Those advocating for issues of importance to Arab Americans rarely have anything to celebrate. In an era defined by the growth of anti-Arabism and Islamophobia in the West, activists' work is necessary, although uphill. Last week, activists fighting for related causes won rare, but small, victories.
Arab American political activist Muthanna al-Hanooti was arrested and jailed this week by federal officials upon arrival at Detroit Metropolitan Airport returning from a trip to the Middle East. The following day he was charged with two counts of conspiracy and three counts of lying to the FBI about working for agents with the Iraqi Intelligence Service under Saddam Hussein.
The U.S. State Department released a report on March 13 from the Office of the Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism. It follows up on a 2005 document and was dedicated to the memory of U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos of California, the only Holocaust survivor to have served in Congress. The Hungarian-born Lantos died last month of cancer at age 80.
This past week, the ABC newsmagazine Primetime ran a limited series entitled "What Would You Do?" The hidden camera show set up everyday scenarios that happen in America and then captured people's reactions to them.
There's simply no question that Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick should resign his post as mayor of the city of Detroit. Kilpatrick's public philandering, as bad as it is, is no surprise. But public officials are expected, are elected, to uphold the law and to set high moral standards. We expect our public officials to be people our children can look up to.
There's a lot of confusion about Michigan's primary election to be held this week on Tuesday, January 15, instead of the usual early February race. It's pretty much agreed that moving the state primary forward was a mistake. The Democratic National Committee has stripped Michigan of its delegates. And John Edwards and Barack Obama pulled their names from the ballot. The Republican ballot will have a full slate of names, but national GOP officials will count only half of Michigan's delegates because of the early primary date.
This issue of The Arab American News brings us to the close of 23 years of publishing. As we have for the past few years, we have combined the final two issues of the year to give our staff a much-needed break and to facilitate the observance of all the year-end holidays of 2007.
People are dying in Gaza. Patients die in their hospital beds because they are denied permits to access life-saving treatments abroad. Patients with such permits die at the Erez crossing because the Israeli military denies them exit, despite their permits.