Washington, DC | www.adc.org | February 9, 2016 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) thanks President Obama for his efforts to combat Islamophobia and reach out to the Muslim American community.
President Obama astutely explained that an attack on one religion is an attack on the faiths of all Americans. Likewise, as Arab-Americans, it’s important for us to understand that Islamophobia results in attacks on all members of our community, despite that the majority of us are not Muslim. We must unite as a community to combat racism and bigotry in whatever form it takes because hate affects us all.
President Obama’s recent engagement with the Muslim American community at the Islamic Society of Baltimore plays an important role in shifting the narrative away from the rhetoric and hate speech targeting the community. This outreach builds on President Obama’s strong rebuke of Islamophobia in his final State of the Union address. At a time when political candidates such as Donald Trump are competing to see who can make the most xenophobic comments, it is crucial to have a President who stands up for minority communities.
In his speech at the mosque, President Obama mentioned that Muslim children are just like his, and implied that they should not be subjected to unfair profiling based on their religion. He said, “the notion that they would be filled with doubt and questioning their places in this great country of ours at a time when they’ve got enough to worry about — it’s hard being a teenager already — that’s not who we are.”
In a letter, ADC President Samer Khalaf thanked the President for engaging with the Muslim American community, but also expressed serious concerns pertaining to ongoing government programs which unjustly target Arab and Muslim Americans. ADC invited President Obama to discuss these ongoing programs and other matters impacting the Arab American community.