MPAC Denounces Extremism Yet Sponsors Extremist Event

MPAC al-Maryati

The Muslim Public Affairs Council’s “Declaration Against Extremism” belies its actions, which are more important.

By Ryan Mauro:

On Friday, the Muslim Public Affairs Council issued a Declaration Against Extremism. Only six days prior, MPAC announced it was “proud to be a cosponsor” of an Islamist conference in California run by a group with a background filled with the type of extremism MPAC purports to stand against.

MPAC is a group with Muslim Brotherhood origins and a long historyof advancing the Islamist cause. It changed its tone in recent years, but the same leadership is in place. At its 12th annual conference, MPAC founder and Senior Advisor Maher Hathout said, “We don’t want to enforce Sharia anywhere” and that Sharia’s penal code is unsuitable for today’s world.

MPAC also stood out as the only major group with a Brotherhood background to support the revolution that toppled Egyptian President Morsi over the summer. The other major Muslim-American groups with Brotherhood links were silent or rallied for Morsi.

“We rejoice and celebrate the victory of the Egyptian people against the exploitation of religion to suppress the masses and rob them of their God-given freedom and dignity,” MPAC’s July 3 statement reads.

Its new “Declaration Against Extremism” is another step that makes today’s MPAC seem different than the MPAC of the past. Unfortunately, the hope that MPAC has evolved in a positive direction is undermined by its proud cosponsoring of the inaugural conference of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).

The theme of the AMP event is “A Movement United” and it took place on December 7 at the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center. The movement that AMP is a part of is undeniably Islamist.

Shortly before the MPAC-sponsored event, AMP held a large conference on Thanksgiving Weekend in Illinois. The speaker roster consisted largely of vocal Islamists, including supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. This was not new for AMP: Last year’s conference had at least 13 Islamist speakers.

The December 7 event was also sponsored by the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity. Another sponsor was the Muslim American Society, which federal prosecutors say was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”

Read more at Clarion Project

 

In Hollywood, It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

by Hillel Zaremba:

This time, Hollywood collaborates with Islamists

pact-239x350Author Ben Urwand has ignited a controversy with his claim that Hollywood effectively collaborated with Hitler’s Nazi regime in the late 1930s to expunge any material that might depict Germany and the Fuehrer damagingly. Fearing a loss of an important revenue stream, Jewish film moguls like Louis B. Mayer (MGM) and Darryl Zanuck (20th Century Fox) cut scenes, ran scripts by Nazi censors for approval and abandoned promising film projects in an attempt to placate Berlin. While Brandeis professor Thomas Doherty challenges this characterization of Hollywood’s behavior (especially the use of words like “collaboration” and “pact” in the book’s title), Urwand backs up his assertions with compelling documentation.

Fast forward to the 21st century where violent Islamists have, by one estimate, perpetrated over 21,000 deadly terror attacks worldwide since 9/11. And while the studio system may be gone, it is undeniable that once again Hollywood is largely afraid of depicting totalitarians as the “bad guys.” As Daniel Pipes has chronicled, Hollywood avoids Muslim antagonists like the plague, transforming, for example, the Arab terrorists in Tom Clancy’s The Sum of All Fears, into neo-Nazis in the filmic version. Meanwhile, Zero Dark Thirty, the Oscar-nominated 2012 movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, was savaged by critics, politicians and Hollywood elites alike for purportedly whitewashing the tough choices sometimes made by those engaged in the war against Islamist terror.

Hollywood Producer Howard Gordon (L) with the executive director of the Islamist group Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Salam al-Marayati, at an MPAC Hollywood Bureau event.

Although the first generation Jewish immigrants who built Hollywood are long gone, their co-religionist descendents still wield sizable influence in the film industry and are following in their cowardly footsteps. The much touted Homeland TV series, produced by Howard Gordon, pushes a moral equivalence between the actions of its American POW-turned-Muslim terrorist hero and the vice president who ordered a bombing campaign that took the lives of innocent Iraqis. Munich, written by the vocally anti-Israel Tony Kushner, directed by Steven Spielberg and distributed by Dreamworks (founded by Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen) and Universal (headed by Ron Meyer) equated Israeli counter-terrorists with the Palestinian murderers they were tasked with assassinating. Nary a Muslim terrorist is in sight in recent Hollywood offerings; instead audiences are treated to a proliferation of anti-U.S. films set in the Mideast (In the Valley of ElahGreen ZoneRendition) — all of which have happily tanked at the box office.

The parallels are obvious but worth highlighting. Once again the film industry, afraid of offending a lucrative market (Muslims), pulls back from tackling the genocidal danger staring it in the face, this time seeking the approval of Islamist groups like MPAC and CAIR. Once again, Jews are in the forefront of kowtowing to those who, under the right circumstances, would likely seek their elimination. The only difference this time is that Hollywood’s reprehensible behavior is equally prompted by rampant political correctness and a well-earned fear of violent Islamists (just go ask the late Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh).

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the film industry did get behind the war against fascism foursquare, producing such classic—and top-grossing—movies as CasablancaMrs. Miniver and To Have and Have Not. Although the devastating jihadist attack of 9/11 may be a decade behind us, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing is still fresh in the minds of most Americans, who have a clear idea of the nature of the enemy. It is long past time for Hollywood to shake off its p.c. blinders, its timidity, and its fear of the “Islamophobia” grievance industry and make the films that Americans crave.

Related articles

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Now we have this to look forward to:

FIRST LOOK: MARK WAHLBERG STARS AS MARCUS LUTTRELL IN ‘LONE SURVIVOR’ FILM via The Blaze

AOL’s Moviefone has the first preview trailer of “Lone Survivor,” the film adaptation of retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell’s first-hand account of a compromised 2005 special-ops mission that left three of Luttrell’s four-man team dead, as well as 16 other U.S. soldiers who attempted a daring rescue, and his harrowing tale of survival deep in enemy territory.

First look: Mark Wahlberg stars as Marcus Luttrell in Lone Survivor film

Actor Mark Wahlberg takes on the lead role as Luttrell, who found himself stranded and surrounded by enemy forces after they ambushed his team in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan:

First look: Mark Wahlberg stars as Marcus Luttrell in Lone Survivor filmMark Wahlberg in “Lone Survivor”(YouTube/Moviefone)

The other men of SEAL Team 10 who lost their lives fighting in Operation Red Wings were Mike Murphy (played by Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (played by Emile Hirsch), and Matt Axelson (played by Ben Foster).

First look: Mark Wahlberg stars as Marcus Luttrell in Lone Survivor film

The trailer also features Alexander Ludwig as Petty Officer Shane Patton, somberly reciting “Ballad of the Frogmen” as the SEAL teams trained for their missions.

First look: Mark Wahlberg stars as Marcus Luttrell in Lone Survivor film

“Lone Survivor” hits theaters in New York City and Los Angeles on December 27, 2013, and the rest of the U.S. on January 10, 2014.

WATCH:

‘Islamophobia': A Strategy Devised Before 9/11

images (1)In a meeting in the 1990s, U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups decided to ‘play victim’ for the purpose of ‘beating down critics.’

By Ryan Mauro:

Clarion Project reader sent us an intriguing article that shows how the cries of “Islamophobia” were used to win the affection of top officials as far back as 1996 – five years before 9/11.

In this case, Hillary Clinton became the first wife of a sitting President to address a Muslim organization outside the White House. Perhaps unbeknownst to her, the group she honored was founded by Muslim Brotherhood supporters, including one who said her name would be “written in history in letters of light to the deed.”

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the group that Clinton addressed, was founded by Hassan and Maher Hathout, two brothers that were imprisoned in Egypt for their membership in the Muslim Brotherhood. Hassan Hathout called himself  a “close disciple” of the Brotherhood’s founder and said they came to America to spread the “Islamic Movement” inspired by him.

Maher Hathout, currently MPAC’s Senior Adviser, has said that he has had no foreign links since arriving in the U.S. It is true that a 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo does not identify MPAC as one of its fronts. However, a 1989 document from the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Financial Committee refers to a man named “Hathout” that is “in the field,” likely referring to one of the Hathout brothers.

From the beginning, MPAC was working in unison with the identified U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities. For example, in September 1993, MPAC signed a joint condemnation of the Oslo Accords with five other groups, each being one of the Brotherhood’s “organizations and the organizations of our friends.” The statement said that “to recognize the legitimacy of that crime [the creation of Israel] is a crime in itself…”

First Lady Clinton came to a joint event of MPAC and the Muslim Women’s League to give them the honor of being the first Muslim groups to be addressed by a First Lady outside the White House.

“When our country becomes what we dream and when our society becomes warmer and more inclusive … it will be written in history in letters of light that the first First Lady who took a major step to greet, include and to communicate with Muslims is First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton,” said Maher Hathout.

Interestingly, “Islamophobia” was used as a rallying cry even back then, five years before the 9/11 attacks: The article quotes MPAC’s leaders inferring that Muslims are a persecuted minority. Clinton herself even said Americans “[must] stand up against our own voices of hatred and division.”

Read more at The Clarion Project

 

DHS Law Enforcement Guidelines Rely On Saudi-Funded Georgetown Professor For Views On Muslim Brotherhood

By :

Documents disclosed by US media reveal that the US Department of Homeland Security has relied upon Saudi-funded Georgetown University professor John Esposito for advice on counterterrorism training for law enforcement. The Daily Caller has published a checklist from the DHS that provides a set of “Do’s and Dont’s  for law enforcement counterterrorism trainers. According to the Daily Caller Report:

John Esposito

John Esposito

May 17th 2013 The Department of Homeland Security, which under Secretary Janet Napolitano has shown a keen interest in monitoring and warning about outspoken conservatives, takes a very different approach in monitoring political Islamists, according to a 2011 memo on protecting the free speech rights of pro-Shariah Muslim supremacists.

In a checklist obtained by The Daily Caller entitled ‘Countering Violent Extremism Dos and Don’ts’ the DHS’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties notifies local and national law enforcement officials that it is Obama administration policy to consider specifically Islamic criticism of the American system of government legitimate.

This policy stands in stark contrast to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis’ 2009 memo ‘Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment’ [pdf], which warned of the dangers posed by pro-life advocates, critics of same-sex marriage and groups concerned with abiding by the U.S. Constitution, among others.

The advice of the Dos and Don’ts list is far more conciliatory. ‘Don’t use training that equates radical thought, religious expression, freedom to protest, or other constitutionally-protected activity, including disliking the U.S. government without being violent,’ the manual’s authors write in a section on training being ‘sensitive to constitutional values.’

The manual, which was produced by an inter-agency working group from DHS and the National Counterterrorism Center, advises, ‘Trainers who equate the desire for Sharia law with criminal activity violate basic tenets of the First Amendment.’

Read the rest here.

Most relevant to the mission of the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch is the section of the memo labeled F.  “Training should adhere to government standards and efforts.”:

Don’t use training that relies on fear or conspiracies to motivate law enforcement. Don’t use training premised on theories with little or no evidence to support them. Examples (from the report “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace”) of unsubstantiated theories include:

a. Many mainstream Muslim organizations have terrorist ties.

b. Mainstream Muslim organizations are fronts for Islamic political organizations whose true desire is to establish Sharia law in America. Muslim Americans are using democratic processes, like litigation and free speech, to subvert democracy and install Sharia law.”

“Manufacturing the Muslim Menace” , a report produced by the leftwing group Political Research Associates (PRA), provides their rationale for this guideline:

Islamophobic counterterrorism trainers routinely categorize such civil rights groups as the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and Council on American- Islamic Relations (CAIR) as a support network for terrorists. For this charge they lean heavily on guilt by association, citing a few instances of members or former members with troublesome associations as evidence of organizational complicity.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are all important part of the US Muslim Brotherhood and the PRA makes it quite clear who they relied upon for their assessment of the Brotherhood by thanking Professor Ziad Munson and Dr. [John] Esposito for “sharing expertise on the Muslim Brotherhood.” The PRA report also makes clear the result of relying upon these academics for their view of the Brotherhood. For example, the report states:

Private counterterror firms routinely label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. “While there are many terrorist groups in the Middle East and elsewhere,” writes John Esposito, “it is misleading to refer to the Muslim Brotherhood today as a terrorist group.” There is no evidence which supports the proposition that the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. has been or is involved in terrorist or violent activity, says Esposito.

On the contrary, there is substantial evidence that the US Muslim Brotherhood been involved in both a robust rhetorical defense of terrorism as well as being actively involved in helping to finance Hamas. Yet, the PRA does not appear to count Hamas nor Hezbollah as terrorist organizations and suggests that DHS agrees:

Islamophobic counterterrorism trainers lean heavily on the use of guilt by association. They routinely categorize civil rights groups such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as a support net- work for terrorists. None of these organizations has been convicted of terrorism or formally charged with providing material support to terrorists, but they are frequently impugned due to their alleged sympathy for Hamas and Hezbollah. To varying degrees, Muslim civil rights groups are led by individuals who oppose the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, and the use of U.S. military operations in predominantly Muslim countries. It has become a norm to simply define Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorists without recognizing that these groups have become conventional political players in recent years, leading some to distinguish between their military and political branches. Even Homeland Security officials recognize that while Hamas and Hezbollah are both listed as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government and have targeted civilians with bombings, they are distinct from al Qaeda in methods and motivations.

The PRA report also takes issue with the idea that organizations such as CAIR and ISNA can be held to account for their role as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case calling CAIR for example “a legitimate lobbying group for the rights and civil liberties of Muslims in America, who need protection from McCarthyistic witch hunts.” However, even before the Holy Land trial, investigative research had determined that both CAIR and ISNA had extensive ties to the US Hamas infrastructure. In 2009, a US federal judge ruled ”The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.

Dr. Munson makes his contribution to the report by attempting to discredit the existence of a Global Muslim Brotherhood, calling it a “Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy”:

The Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theory fails on at least two counts. First, experts on the Muslim Brotherhood stress that it does not function as a central body for a monolithic global movement. Using the Cold War analogy, Egypt is not Moscow. Lehigh University Professor Ziad Munson concludes, “There are simply too many ideological, religious, and historical barriers for this to be a realistic plot.”

The GMBDW has extensively refuted these comic book conceptions of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, never once suggesting that its either a “central body” nor that it is a “monolithic global movement.”

Read more at The Global Muslim Brotherhood  Daily Watch

 

Interfaith Event Teaches That U.S. Is ‘Aiding’ Oppression

mpacBy Ryan Mauro:

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) returned to All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California on May 5 to address the topic of radicalization in the wake of the Boston bombings. The church leader said there is a “crisis” of “Islamophobia” in America. MPAC denounced violence but said terrorism is a response to the U.S. “aiding and abetting oppression” at the behest of the military-industrial complex.

At the May 5 event, church leader Rev. Ed Bacon said that he “literally had my life changed and my thinking changed because of these two leaders,” referring to MPAC leaders Maher Hathout and Salam al-Marayati. He went so far as to say that the Islamic Center of Southern California, where Hathout is a spokesman and Muslim Brotherhood texts are used, is “my mosque.”

At the event, both MPAC leaders denounced terrorism and said Muslims must provide a counter-narrative to the violent themes that radicalize. Hathout said that too many Muslims are “soft” in confronting the radical ideas and have a “gang” mentality where they automatically side with other Muslims against non-Muslims.

However, Hathout said America is run by an elite minority beholden to lobbyists. He said that American democracy is threatened by “Islamophobia”  driven by supremacists who believe “the other” doesn’t deserve equal rights.

Al-Marayati rightly pointed out that there is an ideological struggle and reform in Islamic teaching is needed, but attributed the conflict to anger over the aggression of America and its allies.

“When a superpower is aiding and abetting oppression and there are grievances, and people react in a violent way, they [Americans] look at the violence and they say it is not time to deal with the grievances,” he said.

He claimed that there is a “cottage industry” of anti-Muslim activists that is part of a “larger machine,” including the military-industrial complex and special interests. These conspirators “want more contracts for more weapons to countries that only use these weapons against their own people or against civilians.”

MPAC held its last annual conference at this church, where Reverend Ed Bacon denounced “evangelical Zionism” as an evil on par with slavery. The church and MPAC held a press conference to declare their critics “right-wing extremists” who are “hateful.”

The critics noted that MPAC was founded by Muslim Brotherhood ideologues, including Senior Adviser Maher Hathout’s brother who was a “close disciple” of the group’s founder, Hassan al-Banna. Maher Hathout says he remains “very proud” of his time in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, but emphasizes it was 60 years ago. His brother said they came to the U.S. to spread the “Islamic Movement” of al-Banna.

After coming to America, one or both of the Hathout brothers was connected to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, as a 1989 document shows. MPAC has maintained a close alliance with U.S. Brotherhood entities ever since. In 1997, Maher Hathout promoted Hassan al-Banna as one of the “reformists,” along with other Islamists like Rachid al-Ghannouchi, who MPAC still hosts. In 1998 and 1999, he and al-Marayati legitimized Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli soldiers.

In 2000, Hathout said a “general intifada” would overthrow Arab governments guilty of “treason” for not confronting the “butchers” of Israel. Around this time, MPAC started becoming more conscious of the language it was using. Hathout said he regretted the “harshness of my remarks” when they received negative attention, but not the message. Tellingly, a radical named Mahdi Bray continued to serve as MPAC’s Political Director.

Read more at Front Page

Democratic-Leaning National Security Group Partners With MPAC

GlobalMB @ November 13, 2012

Islamic media is reporting on the relationship between a Democratic-leaning U.S. national security affairs group and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.  According to an OnIslam report:

Monday, 12 November 2012 00:00 CAIRO – A Muslim activist is winning the admiration of Americans for his efforts to tackle issues that stoke tension between Muslims and non-Muslims and energize younger generations to balance between their faith and the western life. ‘What I like about working with Haris and MPAC is that they understand both the needs of their community and the way Washington works,’ Heather Hurlburt, director of the nonprofit National Security Network, told The Washington Post. Hulburt’s group cooperated with Haris Tarin, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) in Washington to hold a series of hearings on extremism in the US. MPAC… Busting America’s Islam Myths US Muslim Footballer Balances Faith, Life ‘It’s an incredible challenge for a Muslim group to emerge as an advocate in the national security area, and they are really impressive.’ Tarin has won praise in the US for his efforts to tackle issues that stoke sentiments against US Muslims as extremism. ‘We want to ensure that American Muslims are seen as an integral part of the American fabric, that they feel comfortable with both their faith and their American identity,’ Tarin said. ‘We want to be seen as partners, not suspects.’ Born to a former Afghan diplomat, Tarin grew up in Los Angeles and earned a BA at California State University, Northridge. He taught Islamic and social studies at a Muslim school, before moving to a job at MPAC, the publicity arm of the Islamic Center of Southern California, to promote Islam in line with progressive, peaceful and nonsectarian values. Over the span of past week only, the dynamic young Muslim showed a role model for active Muslim youth. He spoke at a Washington panel on how the next US president can combat extremism without using security solutions. Later on, he delivered a guest sermon for `Eid al-Adha, one of the two main Islamic occasions, in Alexandria, during which he wore casual Western clothes but recited prayers in perfect Arabic. Tarin also hosted an election night party and discussion in Great Falls. ‘We have a civic duty to engage in our society. If you don’t make your voice heard, someone else will,’ he told the Muslim audience.

Read the rest here.

A post from earlier this month reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was the main feature at a May 2012 fundraising event that included important leaders of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) who sat at the same table with Pelosi. A subsequent post also reported on the formation of a National Muslim Democratic Council.

The website for the National Security Network (NSN) describes itself as “founded in June 2006 to revitalize America’s national security policy, bringing cohesion and strategic focus to the progressive national security community. A Washington Post article reported that the NSN’s advisory board “reads as a who’s who of major left-leaning defense and security experts.” The NSN Advisory Council includes the following individuals of interest:

  • Leslie H. Gelb (Chairman, President of the Council on Foreign Relations)
  • Stanley S. Arkin (Chairman of a private intelligence group)
  • Samuel R. Berger (U.S. National Security Advisor, under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001)
  • Richard Clarke (former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism)
  • Gen. Wesley Clark (retired Army General, former Democratic Presidential candidate)
  • Dr. Gail Furman (major Democratic donor)

MPAC, headquartered in Southern California, was established initially in 1986 as the Political Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California whose key leaders likely had their origins in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Since that time, MPAC has functioned as the political lobbying arm of the U.S. Brotherhood. MPAC has opposed virtually every count-terror initiative undertaken or proposed by the U.S. government. At times this opposition was said to be on civil-rights grounds but, just as often, MPAC claimed that U.S. counter-terror efforts were aimed at the U.S. Muslim community itself. MPAC has consistently supported and facilitated terrorism by supporting terrorist organizations and, more broadly, constructing an elaborate ideology defending the use of violence by Islamists and Islamist organizations.  Although proclaiming a love for the Jewish people and engaging in interfaith dialog, MPAC has made frequent anti-Semitic statements that assert or imply an organized Jewish campaign to defame and exclude U.S. Muslims. MPAC has also gone beyond criticism of Israel, engaging in demonization of the Jewish state. Such demonization includes accusations of “rape of the Palestinians” in regard to the Al-Aqsa mosque, comparisons with Nazis, accusation of apartheid and genocide, accusations of “butchery”, and suggestions that Israel is seeking the eradication of Islam from its territories. More than any other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organization, MPAC has developed extensive relationships with the U.S. government which have included numerous meetings with the Department of Justice and the FBI.

Al-Marayati’s Dangerous “Diplomatic” Ideas

IPT News

Criticism Mounts Over State Envoy

BY: October 5, 2012 1:48 pm

Jewish leaders expressed outrage Friday over the State Department’s praise for, and defense of, a controversial Muslim leader who has defended terrorist groups and suggested that Israel may have been responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Salam al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), was picked to represent the United States government at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) annual 10-day human rights conference, the Human Dimension Implementation Meetings (HDIM).

Al-Marayati’s well-known anti-Israel bona fides prompted Jewish leaders and others to express outrage over the Obama administration’s selection.

“It is regrettable that someone with such distorted, conspiratorial views—even with a lackluster apology—is delegated by our government to represent our country abroad,” the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement to the Free Beacon.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, argued that the State Department is showing inconsistency by touting an individual who has defended the militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which are designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations.

“One would assume that individuals selected to represent the United States at an international human rights conclave would share our government’s longstanding policy that Hamas and Hezbollah are dangerous terrorist organizations,” Cooper told the Free Beacon. “But Mr. Salam al-Marayati and his organization are long-time advocates that these deadly terror groups be removed from the U.S. terrorist list.”

“With terrorism continuing to roil the Middle East,” Cooper added, “the question is why the U.S. State Department would say he is ‘highly credible’?”

Read more

See previous post: Anti-Israel Advocate Reps U.S. at Rights Conference

Anti-Israel Advocate Reps U.S. at Rights Conference

Salam al-Marayati

BY:

A Muslim leader who said that Israel should have been added to the”suspect list” for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was recently selected to represent the United States government at a human rights conference sponsored by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Salam al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), was chosen by the Obama administration to deliver remarks in Warsaw, Poland—home to one of the largest Jewish ghettos during the Holocaust—during the OSCE’s Human Dimension Implementation Meetings (HDIM), a 10-day gathering meant to foster the “promotion of tolerance,” according to the group’s website.

Al-Marayati was selected to participate in the confab by the U.S. delegation, which was led by Ambassador Avis Bohlen, a Georgetown University professor and former Clinton administration official, according to MPAC’s website.

The selection of al-Marayati, who has drawn criticism for defending terrorist acts and blaming Israel for 9/11, raised concerns among some observers, who deemed his presence at the human rights meetings offensive.

“It is inexplicable that a person who blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks and advocated for terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Hezbollah—which has killed more Americans than any terrorist group in the world except al Qaeda—was chosen to represent the United States,” said Josh Block, a former Clinton administration official who now serves as CEO of The Israel Project, a pro-Israel educational group.

Al-Marayati drew widespread criticism from Jewish leaders and others when he said that the U.S. “should put the state of Israel on the suspect list,” according to the New York Times.

“If we’re going to look at suspects, we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies,” al-Marayati told a radio host, according to the Times.

Al-Marayati has also defined attacks by the terrorist group Hezbollah as “legitimate resistance,” according to a report by the Investigate Project on Terrorism.

He was invited to participate in the conference as a “public member of the U.S. delegation,” according to MPAC.

“Al-Marayati was invited as a public member of the U.S. delegation to HDIM along with Professor Ethel Brooks of Rutgers University and Nida Gelazis of the Woodrow Wilson Institute,” MPAC said in a statement.

During his remarks before OSCE participants, al-Marayati said that “hate speech that intends to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence against someone based on religion is harmful,” according to a portion of his speech posted on MPAC’s website.

MPAC, the pro-Muslim advocacy group that al-Marayati helped found, has urged that the militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas be removed from the list of U.S.-designated terrorist organizations, according to the Investigative Project’s report.

Among other topics, participants in the Warsaw conference discussed “freedom of religion and belief,” according to MPAC’s website.

“Al-Marayati, who has a long history of civic engagement and service to the U.S. and the Muslim community, was the only American Muslim invited to speak at the HDIM,” the statement said. “This honor and privilege of addressing the OSCE could not have been bestowed upon a better person who epitomizes working toward religious freedom and human rights protection.”

The U.S. Embassy in Poland also praised al-Marayati’s presence.

“The United States is proud to have Mr. Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Professor Ethel Brooks of Rutgers University, and Ms. Nida Gelazis of the Woodrow Wilson Institute serving as public members in the USG delegation to HDIM,” the embassy said in a statement. “Their expertise will be invaluable in addressing these topics at the meeting.”

One official with a Jewish organization said the embassy’s statement was tone deaf, and demanded the Obama administration explain itself to the Jewish community.

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

Daniel Pipes: MPAC Calls Me an “Expert on Islam”

MPAC’s Salam al-Marayati

Daniel Pipes:

Why thank you, Muslim Public Affairs Council, for this endorsement. It’s much appreciated, even if came in a 65-page pamphlet, Not Qualified: Exposing the Deception Behind America’s 25 Top Pseudo-Experts on Islam.

According to MPAC, a leading Islamist group based in Los Angeles, those 25 would be Andrew Bostom, William Boykin, Stephen Coughlin, Nonie Darwish, Steven Emerson, Brigitte Gabriel, Frank Gaffney, David Gaubatz, William Gawthrop, Pamela Geller, John Giduck, Sebastian Gorka, John Guandolo, Tawfik Hamid, David Horowitz, Raymond Ibrahim, Zuhdi Jasser, Andrew McCarthy, Walid Phares, Patrick Poole, Walid Shoebat, Robert Spencer, Erick Stakelback, David Yerushalmi … and me.

The gravamen of MPAC’s analysis is that members of this group overwhelmingly are not what it calls experts on Islam, where this term is defined as

[A]n individual who has formal academic qualifications in Islamic Studies from an accredited institute of higher education in the West or those institutes of higher education in Muslim-majority countries that rank among the world’s top 500 universities. In order to be classified as “expert”, as defined above, one’s credentials must also be publicly verifiable.

According to MPAC, “Of the 25 people examined, only 1 (4%) had the qualifications to be considered an ‘expert’ on Islam.” That 4% would be me. In another place, MPAC contradicts itself and allows that Raymond Ibrahim also has “the formal and verifiable academic credentials to be classified as an expert.” Even more contradictorily, as the pamphlet title implies, MPAC says I am a “pseudo-expert” expert on Islam.

My first question is, why does MPAC choose individuals who make no claim to expertise in Islam (such as John Giduck and David Horowitz), but exclude critics with academic credentials in Islamic studies, such as Fouad Ajami, David Cook, David Forte, Efraim Karsh, Martin Kramer, Bernard Lewis, Michael Rubin, Philip Salzman, and Kemal Silay?

My main objection is to the emphasis on credentials. The field of Middle East studies demonstrates only too-colorfully that possessing a PhD does not guarantee competence. Sadly, it’s almost the opposite.

It’s not where a person went to school in his twenties, the languages he knows, or his years living abroad that matters but the capabilities, knowledge, energy, and intelligence he subsequently displays. Speaking as someone who has the requisite degrees, languages, and years abroad, I despise this self-serving emphasis on academic pedigree which would exclude non-PhDs from commenting on things Muslim.

A number of individuals on the MPAC list of 24 have made real contributions. Take the example of Robert Spencer: he has a mere M.A. in religious studies, lacks fluency in Middle Eastern languages, and has not lived in a Muslim-majority country, to be sure, but he has developed a deep erudition on Islam demonstrated in his many books. Indeed, I challenge MPAC to put him toe-to-toe with any PhD’d expert on Islam of its choosing. I nominate that foremost credentialist, John Esposito, for the job.

(Amusingly, by insisting that only those with a degree in Islamic studies may comment on Islam and Muslims, MPAC has just fired its own staff. Its leader, Salam al-Marayati has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and a graduate degree in business administration. And yet MPAC mires itself in deep Islamic issues.)

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The History of MPAC

 

Salam al-Marayati,

By Andrew C. McCarthy

On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda operatives slaughtered nearly 3,000 Americans in an operation that marked the second major attack by violent jihadists against the World Trade Center. There wasn’t much mystery about who had carried out these atrocities — unless you were Salam al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Marayatiwarned Americans not to conclude that the suicide hijacking attacks were the work of Muslim terrorists. “If we are going to look at suspects,” he told a Los Angeles radio station, “we should look at groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list.”

Having just returned from the beleaguered State of Israel, Mitt Romney, one hopes, will move Marayati’s reckless slander to the front of his mind. MPAC is attempting to inject itself into the controversy over calls by Representative Michele Bachmann and four other House conservatives for an examination of Islamist influence on our government. As the indispensable Patrick Poole reports, Monday’s scheduled MPAC demonstration was a bust: The group tried to agitate outside the Republican National Committee in Washington, in order to pressure Governor Romney, the putative GOP standard-bearer, to condemn Bachmann and her colleagues. But the “rally” fizzled because of lack of interest. Still, MPAC is sure to keep pushing.

Established in 1988 by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood and admirers of Hezbollah, MPAC styles itself a “moderate, inclusive and forward-thinking organization with a history of fostering a strong Muslim American identity, and combating terrorism and extremism.” In reality, MPAC is yet another Islamist wolf in the “social justice” clothing of the hard Left. Its founders include Hassan Hathout, the former MPAC president who has described himself as “a close disciple” of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. Hathout’s brother Maher, a senior MPAC adviser, is lavish in his praise of both Hezbollah’s “freedom fighting” and the social-justice pioneering of Hassan al-Turabi, the leader of Sudan’s National Islamic Front — the genocidal junta that gave safe haven to al-Qaeda in the early 1990s while imposing sharia on that war-torn east African nation.

Their Islamist sympathies aside, Marayati & Co. are Democratic-party activists and programmatic leftists, championing Obamacare, condemning post-9/11 national-security measures, and demagoguing conservatives. Daniel Pipes has recounted that Marayati was a member of the Executive Committee of the California Democratic party and served as a Clinton delegate at the 1996 Democratic Convention. As I outlined inThe Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, such cross-pollination between Islamists and leftists is commonplace. The anti-Islamist activist M. Zuhdi Jasser, a staunchly pro-American Muslim, aptly describes American Islamist organizations like MPAC as “collectivist groups.” They fall in line with the Muslim Brotherhood’s leftist orientation, seeking to “increase the power of government through entitlement programs, increased taxation, and restricting free markets whenever and wherever possible.”

 

Marayati first came to public attention in the late Nineties, when the Democrats’ then-leader in the House, Richard Gephardt, nominated him to serve on the National Commission on Terrorism — a nomination that Gephardt later withdrew when it emerged that Marayati had spoken sympathetically of violent jihad. In 1993, for example, Marayati had proclaimed, “When Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death,’ that statement epitomized jihad.” Equally absurdly, he later analogized Islamic terrorists to “American freedom fighters hundreds of years ago [who] were also regarded as terrorists by the British.” Obviously, as Pipes observed, Marayati’s intent was “to render jihad and terrorism acceptable to Americans.”

While Democrats had hoped to raise Marayati’s profile, the exposition of his track record raised too many questions about his judgment. That problem intensified as the record became better known. In 1996, for instance, a Palestinian terrorist named Muhammad Hamida plowed his car into a crowded Jerusalem bus stop, killing one Israeli and injuring 23 others as he screamed “Allahu Akbar!” He was shot on the scene, before he could do any more harm. Immediately afterwards, while mum on the jihadist’s atrocity, Marayati demanded that the shooters of the jihadist be extradited to the United States to face trial on “terrorism charges” for this “provocative act.”

Read more at National Review

 

LA Top Cops Partner With Islamists

IPT: Few local law-enforcement officials in the United States have proven themselves more Islamist-friendly than Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, whose department has been dogged by allegations of malfeasance in office, and the Los Angeles Police Department’s top deputy handling counterterrorism issues, Michael Downing.

Downing has expressed a benign view of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian-based fundamentalist movement which seeks a global Islamic Caliphate as its ultimate objective. During a May 2011 town hall meeting, he acknowledged the group is operating in the United States, but his biggest concern was “not to demonize the Brotherhood here.”

Downing has expressed a much darker view of American critics of Islamism and shariah law, suggesting they pose a threat analogous to that of Islamic jihadists. In remarks to the “Festival of Interfaith Unity” meeting last year, Downing railed against Shariah, the Threat to America, apparently referring to this book produced by the Center for Security Policy.

“One of my greatest challenges this year is this idea of two sides of extremism: The side of fanaticism and those who want to do violence on innocent people,” Downing told attendees. “And the other side of the equation that want to instill fear in the hearts of the American people because they don’t tell the truth.”

Baca won adulation in 2010, when he testified before a congressional panel, exploding at a question about the wisdom of his close relationship with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization with documented ties to a Hamas-support network.

“CAIR is not a terrorist-supporting organization,” he said. Anyone who says different is an “amateur intelligence officer.”

He has equally warm views toward the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a group which routinely minimizes the threat posed by Muslim extremists in the United States and criticizes FBI sting operations against would-be terrorists.

Baca and Downing won plaudits from Islamist groups like CAIR and MPAC in recent weeks, with Downing getting praise for surveillance “reforms” that may limit law enforcement’s ability to investigate suspected radical activity and Baca for making a deal with MPAC and like-minded groups on recruiting Muslim chaplains to work in county correctional facilities.

A retired federal law enforcement officer who consults with local police agencies expressed concern that the surveillance agreement between Downing and MPAC could have a “chilling effect” on monitoring radical activities. He noted that MPAC issued a statement claiming that “Any reporting of incidents by law enforcement on individuals or groups must be connected to criminal activity.”

Pointing to the case of Nidal Hasan, who massacred 13 people at Fort Hood Texas in 2009, the retired official noted that radicals often try to avoid criminal activity before attempting to carry out acts of jihad. Prior to the rampage, Hasan’s most troubling activities largely involved radical presentations to colleagues and postings on jihadist websites – activities protected by the First Amendment.

If the new rules agreed to by Downing have the effect of preventing investigations of such activities, “the results could be catastrophic,” the retired officer told the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Patrick Dunleavy, formerly a senior official with the New York State Corrections Department, says he is troubled by unanswered questions about vetting of jail chaplains as well as Baca’s admission that he didn’t know what was going on in jails he is responsible for overseeing.

Baca’s department has been under investigation by the Justice Department and the FBI over inmate beatings and other misconduct by deputies. Adding to his troubles, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Baca can be held personally liable because he was told about the jail violence and took no action to prevent it.

Baca complained that his commanders kept him in the dark about the problems. “I wasn’t ignoring the jails. I just didn’t know,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “People can say, ‘What the hell kind of leader is that?’ The truth is I should’ve known.”

Baca’s administration of the jail “has been fraught with corruption and mismanagement of security,” Dunleavy observed. “In light of the Justice Department investigation of systemic abuses, can we really trust his administration to conduct proper vetting of religious workers or volunteers?”

The sheriff needs to explain who should be responsible for vetting organizations and individuals who want to come into Los Angeles County jails to work with Muslim inmates, Dunleavy said. He noted that Baca has vehemently defended CAIR even though the FBI cut off relations with the group, saying “until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

That decision was based on evidence including the presence of CAIR founders on an internal telephone list for a Hamas support network called the Palestine Committee, and CAIR’s inclusion on a meeting agenda involving the committee’s front organizations.

If Baca doesn’t accept the FBI’s word about CAIR, then “who will he accept? Would you accept the word of MPAC?” in deciding who is suitable to work with Muslim inmates, Dunleavy asked. Given the apparent disarray in Baca’s department, unsuitable applicants could be “rubber stamped,” he said. That’s something he saw happen with Warith Deen Umar, former New York State Corrections department chaplain.

Baca’s statements, including his rabid support for CAIR, raise questions about his ability to recognize radicals. He has included Iran on a list of Islamic countries that are not interested in supporting terrorism.

“The truth is that no Islamic country that I’ve been to” in the Middle East “is interested in supporting terrorism, including Iran,” Baca said at a February 2011 MPAC Capitol Hill forum. The State Department has long expressed a very different view, calling it the world’s “most active state sponsor of terrorism.”

At the MPAC forum, Baca stressed the need to work with Islamist groups as “our way of saying that Muslim Americans, at least in Southern California, are part of the protected fabric of America. “

These organizations had joined in forming a local “Congress” of Muslims, Baca said, alluding to the Muslim American Homeland Security Congress (MAHSC). The group’s “core values” are “justice, moderation, education, peace and cooperation.”

And Islamists in Southern California have embraced Baca. He “is our champion, is our hero in defending our country and in defending us against McCarthyism in our era,” Marayati said at the same meeting.

Marayati’s MPAC colleague, Maher Hathout, gushed that when Baca defended CAIR, “he actually was defending democracy of America.”

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