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[casi] British Arabs Recent Meetings

December 2003

Meetings with NATFHE/CRE

NABA held two highly successful meetings on 27 November 2003.  The first
was with the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher
Education (NATFHE).

Issues discussed included the encouragement of British Arab activism
within the union, fighting Anti-Arab racism, and solidarity with the
peoples of Palestine and Iraq under occupation (the HQ of 'Stop the War
Coalition' are located within the NATFHE
NABA offered its help to any Arab lecturer suffering discrimination and
any other lecturer facing pressure and harassment for taking a
principled stance on Palestine. NATFHE particularly wants Arab lecturers
to come forward and play an active role in the union, especially its
dedicated minority section, and NABA would encourage Arabs to do this.
It is important to thank organisations that take a positive stance on
British Arab concerns, so NABA would urge all contacts to e-mail short
messages of thanks to NATFHE, expressing gratitude for the meeting, for
the unions commitment to take Anti-Arab racism seriously, and for its
commitment to Palestine and Iraq.  

Email Kate Heasman, Equality Official NATFHE,

The second meeting was with the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).
This was a very forthright meeting, where NABA officials expressed the
severe disappointment of the British Arab community at the lack of
contact and of the absence of any serious commitment by the CRE to
fighting Anti-Arabism. The CRE officials, Miss Baird and Mr Kanani,
seemed genuinely apologetic, and promised to take the concerns of the
Arab community more urgently in

Topics discussed included; marginalisation of Arabs in UK politics (no
Arabs in Parliament): socio-economic discrimination against Arabs:
Anti-Arabism in the media and entertainment industry, e.g. the notorious
racist film 'Rules of Engagement' was recently screened on TV, despite
protests from the Arab and Muslim communities, but the CRE did nothing;
the silence of the CRE on Anti-Arabism. The CRE has previously produced
reports on racism against Irish people and Gypsy travellers, and NABA
officials encouraged the CRE to produce such a report on Anti-Arabism in
the UK. Further meetings are expected.

Please contact the CRE at  or  
thanking them for the meeting, expressing the hope of the community for
regular contact and consultation, and urging to seriously confront
Anti-Arabism by producing a report exposing and condemning this most
pernicious form of racism, especially in discrimination and hate speech
by the media and film industry. It is vital that British Arabs do email
the organisation, to underline how deep and widespread is the concern
that up till now the CRE have ignored Anti-Arabism.

Ismail Jalili
---- N A B A
The National Association of British Arabs

Tel/Fax:        ++44 (0)1780 765 655
Address:        PO Box 77, Stamford PE9 2WQ, UK.

NABA is an independent British organisation working for the interests of the
Arab community within Britain.  It encourages a positive Arab contribution to
British life and promotes integration without surrendering Arab identity.  It
works to build bridges with the indigenous population and other ethnic groups
and promote positive media awareness of Arabs, their heritage and culture and
their views.  In addition it seeks to initiate better collective communications
with local and central government and NGOs to address the difficulties faced by
Arabs within Britain in respect of unemployment, racial discrimination, etc.
Membership is open to all individuals and organisations
interested in Arab culture and affairs.

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