Organization Seeks $15,000 to Counter “October Surprise” Targeting Arab and Muslim American Communities
“October surprise [ok-toh-ber /s r pra z, s -/ Pronunciation Key ser-prahyz] – noun: American political slang describing a news event with the potential to influence the outcome of the presidential election held in early November. Events that take place in October have greater potential to swing votes.”
Washington, DC | October 6, 2008 | www.adc.org | The Arab-American community is often the target of an “October surprise.” Often it is through targeted enforcement measures undertaken by law enforcement or through campaigns of hate focusing on the Arab and Muslim American communities. We saw it during the 2004 elections when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) initiated specific enforcement actions in major metropolitan areas prior to the November presidential election. We again saw it prior to the 2006 elections when the FBI conducted a series of coordinated raids against Muslim affiliated locations in Michigan and Missouri.
With one month until one of the most pivotal presidential elections in our nation’s history, those who promote hate and feed on division are also taking advantage of these politically-sensitive times. The most recent attempt using the politics of fear is the distribution of 28-million copies of “Obsession: Radical Islam‘s War against the West.”
This professionally produced but seditious and fear mongering DVD was inserted into millions of newspapers across the country distributed primarily in those crucial “swing” states including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Michigan, Florida, and Virginia among others. Copies are now also being directly mailed to voters around the country. The obvious intent by the New York-based Clarion Fund, which is responsible for this project, is to scare people and create hostility towards Arab and Muslim Americans as all Americans head to the polls in November.
Added to this environment is the recent decision by Attorney General Michael Mukasey to release new controversial guidelines for Department of Justice investigators that would give federal law enforcement free reign to conduct investigations of individuals or groups on the mere suspicion of questionable activity or meeting the FBI‘s assessment of what it loosely considers a threat. With one month until the elections, this change (scheduled to take effect on December 1st) will essentially move FBI investigations from being evidence-driven to those potentially based purely on suspicion.
As the election nears, the urgency increases. Based on this historical pattern, it is reasonable to expect that there will be more attempts to smear the Arab and Muslim American communities.
As a result, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has established the “Voter Protection Unit” within its Legal Department. This special unit composed of three attorneys in Washington, DC, and one in Dearborn, Michigan, will be dedicated full-time for the next 30-days to protect the Arab and Muslim American communities from attempts at chilling the communitiess‘ right to vote and responding to fear tactics designed to promote hate, division, and hostility against the Arab and Muslim American communities.
However, to be most effective ADC will need your direct support during this critical time. This is an extra-budgetary emergency project. Therefore, the costs associated with the ADC Voter Protection Unit do not fall within the organization‘s annual budget. Under current circumstances, ADC estimates that it will cost $15,000 for this effort to be completely effective within the next month. Therefore, ADC is asking for your direct support with the goal of raising the necessary funds for the continued operation of the Voter Protection Unit until the November 4th presidential election.
Help ADC maintain this operation as we work together to defeat discrimination, stereotypes, and hate-mongering during this critical time in our nation‘s history.
Please help us achieve our goal of raising $15,000 by the November 4th presidential election. This will ensure the full-time operation of the ADC Voter Protection Unit. You may make your donation securely online by clicking here.
Donations can be mailed to the ADC National Office: Attention Voter Protection Unit, 1732 Wisconsin Ave, NW. Washington, DC 20007. Please click here to print the donation form and mail it with your contribution to this effort.
***All Donations to ADC-Research Institute (ADCRI) are 100% Tax Deductible***
***Donations to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) are not Tax Deductible***