Dr. James Zogby says “Enough is enough!”: “Arab” Is Not an Insult
WASHINGTON D.C. - October 11, 2008 - We are disturbed by the degree to which ‘Arab’ has become the metaphorical mud to sling against your opponent. This week, for example, the Republican Jewish Coalition released a document in which they use the term Pro-Arab as a pejorative accusation. For his part, Rush Limbaugh has joined in by declaring that Obama is in fact an Arab American. Then, on Friday, after a supporter called Senator Barak Obama “an Arab”, Senator John McCain came to the defense of of his political opponent by saying “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man and citizen….” From this we are left to infer that an Arab man is less then a “decent family man”.
Dr. James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, says “Enough is enough! From the beginning of this campaign there have been those who have used Muslim and Arab in an effort to smear Barak Obama. This exploitation of bigotry and the stoking of racist fires to forward an agenda is reprehensible. This is not only offensive to the Arab Americans, but to all Americans. As any ethnic group who has ever been used to scare the electorate knows, this is a dangerous game that tragically can ends with innocent people being hurt.
“And while We are pleased to see that the senator is trying to dispel rumors about Senator Obama, but we feel the need to point out that Arab Americans are also decent men and women with the full rights of citizenship as enumerated under the constitution. Arab Americans are part of the great melting pot that is this country’s strength. We work towards peace in the Middle East along side our Jewish partners. We raise our sons and daughters to be model citizens of this nation. We serve this country with honor. The suggestion that any ethnic group is treacherous and Anti-American is unacceptable, dangerous, and unbecoming of such a great nation.”
About the Arab American Institute
Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent. AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities. For more information on AAI, please visit http://www.aaiusa.org or call 202-429-9210.
About Yalla Vote
Yalla Vote, an initiative of the Arab American Institute, strives to empower and engage Arab Americans in the political process at all levels, grass roots to grass top. This year, the Yalla Vote campaign, “Our Voice. Our Future. Yalla Vote ‘08”, is organizing Arab Americans across the country to vote for the candidates they feel will work to resolve the issues of concern to our community, as outlined by the National Declaration. Throughout this campaign cycle, Yalla Vote ‘08 initiatives will train Arab Americans to get out the vote, mobilize Arab Americans to vote, and provide forums for Arab Americans to speak to candidates about the issues that concern us most. For more details, please visit http://www.yallavote.org.