Judge Gershwin Drain wiped away Rasmea Odeh’s 20 years of work in Chicago being an advocate for Arab and Muslim women’s rights. More »
When the Illinois Board of Trustees voted not to appoint Steven Salaita as a tenured professor because of tweets on the Israel-Palestine conflict, escaping notice was a Board member involved in cases that violated the rights of Palestinian-Americans – former U.S. Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald. More »
NSA documents released by Edward Snowden show the U.S. has routinely shared personal data on Palestinian-Americans with Israel since 2009. Both Palestinian-Americans and their relatives living in Israel or the Occupied Territories are put in danger by a government thats basically hostile to them. More »
By Remal Hindi
When people think of Thanksgiving, they think of how much food they will eat, the outfits they’ll wear, football, and of course, Black Friday. Despite its more superficial modern associations, the essence of Thanksgiving is universal, and has spiritual significance that reflects values of people from all faiths.
The world was repulsed yet unsurprised as the so-called Islamic State beheaded another western hostage on camera. A video released by ISIS on November 16th titled “Although the Disbelievers Dislike It” depicted the death of American Peter “Abdul Rahman” Kassig, purportedly in retaliation for American military intervention in Iraq and Syria.
“Odeh doesn’t have ties to the Chicago community. She has apparently done good work at the Arab American Action Network, but that work is not a substantial tie to the community. She could do this in another country.” With those words, U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain wiped away Rasmea Odeh’s 20 years of work in Chicago being an advocate for Arab and Muslim women’s rights. The twenty Arab and Muslim women sitting in the front rows who had come to court as representatives of Odeh’s 600 member women’s group were erased as if they did not exist. This statement was only one of many that demonstrated Judge Drain’s disdain for Odeh’s position as a well-loved Palestinian community leader and organizer in Chicago.
In campaigning for today’s election nearly $4 billion dollars has been spent on the 2014 mid-term elections. That’s more than any other midterm in history, but how much is 4 billion anyway? Such big numbers are hard to visualize out of context. Well here is a bit of perspective…
By Remal Hindi
Living in normalcy exists, but not for everyone. Unfortunately many African Americans struggle living their everyday life due to racism that still exists in this country. The unjustified shootings of Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and other young black men who are not always written about in the media, depict a twisted side of policing and the justice system that was always noticed but is increasingly being questioned. How can we question a system that swears to serve and protect? How does a nation learn to move forward when the foundation of racial profiling is not being addressed?
A 67 year-old award-winning leader of the Arab and Palestinian immigrant community who came here 20 years ago; developed programs supporting women’s rights; has never been arrested or charged with a crime in the U.S.; is indicted for allegedly “lying” on her citizenship application about being convicted by a military court using a confession obtained through torture and sexual assault. Now try to imagine this scenario happening if this remarkable woman was from Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Russia, China, or any other country with whom the U.S. has less than friendly relations. But in this case, she is Palestinian and the country where her rights to a fair trial, as a prisoner, and as a woman to be free from abuse were violated – was Israel.
By Remal Hindi
What I seek, what I do, and who I am, is a commitment to God and myself. Praying five times a day, fasting the month of Ramadan, and wearing a hijab are practices that help guide me to what is truly important in life. I learned that through my struggles, through the pain of losing my father, and all my unanswered questions, I can move forward because there is always a reason to. It is easy to get caught up in life’s challenges and become insensitive to our surroundings but through the challenges I found the meaning of control and patience.
Debates have erupted across the United States about the surveillance practices of various government agencies. The privacy American citizens once took for granted is now being questioned, but for some, uncertain privacy is decades old.
In a strange turn of events, prosecutors have accused the Rasmea Defense Committee, all of Odeh supporters, and the leader of a prominent Arab-American social services group of “jury tampering” and “almost certainly criminal” behavior by showing their support for a leader in the Chicago Palestinian community who has come under discriminatory indictment. The prosecution’s solution? Tamper with any jury that might be selected by demanding the jury remain “anonymous” so that they can be prejudiced to believe Odeh is a dangerous terrorist.
In the controversial firing of Professor Steven Salaita by the University of Illinois, the behavior of the Chancellor Phyllis Wise, Board of Trustees Chair Chris Kennedy, and others have been the subject of numerous reports in the media. Escaping notice through all of this is a member of the Board who has been involved in cases that have violated the rights of Palestinian-Americans – former U.S. Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald.