The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized the Obama Administration and Secretary Clintons State Department for sending the director the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Salam Al-Marayati, overseas to speak on behalf of the United States. Al-Marayati is a vocal Israel-hater and apologist for Islamist terrorism who has who has called for Israels destruction; suggested Israel be placed on a suspect list as the possible perpetrator of the 9/11 acts of terrorism; condemned already in the 1990s American air strikes of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Sudan; and defended the rights of Holocaust deniers.
According to MPAC, Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati traveled to Europe at the invitation of the State Department to speak about religious freedom and free speech. He spoke at UNESCO in Paris and at the U.S. mission to the United Nations in Geneva (Al-Marayati Explores Religious Freedom & Free Speech in Paris & Geneva, MPAC News release, January 28, 2010).
MPAC was established initially in 1986 as the Political Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California whose key leaders are believed to have had their origins in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood has been a leading intellectual force behind the Islamist phenomenon and its leading figures, like Sayyid Qutb, inspired Al Qaeda figures like Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Ladens second-in-command.
MPAC has opposed virtually every counter-terrorist initiative undertaken or proposed by the U.S. government, claiming often that U.S. counter-terror efforts were aimed at the U.S. Muslim community. MPAC has developed extensive relationships with the U.S. government which have included numerous meetings with the Department of Justice and the FBI.
Renowned terrorism expert Steven Emerson has published long essays about the deeply troubling statements and actions of MPAC and Al-Marayati himself.
Salaam Al-Marayatis record:
· Calls for Israels destruction: 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 (MPAC co-signed public statement, Sep. 17, 1993).
· Condemns pre-9/11 American military strikes upon Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Sudan: Said these strikes, following the al-Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were illegal, immoral and illogical (MPAC press release, August 24, 1998).
· Israel might be perpetrator of 9/11: If were going to look at suspects, we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kind of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list, because I think this [the 9/11 attacks] diverts attention from whats happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies (David Firestone, A NATION CHALLENGED: RELIGION; For Some Jewish Leaders, Partnership With Muslims Is a Casualty of Sept. 11 Attacks, New York Times, October 22, 2001).
· Calls Israels supporters Nazis: comparing Israels supporters to Hitler; MPAC displayed a campus exhibit stating that Zionism is Nazism (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June 1994; L.A. Jewish Journal, November 2, 2001).
· Defends French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy: Described Frances fining of Garaudy for Holocaust denial as persecution of his right to express an opinion (The Minaret, Vol.20, No.3, 1998).
· Gives anticipatory justification of Islamist terrorist assaults on America: Where Israel goes, our government follows … What is important is whether the American people are aware of and ready for the consequences (MPAC article, What Do We Expect?, Apr. 5 1997).
· Blames Palestinian terrorism on Israel: Jews murdered by Palestinians are the expected bitter result of [Israels] reckless policy (Jewish Exponent [Philadelphia], October 18, 2001).
· Calls for extradition of Israelis who killed a rampaging Muslim terrorist in Jerusalem: When in February 1996 a Palestinian, Muhammad Hamida shouted the war cry, Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great), drove his car intentionally into a crowded bus stop in Jerusalem, killing one Israeli and injuring 23 others and was shot dead, Marayati said not a word about Hamidas murderous attack while calling his killing a provocative act, and demanded the extradition of his executors to America to be tried in a U.S. court on terrorism charges.
So extreme is Al-Marayatis record that some of these statements caused Marayatis 1999 appointment to a U.S. congressional committee on terrorism to be rescinded.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It is deeply disturbing and offensive that the Obama Administration and Hillary Clintons State Department would go out of its way to select a man with long record of Israel-bashing and apologetics for terrorism, who even called for Israels destruction and described its creation a crime, to go overseas speaking on behalf of the United States.
Back in 1999, when the U.S. Congress become aware of Al-Marayatis record, after reviewing information about him released by Steve Emerson and the ZOA, his appointment as a member of the U.S. Congress Committee on Terrorism was rescinded.
Such an ill-conceived decision calls into question the Obama Administrations commitment to combating Islamist extremists. Indeed, in the Administrations refusal to even refer to Islamist extremists and its tendency to refer to terrorist acts perpetrated by Islamists as man-made disasters, we see a deeply concerning blindness to the threat. In the invitation to Al-Marayati to speak overseas, we see further lack of seriousness about dealing with the problem. Such spokesmen and organizations should be shunned, not courted and never given the credibility of the imprimatur of the U.S. government.