ADC Live on Al-Arabiya to Discuss President Obama’s Suspension of Guantanamo Trials
Civil Rights Organization Praises Obama for His Inaugural Speech and Quick Action
Washington, DC | January 21, 2009 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) congratulates President Barack Obama for being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America. ADC also congratulates the Nation on this historic moment. One of the first acts President Obama undertook was ordering the suspension of prosecutions at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camps. Since being opened by the Bush Administration, millions, including key-US allies and international human rights organizations, have called for the camps’ closures and for the US to abide by international law. In June of 2008 the United States Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that captives at Guantanamo are entitled to protection under the United States Constitution.
ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, “After years of Bush Administration violations of US and International Law, including the recent admitted use of torture on detainees being held under the mantra of the ‘war on terrorism,’ President Obama’s order this morning is a clear signal to our Nation and the World of his intent to follow up on his inaugural speech by returning the United States to its historic role as the world leader and beacon for hope, justice, freedom, and liberty,” Shora said, “We look forward to working with the Obama Administration as an integral part of the ‘patchwork heritage’ which we’re so proud to call our Nation.”
As part of its continuing advocacy on this issue, ADC will be represented by Shora on the Al-Arabiya news satellite television network to discuss the impact of President Obama’s decision and future anticipated moves by President Obama in the area of human and civil rights. Shora will appear live on Al-Arabiya’s primetime news program between 3:00 and 3:30 pm EST (10:00 and 10:30 pm in most of the Middle East). (For more information see: www.alarabiya.net ).
In his inaugural speech, President Obama emphasized the need to restore the rule law, and “reject[ed] as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” He added, “Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man.” President Obama also promised not to “give [these ideals] up for expedience’s sake.” The erosion of civil rights has particularly affected the Arab-American community during the last eight years, and ADC therefore welcomes the President’s commitment to restoring the rule of law.
Further, ADC applauds the new President for embracing and celebrating America’s diversity by calling America’s “patchwork heritage […] a strength, [and] not a weakness,” and by expressly talking about the different segments making up our country. President Obama noted, “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and nonbelievers.” ADC also lauds President Obama for reaching out to the Muslim world, and “seek[ing] a new way forward based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”
Finally, as the sole organization committed to defending and protecting the civil rights and liberties of Arab-Americans, ADC is encouraged by the Obama Administration’s agendas on civil rights and immigration. On civil rights, the Obama Administration promises to combat employment discrimination, expand the hate crimes statutes, and end racial profiling, among other things. http://www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/civil_rights/
On immigration, the Administration vows to improve the immigration system by “fix[ing] the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase[ing] the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill.” http://www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/immigration/
ADC has been advocating a similar agenda and looks forward to seeing these promises delivered.
To read the entirety of President Obama’s speech click here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090120/ap_on_go_pr_wh/inauguration_obama_text