Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Blog
The Bronx District Attorney’s Office has dealt a blow to the city’s Stop-and-Frisk law. The New York Times reports that the District Attorney’s Office will no longer prosecute individuals arrested for trespassing at public housing complexes unless they are able to interview the arresting officer and confirm that the arrest was warranted. The policy change comes after prosecutors realized that many of those arrested were residents or invited guests.
NYPD Chief Ray Kelly has asserted that no misconduct had been discovered, and that the District Attorney’s Office had “overstated [the] perception of discrepancies regarding criminal trespass arrests in...Read more
Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Blog
The Arab American Institute (AAI) and the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) have adopted a logo for National Voter Registration Day on September 25. The Logo, designed by Nabil Ahmed Khatri, a high school student from Queens, New York with his own graphic design business, will be worn by thousands of Arab American volunteers across a number of states participating in efforts to register voters for the upcoming November elections. AAI and NNAAC are mobilizing the community by hosting a number of election-related events including town halls, GOTV efforts, and a virtual phone banking system targeting eleven key states...Read more
Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Blog
The House of Representatives voted yesterday to extend the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act through 2017. Civil liberties advocates have long criticized FISA, which authorizes warrantless monitoring of electronic communications – from phone calls to emails – of foreigners as well as U.S. citizens.
One of the 118 Members who voted against the extension was New York’s own Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who said that it is “vital in a free society that we limit government, protect the constitutional rights of Americans here and abroad, and limit warrantless spying to genuine foreign intelligence.” Perhaps referring to New York’s own surveillance scandals,...Read more
Posted on August 15, 2012 in Arab American Institute
Arab Americans at the Republican National Convention
Mayor Sam AbedAlternate Delegate, District 50
Sam Abed, mayor of Escondido, CA, has been an active member of his community ever since immigrating to the United States from Lebanon in 1987. For Abed, becoming a U.S. citizen “was one of the proudest days of my life”. In 2004, Abed ran for city councilman and won. This was only the beginning of his political career. In 2010, he became mayor of Escondido. As mayor, Abed believes “we have come to a crossroads in the...Read more
Posted by on August 03, 2012 in Blog
Bestselling author and investigative journalist Ronald Kessler is set to release a new edition of his book “Secrets of the FBI,” which promises new revelations about the rift between the FBI and the NYPD on the subject of counterterrorism. Anonymous sources from the FBI told Kessler that the FBI is vehemently opposed to the NYPD’s expansive spying program on Arab American and American Muslims in New York City and elsewhere. His sources from the FBI criticize the NYPD for both ineffectiveness and civil liberties violations.
This is not the first time federal law enforcement has been frustrated with the...Read more
Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Blog
The 2012 elections are heating up, and AAI has been working to keep you informed of key election developments in your state and nationwide. Now, we need your help to ensure that the Arab American community has a voice in the lead up to November.
Join AAI and NNAAC in mobilizing Arab Americans across the country to meet with their representatives in the home district office during our Week of Action from August 13-17. Building and sustaining a relationship with your elected official is one of the most important ways to effectively advocate on your issues. Our...Read more
Posted on July 18, 2012 in Countdown
Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Blog
You could have easily missed the news reports last week highlighting the contrived controversy surrounding a New York Metro billboard advertisement about the conditions of Palestinian refugees. The ad, paid for by Henry Clifford, Chairman of The Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (CJPIP), received sharp criticism from some groups and individuals who allege that the ads are biased, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic. The ad depicts Israel’s continued expansion on Palestinian territory going back to 1946. Four subsections of the ad show Palestinian lands decreasing while Israel’s territorial sovereignty grows. A fifth section reads: “4.7 million Palestinians are...Read more
Posted by on July 03, 2012 in Blog
Protecting the voting rights of disadvantaged and minority Americans has been a challenge in the United States since its first elections, and despite widespread laws to prevent racism and discrimination at the polls, the problem of voter suppression persists today. In 2011 and 2012, 27 states around the country saw legislation introduced with the purported goal of combatting voter fraud. However, the Brennan Center for Justice, among other groups, has pointed out that these laws could disenfranchise as many as 5 million eligible voters who don’t have easy access to things like government-issued photo IDs or voter...Read more
Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Blog
Linda Sarsour continues to make the community proud by broadening the scope of Arab American participation in public service. Sarsour was recently appointed to the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Community Board 10, a local body of community leaders with a diverse membership. Sarsour is the third Arab American appointed to the Board. Recognition of Sarsour’s status as a vocal and effective advocate for the Arab American community earned her the appointment from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Markowitz also noted Sarsour’s fiery personality, telling Brooklyn Daily that she is a “real fighter.” He’s right; among other things, Sarsour has brought...Read more