Issue of weekly Arab American News reporting December 9 firebombing. Fragments of bomb beside reinforced door are shown in lower photo.
Osama Siblani, the papers publisher, described the December 9 incident in a press release a couple of days earlier. He explained that the attackers were foiled by a reinforced back door: The bomb fell just inches away from stacks of the newspapers archives, but with the bullet-proof glass between them and the bomb, he said.
There have been several acts of destruction against the newspaper over the 20 years of its publication, which is why the bulletproof door was installed, Siblani added. This is a newspaper and we publish opinions not popular with everyone. The Arab American Newsavailable on the Internet at arabamericannews.comcarries news and comment about developments in the Middle East and the United States.
The Blue Triangle Network was formed in May 2002 at a National Summit to Stop the Repression against Muslim, Arab and South Asian Immigrants, held in Dearborna suburb of Detroit.
The Blue Triangle Network condemns the December 9 firebombing of the office of the Arab American News in Dearborn, Michigan. Luckily no one was in the building and damage to the building will not prevent publication of the newspaper.
This bombing came the day after a dem onstration against Shimon Peres, former prime minister of Israel and chairman of the Labor Party. Osama Siblani, editor of the Arab American News, in his capacity as the acting head of the Congress of Arab-American Organizations (CAAO), played a leading role in organizing the demonstration.
The Arab American News has taken strong stands against the U.S. war in Iraq, against Israels occupation of Palestine, against the U.S. governments taking away of civil liberties in the U.S. and against the repression aimed at Muslim, Arab, and South Asian immigrants. Osama Siblani is a respected leader in the Arab American community.
Whatever the source, this firebombing is intended to intimidate and silence a strong voice for the Arab American community and all in the community. The Blue Triangle Network is certain this will not succeed. With the post-9-11 U.S. governmental vilification and demonization of Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians, it is all the more important for all voices, especially non-Arab and non-Muslim, to condemn this outrageous attack against an Arab American newspaper and Arab American leader.
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