ADC Detractors: From Invading my Facebook page to Possibly Criminal Extortion

           Harassing Email Possibly in Violation of 18 U.S.C. 875 d


The Manufactured Crisis- 15 year old claim, 8 year old claim


From day one of the manufactured crisis against Imad Hamad and ADC I stood by Imad Hamad and ADC.  Rana Abbas and Rashida Tlaib accused Imad Hamad, former ADC regional director, of sexual harassment and accused ADC of condoning this harassment.

Rashida’s claim is 15 years old.

Rana’s claim is 8 years old.
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 did not live in her district and were not in the habit of contributing to political campaigns.

Fact is- 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. My wife was devastated 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 legal analysis that countered the assertions of the alleged victims of Imad Hamad and ADC.
That did not sit well with Rashida, Rana and their supporters.

The matter escalated with ADC with a staffer in Washington, D.C. and a number of female employees quitting to protest the outcome of a third- party independent investigation. I wrote about that too.

                   An Alternative Analysis and Perspective: Countering Hegemony

My blog entries were a resource for those interested in an alternative source of legal analysis of the matter- an analysis that does not privilege the detractors of ADC above all else.

A few days ago I received a message asking me “are you a tenure track professor at Murray State University?” That was a hint that those unhappy with my analysis would try to intervene with my work. Today I received an email sent to my work email and cc’d to a number of people in my department. The writer of the email “Leonard Saunders” used the wording “cease and desist” in the letter in order to sound lawyerly and learned. Mr. "Saunders" accused me of "protecting villains." I am flattered by the charge that I can "protect" anyone. I am curious to know how I "protected" anyone by continuously commenting on the matter! The address from where the email was sent is
lls01963@gmail.com
The thinking of "Saunders" and the other "Saunders" is that harassing me and my colleagues would deter me from exercising my First Amendment right of free speech.

                                         Personal and Academic Interest in ADC

The cowardly attempt will not deter me. I work for an academic institution where I teach law and I write articles about Arab Americans and the law. The ADC matter goes into the heart of my scholarly interest. My dissertation is on the political behavior of Arab Americans. I wrote a chapter for an academic book on ADC’s project, BRIDGES.
The email will be included in any future work that I write on this matter of crucial importance to Arab Americans, the future of the premier civil rights organization with whom I have been involved since 2001.

The following is the text of the email sent by “Leonard Saunders”
 “Mr. Alkhatib
Please cease and desist from slamming our respected women and community leaders on http://ihsanalkhatib.blogspot.com/

You are a very disrespectful man. You need to concentrate on the school you are “teaching” at rather than your childish rants and uninformed accusations.  It is extremely unprofessional to bring unwarranted negative attention to the University which you represent. I am certain this type of publicity will have a negative impact on this reputable institution. You are protecting a man from ADC that molested many young interns, sexually assaulted at least 2 women, and sexually harassed dozens. As you are aware, the ADC National Office in DC did not publish their finding or give reason why they claimed there was “insufficient evidence.”  Shame on you and the villains whom you protect. You should be ashamed of yourself. Your behavior truly shakes the conscience.”

                                                           18 U.S.C. 875 d

The email from Mr. "Saunders" is possibly in violation of the federal criminal code 18 U.S.C. 875 Interstate Communications which reads:

    (d) Whoever, with intent to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to injure the property or reputation of the addressee or of another or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other person of a crime, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. 

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