Friday, May 2, 2014

The Forum and Link of Michigan Honors Veteran Community Activist and Leader Imad Hamad








Mr. Imad Hamad in the middle to his left is the former US attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan and former judge Honorable Jeff Collins



The Forum and Link of Michigan Honors Veteran Community Activist and Leader Imad Hamad
The Legend of Imad Hamad: Decades of Service

Imad Hamad is a legend.  It is not possible to meet anyone who is active in the Arab- American community or is connected to the Arab- American community who does not know Imad Hamad, the former Michigan director of the American Arab anti- Discrimination Committee. For decades Imad Hamad was a fixture at events, conferences and in the media. Over the years he helped so many people that it is not possible to meet anyone in Dearborn who does not know of someone who was helped by Imad. He helped individuals in need, Arab- Americans suffering from discrimination, reporters working on stories, scholars writing books, etc. This is Imad Hamad the legend.

The Forum and Link Honors Imad

The Forum and Link is a Michigan community newspaper that is published by Dr. Asad Dandashli, a tireless man who considers journalism a sacred mission, in the secular sense of the sacred, and not a business enterprise. During the banquet for the tenth anniversary of the Forum and Link, Dr. Dandashli honored Imad Hamad. The award read:

Dr. Assad Aldandachli
Editor in chief
Recognizes
Mr. Imad Hamad

For many years of selfless service of the Arab- American community- It is not possible to compile an exhaustive list of the achievements of Mr. Hamad in almost two decades.  This list includes starting enduring programs, helping individuals and creating a vision of a better community. The brightest light of his achievements remains the founding of BRIDGES, the law enforcement- community forum, which serves as a national and international model of community-law enforcement relations.


Congratulations Mr. Hamad. Well deserved.


The Forum and Link banquet coverage of the banquet can be accessed at  www.forumandlink.com

On Muslim Reformer Mohammed Ibn Abdel Wahhab “Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad”- I

Natana de Long Bass



                            On Muslim Reformer Mohammed Ibn Abdel Wahhab
“Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad”- I
Good Muslims, Bad Muslims

In the post 9/11 period there was an intense focus on Muslims and Islam itself. A simplistic approach to Islam in the context of the war on terror sought to classify/pigeonhole Muslims into good Muslims and bad Muslims. This was not new but a permutation of the attitude toward Islam that prevailed in the post- Ayatollah Khomeini revolution.  The new Iranian regime’s “students,” violating long- held norms of diplomatic dealings, stormed the American embassy and took embassy employees hostages. This was followed by attempts to export the revolution to the rest of the Middle East disturbing the stability of American allies in the Arab Gulf region. In the West there were important voices that divided Islam into good Islam and bad Islam. Shia Islam was seen as bad, the Shia were seen as having a “penchant for martyrdom.” The 9/11 attacks inverted that model- Sunni Muslims became bad and Shia Muslims good. This simplistic thinking was partially responsible for the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 and turn it over to the Shia “majority.”

9/11 and Demonization of Sunni Muslims

In the post 9/11 world there is no group of Muslims that faced as harsh of a backlash as the Salafi Muslims followers of the Sunni Hanbali School, one of the 4 Sunni schools of jurisprudence. The segment of the Salafis that came under the harshest criticism was the Wahhabis who constitute the majority in Saudi Arabia and in Qatar.  But who are the Wahhabis? What do they believe? What explains the tensions between them and the Shia and the Sufis? Boston University’s Natana de Long- Bas, using the writings of Imam Abdel Wahhab, wrote Wahhabi Islam to help demystify the man and his ideas and challenge the unsubstantiated claims, driven by ignorance and/or sectarian animus, that demonized an important segment of the Muslim population. Over a number of columns excerpts from her book will be published.

Below are excerpts from her book. The headings are mine:


Post 9/11 period: Fear and Loathing of the Salafi Wahhabis

Post-9/11, Wahhabism has been identified by government, political analysts, and the media as the major “Islamic threat” facing Western civilization and the inspiration for Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network. It has become infamous for its negative influence on Islam, mosques, and madrasas globally. It is described as extremist, radical, puritanical, contemptuous of modernity, misogynist, and militant in nature. It has been characterized as Islamo-facism following in the traditions of communism and Nazism. It is accused of inspiring militant religious extremism in movements ranging from the Taliban of Afghanistan to the so-called Wahhabis of Central Asia and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network. It is targeted as the most intolerant of all interpretations of Islam, seeking to impose itself alone as the expression of “true” Islam. Wahhabi teachings are often referred to as “fanatical discourse” and Wahhabism itself has been called “the most retrograde expression of Islam” and “one of the most xenophobous radical Islamic movements that can be.”

Osama Bin Laden and the teachings of Imam Ibn Abd al- Wahhab: Historically Accurate Connection?

In response to the demands for answer, many have asserted that the militant extremism of Osama bin Laden has its origins in the religious teaching of Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who is believed to have legitimated jihad against non-Wahhabis and encouraged the forcible spread of the Wahhabi creed. According to this interpretation, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab is the godfather of modern terrorism and Islamic militance. Like his contemporaries, he is accused of being opposed to modernity, an extreme literalists in his interpretation of Muslim scriptures, a misogynist, and an admirer and imitator of past militant radicals, particularly the medieval scholar Ibn Taymiyya. Like Obama bin Laden, is believed to have had littler formal religious training, and his written works are generally dismissed as mere compilations of Quranic verses and hadith without any accompanying commentary or interpretation. Finally, both Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and the Wahhabis are often accused of being outside of the Sunni tradition due to their position as “heretical innovators” and extremists. Although this comparison makes for a simple and clean analysis, it is not faithful to the historical record.

Who was Imam Abd al-Wahhab?

The real Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, as revealed in his written works, was a well-trained and widely traveled scholar and jurists, as well as a prolific writer. His extant written works fill fourteen large volumes, including a collection of hadith; a biography of the Prophet Muhammad; a collection of fatawa (judicial opinions); a series of exegetical commentaries on the Quran; several volumes of Islamic jurisprudence (figh), numerous theological treatises; and other varied works, including detailed discussions of jihad and the status of women. The scope of his scholarship stands in marked contrast to the few legal rulings (fatawa) issued by Osama bin Laden. More importantly, his insistence on adherence to Quranic values, like the maximum preservation of human life even in the midst of jihad as holy war, tolerance for other religions, and support for a balance of rights between men and women, results in a very different worldview from that of contemporary militant extremists. The absence of the xenophobia, militantism, misogyny, extremism, and literalism typically associated with Wahhabism raises serious questions about whether such themes are “inherited” to Wahhabism and whether extremists like Osama bin Laden are truly “representative” of Wahhabism and Wahhabi beliefs.

Delong- Bas’s  Nuanced view versus the Media and the Biased Caricature of the Man
  
Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad presents for the first time in a Western language the theme of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s writings that are of the greatest concern post-9/11: Wahhabi theology and worldview, Islamic law, women and gender, and jihad. Rather than reinforcing the standard image of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab as “an unsophisticated, narrow-minded wanderer” and a “disconnected, footloose son of the remote oases” who became “the archetype for all the famous and infamous  Islamic  extremists  of modern times,” it reveals a more moderate, sophisticated, and nuanced interpretation of Islam that emphasizes limitations on violence, killing, and destruction and calls for dialogue and debate as the appropriate means of prosetylization and statecraft. This new understanding is then compared to the writings of other scholars and activists, both past and present, on the controversial topic of jihad in order to assess Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s influence, or lack thereof, on contemporary Islamic militants, most notably Osama bin Laden, and to explore the roots of the militant extremism inherent in their visions of global jihad.

Wahhabism and the Historical Context

Wahhabism was neither a historical aberration nor an isolated phenomenon. It did not arise in a vacuum. In fact, Wahhabism reflects some of the most important trends in eighteenth-century Islamic thought, underscoring the interactions and exchanges that took place between Muslims in cosmopolitan regions like the Hijaz. The fact that Wahhabism so clearly reflects major trends of thought apparent in other contemporary reform movements suggests that it was neither “innovative” nor “heretical.” Rather, it can more appropriately be viewed as part of mainstream eighteenth-century Islamic thought, although somewhat tailored to its specific context.









Wednesday, January 15, 2014

On Iraq: a Sectarian Dictator Falsely Claims a War Against Terror






Al Anbar Sunnis protest for women held in Maliki's sectarian prisons 

 

Al Anbar Sunni protesters that the Maliki sectarian regime blood libeled as the "Camp of Yazeed"


 

Iraq is in the news again and not in a good way. The Al Anbar region, a Sunni majority area in Iraq, is again mired in violence. Al Anbar is a region that has seen a disproportionate amount of violence in the post 2003 invasion. There are a number of books written on the US military efforts in Al Anbar and how the US was able to win the confidence of the marginalized and victimized Iraqi Arab Sunni community in the post 2003 Iraq. The lesson of the American war in al Anbar is that it takes empathy, inclusion and strength to gain the trust of the clans of Al Anbar. Blunt force, humiliation and marginalization do not work.  Today Maliki is trying to subjugate Anbar under the false claim of fighting al Qaeda.

In fact, al Qaeda has no better friend that al Maliki and his bigoted and sectarian policies.

Calling the fight in al Anbar a fight with al Qaeda is inaccurate and misleading now just as it was inaccurate and misleading when American soldiers were doing the fighting. PM Maliki is a sectarian fanatic mired in sectarian hate and delusions. He called the Sunni protesters the "camp of Yazeed." That is the equivalent of a Christian politician calling his Jewish political opponents Christ killers. Maliki, a former Shiite clergy, is a sectarian bigot of medieval proportions.  Next time PM Maliki visits the US he should be sent to a psychiatric ward and not to the White House.

What do Iraq observers think of the conflict in al Anbar? I have chosen an excerpt from Fouad Ajami’s column in the Wall Street Journal and a column by an Iraqi American of Sunni Arab descent, attorney Mohammed Alomari. Fouad Ajami is an American political science professor of Shiite Iranian and Lebanese descent. Both are helpful in understanding Iraq and Maliki.

Fouad Ajami, Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2014

Obama and the Sunni-Shiite War

Having quit Iraq, the Obama administration developed a vested interest in the narrative that all was well in that country. What influence the U.S. still had was tethered to the rule of Mr. Maliki, even as he drifted away from the Sunnis and the Kurds. Borrowing from the book of the Arab authoritarians of old, Mr. Maliki depicted his bid for dominion as part of a campaign against terror. When he turned up in Washington last October, he came to ask for weapons and diplomatic support, but above all to convey to his rivals that he had Washington’s blessing for his campaign for a third term as prime minister.

The Obama administration played along when it would have been the better part of wisdom to deny him the visit in the midst of a political campaign. Mr. Maliki is a lucky man. His political bid for yet another term has the endorsement of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and that of Mr. Obama and Mr. Assad.

The U.S. tilt to Iran is upsetting allies and disrupting the Middle East

Iraq’s Real Problem: A US Occupation legacy of Sectarian Politics by Attorney Mohammed Alomari

Violence in Iraq is again in the news. The biggest problem we face about what is going on in Iraq is the disinformation campaign to which we have been subjected since the 2003 invasion and occupation.

Iraq, which had its infrastructure and institutions demolished in 2003, was rebuilt on political and sectarian lines. Originally Iraq’s army had been based on a nation-wide forced conscription (in which all sects and ethnicities were represented according to their percentages in society). All that was abolished in 2003 in favor of a militia-based structure. Iraq’s current military and security forces are made of former Chalabi-led Iraq National Congress militiamen, Iran-based Badr militia, Mahdi Army militia and other sectarian based militias.

It is as though the President of the U.S. were to abolish the Armed Forces and form a new military force from recruits from extremist groups. Imagine the racial and sectarian killings that would happen here

The recent issue with Anbar province (and the other 5 provinces) is a result of ignoring the year-long demonstrations/protests and sit-ins in Anbar, Salahadeen, Diyala, Mosul, Kirkuk, and Samarra. Tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating in these provinces for over a year to free thousands of political prisoners, stop the mass expulsions of families from their homes, and other similar demands.

Thousands of Sunni families have been expelled from their homes in Diyala province by government-sanctioned militias this past year (in Miqdadiya, Baquba, other towns) with complete silence from most of the media outlets.

Additionally tens of thousands of Sunni young men have been rotting in jail for years or are being tortured and executed under provision 4 of the Terror Law. Army units like the infamous Muthana brigade march into predominantly Sunni towns and neighborhoods swearing and cursing anti-Sunni insults (using expletives against Sunni religious symbols like Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Mohammed, or Omar, the Prophet’s brother-in-law).

About two weeks ago, the Iraqi government decided to move against the peaceful protestors using military force, claiming there were “terrorists” protesting with the demonstrators.

In fact, the people of Anbar and other provinces have had enough of the sectarian repression, mass expulsion of families, mass arrests, hit squads, torture, and executions. The people of Anbar and the other provinces reacted to the attempt of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to take over cities like Ramadi and Fallujah by rebelling and establishing the Tribal forces.

Theses tribal forces are the same groups (Awakening councils) which fought the extremists back in 2007 and expelled them from the cities. But they don’t want the sectarian government forces either.

Supporting the Baghdad government with arms is big mistake; instead, the White House should open talks with the Tribal leaders in these provinces, with the Sunni leaders in the Parliament and pressure the Iraqi government to reform their military and security apparatus and keep the commitment to the April 2014 elections. Unfortunately the media is still playing the old movie of supporting the central government to “fight the bogeyman.”

If this failed policy continues, of blindly supporting the central government without looking beyond the headlines to see what is really going on, Iraq will boil over worse than Syria.

Peace will only come to Iraq if the institutions of power and military/security apparatus are reformed to include all segments of society, and not allowed to be monopolized by one group. Otherwise continuing this failed policy is like throwing gasoline on a burning fire; Iraq will as a result remain a bloody mess for years to come.

Attorney Alomari’s article originally appeared on University of Michigan professor Juan Cole’s website: http://www.juancole.com/2014/01/occupation-sectarian-politics.html

 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Reasons They Piled on Imad Hamad and ADC



From left Former FBI director John Bell, former US attorney Jeff Collins, Imad Hamad, recognized for their BRIDGES involvement. In the picture is current US attorney Barbara L. McQuade

The Reasons They Piled on Imad Hamad and ADC:

Dialogue with the U.S. Government, Opening Up to the Gulf
A who’s who of “progressive” and “leftist” Arab American activists piled on Mr. Imad Hamad, the former Michigan regional director of the American Arab anti- Discrimination Committee (ADC), with unexpected viciousness.

In hindsight, it is expected viciousness.

For many reasons - reasons that have nothing to do with the stale harassment claims, the 15- year- old claim of Rashida and the 8- year- old claim of Rana- or Rashida Tlaib and Rana Abbas.
There are two key reasons for this viciousness- one domestic and one international.

“Sin” # 1: Dialogue with the Government

The domestic reason is the engagement and dialogue with the government that Imad Hamad adopted and institutionalized. Imad Hamad and ADC sat with the government. Imad Hamad met regularly and openly with the government officials. He believed and preached that the government is a partner and not an adversary. He believed that the community should be seen by the government as a partner and not as a suspect. Among the agencies that ADC and Imad Hamad met regularly with is the FBI, an agency that the fringe of Arab America sees as Hoover’s FBI. Not only did Imad engage in a dialogue with the government, he institutionalized this dialogue, brought major players from the government and the community to the table, forming the internationally-known law enforcement-community forum of BRIDGES. That was breaking all the taboos for the small but vocal segment of the Arab American community. That “progressive” segment thought that Imad and ADC were “in bed” with the government.  They bided their time and piled on when the opportunity arose or was manufactured.

“Sin” # 2 Opening Up to Arab Gulf Monarchies

A second key reason Imad is hated by the fringe is international. This small and marginal segment, the “progressives” and “leftists” have a self-declared war on “patriarchy” and the “oppression of women” that they see behind everything in society-especially Arab and Muslim society.  And, make no mistake about it, there is no Arab region that this tiny, marginal, but obnoxiously loud, group hate more than the Arab Gulf region. They hate the monarchies and the traditional social system which they see as “oppressive” and in need of revolutionary change. Imad Hamad committed the sin of all sins when he opened up to the Arab Gulf region and engaged them, with respect, as he should have. The ADC is a mainstream Arab organization that represents a community that is largely conservative and mainstream in it s views.  Most Arab Americans are conservative and voted Republican until fairly recently. The majority of Arab Americans, if not openly opposed to feminists, progressives, leftists, and  Nawal Saadawi worshippers like  Nadine Christine Naber, they are not fans of them and for sure do not believe that they are representative of mainstream Arab American views and values.

The Campaign of Sabotage and Destuction

The bottom line is the ADC/ Imad Hamad saga is not about Rana Abbas and Rashida Tlaib, whatever the truths or untruths of their stale claims and their highly suspect timing with the manufactured media circus. The war against ADC and Imad Hamad is not about the two women or women. It is not about sexual harassment. It is simply the campaign of a marginal radical segment of the Arab American population, due to its almost zero resonance with the larger Arab American community, unable to democratically play a key role in shaping the policies and running the affairs of ADC, going for sabotage and destruction of the organization.

A War of Leftist “Terror”

This anti- ADC/anti Imad Hamad campaign is nothing short of leftist “war of terror” that will succeed in destruction only- as leftist wars are usually successful at.

Have any doubts about the intentions, the tactics and strategy of these leftist fanatics?  Ask the people involved with ADC’s once very active San Francisco chapter.

 

 

 

 

Former ADC President Sara Najjar's “Open Letter” to Imad Hamad

Former ADC President Sara Najjar-Wilson



Former ADC regional director Mr. Imad Hamad
 
 
An “Open Letter” to MR. IMAD S. HAMAD      

December 4, 2013

 

 

Dear Imad,

 

It is my understanding that on November 22, 2013, you retired as Senior National Advisor of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and Regional Director of ADC-Michigan.   It is regrettable that your retirement occurred on the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of President john F.  Kennedy.  As you probably also know, November 22 is also the date of Lebanon’s Independence Day.  Accordingly, it is with heartfelt sadness that I find myself writing you this thank you letter, but (at the same time) maintaining a sense of hope that you will now have the independence and freedom to continue serving the community at large in some other capacity.  For the entire time that I have known you, you exemplified the calling and creed of President Kennedy, who paraphrased Kahlil Gibran – ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.  You did not ask what your country can do for you, but you did everything you can for your country.  

 

You have built bridges of understanding and enshrined mutual respect, not just within the Arab-American community, but also throughout your local communities, your State of Michigan, and our entire country.  Your outreach to all people – persons in the highest levels of our government, business and other community leaders, or the poorest citizens in your local communities – is unmatched.  You honored all of us by your tireless and selfless efforts in combating discrimination of any kind and bringing diverse communities together.  Your caring and compassion for those in need in your community have been incredibly unrelenting.   

 

Your contributions are beyond measure, and it would take pages to list them and thank you for each one individually, something beyond this one-page letter.  You have been an outstanding shepherd in serving your community, even though it was at a tremendous personal sacrifice; and we pray that you will consider continuing your commendable work.  

 

Last, but not least, words are simply inadequate to convey the loss of your good works; but, as I said above, it is my hope that you will consider continuing to pursue your service to the community at large in a different capacity.  In that context, a heartfelt Thank YOU – Thank YOU!  We are very proud of you, and I bid you Godspeed.

 

Highest regards,

 

 

Sara Najjar-Wilson

Former ADC President

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lebanese Al-Akhbar Newspaper Misrepresents Al Walid Bin Talal’s Views on Shiite –Sunni Relations


Prince Al Walid Bin Talal
 

 
Prince Al Walid Bin Talal is a half Saudi, half Lebanese billionaire. That’s enough for the "leftists"[who knows what it means in today's Lebanon] Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper to dislike him.

 
They have the right to dislike him.

However, they don’t have the right to misrepresent his views and in doing so add to Sunni-Shia tensions that are already at sky high levels.

 
al-Akhbar accused the prince of speaking in the name of all Sunnis. He never claimed that and he cannot claim it. They claimed that he spoke in the name of the Sunnis advocating cooperating with Israel against Iran and the Shia.

 The prince is a highly successful businessman. He did not become this successful and rich by dwelling on sectarian issues. He merely provided a descriptive picture of the unfortunate reality in the Muslim world. Anyone who peruses Gallup survey numbers and PEW numbers knows that what the prince said is what survey data have provided ample evidence of. We know, for example, that Hizbullah is very unpopular in Sunni Majority countries. In Lebanon  while the overwhelming majority of Shia support Hizbullah, an even bigger majority of Sunnis oppose Hizbullah. The prince did not create this reality and did not contribute to it in any shape or form. Sunnis blame the policies of Hizbullah and Iran for this reality.
Newspaper commentaries in many parts of the Arab and Muslim world also reflect these sentiments. These sentiments are explained by Sunni observers and others as largely due to the role that Iran and its allies are playing in Iraq and in Syria. These sentiments are  not grounded in theological doctrine and historical and serious still -relevant disagreements. The numbers are not cast in stone. The survey data before the Iraq and Syria conflicts showed that Iran and Hizbullah were quite popular with Sunnis.

What changed?

By misrepresenting the views of the prince the paper did not just harm the reputation of the prince. They also added fuel to the fire of sectarian tensions.

     This is the link to the report:
 

Friday, November 29, 2013

The ADC/Imad Hamad Saga: Despite Lack of Credibility, Politics of Personal Destruction Wins





 
 
 
 
The Imad Hamad and the ADC Saga*

The Lack of Credibility of Rashida Tlaib and Rana Abbas

 

On Rashida Tlaib

Nothing to Smile About: Rashida Tlaib, Sexual Harassment, and ADC

 Imagine this.

You feel that you were wronged by an organization. You wait 15 years to come forward with your grievance. You feel that you are wronged and you have waited too long because it is too painful to come forward and you are fearful of the stigma and the reaction you would get from your Arab and Muslim community. But in pursuing what you feel is justice you end up undoing years of the work of well-meaning people who had nothing to do with that perceived wrong.

Normally you would feel torn. It's a serious matter, isn't it?

How do you seek justice while not inflicting injustice?

Many things- but cracking a huge smile to the camera while pursuing your “justice” mission is not one of them.

The smile communicates all the wrong messages: Flippant, careless, having fun when the issues are very serious.

1.      The issue is sexual harassment. Nothing to smile about.

2.      The issue is the premier Arab American civil rights national organization that represents all Arab Americans.

3. The reputation and future of Imad Hamad and the feelings of his children.

I have said from the beginning that there is something wrong with the ADC/Imad Hamad story.

Credibility is a big factor in sexual harassment cases which boil down in many instances to he said –she said stories.

It was not adding up.

 What many kept saying was that Rashida is a "credible" person- because of her elected position.

Simply put Rashida Tlaib keeps giving reasons for questioning her claim.

You can add the smiley flippant “protest” to the list.

On Rana Abbas

All Smiles- In the Picture: Rana Abbas’s Head, Imad Hamad’s Hat

 

All this commentary I am writing on the manufactured crisis is about raising reasonable questions about the motivations of Rashida and Rana in orchestrating the anti- Imad Hamad and anti ADC campaign.

 15 years after the alleged events.

8 years after the alleged events.

Why now? This is the question almost everyone is asking.

If these women were hurt and are angry about their alleged victimization, there is no direct evidence or circumstantial evidence of that- then credibility is an issue.

How many know that Rashida Tlaib herself was thrown a fundraiser by ADC staff in Washington, DC less than three years ago- 12 years after the alleged sexual harassment that allegedly occurred.

As to Rana- she wrote this lovely thank you note to ADC and to Imad “particularly”- her words. She left for a better paying job at a government contractor who sent Arabic linguists to Iraq.

After she allegedly left with all these ill feelings she engaged in behavior inconsistent with someone who felt betrayed by ADC.

She herself wrote her farewell letter saying great things about Imad and ADC

She bought a booth for her employer at the ADC national banquet and she herself attended the ADC national banquets.

She frequently visited ADC national office and socialized with the staff.

During the banquets she socialized with ADC staff and went to the social mixers.

One can claim that all the above does not mean that Rana was not hurt and harassed by Imad.

That’s fine.

I am only raising questions that make one reasonably wonder.

I am not contesting that reasonable minds could differ.

But- there is more.

Less than two years ago there was an event- Siham Jaafar’s Images and Perceptions workshop- where Rana encountered  the “monster” Imad Hamad.

 Did she avoid him?  Did she run away from him? No and No.

She wore his hat and smiled to the camera.

The motivations and the timing look more suspicious than ever.

Feel free to disagree.

Personal and Academic Interest in the Controversy

          Many people have asked me why I am commenting on this matter and defending Imad Hamad and ADC. My interest is personal and academic. I am involved with ADC and I am a friend of Imad Hamad. I have an academic interest in the subject. My dissertation was on the political behavior of Arab Americans. I wrote a chapter in an academic book on ADC’s BRIDGES forum.

Personal Toll of the Controversy

I have nothing personal against Rana Abbas and Rashida Tlaib. It is unfortunate that this matter has divided us. The fact that Rana Abbas, one of the accusers of Imad and ADC, used to be a family friend and was my wife’s best friend until this unfortunate episode, did not deter me from questioning the allegations  and providing ongoing legal commentary on the subject as it unfolded and evolved.

 Rashida Tlaib is not a stranger either.  Michigan State Representative Tlaib and I were on cordial terms and were acquaintances for more than ten years.  In fact,  my wife and I donated to her campaign twice despite the fact that we d not live in her district.

 I have nothing against Rashida and Rana.  Our relationship soured because of the ADC case. I chose to stand by Imad Hamad and ADC and question the case and the motivations behind it.

A Friendship Unravels

As a result of my challenging the sexual harassment claims Rana Abbas chose to end her friendship with my wife, to punish my wife for something completely out of her control. My wife was devastated, cried as if she had a death in the family, because she considered Rana the closest woman to her.

In order to save her friendship my wife tried to get me not to comment on the case because the commentary is ruining a network of friendships we weaved over the years in Michigan. However, it was impossible to compromise. I was keenly interested in the case for personal and professional reasons.

I chose to provide analysis that countered the assertions of the alleged victims of Imad Hamad and ADC.
* Column compiled of 2 former blog entries appeared in the Forum and Link, 11/26/2013.