Recap: A Look at the 2012 United States Elections

Washington, DC | www.adc.org | January 31, 2012 -- Last week, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) offered community members the opportunity to contemplate and discuss this year’s elections from the Arab American perspective through its fourth event of the Arabesque Lecture Series, A Look at the 2012 United States Elections.

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ADC was honored to welcome its two guest speakers for the evening: international human rights lawyer, global media commentator, and author Arsalan Iftikhar, whose achievements, among many, include being the founder of www.TheMuslimGuy.com and regularly contributing to the National Public Radio (NPR) show “Tell Me More,” and Randa Fahmy-Hudome, an internationally recognized expert on the Middle East and North Africa, whose experience includes serving as the Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy, as Counselor to United States Senator Spencer Abraham (R-Mi), and currently as President of the strategic consulting firm Fahmy-Hudome International (FHI).

In sharing their insight, both speakers engaged each other in a friendly, but dynamic debate during the evening’s lively discussion, which was facilitated by ADC Legal Director Abed Ayoub. Audience participation enriched the conversation throughout the evening, with members asking questions and often weighing in on contentious issues discussed.

The extensive discussion covered a range of areas, including:

  • the significance of the 2012 elections for the Arab American community and the importance of Arab Americans getting involved, not only by voting, but also by educating the general American public about the community and demanding respect from politicians;
  • sharia (Islamic jurisprudence) and the absurdity of the fear-mongering surrounding it, given that no law can ever supersede the Constitution;
  • the economy, its impact on small businesses, and how a war with Iran would lead to further economic struggles at home;
  • President Obama’s performance during the last three years – his achievements, the disappointment Arab Americans feel toward some of his policies and positions, and his failure thus far to meet with the Arab American community;
  • the future of civil rights in America and its balance with national security measures;
  • the strategic relationships between the United States and Arab countries and the Israeli-Palestinian issue;
  • the anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric that has pervaded the Republican Primaries and the unacceptable silence from some politicians in both parties juxtaposed by the firm positions notable politicians took in defense of the community;
  • the unprecedented level of bipartisanship that has developed in recent years and the dire need for civility to return to the political process;
  • the significance of the youth vote and how to reach out to youth in universities to get them more involved;
  • the impact of veterans coming home from Iraq on the elections;
  • the need for a unified effort from groups outside the Arab American community to speak up for minority rights;

ADC President Warren David concluded the event by thanking the speakers and the audience for their participation. Iftikhar’s new book, Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era, was available for purchase during the reception afterward, where members of the audience and the guest speakers continued the discussion.

Stay tuned for next month’s event as the Arabesque Lecture Series continues, in which ADC will commemorate Black History Month by exploring what Arab Americans can learn from the African American civil rights movement.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan, is the largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. ADC has a national network of chapters and members in all 50 states.