Flashback: Long Before Ikhras Came Along

A great excerpt from a thoughtful piece by Rania Masri about the ADC:

In response to President Bush’s declaration of the so-called ‘War on Terror’ (which, in actuality, is a war of terror), and specifically his declaration of war on Afghanistan in 2001, the ADC National Office under the leadership of Dr. Ziad Assali issued two public statements of support. Thus, the ADC’s position was that it was acceptable to bomb a country in violation of international law, acceptable to criminalize an entire population, acceptable to embrace the decontextualization promoted by the media and the U.S. government – so long as the victims were not Arabs. As then ADC Texas Chapter President Sylvia Shehadeh wrote in her letter of resignation from the ADC, “If we are truly anti discrimination we cannot align ourselves with racist policies and double standards.”

(Ironically, the ADC national office issued their statements of support at the same time that ADC Chapters across the country were protesting against the war – which is indicative of another kind of separation of issues: Arab-American organizations call for their voice to be heard by the U.S. government while refusing to implement democratic reform within their own organizations.) National Arab and Muslim organizations that supported the Bush war against Afghanistan did so out of fear of otherwise appearing unpatriotic in the eyes of the general American public. After doing so, they quickly won the personal support of Bush in publicly condemning domestic acts of racism against Arabs and Muslims, which was effective in reducing the random hate crimes committed against Arabs and Muslims in the U.S., but ineffective in reducing the institutional targeting against them.

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