USA: Singer discriminated by anti-discrimination group



Singer discriminated by anti-discrimination group

Syrian-American musician Malek Jandali was disinvited from performing at an anti-discrimination convention because of a pro-freedom song he was due to perform.

The organisers, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, soon found themselves in a media storm of criticism, and after days of bad press and just hours before the convention started, the committee reversed itself and decided to permit a recording of the song to be played.

“Freedom is hard to shut up,” noted the American blogger Jennifer Rubin who had reported on the incident.

Asked not to play specific song
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee had asked the German-born Syrian pianist Malek Jandali not to perform his song ‘Watani Ana: I am my Homeland’ and when he refused to drop it, he was disinvited.

The lyrics of the song in question, which Malek Jandali was going to open his performance with, do not mention any specific country, politician or regime, but are words of universal love and peace:

    “I am my homeland, and my homeland is me.
    The fire in my heart burns with love for you!
    Oh my homeland, when will I see you free?
    When the sun of virtue rises in your sky,
    when the pen writes of loyalty and love.
    When the land is watered
    with the blood of martyrs and the brave,
    and all people shout: Freedom to mankind!
    Freedom to mankind!
    Oh my homeland, cradle of humanity,
    we pray to the heavenly God to lift calamities
    from my country, my people and all mankind!”

Malek Jandali

Photo: Paul Pendergraft

Latest news on this topic

Google News – continuously updated:

Search: “American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee”


The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin’s blog – 13 June 2011:

‘Exclusive interview: Banned musician speaks out’

Ben Smith’s blog – 10 June 2011:

‘ADC under fire’

Initial sources

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee – 9 June 2011:

‘Statement Regarding Malek Jandali and the ADC Convention’

Al Arabiya News – 9 June 2011:

‘Muna Khan: Silencing songs of freedom: How a Syrian-American’s recitation was cancelled in the US’

The Atlantic – 8 June 2011:

‘American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Bans Pro-Freedom Singer’

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The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

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