The Arab-American News (Michigan) has not stopped lately, either through its editorial or general content, in attacking the integrity, personality, or ecumenical or civil position of members of the Middle East Christian communities who have worked diligently to preserve and protect the Middle East Christians and Christianity here in Michigan, the United States, and Middle East.
According to the January 16-22, 2016 edition of the Arab-American News, under the headline, “Chaldean bishop’s stance on favoring Christian refugees sparks controversy,” His Excellency Bishop Francis Kallabat, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Michigan, recently testified in front of the U.S. House subcommittee in Congress in Washington, D.C. The author of the article tried to twist His Excellency’s speech into one that is anti-Arab or anti-Muslim, while His Excellency was very clear he was giving his opinion and solution to the plight of the Middle East Christians, who have been tormented, dispersed from their homelands, and forced to find a place to safeguard their families. The newspaper went as far as trying to interview some members of the Middle East community and twisted their answers to be anti-Bishop Kallabat. It even went to divide the Middle East community into various communities in order to justify that the community at large does not share the sentiments of the Bishop’s speech.
I respect the opinions of those who oppose the Bishop’s speech or his vision to safeguard his community. They are entitled to their opinion. But when Mr. Osama Siblani and his entourage of reporters use the title of his newspaper, the Arab-American News, they should know that there are segments of the American Arab Middle East community that are Christian, and they do not share their view, nor are they entrusted to speak on their behalf.
For years, Osama Siblani and some other organizations have taken advantage of the passive silence or innocent support of him and his newspaper, but the time has come that we tell Osama Siblani and others that we, the American Middle East Christians, will not let this continue anymore. We will let our fellow Americans and others know that.
I also hope, pray, and encourage the Middle East Christian church leadership, their civic and civil rights leaders, and individuals who have in the past been quiet or passive to the plight of the Middle East Christians, speak up in support of Bishop Kallabat and others in their mission to bring harmony, cooperation, and collaboration among members of all faith, culture, and heritage.
I hope in the future that Osama Siblani, Editor of the Arab-American News, his reporters, and those organizations who support his vision and mission re-focus in a more positive way in collaboration with true and genuine Chaldean and other Middle East leadership in order to preserve the dignity, culture, civic, and civil rights and propagate a better image for the American community at large.
We believe in the American tradition of newspaper reporting of fairness, accuracy, and independence.
Dr. Ramsay F. Dass, MD
President, American Middle East Christians Congress
www.middleeastchristian.org / www.amecc.us
Office: (248) 546-9100
Cell: (248) 763-6006
P.S. You may visit our re-edited and revised Fourth Edition of our book, The Middle East Christians: The Untold Story, at www.middleeastchristian.org or www.amecc.us