Statement Regarding Malek Jandali and the ADC Convention

Washington, DC | www.adc.org | June 9, 2011 -- There has been an attempt to deflect from the focus of the ADC National Convention by various media, with accusations leveled against ADC as being against pro-democracy speech. Renowned pianist Mr. Malek Jandali was invited to perform at the ADC Gala Banquet for his inspiring compositions. A celebrated artist, Mr. Jandali performed at ADC last year. The notion that ADC, the largest grassroots Arab American organization, which has consistently and painstakingly fought for the civil rights and liberties of Arab Americans throughout its history of thirty-one years, would disinvite an artist for promoting democracy is absurd. Mr. Jandali’s participation at the banquet was intended to be in his professional capacity as a musical performer.

As for the expression of personal political views, ADC provides ample opportunity for discussion and debate throughout the convention. This year’s convention includes panel discussions on U.S. foreign policy, the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, Arab American identity, and other areas. In these events, where experts and scholars engage in candid discussion, audience members are encouraged to participate. We hope that Mr. Jandali will join in the exchange and articulate his personal views at these events.

ADC’s grassroots membership-base represents a diverse spectrum of Arab Americans, who vary in their national origin, religion, social traditions, and political views. ADC’s power to fight for the rights of Arab Americans stems from its identity as one organization for ALL Arab Americans, a unifying force that speaks with one voice in the interests of our community as a whole. To truly succeed in combating the many common challenges Arab Americans face in the United States, it is vital that this be the guiding focus of ADC’s mission.

It is for this reason that ADC seeks to bring Arab Americans together, based on a shared identity and experience, and avoids fomenting the divisiveness that inevitably emerges in the Arab American community where domestic Arab politics are concerned. Unfortunately, in keeping with its goal to unify Arab Americans, ADC’s resolution not to promote any particular side of a dispute is misunderstood as a failure to uphold the underlying principles upon which ADC is based. ADC unequivocally supports civil rights and liberties for all people and condemns any action that undermines the freedom or dignity of any human being.