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
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.
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.