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Action Alert: ADC-Michigan Disturbed by Anti-Arab Comments from Channel 4 Newscaster

Action Alert: ADC-Michigan Disturbed by Anti-Arab Comments from Channel 4 Newscaster

In a broadcast aired live on Channel 4 News on May 7, 2015, when asked about a possible, unauthenticated “ISIS threat in Michigan”, Newscaster Carmen Harlan suggested that she was “not surprised because Michigan has a very large Arab population”.

ADC-Michigan Director Attorney Fatina Abdrabboh stressed concern about the far-reaching impact such racist, anti-Arab comments can have on communities of Arabs and Muslims living in Michigan: “This shocking lapse of professional conduct was directed against law-abiding citizens who strive to create vibrant, diverse communities wherever they live. Naturally, this type of analysis is very problematic for our community as we watch the impact of blanket indictments on the Arab-American and Muslim community that have nothing to do with the ISIS phenomenon at all. We hope this extremely racist, derogatory comment can be redacted and an immediate apology is in order. An apology that is at least as far reaching as her initial comments that cast doubt on Arab Americans living in metro Detroit.”

In light of the recent murders of 3 Arab Muslim students in North Carolina as well as yesterday 7-11 attack in Troy which appears to be a hate crime and ironically covered by Channel 4 news, the ADC-Michigan understands the impact hate-speech, discriminatory generalizations, and racist stereotypes can have on minority communities. Although we understand the importance of protecting our national security against perceived “threats”, national security should never come at the expense of the civil rights of an entire community.

The ADC-Michigan seeks an apology from Channel 4 news and from Carmen Harlan for using blanket indictments that stoke irrational fears of internal sabotage and “threats” that are, thus far, unfounded. We ask our members and community to politely but firmly express their concern by contacting her directly at carmenh@wdiv.com and to contact Clickondetroit Newsroom at newsrelease@clickondetroit.com or call 313-222-0500. We ask that you copy (“cc”) adcmich@adc.org on the emails.

Please take the time to make this phone call or send an email, it is important to how you as Arab-Americans are viewed by the broader community. Such comments if not rebuffed are shaping your image.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is the nation’s largest Arab-American civil rights and social advocacy organization. Its’ mission is to protect the civil rights of Arab-Americans and promote their rich cultural heritage. The ADC-Michigan is the largest and most active office outside of Washington, D.C. If you have any questions please call us at 313 581-1201 or email adcmich@adc.org.


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