportunity and freedom they sought, the hardships they endured, and the remarkable progress they made in just one generation. ...

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Washington Watch: The Liberal's Lament

Posted on June 16, 2018 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby 

I find it exceptionally irritating when I hear liberals worry about whether Israel will be able to remain a "Jewish and Democratic State" if it retains control of occupied Palestinian lands. It's irritating because Israel is not now a democratic state nor has it ever tried to be one.

A state which prioritizes rights for one group of citizens (in this case Jews, who comprise 80% of the population) over the rights of another group (Arabs, who are 20% of Israel's citizenry), cannot be democratic. Israel discriminates against its Arab citizens in law, social services,...

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Washington Watch: The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act Is Back: Free Speech Is at Risk

Posted on June 09, 2018 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James Zogby 

Back in 2016, without debate or an actual vote, the US Senate stealthily passed a disturbing and dangerous piece of legislation called "The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016" (AAA). The bill would have required the Department of Education (ED) to apply a State Department (DOS) working definition of anti-Semitism in evaluating complaints of discrimination on US campuses. Because some conservative Members of Congress had concerns that the legislation would violate free speech, AAA didn't pass the House and died. Last week, the bill was reintroduced with minor changes. As I wrote back in 2016, the AAA was...

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TAKE ACTION – Legislation Introduced to Shut Down Free Speech Critical of Israel

Posted on May 23, 2018 in Action Alerts

A bicameral bill was introduced in the House and Senate that seeks to restrict criticism of Israel at the expense of our First Amendment protected right to free speech. Introduced in the House as H.R.5924 by Representatives Peter J. Roskam (R-IL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Doug Collins (R-GA), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and in the Senate as S.2940 by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the legislation includes an overly broad, political definition of anti-Semitism, which includes criticism of the state of Israel.  

Entitled the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2018, the bill does not actually...

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Washington Watch: Palestinians: The Invisible Victims

Posted on May 12, 2018 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby

This year will mark the seventieth anniversary of the United Nations partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish regions, and the anniversary of the first Middle East War of 1948. In the West, these are commemorated as the events which paved the way for the founding of the State of Israel, “the return of Jewish rule to the land of Zion.” For the people of the East however, they have a very different meaning. There, 1948 is known as the “Year of the Disaster”, the year of the destruction of Palestine, and the dispossession and...

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Washington Watch: What is Facebook Trying to Do?

Posted on May 05, 2018 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby

This week, Facebook made a rather strange and disturbing set of announcements. In response to concerns raised by several civil rights organizations—including my own, the Arab American Institute—about hate groups using their platform to harass and at times, to threaten Black, Muslim, Arab, and other minority communities. Facebook executives announced that they were asking Laura Murphy, former Director of the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to conduct an "audit of [Facebook's] impact on underrepresented communities and communities of color." What was troubling was that Facebook coupled this action with the appointment...

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Washington Watch: Celebrating Service to Others

Posted on April 28, 2018 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby This week, the Arab American Institute held its 20th Kahlil Gibran "Spirit of Humanity" Awards Gala. This annual event provides an opportunity for Arab Americans to recognize organizations, leaders and activists from around the world for their service to humanity. During the past two decades, the Institute has honored such illustrious figures as: Mohammad Ali, Lech Walesa, the leader of Solidarity Movement and former Prime Minister of Poland, Queen Noor al Hussein, Salma Hayek, and former President of Ireland...

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