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Showing posts from August, 2016

Osama Siblani validates “fear and loathing”: Posting and liking sectarian bigotry, hatred and incitement

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Osama Siblani validates “fear and loathing”: Posting and liking sectarian bigotry, hatred and incitement
Fear of the “arrogant bully” I interviewed a number of people who raised important issues as to the 19th district court primary election.  The people I interviewed, from different national and faith groups, did not want to be named. They were concerned that Osama would use his paper to attack them. I was surprised at the level of fear and loathing directed towards Osama and his paper.  My interviewees did not need the headache of an open fight with Osama and his paper.  I thought their fear was exaggerated. He is, after all, a publisher of a paper not the leader of a gang.

Sectarianism is the last refuge of the scoundrel Osama’s response to my column appearing on my blog and in the Forum and Link was having one of his sectarian writers attack me in his paper. Osama’s writer, who has very limited English language skills, falsely claimed that I wrote that Sunnis do not like Osama because…

Intellectual Dishonesty and Sectarian Incitement at the “Arab American” News: More of the Same

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I write a regular column for the Detroit based Forum and Link. On a visit to Dearborn, I was struck by community drama over the 19th district judicial primary elections.  Curious to know the reasons, I spoke with a number of people of different backgrounds. I used these interviews in an entry on my blog. The same appeared in the Forum and Link of August 11, 2016.
There were a number of themes in the interviews, These themes include:
1.There is community- wide frustration with Osama Siblani and his paper. Osama uses his paper as the “National Inquirer” and the community is sick and tired of that.
2.Osama’s years of activism have gotten to his head and made him think that he “made the community,””he is the dean of the community,” “he is the community,” “he speaks for the community and “he decides who from the community can speak.”
3.Osama is dictatorial, immoral and unethical. After promoting attorney Dabaja for city council, he turned around and stabbed her in the back by using his paper t…

Fear and loathing in Dearborn: The Osama phenomenon

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Osama Siblani is a very interesting phenomenon. He is the publisher of a community newspaper and a longtime community activist. Anyone who gets involved in matters of public concern expects to be the object of criticism. Even American presidents get all kinds of criticism- fair and unfair.  In a democracy, we all understand that the freedom of expression is sacrosanct.
In the Middle East, people have a lot of opinions. However, in most Middle Eastern countries people are afraid to express themselves for fear of the government and those who have connections. In the US, on the other hand, there is the First Amendment. There is freedom of speech. People are free to express themselves.
I spoke with a Dearborn Arab American about the phenomenon of Osama Siblani and his paper. I have written a column in the Forum and Link based on interviews with Arab Americans regarding the 19th district elections and people did not want to go on the record criticizing Osama Siblani. Why would people, in the…

Understanding the 19th district court primary election

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Understanding the 19th district court primary election A milestone or just another community drama that shall pass?* Judicial elections are usually low key events. Due to the nature of the position itself and the fact that the race is nonpartisan, one does not see the drama and negativity experienced in other races. The 19th district court primary race of 2016 will be remembered for the drama that unfolded in Arab Dearborn. It was not the Arab American community, as would usually happen, being attacked by outsiders. It was a divided community exchanging accusations. But when all is said and done, what is truly remarkable is that a longtime activist, Osama Siblani, and his paper the Arab American News/Sada al Watan, were at the very center of the drama and the object of derision and anger. To understand what happened, I spoke with a number of Arab Americans who are familiar with Dearborn politics to get their insights into what happened.  Most of the interviews were held before the prim…