The website of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has reported that MPAC and the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) met recently with top level Pentagon officials where they discussed the mental health of Guantanamo Bay inmates and where an MPAC leader suggested that his organization play a role in the “rehabilitation” of detainees. According to the report:
Earlier this week, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Due to four suicide-related deaths within the last year, and a 2006 United Nations report that has indicated that the treatment of detainees has had profound effects on their mental health, MPAC requested a meeting with the Office of Detainee Affairs, the Office of Health Affairs, and the Office of the General Counsel.Those who attended the meeting included: Salam Al-Marayati (MPAC Executive Director), Safiya Ghori (MPAC Government Relations Director), Dr. Zahid Imran (psychiatrist and APPNA representative) and Dr. Nayyer Ali (physician and MPAC board member). Also participating in the meeting were mental health providers and the cultural affairs advisor from Guantanamo Bay via video teleconference.
After noting the concerns expressed at the meeting about the mental heal and possible torture of detainees, the report says at the end of the meeting MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati:
emphasized the importance of the rehabilitation process of detainees and the need for an effective counter to the ideology of terrorism. That requires more engagement between organizations like MPAC and the U.S. government.”
MPAC is an organization founded in Southern California in 1988 and was previously known as the Muslim Pubic Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California. Playing an important role in its founding was MPAC “Senior Adviser” Mather Hathout, an Egyptian physician and immigrant who most likely was imprisoned in 1965 for playing a role in the Muslim Brotherhood at that time. Since its founding, MPAC has continued to act in concert with other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations such as CAIR while at the same time enjoying a favored position with the U.S. government.
Mr. Al-Marayati’s suggestion to allow MPAC to play a role in dealing with Islamic radicals of concern to government is not the first time a Muslim Brotherhood linked figure has made such a suggestion. In August 2005, ex-Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Kemal Helbawy proposed:
…the creation of establishments where people [extremists]can be treated, and where their freedoms would be curtailed. But they should be treated with respect and engaged in dialogue. I remember once Abu Qatada appeared on al-Jazeera and said that he regards Western society or civilization as a toilet. When you use that kind of characterization for a civilization that has created very successful societies and managed to invade outer space, then you are a very sick and diseased individual.
When asked who would carry out such “treatment”, Helbawy appears to suggest that it include the Muslim Brotherhood:
Discussions and dialogue with the Ulama (scholars), philosophers and Westerners as well as teaching the seerah (biography) of the Prophet and fiqh of minorities and the role played by the West in advancing human civilization.