Anti-Israel Advocate Reps U.S. at Rights Conference
Muslim leader who blamed Israel for 9/11 chosen to speak at OSCE human rights conference
BY: Adam Kredo
October 3, 2012
Salam al-Marayati / mpac.org
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.
Salam Al-Marayati: Profile and Biography
Al-Marayati seems a polite, moderate Arab-American Muslim, is a frequent media spokesperson for American Muslims and was the Clintons’ guest at the White House several times. He espouses American ideals and has reached out to the Christian and Jewish communities. An Iraqi-American, Al-Marayati co-founded and became director of the Los Angeles based MPAC, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, in 1988 to bring help integrate Muslims into American politics and give them a voice.
While Al-Marayati is not as radical as his MPAC colleagues–Maher H. Hathout and former board member Mahdi Bray-or as his coalition organizations such as CAIR, he is not a moderate. Consider some of his positions:
- Al-Marayati tries to normalize Islam by showing that it shares the values of the US Constitution-but he also argues that separation of church and state, “is not the only acceptable form of government” and in essence endorses sharia.
- He objects to Islam alone being identified with terrorism and denies Wahabism poses any dangers. “There are radical Christian, Jewish and Hindu movements, too, which are also capable of slaughtering innocents (The Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, Baruch Goldstein and the settler extremists in Israel, the Hindutva motivated pogroms in India).”
- Al-Marayati equated jihad (holy war) with Patrick Henry’s ‘Give me liberty or give me death;” and terrorists to “American freedom fighters a hundred years ago [who] were also regarded as terrorists by the British.” 1996
- Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel in the 1990’s were “not terrorism. That is legitimate resistance.” PBS News Hour 1999
- Israel was “established by force, violence and terrorism” and is “racist, chauvinistic, and militaristic.” Statement signed by MPAC1993.
- Israel’s defensive action against terrorism “is nothing more than war to steal lands from Palestinians, to decimate their leadership, to humiliate the Palestinian people.” Alan Keyes Show 4/15/02
- Terrorism is the work of only a “few extremists” and Israel “cannot be allowed” to use their actions “to derail the Road Map.”MPAC Statement on the Road Map
- “If we’re going to look at suspects [for 9/11], we should look to the groups that benefit the most…. 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, on KCRW 9/11/01
- “Flaws in State Department Global Terrorism Report…..it flouts both reason and justice to ignore large-scale state-sponsored terrorism when perpetrated by Israel, to focus solely on the acts of Palestinians.” MPAC statement May 18 2001.
- “The US government has once again demonstrated its double standard….American Muslim charities have lost practically all presumption of innocence…while other groups have conducted the most egregious conduct in financing extremism with impunity…..In the case of pro-Israel charities….. the impression (is given) that indicted war criminals (ie Sharon) have been provided American tax shelter…..MPAC challenges the US Treasury Department to open an investigation of these irregularities….” MPAC Statement January 27, 2003
- “Jewish unlawfulness is tolerated because powerful brokers can dictate terms on Congress and the Administration.”  MPAC-affiliated magazine, The Minaret, 1994
- MPAC co-sponsored pro-Palestinian rallies in 2000 where MPAC speakers chanted “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the Army of Muhammed is coming for you!”; posters called for “Death to Israel” and literature called for the destruction of the Jews and Israel.
On May 20, 2001, UCLA hosted a conference, co-sponsored by the UCLA MSA, called “The Israeli Palestinian Crisis: New Conversations for a Pluralist Future.” Among the radical Islamic organizations that participated in the event and sent speakers to this conference were the Council on American Islamic Relations, CAIR, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, MPAC. Nihad Awad, the founder and executive director of CAIR, in a speech delivered at Barry University in March 1994, made the statement, “…after I researched the situation inside and outside Palestine, I am in support of the Hamas movement….” In May 2000, Rafiq Jaber, a member of CAIR’s Board of Directors, signed a press release regarding the Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon:
“I thank Allah for this victory which was due to the tremendous efforts of the Islamic resistance movement, Hizbollah…. Maybe the PA will take a hard look at the slippery road it is now traveling and join the resistance to Zionist occupation in order to liberate the land of Palestine. I firmly believe that Palestine will never be liberated by any other means.”
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) claims to represent American Muslims and describes itself as “a public service agency working for the civil rights of American Muslims, for the integration of Islam into American pluralism, and for a positive, constructive relationship between American Muslims and their representatives.” In reality, MPAC is a radical Islamic organization that openly defends terrorist groups such as Hizbollah. Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC’s executive director, wrote the following in 1999:
“Hezbollah organized the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in October 1983 killing 241 marines, the largest number of American troops killed in a single operation since the end of the Vietnam war. Yet this attack, for all the pain it caused, was not in a strict sense, a terrorist operation. It was a military operation, producing no civilian casualties — exactly the kind of attack that Americans might have lauded had it been directed against Washington’s enemies.”  
This so-called “pluralistic” conference featured statements that can only be classified as anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Israel was declared to be a terrorist state and a classic example of racist apartheid. Salam al-Marayati decried the use of American weapons and tax dollars that finance Israeli aggression. Dr. Riad Abdel Karim, a member of the aforementioned CAIR, devoted his speech to painstakingly equating Zionism with South African apartheid. (Ed.: A full transcript of this event was attached) Rashid Khalidi, a noted Arab professor in Chicago, defended the current intifada. Mahmoud Ibrahim, a professor at Cal Poly Pomona, inferred that the actions of the Israeli army are the same as those actions that the Jews endured during the Holocaust.
The UCLA MSA sponsored the on-campus “Palestinian Freedom Week” from May 30-31, 2002. Among the featured speakers was the aforementioned Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director of CAIR-Los Angeles.
**UPDATE** October 4, 2012
**Read by clicking on blue lettered link below***
Update: Israel critic and terrorist sympathizer ‘valued and highly credible,’ official says
How Close is the Muslim Brotherhood to the Obama Administration? Is Obama Pro-Islamic Socialism? Is Sharia Creeping Into the US Government and into American’s Liberties?
Salam al-Marayati, Founder and Executive Director of Muslim Public Affairs
Council (MPAC): Marayati is an Iraqi immigrant who drew national attention over a decade ago when then-House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt nominated him to serve on the National Commission on Terrorism. Backlash over al-Marayati’s defense of Hezbollah and other Islamic groups prompted a withdrawal of the nomination. The Center for Security Policy reports that MPAC was formed in 1986 as the Political Action Committee for the Islamic Center for Southern California, one of the largest Wahhabi mosques in the country. While MPAC later fractioned-off, one of the founders of the Islamic Center, Hassan Hathout, was a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood who also spent time in Egyptian prison.
From The Daily Caller:
Obama administration pulls references to Islam from terror training materials, official says
October 21, 2011
Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole confirmed on Wednesday that the Obama administration was pulling back all training materials used for the law enforcement and national security communities, in order to eliminate all references to Islam that some Muslim groups have claimed are offensive.
“I recently directed all components of the Department of Justice to re-evaluate their training efforts in a range of areas, from community outreach to national security,” Cole told a panel at the George Washington University law school.
The move comes after complaints from advocacy organizations including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others identified as Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the 2004 Holy Land Foundation terror fundraising trial.
In a Wednesday Los Angeles Times op-ed, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) president Salam al-Marayati threatened the FBI with a total cutoff of cooperation between American Muslims and law enforcement if the agency failed to revise its law enforcement training materials.
Maintaining the training materials in their current state “will undermine the relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim American community,” al-Marayati wrote.
Multiple online sources detail MPAC’s close alignment with CAIR.
In his op-ed, Al-Marayati demanded that the Justice Department and the FBI “issue a clear and unequivocal apology to the Muslim American community” and “establish a thorough and transparent vetting process in selecting its trainers and materials.”
Specifically, al-Marayati called for a new “interagency task force” to review the training materials — a task force including representatives of the Islamist organizations the FBI is tasked with monitoring.
Some believe the Obama administration’s Justice Department will go even further.
EDUCATE YOURSELVES AMERICA!
On Thursday night, Glenn Beck brought on a panel of experts to discuss the dangers surrounding the Muslim Brotherhood and “The Project” — the group’s purported plan to infiltrate the United States government.” The discussion also focused upon the ongoing push by some Islamic governments for international laws banning blasphemy.