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Showing posts from 2011

Between the Detroit Arab- American Study and TLC’s All American Muslims

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Sunday was the debut of the much- awaited TLC show All American Muslims. Five Arab American Muslim families from the Detroit area were chosen for a reality show. Much has been written on the show and most of it is positive. This is good. There is national and international interest in Arab Americans and Muslim Americans- an interest that can be traced to the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent mix of curiosity, paranoia, suspicion and enmity displayed toward Arab and Muslim Americans, in part due to the fact that the community “looked” like the enemy. The show was supposed to stimulate conversations and challenge the negative stereotypes about the Muslim American community.
No spelling bee queen, no Snooki
Blessed are those who do not expect too much for they shall not be disappointed. It’s good to keep this saying in mind when thinking of anything in life, this show included. This is reality TV. Some of the comments that I have seen online made by Arab and Muslim Americans are humorou…

In Defense of the Ficano Administration and Azzam Elder

Wayne county and a number of its officials are the news these days. A few media outlets are fixated on what they see as cozy political arrangements and are intent on bringing down the administration of Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano.

Defamatory and Unfounded Allegations
This is simply the media at its worst. The allegations of the county having improper relationship with political donors are defamatory and unfounded. One media outlet broke the news last year about the linkage between political donors and/or contractors and a fund that pays for overseas trips of county officials designed to bring business to the county. The media outlet brought this issue in an attempt to expose “government corruption.” The allegations are unfounded.
Now the media is following up this unholy crusade with this anti- Ficano campaign by attacking the administration for the severance pay of Turkia Awada, a woman known for competence and integrity. The media has jumped onto this issue as proof of alleged c…

The FBI training, Again and the Case of the Forgotten Muthanna

The FBI counter- terrorism training is clearly a problem. There seems to be a theme in the training of the FBI agents- Islam is evil and adherents are a threat. The story from Seattle is that a community leader from that area who attended the 2011 FBI Citizens' Academy class in Seattle reported that the training included material equating Islam with Nazism, part of that documents read: "A careful comparison of Arab/Islamist propaganda and Nazi propaganda reveals the closeness of these links. . .I would suggest that the current conflicts are a continuation of Nazi policies carried out by Arabs. . ." The document was signed by an FBI agent.
Again, we have a problem. NPR reports that the FBI is reevaluating its whole counter- terrorism training that refers to culture or religion. This is a first step in the right direction. There is another problem. The NPR story posed the question: "The question that everyone is asking — and the FBI is trying to answer now — is how t…

Killing Awlaki and the Lessons of the Israeli Counter- terror War model: Terror Increases, Democracy Compromised

The United States government killed Anwar Awlaki, an American citizen who joined, as a propagandist and cheerleader, the Al Qaeda's war against the U.S. This killing raises a number of constitutional questions regarding the seemingly summary execution of an American citizen. The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution reads: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Was Awlaki "deprived of life" without due process of law?…

The Alhanooti case: An oil contract with Saddam’s G.O.I. without OFAC license

The Alhanooti case: An oil contract with Saddam’s G.OI. without OFAC license
The $40,000 potential, $0.00 realized

On Friday March 18 at 2 p.m. Judge Borman of the Eastern District of Michigan sentenced community leader and longtime activist Mr. Muthanna Alhanooti to a year and one day in federal prison. The personal saga of Muthanna ended on that day. There remains much confusion on the Muthanna case- what is it exactly that the government is charging he did? Is he a wealthy spy like the government charges seem to make him to be? Why was he sentenced to one year and a day in prison?
Government paints Muthanna as a spy, defense fails to counter
The confusion over Muthanna’s case is a result of the Bush administration’s presenting the case as a major case and the way that Muthanna’s attorney dealt with it. The government created the impression that Muthanna is a wealthy spy for Saddam. The government dealt Muthanna’s reputation a major blow by characterizing him as an agent/spy. Anyone who…