An interview with Hatem Abudayyeh, head of Chicago’s Arab American Action Network, on the rising criminalization of Arab and Muslim life in the US.
In September of 2010, American federal agents in Chicago unjustifiably raided the Jefferson Park residence of Hatem Abudayyeh, Executive Director of Arab American Action Network (AAAN), in a time that federal agents were executing search warrants in residences and offices of several people in Chicago and in Minneapolis. Some of many “Muslim hunts” happening since the 9/11 attacks.
The FBI agents took away a computer, video tapes and a cell phone of the Muslim civil rights leader. “They took everything in my home that had the word Palestinian on it,” Abudayyeh said. The federal investigation was focused on whether Abudayyeh and the others have funded foreign terrorist organizations. Abudayyeh has never been charged
According to the AAAN leader, a son of Palestinians, the FBI then targeted him merely for having a pro-Palestinian view. “This is a massive escalation of the attacks on people that do Palestine support work in this country and anti-war work,” said Abudayyeh at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, three months later as he refused to grant an interview to ABC. “We’re not going to stop speaking out against the war. We’re not going to stop speaking out against U.S. support of Israel’s violations of the Palestinian people.”
In this interview, Hatem Abudayyeh speaks out about President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration that bars citizens of Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days, and refugees from around the world for four months. He says: “Trump and the other racists and white supremacists in his government are extremely dangerous, not only to Arabs and Muslims, but also to immigrants in general, black people, workers, women, and all other marginalized and oppressed communities in the US. I believe that Trump wants to truly ‘make American white again.'”