Ramadan allowed to enter the US

Following the verdict of a federal appeals court, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, issued an order to facilitate the US entrance visa for renowned European Muslim scholar, Tariq Ramadan. Mr. Ramadan’s visit to the US is the first since 2004 when the Bush Administration refused to allow him to enter the country based on allegations that he had contributed money to terrorist organizations. Following his entrance to the US, Mr. Ramadan was interviewed by three immigration officers regarding his plans during his stay in the US and the people he was going to meet.

Court decides Ashcroft can be sued

The full Western appeals court voted to let stand its earlier decision that former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is not immune from a civil action charge. The case is related to Abdullah Kidd, a Kansas-born Muslim convert, whom Mr. Ashcroft have had him arrested without probable cause. Ashcroft had petitioned the Court of Appeals for rehearing of his claim of immunity. The petition has been denied and Mr. Kidd can now proceed with his lawsuit charging former Attorney General with violating his Constitutional rights.

Embassies close in Yemen, America reviews its security approaches

Threats from al-Qaida in the Arabian Penninsula caused the British and American Embassies in Sana’a to close their doors. Intelligence indicated impending attacks beginning three weeks ago.

The American Embassy is no stranger to terrorist threats. Al-Qaida set off a car bomb in September 2008 that killed 19 people, and shootout occurred in January 2009 between police and men in a car near the embassy. The American military has since increased security aid to Yemen. General Petraeus suggests increasing it to $150 millon in 2010.

There are clashes between Obama’s security team and members of the Bush Administration’s team, with Vice Presidenty Cheney accusing Obama of neglecting terrorism issues. Obama’s counterterrorism chief John Brennan accused Cheney of being ignorant of Obama’s plans for handling al-Qaida.

Barack Obama Now Holds Historic Lead Among Arab American Voters, Shift Toward Democratic Party Continues

WASHINGTON – October 28, 2008 – Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s substantial lead among Arab American voters has almost doubled since September. This was one of the findings of a poll of Arab American voters conducted by Zogby International for the Arab American Institute.
The poll also found that Obama’s lead over McCain only dropped by 1% when independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr were included in the survey questions.

Other key findings of the AAI/Zogby International study were:

  • While almost two-thirds of Arab Americans are impacted by the recent economic crisis, it is no surprise that the most important issue for Arab American voters is the economy, followed distantly by Iraq and health care.
  • Approval ratings given to the Bush Administration’s performance continue to fall to 11% from 19% in September.
  • The shift in party identification continues. The Democrat/Republican break in 2000 was 40/38. Now it is 54/27.
  • Obama leads McCain by a three-to-one margin in both the two-way and four-way match-ups. In the four-way horserace, it’s Obama 64/23; in the four-way, it’s Obama 62/22, with Nader at 6 percent. Projections are now for Election Day results with Obama at 68 percent, McCain at 24 percent, and Nader at seven.
  • Dr. James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute, said that “A combination of factors point not only to a huge Obama victory among Arab American voters-but a dramatic surge in the percentage of Arab Americans identifying as democrats.” Noting that Arab Americans in Michigan represent about 5% of that state’s electorate, while in Virginia and Ohio they comprise almost 2% of the vote, he continued “this can have an impact not only in the presidential election but in down ticket contests as well.”

    In 2000, the overall Arab American vote was 44% Bush, 38% Gore, 13% Nader. In 2004, it was 63% Kerry, 28% Bush with 8% for Nader.

    Zogby press release available here.

    Full report available here.