New York – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) condemned the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and actor Mike Farrell (of MASH fame) for openly lying about ZOA and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) positions. MPAC, using actor Mike Farrell, who is well known for his support of extremist causes, as their spokesperson, has launched radio attack ads in Los Angeles, stating that ZOA and AJC have "smeared the reputations (of Muslims) and their religion," that we "oppose free speech," and that we have "assaulted our freedoms." *(See transcript of ad at end of release)
What is the truth?
The truth is that the ZOA and the AJC and many others have taken a stand against the giving of a human relations award by the L.A. County Human Relations Commission (LACHRC) to Maher Hathout, of the Islamic Center of Southern California and MPAC; because of his anti-US, anti-Israel, and pro-terrorist public statements not for his religion or religious beliefs. If a Jew or Christian or Buddhist or Hindu had made the same outrageous comments, we would oppose them as well.
The Commission is to confer the award on Hathout October 5 for “outstanding human relations work” despite the fact that Hathout has blasted the United States as being guilty of terrorism, and having described the Islamist terrorist group Hizballah as “very American” and “fighting only for freedom,” despite Hizballah calls for the destruction of Israel and the fact that its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has said “If [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide” (Daily Star [Beirut], October 23, 2002).
Far from “promoting positive race and human relations” and combating purveyors of “divisive attitudes that can lead to inter-cultural tension, hate crimes and related violence” as the LACCHR’s mission statement proclaims, Hathout has promoted hatred of America and Israel, while praising and supporting terrorist groups like Hizballah. Public statements made by Maher Hathout include:
- After President Clinton’s 1998 missile strikes against Sudan and Afghanistan following the bombings of American embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam which killed over 200 people: “Our country is committing an act of terrorism. What we did is illegal, immoral, unhuman, unacceptable, stupid and un-American … If our country commits hate crimes, why should we not expect the uneducated to do the same?” (Los Angeles Times, August 22, 1998).
- “It is obvious that, at least from our perspective, the United States is also under Israeli occupation … we have an administration that believes in this superiority/inferiority of the Jews. And exploitation. And we have a country, our country, the United States, that still needs to repent for what they did to their native people in their own land so that they appreciate the suffering of a parallel and similar situation. So it is very painful and agonizing, but not surprising, unfortunately” (Speech, California State University, May 2001).
- Threatens Arab governments with a “general intifada” for holding diplomatic meetings with Israelis, warning that their leaders would be “flushed down in the cesspools of history of treason” (Speech, Lafayette Park, opposite the White House, October 28, 2000).
- “We did not come here to condemn the condemned atrocities committed by the apartheid brutal state of Israel because butchers do what butchers do and because what is expected from a racist apartheid is what is happening now … They say Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. This is a lie. [It] is an apartheid state against every fiber of the modern world” (Speech in Lafayette Park, opposite the White House, October 2000).
- Hizballah “is fighting only for freedom, an organized army, limiting its operations against military people — this is a legitimate target against occupation” (Speech at the National Press Club, 1998).
- Hizballah activity in Lebanon “is very American, is what America did in the beginning against the colonizing of the British, is what all honorable people in the world are doing” (Debate, Los Angeles radio, 1999).
- Following the August 2001 bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem in which 15 people were killed and over 100 were injured: “It is the bitter result of the reckless policy of [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon. And it is about time that the Israeli public should exert some pressure on their government” (NBC4-TV, Los Angeles. August 9, 2001).
- “The only thing [Arab terrorists in Israel] can do is throw a bomb in a market or send somebody to suicide, we don’t have enough ability to target real targets in Israel” (Panel Discussion on Capitol Hill, June 18, 1998).
- “[Americans] are financing an apartheid state [Israel ] that is contrary to everything you ever dreamed for or approved of. You [are being] taken … down a path of evil … You are making the face of America ugly all over the world (Speech, Lafayette Park, opposite the White House, October 28, 2000).
- He also said America’s anti-terror action would be to blame for future hate crimes in the U.S.: "If our country commits hate crimes, why should we not expect the uneducated to do the same?" (Los Angeles Times, August 22, 1998)
- "The only thing (Arab terrorists) in Israel can do is throw a bomb in a market or send somebody to suicide, we don’t have enough ability to target real targets in Israel." (Maher Hathout, in a panel discussion on Capitol Hill, June 18, 1998)
It is equally troubling to the ZOA that the person who recommended Hathout for the award, Salam al-Marayati, executive director of MPAC, has also made numerous bizarre and hateful anti-US, anti-Israel and pro-terrorist statements. Because of these statements, a campaign was launched against his appointment to be member of the US Congressional Committee on Terrorism. His appointment was rescinded.
Marayati statements by him and MPAC include:
- MPAC and Salam al-Marayati co-signed a public statement on September 17, 1993, which called for Israel’s destruction by stating that "The establishment by force, violence, and terrorism of a Jewish state in Palestine in 1948" was "unjust" and "a crime," and vowed to "work to overturn the injustice."
- "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." (New York Times, Oct. 22, 2001)
- After the August 8, 2001 bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria, in which 15 Jews were murdered, the MPAC said the bombing was "the expected bitter result of the reckless policy" of the Israeli government… MPAC holds Israel responsible for this pattern of violence." (Phila. Jewish Exponent, Oct. 18, 2001)
- After the March 1997 Hamas suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, in which three Israeli women were murdered, an MPAC press release on March 21, 1997, justified the violence, asserting: "The Prime Minister of Israel…bears the brunt of responsibility for the loss of innocent lives…Because the Palestinian people have no avenues to redress their grievances, some of them have been pushed beyond the margins of society and have adopted violent reactions to express their despair and suffering."
- "Explaining" Future Terrorism Against Americans: In an April 4, 1997 article, "What Do We Expect?," distributed by the MPAC, Salam al-Marayati justified future terrorist violence against American targets. He wrote: "Where Israel goes, our government follows…What is important is whether the American people are aware of and ready for the consequences…America is much more vulnerable than Israel and has much more to lose." He pointed to the fact that, unlike Israel, America has "greater investments" in the Arab and Muslim world, "from the oil in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, to the rubber industry in Malaysia," Marayati warned: "[W]hen people are pushed to despair and thrown over the edge of hate, anger and insecurity, one target [i.e. an American target] will be more accessible than the other [i.e. an Israeli target]."
- Comparing Muslim Terrorists to America’s Founding Fathers: "Most Islamic movements have been branded as terrorists as a result of the rising extremism from a handful of militants. American freedom fighters hundreds of years ago were also regarded as terrorists by the British." (MPAC Director Salam al-Marayati, The Minaret, June 1996)
- Comparing Terrorist Bombings and America’s Raids: The MPAC condemned America’s attack on terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in August 1998, on the grounds that "violence emanating from a superpower, bypassing due process and legitimate international channels, against poor countries is illegal, immoral and illogical…" (MPAC press release, August 24, 1998)
- "Muslims are forced to use violence.": Failure to secure justice through legal means has forced several Muslim groups to adopt violent means to express their opposition to the injustices meted out to their people all over the world." (Aslam Abdullah, "Counter Terrorism," in the September 1998 issue of the MPAC newspaper The Minaret.
- "Jihad is legitimate": Jihad is allowed in Islam against those who attack the faithful…The jihad of Islam is no more or less than any legitimate struggle for justice." (Fathi Osman, "The Anatomy of Terrorism," in the Spring 1987 issue of the MPAC newspaper The Minaret.)
- Israel is apartheid, racist, barbaric": "Our country should not have been forced to support and finance Zionist brutalities and barbaric policies. Our pluralistic society has become prisoner to a country that follows racism and apartheid in its policies…The supporters of Israel have created a quiet reign of terror in the U.S. People cannot speak loudly against the apartheid policies of Israel." (Editorial in the MPAC newspaper The Minaret, Vol. 20, No. 5 )
- "Jews are unlawful and control Congress": Jewish unlawfulness in tolerated because powerful brokers can dictate terms on Congress and the administration." (MPAC president Salam al-Marayati, in the MPAC newspaper The Minaret, May/June 1994)
- Comparing Israel’s supporters to Hitler: "Just as Hitler forced a conflict between Judaism and Christianity, apologists for Israel crave for Islam to be at odds with both Judaism and Christianity." (MPAC president Salam al-Marayati, in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June 1994)
- Defending Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy: After Garaudy was fined by a French court for denying the Holocaust: "Garaudy is not the first one to question the holocaust…As usual, Muslim organizations and leaders in the United States were silent on the sentence imposed on Garaudy. The exception was the Muslim Public Affairs Council that issued an immediate condemnation statement..to persecute him for his right to express his opinion and question some events is a clear violation of his basic human rights…Muslim organizations should have taken the case to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights." (Editorial in the MPAC newspaper The Minaret, Vol. 20, No. 3 )
- "Israel created an environment of hatred, it became responsible for dehumanizing Muslims, and defaming the Prophet Mohammed." (Salam al-Marayati, July 7, 1997)
- In a 1999 position paper, MPAC justified Hizbollah’s 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon (which killed 241 Marines) as a "military operation" rather than a terrorist attack: "…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."
- "And, the 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."
- MPAC 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. MPAC’s petition stated: "The Holy Land Foundation has an impeccable reputation in aiding refugees not only in Palestine, but worldwide."
ZOA President Morton A. Klein said: "Of course, the ZOA supports free speech, we simply oppose the giving of a human relations award to Maher Hathout, an individual who uses America’s freedoms to promote hatred, dissension, and lies against others.
It is astonishing that actor Mike Farrell and the Muslim Public Affairs Commission says "we need people like Maher Hathout…they enrich our country." The long list of odious statements by Hathout, Marayati and MPAC speak for themselves, making it clear that rather than enriching our country, they increase religious and cultural intolerance as well as promote values that harm America."
voice 1): The following commercial announcement is paid for by the Muslim Public Affairs Council. The views expressed to not necessary express the opinions of KFWB.
voice 2): Hi, my name is Mike Farrell. Some know me as B.J. Hunnicut from M*A*S*H. Some time ago I was honored to receive the Voice of Conscience Award from the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Now, more than ever, Muslims need the support of people of conscience, as their reputations and their religion are being smeared by some, including the American Jewish Committee and the Zionist Organization of America. Doctor Maher Hathout, one of the pioneers in interfaith dialogue and the founder of Sheriff Lee Baca’s Muslim-American Homeland Security Congress, is today the target of just such attacks. He’s to be honored for leadership in human relations by the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations, but some who oppose free speech want his award rescinded. That’s not America. That’s an assault on our freedoms. We need people like Dr. Hathout and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. They enrich our country. Be a voice of conscience.