At OSCE-ODIHR Meeting, ADC Calls on US Government to Remedy Domestic Challenges

ADC Press Release | Contact: Laila Al-Qatami | 202-244-2990 |
Washington, DC | May 9, 2006 | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today addressed participants at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Roundtable Meeting, in Poland, on “Representations of Muslims in Public Discourse.” This is the fourth OSCE event, in the past two years, at which ADC discusses the current situation in the United States.
ADC Legal Department and Policy Director Kareem Shora provided a brief synopsis of the current challenges facing the Arab-American and Muslim communities and highlighted some of the best practices constructively affecting the relationship between these communities and some US government agencies. The US Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (DHS CRCL) and the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division were singled out for their constructive ongoing leadership efforts at outreach, dialogue, and coordination with ADC and other Arab-American and Muslim organizations.
In addressing current challenges, Shora requested that the US address issues of racial profiling and discrimination affecting the rights of the Arab-American and Muslim communities in a more appropriate and consistent manner, specifically addressing current US immigration and racial profiling policies as adverse to such rights. This is of particular relevance as the US consistently calls on other OSCE-member countries to address the rights of their religious and ethnic minorities and to prevent discrimination within the OSCE context.
Examples provided by ADC during the conference today included the continued immigration enforcement problems seen in the spotlight of the war on terror, the manner by which local law enforcement agencies and the FBI address hate crimes committed against the community, racial profiling challenges as they pertain to “watch list” problems, the disparate impact that normally-routine immigration service delays have had on the communities and the perception of the US abroad, and the lingering effects of the counter-terrorism policies and programs adopted following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; specifically the challenges associated with the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) and current available alternatives to that inherently discriminatory program.
To see ADC’s earlier press release on the OSCE-ODIHR Roundtable Meeting on Representation of Muslims in Public Discourse please click here.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is a civil rights organization committed to defending the rights of people of Arab descent and promoting their rich cultural heritage. ADC, which is non-sectarian and non-partisan, is the largest Arab-American grassroots civil rights organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former United States Senator James Abourezk; has 38 chapters nationwide, and members in all 50 States. ADC is at the forefront in addressing discrimination and bias against Arab Americans wherever it is practiced. ADC also serves as a reliable source for information and education about the Arab and Muslim American community. ADC is an active organizational member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR).

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