For Raed Jarrar, the FBI’s decision Wednesday to begin tracking hate crimes against Arabs is a battle won in a larger war.
“This is just one part of fixing the system, because unfortunately many hate crimes against Arab Americans have not been noticed,” said Jarrar, spokesman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
In addition to its decision on tracking anti-Arab hate crimes, the FBI has agreed to track crimes against a number of religious groups it has never before tracked. The new categories include reporting crimes committed against Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Orthodox Christians.
I first heard the term "evangelical" in the 1980s, about the time the Swaggarts and Bakkers were imploding. Christianity needed a new name for sane, intellectually sound faith.
"Born-again" had been sullied by the televangelists and worn out by Debbie Boone’s explanation of how she justified singing the lyrics to “You Light Up My Life.”
"Jesus Freak" had died with the Peace movement.
We needed another word to separate true Christians from fake ones; sheep from goats; serious believers from those who merely checked the “Christian” box on their driver’s license application because Jew, Muslim or Ekkankar didn’t apply.
(Sometimes I wonder if all the denominations in Christendom are merely a list of the nomenclature we’ve used to separate Us from Them.)
The bearded, robed, and bespectacled keynote speaker at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall on Tuesday made a wise first move. His All Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Christian World, began his speech by naming the elephant in the room.