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Arab American Action Network

The Chicago-based Arab American Action Network (AAAN) seeks “to challenge government policies that violate the civil, political and human rights of the Arab American and Arab immigrant community” -- a mission rooted firmly in the belief that Arab Americans face widespread discrimination in the United States. In particular, AAAN complains that its eponymous demographic is targeted routinely for “detentions,” “deportations,” and all manner of “attacks.” “Biased reporting, media stereotypes, and the criminalization of Arabs and Muslims” are also matters of great concern, says AAAN. Vis a vis Israel, AAAN laments “the compelling and continuing tragedy of Palestinian life ... under [Israeli] occupation,” and refers to Israel’s creation in 1948 as Al Nakba (“The Catastrophe”).

AAAN has worked closely with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which seeks to: (a) promote open borders immigration policies; (b) give illegal aliens who attend Illinois high schools (dubbed “undocumented students” by AAAN) “the opportunity to pursue higher education”; (c) press the state for increased funding for immigrant services; and (d) “support other beneficial immigrant rights legislation.”

In December 2005, AAAN and numerous other Arab lobby groups composed a letter to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, characterizing a North Carolina/New Mexico joint initiative to deny driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants as a “bigoted attack on Arabs and Muslims.”

In 2001 and 2002, the Woods Fund of Chicago, whose board of directors included Barack Obama, made grants totaling $75,000 to the AAAN.

To view a comprehensive profile and some additional resources about the Arab American Action Network, click here.

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