Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Muslim sues Department of Homeland Security over harrassment

U.S. Citizen and his Family Sue Homeland Security Department to End Detentions and Harassment Triggered by Misidentification on Re-Entry to U.S.
6/28/2005 11:44:00 AM
To: City Desk
Contact: Edwin C. Yohnka of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, 312-201-9740 ext. 305; 312-851-2832 (pager); 847-687-1129 (cell);

CHICAGO, June 28 /U.S. Newswire/ -- After a nearly six-hour ordeal at the United States-Canada border -- during which he was subjected to unnecessary excessive force during a body search and shackled to a chair for approximately three hours while isolated from his wife and children -- the owner of a suburban Chicago computer software company and his family today asked a federal district court to order the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to remedy policies that caused this, and three other unlawful detentions, because he was misidentified. Akif Rahman, a native born United States citizen, today described the May 8, 2005 detention at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel as the most harrowing and frightening example in an escalating series of detentions that began fifteen months ago. Since March 2004, Mr. Rahman was detained and questioned by DHS on five separate occasions as he re-entered the country after business or personal trips abroad. Four of the detentions lasted unnecessarily long periods of time (anywhere from two to six hours), longer than was reasonably required for determining Mr. Rahman's identity and allowing him to proceed into the United States. According to an April 2005 letter from a DHS component agency to Mr. Rahman, all of his difficulties are the direct result of an "unfortunate misidentification scenario."

"The situation was frightening and intimidating," said Mr. Rahman in announcing the lawsuit. "I simply could not believe what was happening. I am an American citizen, simply re-entering my own country. Even after I presented multiple forms of valid identification as recommended by the Department of Homeland Security, I was handcuffed for approximately three hours and guarded like a felon for nearly six hours. The policies that caused this to happen to me or other innocent persons must be changed."

According to the lawsuit filed today by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, Mr. Rahman was improperly detained four times in the last 15 months upon his reentry to the United States from abroad. Those occasions occurred at Los Angeles International Airport in March 2004; Chicago O'Hare International Airport in August 2004; Montreal Airport in September 2004; and at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel on May 8, 2005. The May 2005 stop became a nightmare for the entire Rahman family.

After the first few detentions, Mr. Rahman contacted several governmental agencies and filed a series of Freedom of Information Act requests in order to learn why he was being subjected to these detentions and harassment. In April 2005, the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency of DHS wrote to Mr. Rahman indicating that his problem was "the direct result of an unfortunate misidentification scenario." The ICE official told Mr. Rahman that they had taken steps to correct government databases in order to address the situation and advised him to carry multiple forms of identification when traveling abroad. Mr. Rahman always carried such identification -- including a passport, driver's license and Social Security card -- when he was detained by DHS officers. Mr. Rahman's name is as universally common as "John Smith." There are hundreds and thousands of persons in the United States with a name that is similar to, or sounds like, Mr. Rahman's, and therefore would be identified for screening by the Border Patrol's computer system.

The events at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel on May 8th make clear that ICE did not correct the misidentification problem. On that day, the Rahman family was driving home from visiting relatives in Canada. At the Tunnel, they were asked by DHS officials for identification. After reviewing the identification, the officer ordered Mr. Rahman to turn off his car and surrender the keys. Mr. Rahman was escorted from the car by multiple agents, separated from his family and detained for approximately six hours, during which he was shackled to a chair for approximately three hours, and also repeatedly kicked during a search of his person. His wife and children also were detained for six hours in a room with no food for the Rahman's two young children.

"It simply was not necessary for DHS to detain the Rahman family for approximately six hours in order to determine Mr. Rahman's identity," said Harvey Grossman of the ACLU in announcing the lawsuit. "The DHS has stated that the detentions were the result of misidentification. Yet Mr. Rahman presented all the identification DHS said he should need to gain expeditious reentry. No law-abiding U.S. citizen should be treated this way. And, the treatment of Mrs. Rhaman and her children is inexplicable."

The lawsuit filed on Mr. Rahman's behalf asks a federal court to order DHS to adopt polices that ensure expeditious reentry to the United States for U.S. citizens whose names are similar to those on government watch lists, and to institute adequate training and supervision to ensure that U.S. citizens are not unduly detained and harassed upon entering the United States.

"Treating United States citizens like Mr. Rahman in this fashion is intolerable, and will do nothing to make us safer," said cooperating attorney Everett J. Cygal.

Mr. Cygal, Paula Ketcham, and Jason Lee of the Chicago law firm Schiff Hardin LLP are assisting the ACLU of Illinois in this case.
A copy of the complaint is available at

Monday, June 27, 2005

Hala Salam Maksoud training program set for Fall

Applications Welcomed for Upcoming Arab-American Leadership Training

First Hala Foundation Program May 30-June 3 Produced Tremendous Response

The Hala Salaam Maksoud Foundation for Arab-American Leadership is nowwelcoming applications for 2 upcoming intensive, 5-day trainingsessions planned for August 28-Sept. 2 and late November, 2005.

The first Hala Foundation Leadership Program training session was held from June May 30-June 3, and elicited a tremendous response from theparticipants. Applications are sought from those who wish to beconsidered for future training sessions. There is no charge for thetraining sessions, which are held in Washington, DC, but trainees areresponsible for their own travel and accommodation. The training willbe led and coordinated by the Hala Foundation's Program Director Dr.Hussein Ibish.

Applicants should be young Arab-American professionals who havecompleted their education and have already begun their professionalcareers, or those in the final stages of a Ph.D. program. They shouldhave a demonstrable commitment to advocacy on behalf of Arab-Americanconcerns, and a desire to devote substantial time and effort toleadership on behalf of the community.Feedback from participants in the first leadership training session:

"I found the training sessions at the Hala Foundation to be one of themost intellectually stimulating experiences I've had in some time.Dynamic speakers, fascinating topics and an inviting environment aresome of the factors that made this experience worthwhile. Already, Ihave been able to take what I learned in Washington and apply it to myclasses and my own research."Professor Dave Zoby, Casper College

"This was by far the most effective leadership training I have everreceived. It was absolutely worth juggling my schedule andsacrificing my precious few days off because the skills and network Ideveloped there will last a lifetime. This is a genius endeavor – itis groundbreaking, cutting edge, and brilliant, much like itsnamesake."Maysoon Zayid, Comedian and actress

"My week at the Hala Foundation training was one of the most valuableand inspiring of my professional career. I was given access to ourcommunity's sharpest minds and most accomplished leaders. Even moreimportant, the learning doesn't end when you leave Washington. I'mnow lucky to be a part of a growing network of Arab Americans from allends of the political spectrum unified in our dedication to theempowerment of the Arab American community."Rebecca Abou-Chedid, Government Relations Specialist, Arab American Institute

"Loved it, loved it, loved it. It's a testimony to the Program'sunique approach that, after being brought together for a week ofintense dialogue on the most difficult issues facing Arab Americans,we each left determined but also inspired and uplifted. The week wasas much about grasping a hard situation as it was about discoveringways to address it--not as remote, besieged individuals, but as partof an active, committed collective that, despite internal differences,reaches out and supports each other. Incredibly, in one fantasticweek, the workshop provided the tools necessary – i.e. knowledge(including an encyclopedic amount of information, as well as valuablelessons imparted by those long-active within the community), skills,contacts, encouragement and support - to develop that attitude."Kristin Shamas, University of Oklahoma

"The Leadership Training Program exceeded ALL of my expectations. Wewere encouraged to think for ourselves and to act on our goals in aproactive, effective manner to benefit the Arab-American community asa whole. To potential participants: Please take advantage of thisopportunity!"Yasmine Hannaney, Film-maker and actress

The Leadership Training Program is designed to create a nationalnetwork of highly trained, informed and focused young Arab-Americanprofessionals equipped to take on the advocacy and organizationalefforts required for community leadership.The Leadership Program provides extensive training in:

* Command of the Issues: mastery of both information and arguments

* Presentation Skills: making the case effectively

* Interpersonal Skills: making friends and influencing people

* Organizational Skills: mobilizing the community

* Collaborative Skills: building effective teams

* Coalition Building Techniques: finding unexpected allies

* Networking: building a national network of trained activists

* Continuous Improvement: developing long-term relationships with traineesApplicants should send a letter of interest explaining their desire tobecome community leaders or activists, a CV and a writing sample orany other relevant material to:The Hala Salaam Maksoud Foundation815 Connecticut Ave. NWSuite 200Washington, DC20006Please visit for more detailsEmail with any questions

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Rachel Corrie webcast June 24 9 AM Pacific

Rachel’s Radio: Worldwide webcast this Friday, June 24.

Friday, June 24, 2005.9 – 10 a.m. PDT

Speakers: Cindy and Craig Corrie, Klaled and Samah Nasrallah, Donna Baranksi-WalkerMC: Lisa Hamid

Highlights from Portland’s “In Rachel’s Name” event will be broadcast worldwide on the internet on Friday, June 24, 9 – 10 a.m. PDT. Listeners all over the world are just three clicks away from hearing the how after the death of their daughter Rachel, Cindy and Craig Corrie went to Rafah, Gaza where they befriended Samah and Khaled Nasrallah and their three children.

Rachel was murdered trying to prevent the demolition of the Nasrallah home by an Israeli military Caterpillar bulldozer paid for by the U.S. government.

The Corries and Nasrallahs are touring U.S. cities under the auspices of The Rebuilding Alliance. The goal of the tour is to raise funds to rebuild the Nasrallah’s home and eventually rebuild the hundreds of homes that have been demolished - sometimes with people living within them - during Israel’s illegal, immoral and insane occupation of Palestine, an aggression now lasting 38 years.

On Thursday, June 16, a capacity crowd of 500 filled St. Francis of Assisi Church in Portland, Oregon, donating $4,600 to begin rebuilding one home. This heartfelt people-to-people act of compassion was one community’s response and a small step towards making restitution for the crimes against humanity that have been committed by the governments of the United States and Israel. Lest we forget: destroying homes, killing innocent civilians, traumatizing children, engaging in collective punishment against an entire people, and depriving people of food, water, medical care, employment, education and dignity is terrorism.

This powerfully moving, informative and inspirational event was sponsored by: Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, Friends of Sabeel North America, Jews for Global Justice, and St. Francis of Assisi Church. A coalition of peace and social justice groups and spiritual organizations co-sponsored the event. These included: Bridgeport United Church of Christ, Education WithOut Borders, KBOO Community Radio, Living Earth Gatherings, Oregon PeaceWorks, Oregon Peace Institute, Palestinian Arab American Association, Pax Christi Portland, Portland Catholic Worker, Portland Peaceful Response Coalition and The Portland Alliance newspaper.

This program was produced and edited by Sid Brown and Judy Fiestal

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Deadline August 15 for Arab Comedy Fest Entries

New York Arab-American Comedy Festival is Seeking Submissions

The New York Arab-American Comedy Festival is seeking submissions from Arab-American artists for its 3rd annual Festival which will take place in New York City from November 13-16, 2005. Last year’s Festival was a great success thanks to the work of the talented Arab-American artists involved and the support of the entire Arab-American community. We plan on making this year’s Festival even bigger and more visible. It is our goal to produce a Festival this fall which will attract even more positive media coverage for the artists and the community as well as provide an excellent industry showcase for all the Arab-American artists who participate.
The Festival will be divided into three parts: Comedic theater, stand up comedy and comedic films. The details for the submissions are as follows:
· Comedic theater: We are seeking comedic theater pieces not to exceed 30 minutes in length. The works can be one acts or excerpts from a longer work. The pieces do not have to be Arab themed. Please included with your submission, contact information and short bio, script, with character breakdown, and a one paragraph blurb about the play. If the play has been staged already, you can submit a videotape of the play.
· Stand up comedy: Please submit a VHS or DVD of 8-10 minutes of your stand up comedy. The comedy does not have to be Arab themed.
· Comedic Films: We are seeking any length, from shorts to features, of comedic films that have been made by Arab-Americans. You can submit the film on VHS or DVD. The films do not have to be Arab themed. Please include contact information, short bio and a one paragraph blurb about the film.All submissions must be RECEIVED by August 15, 2005. Due to time constraints, any submissions received after the deadline will not be considered for this year's Festival. Submissions should be sent to the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival and addressed to the attention of the Festival's General manger Elias EL-Hage at 317 West 95th Street, Suite HG, New York, NY 10025. If you would like your submission returned, please include a self-addressed stamped return envelope.We will be informing artists about the Festival's selections by September 1, 2005. If you have any questions, please contact either Dean Obeidallah at, Maysoon Zayid at or Elias El-Hage at

Please check our website for periodic updates and to read the media coverage the past Festivals received.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Dean Obeidallah Maysoon Zayid Elias El-Hage

Michigan Palestine Office organizes Forum on Diaspora

Subject: Michigan Palestinian American Community Town Hall Meeting re Our Connection to Palestine Present and Future

To: All concerned Palestinians in Metro Detroit & Ann Arbor area

From: Basima Farhat & Paul Salameh of Ramallah Club, George Khoury of Bir Zeit Society, Hasan Newash of the Palestine Office Michigan, and Dr. Karma Nabulsi & Randa Jamal of Civitas (originated at Oxford University)

Please attend our Palestinian Community Town Hall Meeting to explore Michigan's Palestinian Diaspora Community needs and concerns. This is part of a global effort conducted among Palestinian Diaspora communities across the globe. See the attachments above and summary below for more details.

Meeting Time & Date: 6:30 PM, Tuesday June 28th. (Finger food provided; program will conclude at 9:30 PM)
Place: St. Mary's Cultural Center, East Room
18100 Merriman Rd. ( between 6 & 7 Mile Rd.)
Livonia, MI 48152
Admission: Free

All adult Palestinians 18 and above, including those born to one Palestinian parent, are urged to participate. This is an important workshop to help shape our US role and our connection to Palestine, in the present and future. Hopefully, this will serve as a step forward towards creating our own Palestinian American representative institutions, aside from those in existence today that are based on Palestinian original town affiliation or religious beliefs.
Please help us succeed! Your attendance is very important. RSVP to the Palestine Office Michigan, 313 945-9660 by June 27th, in order to accommodate necessary logistics, i.e. food, chairs etc.

Background & Objectives
This is an invitation for the Michigan Palestinian Community to participate in workshops being conducted across the globe among Diaspora Palestinians. Originating in Nuffield College, Oxford University, in the UK, this research project aims at assessing "how Palestinian refugee communities living in exile in the Middle East, Europe, and further afield can build civic structures and mechanisms to enable better communication with their national representative and institutions, the humanitarian agencies that serve them, and other refugee communities, both inside and outside of Palestine. It is almost entirely a volunteer project, run by the communities themselves, and is facilitated by a very small team who are coordinating the activities in order to carry forward the voices of the refugees themselves to the relevant bodies, and bring the urgent needs of the Palestinian refugees to the attention of the international community. This project will restore the vital links between all tiers of Palestinian civil society, and reconnect them with their national representative the PLO and national institutions that have suffered fragmentation in the past decade.

This project gives the Palestinian refugee and exile communities the chance to specify the structures and mechanisms for communication with concerned parties and identify their own priorities. This initiative does not seek to limit or specify the structures, mechanisms, and priorities articulated by the refugees. It provides a practical service to those communities, through which members of those communities can define their own needs, in their own voices. The task of the project team is to bring those voices forward. The project is based on the belief that opinion polls and surveys are not the most authentic way to discover the real needs and choices of Palestinian refugees. Participatory involvement where people are allowed to speak for themselves is a more valuable and trustworthy methodology."

Finally, and repeating from above, this town hall meeting will serve as a step forward towards creating our own Palestinian American representative institutions, aside from those in existence today that are based on Palestinian original town affiliation or religious beliefs. Please help us succeed! Your attendance is very important. RSVP to the Palestine Office Michigan, 313 945-9660 by June 27th.

On behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee, I look forward to seeing you on the Eve of June 28th at St. Mary's Cultural Center East Room. 3r cul.
Hasan Newash
Palestine Office Michigan
313 945-9660

Friday, June 17, 2005

Group says abuse and torture at Guantanamo Bya is okay ...

***NOTE*** This release has been posted online at:

CONTACT: Mark Washburn, Executive Director – Move America Forward
(916) 441-6197 or


(SACRAMENTO) – The non-profit group that supports our troops and the war against terrorism, Move America Forward (website:, has launched a campaign to rally public support for the Detention Center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The “I LOVE GITMO” campaign will take to the airwaves in the form of paid commercials urging Americans to support the men and women operating the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

The commercials will target those individuals who have put forth false charges about the operations at the facility so that their constituents can know about their “Blame America First” antics. One example is Illinois Senator, Dick Durbin who said GITMO and those running it had created an environment akin to the "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others."

“GITMO is a key arsenal in the fight against terrorism, and Americans must stand behind the heroic men and women of the Armed Forces who serve proudly there,” said Howard Kaloogian, Co-Chair of Move America Forward.

The campaign to support GITMO was launched on Thursday with the release of the “I LOVE GITMO” bumper sticker. Thousands of these bumper stickers have been sold in the first 24 hours they were available online at

“These terrorists detained are not common criminals; they are enemy combatants in our war against terrorism. They are not entitled to all of the rights that someone arrested in this country gets. Just like we held German and Japanese prisoners of war during World War II, we have to confine enemy combatants so they stop killing Americans serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Kaloogian added.

On the website Move America Forward notes that the food served to the terrorist detainees and terrorist suspects held at GITMO is better in many cases than the food being served to our troops in the Armed Services. Congressional decree prevents the military from serving MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat – vacuum packed sealed food bags served to U.S. troops) to detainees because it would be considered “abuse.”
Instead, in the past week the anti-American terrorists and terrorist suspects held at GITMO have been served:

*Orange Glazed Chicken
*Rice Pilaf
*Steamed Peas & Mushrooms
*Fruit Roupee

In addition, on Ramadan the terrorists held at GITMO are served lamb, dates and honey as part of their religious observance.

GITMO detainees also are provided prayer mats and prayer oils and are allowed to pray five times per day – something that even U.S. schoolchildren are forbidden from doing.

“In recent days we’ve seen certain liberal politicians have the audacity to undermine American troops by falsely accusing them of torture and misconduct, including bogus charges of desecrating the Koran” said Melanie Morgan, Co-Chair of Move America Forward.

“These shameless individuals, interested in selling magazines or rallying their leftist political followers, are willing to denigrate the important mission being conducted by our troops in Guantanamo Bay.

“By falsely provoking anti-American sentiment overseas, these domestic enemies who have fanned the flames of a ‘Gulag at Guantanamo’ are jeopardizing the lives and well being of our servicemen and women stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Morgan.

# # #

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Chicagoan announces candidacy for presidency of Egypt, Jun 15, 2005



Chicago man declares candidacy for President of Egypt

Chicago, Illinois, USA (6/15/05) Writer and community activist Aladdin Elaasar has announced today his official nomination for president of Egypt. Elaasar hopes his candidacy brings democracy to the Arab country. For the last 24 years Egypt has been ruled by President Hosni Mubarak, 78, who has recently opened the door for other candidates to run for the presidency. Although Egypt is a constitutional republic, and its constitution states term limits, for more than 50 years Egypt has had 3 presidents from the military institution who held the presidency uncontestedly.

Elaasar has lived in the Chicago land area since 1992. He fled the Middle East after the Gulf War with his wife and his eldest son. He has three other children who were born in Chicago. Mr. Elaasar is a prolific writer. He wrote for several publications in the US and the Middle East in both English and Arabic. He has also worked as a translator, counselor, bilingual teacher, and project manager in the Silicon Valley. He is author of a recently released book titled ?Silent Victims? that discusses the impact of 9/11 on communities in the USA.

Elaasar was born, raised and educated in Cairo, Egypt in 1962. He graduated from Ain Shams University in Cairo, in 1983, with a B. A. in English. He speaks English and Arabic fluently, in addition to French and Spanish. ?This is the first time in Egypt?s modern history that a native Egyptian runs for president of Egypt. Egyptians never had the chance before to run for president, nor elect their chosen leaders freely. It?s about time for Egyptians after 50 years of oppressive military rule to have a free elections and vote for the candidate they choose. Mr. Elaasar said.

Egypt, a country of 75 million people has the highest rate of unemployment. Corruption within the government is rampant and the country has been ruled for the last 25 years by the emergency law. Thousands of government opponents are in jail without a trial. Elaasar hopes to bring peace, freedom, democracy and the rule of the law to his native country of Egypt. ?Egypt, more than ever needs democracy and respect for human dignity and the rights of women and minorities. We need to do a lot of reform; legal, economic and social change. And peace should be our unshakeable commitment", Elaasar said.


For more info, please contact:
Committee for Freedom and Democracy in Egypt
1015 Higgins Quarters, Suite 115
Hoffman Estates, IL 60194
Or Call 847 668 4206, or 847 310-0342

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Farouk Systems sponsors 2005 Miss Universe Pageant

If you would like additional photos please feel free to contact me.

For Immediate Release Contact: Janice R. McCafferty
2005 (773) 736-9034

Farouk Systems Sponsors
The 2005 Miss Universe Pageant

Houston, TX – Farouk Systems, Inc. is the proud sponsor of the 2005 Miss Universe Pageant. As the official hair care sponsor, Farouk Systems and their international team of hairstylists traveled to the exotic shores of Bangkok, Thailand. This year’s Miss Universe Pageant featured 81 beauties from Albania to Zambia, riding elephants, touring temples and frolicking on exotic beaches during the live broadcast.

As the official hair care sponsor, Farouk Systems, Inc. supplied products, tools and stylists for all the delegates, celebrity judges and on-air hosts from Access Hollywood, Nancy O’Dell and Billy Bush. Our international teams of hairstylists were on hand 3 weeks prior to the live broadcast. They assumed the responsibility for all the delegates’ hair needs for each pre-taped segment.

The newly crowned Miss Universe, Natalie Glebova (Miss Canada) will receive a one year supply of products and tools from Farouk Systems as part of her lavish prize package. President, Shauky Gulamani of Farouk Systems, Inc. created her award wining hairstyle during the pageant and events leading up to the competition.

Please note that many other hair stylists and hair care manufacturers might seek the claim that their products were used prior to the Miss Universe Pageant. However, each delegate left for Thailand one month prior to the actual live broadcast. Farouk Systems and their team of hairdressers performed all the necessary touch-ups, styling and/or cutting for the actual live broadcast using Farouk Systems products!

Photo Caption:

(left to right)

Shauky Gulamani, President of Farouk Systems with Miss Universe Natalie Glebova

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Caterpillar Protest in New York City June 14


This week, the Israeli government is preparing to demolish 88 morePalestinian homes in East Jerusalem using Caterpillar bulldozers. Simultaneously, in Manhattan CAT executives, in an arrogant display ofcorporate duplicity, will be leading a Tuesday June 14 workshop onSustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility at aconference for business leaders from around the world at the WaldorfAstoria Hotel.

pg. 11,General Session B)

Given Caterpillar's role in supporting Israel's violation ofPalestinian rights, CAT executives are the last people who should betalking about sustainable development and corporate socialresponsibility.

According to the Israeli Committee Against HouseDemolitions (, "Since 1967 Israel has demolished almost12,000 Palestinian homes, leaving some 70,000 without shelter andtraumatized." The Caterpillar D9 and D10 bulldozers sold to Israel aredesigned specifically to destroy Palestinian land, roads, watersupplies and sewer systems and to uproot hundreds of thousands of fruitand olive trees, the main livelihood for many Palestinians.

PROTEST TIME: Tuesday June 14 from 8:15 - 9:15 AM

PROTEST LOCATION: We will gather on the steps of St. Bartholomew's Church on Park Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets. Promptly at 8:15AM we will walk one block to the site of the protest, the front of theWaldorf Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets.

PROTEST ORGANIZERS: This peaceful protest was oganized by an ad hoc New York City group in support of the national Stop CAT Campaign. Todate the protest has been endorsed by the International SolidarityMovement - NYC, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine and Queer Resistance for Palestine. Please ask your group to endorse this protest.

PROTEST BACKGROUND: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch andothers denounce the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes andproperty as a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Centerfor Constitutional Rights has brought a lawsuit against Caterpillar forproviding Israel with bulldozers, knowing they will be used to commitwar crimes and human rights violations. Nonetheless, at CAT's annual shareholder meeting on April 13, 2005Caterpillar executives led the defeat of a shareholder resolutioncalling for Caterpillar to investigate whether their sale of bulldozersto Israel violates the CAT "good global citizen" code of conduct.



Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Pahlavi joins hunger strike against Iranian brutality

Reza Pahlavi of Iran Announces Hunger Strike in Support of Iranian Political Prisoners

FAIRFAX, Va., June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Reza Pahlavi of Iran, in response to a direct invitation by political prisoners in Iran, pledged his solidarity and announced his plans to go on a three day hunger strike starting Friday, June 10.

"Solidarity with political prisoners of Iran and support for the legitimate quest for freedom, human rights and economic opportunity in Iran transcends all political boundaries and ideologies," said Reza Pahlavi, opposition leader to the clerical regime of Iran. Yesterday, in a communique, signed by numerous political prisoners, in Iran, the June 17 presidential elections were rejected as "sham and undemocratic."

Calling for a boycott of the elections, the communique also cited the regime's abhorrent violations of human rights in Iran and announced the collective plan of the prisoners to go on a hunger strike as an act of nonviolent defiance of the regime. Highlighting the demands of the communique, Reza Pahlavi said, "Iranians of all walks of life demand: freedom of speech; the unequivocal observance of human rights, by the regime; the immediate release of all political prisoners.

Just last week, during a press conference in Paris, the 44 year old leader called for a national boycott of the scheduled June 17th presidential election, calling it nothing short of political theatre by the regime.

Reza Pahlavi, who has been leading a campaign of political defiance against the Theocracy of Iran, is the former Crown Prince of Iran. He is an accomplished jet fighter pilot and graduate of US Air Force training program at the former Reese Air Force Base. Author of Winds of Change, The Future of Democracy in Iran, he is a Political Science graduate of the University of Southern California.SOURCE Secretariet of Reza Pahlavi


06/08/2005 /
CONTACT: Mr. Kamran Beigi of Secretariet of Reza Pahlavi,
/First Call Analyst: /
/FCMN Contact: /
/Web site:

ADC joins anti-Racism conferencein Cordoba, Spain

ADC Press Release:
ADC Joins LCCR at OSCE Conference in Cordoba, Spain

Washington DC, June 8—The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is pleased to be participating in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) conference on Anti-Semitism and on Other Forms of Intolerance in Cordoba, Spain, taking place June 8-9, 2005.

The OSCE is the world's largest regional security organization whose 55 participating states span the geographical area from Vancouver to Vladivostok.

ADC is the only organization representing an Arab community, of the 55 countries involved, at the OSCE. ADC Director of Legal Policy Kareem Shora, JD, is attending on behalf of ADC as part of a larger multicultural and multiethnic non-governmental delegation sponsored by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR).

ADC is an active organizational member of LCCR and over 50 million Americans belong to organizations that comprise LCCR.The OSCE conference aims to build upon the general and specific discussion within the OSCE on racism, xenophobia, and discrimination of any kind, focusing specifically on Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. For more information on the conference or the OSCE please see:

The first day of the Cordoba conference focuses on anti-Semitism, while on the second, delegates will examine the growing phenomenon of Islamophobia, as well as problems faced by Christians and other religious communities. Shora will be presenting remarks at a panel on "Islamphobia."



Celebrate ADC's 25 Years of Dedicated Service to Civil and Human Rights by:CONTRIBUTING TO AND/OR JOINING ADC more information, contact Laila Al-Qatami at:American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)4201 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20008Tel: 202-244-2990 Fax 202-244-3196 E-mail:

Friday, June 03, 2005

USS Liberty Veteran's Assn Announces War Crimes Charges filed against Israel

USS Liberty Veteran’s Association Announces War Crime Charges Filed Against Israel

(Washington, DC) - Friday, June 10 at 1:00 pm, Hotel Washington, 515 15th.St NW, Washington Room 11th floor (hit R for roof in elevator),

Moe Shafer, board member of the USS Liberty Veterans Association and Rear Admiral Merlin Staring, USN, Ret., Former Judge Advocate General of the Navy who was involved with the initial Court of Inquiry investigating the attack in 1967 will present details of the “Report of War Crimes” brief filed on behalf of the USS Liberty Veteran’s Association concerning the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.

The “Report” was filed with by James R. Gotcher, General Legal Counsel, USS - LVA, with the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon on June 8, the 38th anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty.

For a complete copy of the brief go to to
for a PDF version of the Report, or
for an HTML version of the Report.

By establishing prima facie evidence that Israel committed war crimes the Secretary of Defense under existing Dept. Of Defense directives is obligated to initiate an inquiry into the commission of war crimes, an investigation that should have been carried out 38 years ago. Gotcher was an Air Force intelligence officer in Vietnam in 1967 and is one of three intelligence officers who were in different parts of the world at the time. Independent of each other they signed sworn affidavits that they saw intelligence messages saying the USS Liberty was under attack by Israeli aircraft in the Mediterranean. Moe was a 3rd class communications technician on the USS Liberty and survivor of a torpedo attack that killed 25 of his ship mates in the part of the ship where he was stationed.

Captain Ward Boston, a JAG (Naval Legal) Officer involved with the initial inquiry and retired FBI agent examined the original copy of the Court of Inquiry record released under the Freedom of Information Act and declared it a fraud. “It is not the record I certified and submitted in 1967,” says Captain Boston. Lloyd Painter, Officer of the Deck on the USS Liberty and retired secret service agent of 24 years testified that his statement mentioned in the report, “that the Israeli torpedo boat crews machine gunned the USS Liberty inflatable life boats” was removed from the final report that was submitted in 1967.

Immediately following the press conference there will be a panel discussion at the Washington Moderator Gary Powers, Jr.

* Joseph Lentini - Will present a brief history of the ship and the attack; recent events re. political and military issues and what is wrong with the Israeli story as it has evolved over the years.He is a career Public Servant, presently a GS-14 level staff member of the Environmental Protection Agency. Recently honored by the Navy and the National Security Agency (NSA) for training efforts related to establishment of a Cryptologic Military History Program. He was a crew member of the USS Liberty and wounded during the attack.
* Ken Halliwell - Will analyze the gun camera photos and illustrate why they are fraudulent. Semi-retired telecommunications and information systems engineer. He worked for ATT & Lucent Technologies for 15 years. Former Communications Technician with Naval Security Group 1968 - 1974.
* Ernie Gallo - Will cover the following topics: Ward Boston's affidavit which identifies the beginning of a cover up Recently declassified cable from McCain to SECNAV The Jan 04 State Dept Discussion Panel Current FOIA researchCompleted a 30 year career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Following his CIA career worked GTE, TriCorps, and British Aerospace Enterprises. He is a member of: the Elks; Veterans of Foreign Wars; Naval Cryptographic Veterans Association; and the Cold War Veterans. Served on the USS Liberty during the attack.The USS Liberty Veterans Association are hosting their 38th reunion in DC. There will be a memorial service on June 8th at Arlington National Cemetery where 11 crew members are buried; a meeting of the crew on June 10th ; Memorial Plaque Dedication at the US Navy Memorial on June 11th followed by a banquet on the evening of the 11th.

For More Information Call
For Immediate Release
Gary Brummett
President, USS Liberty Veterans Association
318-464-0496 cell
318-858-2258 H
Direct line to Washington Room, June 10
202-638-5900 ext 3142
- 30 -
GW Associates702 S. BeechSyracuse, NY 13210315-476-3396pwirth@accucom.net

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Nawash named to Tolerance delegation by Rice

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kamal Nawash
June 2, 2005
Phone: 202-776-7190


(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/2/05) - The Free Muslims Coalition (FMC), a leading American Muslim organization is proud to announce that Kamal Nawash, President of FMC was named by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as part of a U.S. Delegation to a Conference on combating intolerance against religious groups, including Muslims, Jews and minority Christians among others.

The conference is sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, June 8-9, 2005 in Cordoba, Spain.

George E. Pataki, Governor of the State of New York, was chosen to lead the delegation and represent the United States in recognition of his leadership role as governor of ethnically-diverse New York.

His Majesty Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, will open this year's event, which will focus on practical steps to combat intolerance, building upon last year's Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Conference in Berlin and Conference on Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination in Brussels.

The Organization for Security and Cooperationin Europe comprises 55 nations, including the United States, Canada and the countries of Europe and Eurasia.

In addition to Governor Pataki, the United States delegation will include:

1 - Mr. Kamal Nawash, President of the Free Muslim Coalition against Terrorism;
2 - Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Denver and Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom;
3 - Ambassador Stephan M. Minikes, the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe;
4 - Ambassador Edward O'Donnell, the U.S. Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues;
5 - Mr. Sander Gerber, Member of the National Board of Directors of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee;
6 - Honorable Jennette Bradley, Ohio Treasurer of State;
7 - Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center;
8-Rabbi David Zwiebel, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at Agudath Israel of America.

For more information, visit our website at


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

New study on Ethnic Media to be released

CONTACT:Brahmani Houston
cell 415-515-1729

***Media Advisory***


WHAT: The results of the first national multilingual survey of ethnic Americans on their media habits will be released on June 7 in a national tele-press conference and at a live press conference in New York City. “At a time of momentous change in the media industry, the nationwide poll documents the emergence of ethnic media as a giant in the field,” says pollster Sergio Bendixen who conducted the poll for New California Media and its cosponsors, the Center for American Progress and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund.

The poll was conducted in 10 languages targeting 14 distinct ethnic and racial minority groups (including six Hispanic sub-groups, five Asian American sub-groups, African Americans, Native Americans, and Arab Americans). Some 1895 adult ethnic Americans were interviewed in the phone survey representing a total of 64 million adult ethnic Americans.Highlights of the poll include:

The striking reach and penetration of ethnic media among ethnic Americans nationwide
The lack of influence of “mainstream newspapers” within rapidly growing ethnic and racial minority communities

High trust levels for ethnic media among ethnic and racial minority audiences
WHO: Pollster Sergio Bendixen, CEO of Bendixen & Associates will present the poll results with opening comments from Sandy Close, executive director of New California Media.
Cosponsors of the poll will discuss the findings in the tele-press and live press conferences. Along with the cosponsors, representatives of the advertising industry’s two major associations, the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising, will discuss findings at the press conference in New York.

NEW YORK PRESS CONFERENCE - June 7, 2005 at 10:00 am Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street)New York, NY 10021

NATIONAL TELE-PRESS CONFERENCE - June 7, 2005 at 11:30 am (PST) 2:30 pm (EST) Dial in: 1-866-425-1970Participant code: 337509#To follow the presentation online go to:

and click on Survey of Ethnic Americans on Media Use presentation (unavailable until release date)

NCM, founded in 1996 by the nonprofit Pacific News Service to promote ethnic media, has been a pioneer of multilingual polling since 2002, with support from a broad range of foundations and organizations, including the Ford Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, Overbrook Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. CAP believes that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and they aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values.

The Leadership Conference on
Civil Rights Education Fund
is the research, education, and communications arm of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition.