NHS Working With MPAC - Director Salam Al Marayati Panelist At Upcoming NHS Conference
May 6, 2013
MIM: Salam Al Marayati the head of the Muslim Public Affairs Council is scheduled to be on a panel and the upcoming National Homeland Security Conference in June in LA. MPAC defends terrorism and Al Marayati claimed that Israel might have been behind the 9/11 attacks.
Marayati is also part of the Muslim American Homeland Security Congress, which is linked to radical Islamists groups promoting terrorism like the Saudi funded front group for Hamas, the Council on American Islamic Relations. It should come as no surprise that Haroon Azar ,the DHS Security Regional Director for Strategic Engagement has worked with MPAC in the past.Haroon Azar took part in an MPAC teleconference aimed at portraying Muslims as victims of a non existent backlash after the Boston terrorist attacks. Azar is also speaking on the same panel as Al Marayati at the upcoming NHS conference. Arif Alikhan, who was responsible for derailing the LAPD's plans to monitor activities within the Muslim community, is also a speaker at the conference.He was appointed as assistant secretary for the Office of Policy Development in Barack Obama's Department of Homeland Security in 2009 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2401
Experts Discuss Impact of Hate & Safety Tips on MPAC Teleconferences
Last night and today, MPAC hosted two teleconferences for American Muslims around the country to understand the real world damage caused by recent hate rhetoric and learn what they can do to safeguard their mosques, schools and communities.
Last night's teleconference, attended by more than 50 people, was a national virtual town-hall on "The Real World Impact of Hate Rhetoric in America." The 60-minute teleconference featured Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Project Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center; Wajahat Ali, the co-author of the Center for American Progress' "Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamphobia Network in America"; and MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati, who shared data and analysis of recent irresponsible smears against American Muslims by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and other public officials.
Ali broke down the state of hate in America by the numbers:
Anti-Muslim hate groups have increased 300 percent in the last year. The FBI has reported a 50 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes. More than 40 percent of non-Muslims say they don't want Muslims as their neighbors, one-third say they don't want Muslims on the Supreme Court and a similar number don't want a Muslim in the Oval office," Ali said. "So perhaps it is now time we turn the tables and expose the enablers and disseminators of divisive fear-mongering rhetoric that has no place in today's fragile and racially sensitive environment."
Al-Marayati described how Islamophobia has become an American problem, not just a Muslim problem.
"It's not just Muslims who have to deal with these nut cases now, but all Americans have to," he said. "These groups are attacking anyone perceived to be Muslim or perceived to be supporting Muslims, and unfortunately, we only get silence from our political leadership to the hate-mongering rhetoric."
This afternoon, MPAC's second teleconference for mosque and school leaders was with Eric Treene, Special Counsel for Religious Discrimination in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice; Mazen Basrawi, Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice; Haroon Azar, Department of Homeland Security Regional Director for Strategic Engagement; and Deputy Chief Mike Downing of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Attended by more than 30 Muslim leaders from across the country, the call focused on how to protect mosques and homes against attacks.
Treene stressed the importance of reporting anything that suggests an attack is imminent so authorities can stop it in its tracks, adding that the Department of Justice has the authority to prosecute hate crimes at the federal level.
To protect your Islamic Center or house of worship, here are some safety measures the speakers shared:
Do not publish floor plans and multiple exterior pictures on their websites
Ask the local police or the Department of Homeland Security to inspect facilities for possible threats
Contact local police authorities before big gatherings to request police presence
Establish a relationship with local police authorities before the need arises
Apply grants for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant to get money to protect of places of worship.
Interoperability, Information Sharing and Intelligence
Joint Regional Intelligence Center
Port of Long Beach
Los Angeles Union Station
City of Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center
Briefing, Question and Answer Session with specialized JRIC units:
Display of Grant Funded Equipment
Presentation on Mobile Search Screening Team (MSST) operation positions, tactics, logistical concerns, interview techniques, and required equipment
A "Walking & Talking" Tour of the City's Emergency Operations Center
Tips and Leads Unit; Situational Awareness Watch; Terrorism Liaison Outreach and Training Programs; Public and Private Sector Partnerships; Tactical Analysis Unit; Strategic Intelligence
Harbor Boat Tour
Observe MSST operation
Inbrief: The Building: seismic system, construction, and emergency support capabilites. Main Coordination Room: operational layout, systems, staffing and operations concept Business Operations Center: concept of operations and sector organization Management Section: organization, staffing and EOC activation levels.
Threat Briefing: Welcome by Acting Executive Director Maury Bas, JRIC Overview of the Fusion Center- Mike Sena, President of NFCA Current Threat Briefing covering: Homegrown Violent Extremism; Cyber Threats to the Homeland; Maritime Threats; Threats from Mexican Cartels/Gangs
Joint Command and Control Center Tour with Panel Discussion on Maritime Awareness Program: Chad Ellis, Sergeant, Long Beach Police Department Steve Ruggierro, Assistant Director, Port of Long Beach Security Division Michael McMullen, Project Manager, Port of Long Beach Security Division Steve Raganold, Battalion Chief, Long Beach Fire Department
Cognitive Interviewing Panel: Dr. Edward Geiselman and Deputy Salim Aimaq
Outbrief: "Contemporary Emergency Management: Collaboration, communications and coordination
Port of Los Angeles
Los Angeles World Airport
Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center Tour
Panel Discussion: Successfully Implementing Homeland Security Programs, Projects and Initiatives in a Dynamic Risk Based Business Enterprise Environment
Harbor Boat Tour
Panel Speakers: Arif Alikhan, LAWA Deputy Executive Director Darby LaJoye, TSA Federal Security Director Ethel McGuire, Assistant Chief Los Angeles World Airports Homeland Security Section
Seminar: Marisella Caraballo- Port 101 with emphasis on security Jill Taylor- how UASI has helped the Port Paul Lipscomb- Maritime Training Impact on Los Angeles Connie Patrick- Director of Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
Tour of Tom Bradley Terminal
Medical and Health
Public-Private Partnerships: Education Partnerships and Business Partnerships
LA County Disaster Staging Facility
Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center; LAFD
The Getty Center Museum
Grand Tour of Facility
Demonstration of Equipment and Technology & SIM Lab Visit
"Leadership in Crisis" an instructional presentations by Chief Scott Mottram, LAFD and Chief James Schwartz, Arlington FD
Panel Discussion on Public-Private Partnerships
Panel Speakers: Chris Petrakis, The Getty Center Fire Representative Salam Al-Marayati, Muslim American Homeland Security Congress Haroon Azar, DHS
MUSLIM PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL (MPAC)
3010 Wilshire Boulevard - #217 Los Angeles, CA 90010
Los Angeles-based Muslim organization whose leadership defends extremist violence
Opposes the shutdown of Muslim charities suspected of supporting terrorism
Opposes the Patriot Act
Founded in 1988, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) 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." The organization consists of eight chapters in California, and one each in Texas, Kansas, Nevada, and Iowa.
MPAC's vision is "to establish a vibrant Muslim American community that will enrich American society through promoting the Islamic values of Mercy, Justice, Peace, Human Dignity, Freedom, and Equality for all." In an effort to achieve this objective, the Council's mission consists of: "effect[ing] positive change in public opinion and in policy with the purpose of realizing our vision"; "promoting an American Muslim identity"; "fostering an effective grassroots organization"; "training a future generation of men and women who share our vision"; "promoting an accurate portrayal of Islam and Muslims in mass media and popular culture"; "educating the American public, both Muslim and non-Muslim, about Islam"; "building alliances with Muslim and non-Muslims groups"; and "cultivating relationships with opinion- and decision-makers."
From its inception, MPAC presented itself as more inclusive, and more open to peaceful coexistence with Jews and Christians, than other Arab and Muslim groups, and sought to make Americans comfortable with Islam by showing how much the religion embraced core American values. Throughout the 1990s, MPAC nurtured this image of moderation by organizing Muslim-Jewish dialogues in Los Angeles. Its members received invitations to the Clinton White House and appointments on federal commissions; they were similarly courted by the Bush campaign as the Clinton presidency drew to a close. MPAC's Senior Advisor, Maher Hathout, who has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and espouses the radical brand of Islam known as Wahhabism, was invited to address the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles in 2000. Shortly thereafter, however, MPAC endorsed George W. Bush for U.S. President.
MPAC's centrist public image unraveled after the September 2000 launching of the Second Palestinian Intifada, when the Council severed its ties to the Jewish community and issued one-sided condemnations of Israel's response to the Arab violence.
MPAC's support for President Bush similarly disintegrated after 9/11, when the Council actively opposed Bush's military incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as his "excesses" in the war on terror. In February 2003, MPAC joined the American Muslim Alliance, the American Muslim Council, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations in forming a coalition to repeal and amend the Patriot Act, which these organizations depicted as an assault on the civil liberties of Americans, particularly Muslims. Seven months earlier (on July 14, 2002), MPAC National Director Ahmed Younis had stated that "if Thomas Jefferson or Madison or the like were alive today, they would go to John Ashcroft's house and just shoot him." (Ashcroft was the Attorney General who sought to enforce the Patriot Act.)
MPAC claims that Islam is a religion of peace and moderation, and contends that Muslim extremists are no more numerous or dangerous than fundamentalists in any other faith. "There are radical Christian, Jewish and Hindu movements, too," says MPAC, "which are also capable of slaughtering innocents." On occasion, MPAC has publicly condemned Islamic suicide bombings. These condemnations, however, are invariably accompanied by endorsements of Muslim "resistance" and "armed struggle" which MPAC frames as justified retribution against prior Israeli or Western transgressions.
Holding Israel entirely responsible for the "pattern of violence" in the Middle East, MPAC asserts that Hezbollah "could be called a liberation movement." The Council likens Hezbollah members to American "freedom fighters hundreds of years ago whom the British regarded as terrorists." In a November 1997 speech at the University of Pennsylvania, MPAC Co-Founder and Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati steadfastly refused to call Hezbollah a terrorist organization; he justified the existence of Hamas as a political entity and a provider of social programs and "educational operations"; and he equated jihad with the sentiments of the American statesman Patrick Henry, whose "Give me liberty or give me death" declaration was, in Al-Marayati's view, "a way of looking at the term jihad from an American perspective." In a 1999 position paper, MPAC justified Hezbollah's deadly 1983 bombing of the American Marine barracks in Lebanon as a "military operation" rather than a terrorist attack. As Maher Hathout puts it: "Hezbollah is fighting for freedom, an organized army, limiting its operations against military people, this is a legitimate target against occupation. … this is legitimate, this is an American value -- freedom and liberty."
MPAC's worldview is further revealed by its many additional public statements on a wide array of issues and events:
According to MPAC: "Israel was established by terrorism"; its founding "involved the unjust and illegal usurpation of Muslim and Christian land and rights"; and "to recognize the legitimacy of that crime is a crime in itself."
MPAC characterizes Israel as a "racist, chauvinistic and militaristic" state that is prosecuting "a war to steal land from Palestinians, to decimate their leadership, to humiliate the Palestinian people."
Condemning Israel's "apartheid-like ideology," MPAC warns: "History shows that Muslim and Christian religious rights are not safe under Israeli occupation."
Israelis are "the worst terrorists in the world," says MPAC, "… Yet Israel is not found on the list of state sponsors of terrorism in the [U.S.] State Department Report on Terrorism."
MPAC co-sponsored pro-Palestinian rallies in the fall of 2000, where MPAC speakers chanted "Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the Army of Muhammed is coming for you!" The rally featured literature and many placards calling for the annihilation of the Jews and Israel.
A few hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, MPAC Co-Founder Salam Al-Marayati told a Los Angeles talk radio audience: "If we're going to look at suspects, we should look at 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."
On November 30, 2002, MPAC Vice Chairman Aslam Abdullah said: "Those who are part of the political Zionist movement in America … know it very well that without the support of the United States … their country, namely Israel, would not be able to pursue its apartheid and racist policies in the Middle East. They will use every means possible to ensure that American administration stays on their side. They will create false enemies, they will distort facts, they will manipulate events; and they will concoct and fabricate lies. They have taken America hostage."
In 2003, MPAC opposed the designation of Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups and suggested that the designation was "based on political considerations."
On March 23, 2005, MPAC National Director Ahmed Younis spoke at a Muslim Students' Association-sponsored event, where he explained that because Adolf Eichmann was himself a Jew, it could accurately be said that Jews had killed themselves in the Holocaust.
MPAC endorsed a November 1, 2001 document characterizing the 9/11 attacks as a legal matter to be addressed by criminal-justice procedures rather than military means. Ascribing the hijackers' motives to alleged social injustices against which they were protesting, this document called on the United States "to promote fundamental rights around the world."
MPAC speakers regularly complain that the U.S. is "dominated" by Zionists and favors Jews over Muslims.
Opposed to efforts to shut down Islamic charities that fund terrorism -- alleging that such efforts interfere with freedom of religion and the exercise of the Muslim obligation to give to charity -- MPAC states that the U.S. government should instead investigate what it terms Jewish "terrorists" like the Jewish Defense League. The Council signed and sponsored a petition to reinstate the assets of Hamas' charitable front, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, after it was designated as a front for terrorist financing.
According to MPAC, "A major threat to the safety of the Muslim community is the Islam-bashing that has been very evident since 9/11. There has been a steady stream of attacks on the Quran … These attacks are vicious, mean-spirited, and politically motivated. … [T]he most sustained and vitriolic [attacks] are from right-wing Christian groups led by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson."
The MPAC 2002 Annual Banquet featured Ali Al-Mazrui, a SUNY-Binghamton professor who said: "There is also suspicion that some members of the Bush administration in collusion with Israel are more than ready to plunge the Middle East into turmoil in the hope that the final outcome would be to the territorial advantage of Israel and the strategic advantage of the United States. All this is part of the emerging external sadism of the United States, a readiness to hurt others abroad."
In a May 7, 2004 statement, MPAC said: "The scandal of Abu Ghraib was not an isolated incident but a manifestation of hate rooted in a distortion of American culture. The soldiers charged for torturing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners were reflecting, among other things, an irrational hatred against Arabs and Muslims. Hatred in Abu Ghraib is inextricably linked with hatred increasingly fostered by some elements of our government, our media, and other major national institutions."
After a series of arrests made in connection with an August 2006 airline terror scare in London, President Bush called the uncovered plot "a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation." MPAC spokeswoman Edina Lekovic reacted, "When the people we need most in the fight against terrorism, American Muslims, feel alienated by the President's characterization of these supposed terrorists, that does more damage than good."
In November 2010, MPAC reported that it had recently given -- to some 2,200 Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) responsible for screening passengers and luggage at U.S. airports -- a two-month training program in cultural awareness about Islam and Muslims. MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC Civic Outreach Coordinator Saadia Khan, and two MPAC volunteers conducted the trainings at Los Angeles International Airport. According to MPAC, the four trainers taught the TSOs "how to properly handle a Quran"; they "discussed the different ways Muslim women and men choose to cover or dress"; and they "allowed trainers to discuss the common practice of Muslims praying in various areas of the airport, adding that they do this because LAX does not have a designated prayer area as other airports do."
MPAC has long worked to promote positive portrayals of Islam and Muslims in movies and television programs. Shortly after 9/11, the organization established its own Hollywood Bureau for this purpose. Since then, MPAC has consulted with the producers of such TV shows as "24," "Bones," "Lie to Me," "7th Heaven," "Saving Grace" and "Aliens in America." The organization also has held meetings with top network executives from ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, and organizes a Muslim-inspired version of a Hollywood awards show each year for productions that advance the public's understanding of Islam. In 2009, for instance, this event recognized "The Simpsons," for an episode that featured young Bart befriending a Muslim boy named Bashir. In early 2011, MPAC announced that it would soon be hosting a series of workshops -- taught by Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated veterans of the entertainment industry -- to further promote more positive images of Muslims in film and television.
On October 19, 2011, MPAC was one of 57 organizations to co-sign a letter that Farhana Khera, executive director of an Islamic organization called Muslim Advocates, wrote to Barack Obama's then-Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (and later CIA director) John Brennan. The letter demanded that Obama officials "purge all federal government training materials of biased materials"—that is, materials that they claimed were biased against Islam—and "implement a mandatory re-training program for FBI agents, U.S. Army officers, and all federal, state and local law enforcement who have been subjected to biased training." Joing MPAC as signatories were such groups as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Circle of North America, Islamic Relief USA, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim American Society.
The Obama Administration immediately complied with the letter's demands. Dwight C. Holton, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, emphasized that same day that training materials for the FBI would be purged of everything that Islamic supremacists deemed offensive: "I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated."
In November 2011, MPAC held a Washington, DC event in honor of Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the Ennahda, the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate that had recently emerged victorious in the political elections in Tunisia. Ghannouchi is a longtime Islamist who, during the 1990s, was invited to the United States by Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian but was banned from the country. Yet by MPAC's reckoning, Ghannouchi is "one of the most important figures in modern Islamic political thought and theory."
Just a few months prior to the November 2011 event, in an interview with an Arab-language website, Ghannouchi had stated that the Arab Spring "will achieve positive results on the path to the Palestinian cause and threaten the extinction of Israel." Added Ghannouchi: "I give you the good news that the Arab region will get rid of the bacillus of Israel. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the leader of Hamas, said that Israel will disappear by the year 2027. I say that this date may be too far away, and Israel may disappear before this."
Accused Israelis of responsibility for the 9/11 attacks
Hamas and Hezbollah sympathizer
Salam Al-Marayati is the founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a Los Angeles-based Islamic advocacy group that defends Muslim extremist violence. MPAC has condemned the anti-terrorism measures of both the U.S. and Israel, and has called for a repeal of the Patriot Act.
During a 1997 speech he delivered at the University of Pennsylvania, Al-Marayati equated the concept of jihad to the statements of the eighteenth-century American statesman Patrick Henry. Said Al-Marayat, "[T]he person who we think in America would epitomize jihad would be Patrick Henry, who said, 'Give me liberty or give me death.' That is a way of looking at the term jihad from an American perspective."
On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, Al-Marayati used a Los Angeles talk radio program as a forum in which to accuse the Israelis of responsibility for that morning's attacks on New York and Washington. Al-Marayati has also called for the U.S. government to unfreeze the assets of two Islamic charities, the Global Relief Foundation and the Holy Land Foundation, that were shut down by the government because of funding they had given to terrorist organizations.
Al-Marayati refuses to call Hezbollah a terrorist group. "I don't think any group should be judged 100% this or that," he says. "I think every group is going to have . . . its claim of liberation and resistance." He has similarly justified Hamas' existence as a political entity that promotes social programs and "educational operations." "Yesterday's terrorists in the Middle East are today's leaders," he says. "The PLO is the number one example of this . . . The PLO 35 years ago was considered a terrorist organization, nobody should deal with them . . . But they became the people in authority, in Palestine, today. So Hamas today, the way it's being viewed, is exactly how the PLO was viewed 30 years ago. And in fact, even Hamas in terms of its social and educational operations is doing exactly what the PLO was doing 35 years ago, as well as its quote unquote military operations."
In October 2010, the Barack Obama administration picked Al-Marayati to represent the U.S. government at the annual Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe human-rights conference, known as the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting.