An important announcement from Walid Phares:
Why a Middle Eastern American Convention for Freedom and Democracy?
Writing to the President of the United States and the US Congress, we relayed a common position reached by a number of Mideast-American leaders and organizations about a historic event to be organized by the largest and most diversed coalition of Mideast Americans ever formed in America.
Over the past few months, intense discussions and many meetings were held by a large number of Mideast-Americans from all religious, ethnic, cultural and social background to assess US position in the Middle East and towards Americans from Mideast descent at home.
American organizations and groups from Lebanese, Iraqi, Syrian, Egyptian, Sudanese, Iranian and other Arab and Mideast backgrounds, met and evaluated the War on Terrorism, the liberation of Afghanistan, the removal of dictator Saddam Hussein, as well as important actions towards the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, the genocide in Sudan, Iran’s democracy movement as well as the issues of women, freedoms and education in the broader Middle East.
It is becoming a reality in the United States that most Mideastern-Americans believe in the following facts:
There are about 4 million Americans from Mideast ancestry. They encompass many ethnicities such as: Arab, ChaldoAssyrians, Lebanese, Persian, Kurds, Sudanese Africans, Copts, Berbers, Turkic, Aramaic, and others. They also belong to many religions and faiths including: Sunnis, Shiites, Maronites, Nestorian, Druze, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Melkite, Bahais, Zoroaistrans, Jews, etc.
The overwhelming majority of this diverse Mideast-American community loves its country, the United States and stands firmly in support of National Security, Democracy and Pluralism. It is true that Wahabism and other anti-American ideologies are prevalent among a number of immigrants and visiting students from Mideast descent. But the majority, mostly silent, of all Mideast and Arab Americans, not only is opposed to these radical doctrines, but strongly supports the US Government policies on the Middle East and on Terrorism:
a. War on Terror: Overwhelmingly Mideast and Arab Americans are against al Qaida and support the US against Terrorism.
b. War in Iraq: Most Mideast and Arab Americans opposed Saddam and endorsed his removal.
c. Homeland Security: Most Mideast and Arab Americans stand by their Government, nation and support the principles of the Patriot Act.
d. Human Rights: A very large manjority of Mideast Americans endorses the promotion of Democracy and the rule of Law in their mother countries. They support freedom for civil societies and increasing rights to women, minorities as well as religious and political tolerance.
Therefore, and after they’ve noticed how the critics have been trying to undermine the Mideast initiatives triggered by the United States, both overseas and at home, the leaders of most Mideast organizations in America have decided to express their support to the vision and the actions by the US Government in public. They have organized a major national event in Washington, DC to tell the world and the American people, on whose side they are. They want to express their gratitude to the President of the United States, to his Administration and to the US Congress for standing by Freedom in the Middle East.
The leaders of the organizations have formed a coalition and are now working on a Mideast American Convention to be held in Washington on Friday, October 1, 2004 at the Wardman Park Marriott. Speakers will express these views at a forum as well as during the dinner.
For more information, see here.