The Muslim Pubilc Affairs Council (MPAC) is reporting on its participation in various U.S. government iftar events. According to one MPAC report, the organization jointly hosted its first joint iftar with the Islamic Society of North America that was attended by various government agencies and interfaith organizations. According to the report:
More than 70 guests from various governmental agencies and interfaith organizations attended the first joint iftar hosted by MPAC and the Islamic Society of North America in Washington, DC. The special guests in attendance came from the the White House, State Department, Department of Defense, The Pentagon and Islamic Relief, just to name a few. The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Scout Pack 1576 opened the program with a flag ceremony and the pledge of allegiance, with Imam Mohamed Magid giving the opening remarks, followed by ISNA’s Dr. Sayyid Syeed and Paul Monteiro, Associate Director at the White House Office of Public Engagement. MPAC’s Executive Director, Salam Al-Marayati closed the program by saying, “Ramadan is a time of preparation to work for social justice. Otherwise itís an exercise in futility, hunger, and thirst. It’s a month to immerse ourselves in the Qurían, and one of the principles is that diversity is the will of God.” He also cited a Quranic verse with supports the idea of diversity:…..
Another MPAC report indicates that the organization also attended about a dozen iftar dinner events sponsored by various government agencies including the State Department, the British Embassy, the Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. military. The report described the Statement department event as follows:
Farah Pandith, head of the newly established Office of the U.S. Representative to the Muslim Communities, opened the State Department’s annual iftar on Monday evening by celebrating America’s religious diversity and the contributions of Muslims to American culture. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reminded the audience that she was the first U.S. official to host an iftar as First Lady in 1996, since Thomas Jefferson hosted the Tunisian ambassador 200 years ago. (The First Lady’s iftar more than a decade ago was organized in coordination with MPAC & the Muslim Women’s League.) Over 230 people attended the State Department iftar, including MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati, Dr. Sherman Jackson (Univ. of Michigan), Imam Mohamed Magid (Vice President of ISNA), Maha Elgenaidi & Soumaya Khalifa (Islamic Networks Groups), and the music group Native Deen. MPAC member Nasreen Haroon, an artist whose paintings have been displayed in U.S. Embassies around the world, also attended.
The MPAC report also said that one of the military events was a Pentagon iftar attended by a variety of U.S. military, government, civil society and foreign defense attache personnel. The event was capped by two keynote speeches from Dalia Mogahed (Gallup Center for Muslim Studies) and James Zogby (Arab American Institute). The National Security Agency reportedly held its own intimate Iftar gathering a week later.
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 while at the same time enjoying a favored position with the U.S. government.
A report by the Hudson Institute has identified ISNA as a major part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. ISNA has a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism and during the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator. Although recently ISNA has issued condemnations of terrorism which for the first time identify Hamas and Hezbollah by name, there is no indication that the organization has ever addressed or acknowledged its history.
Dalia Mogahed is a protege of John Esposito, perhaps the best known academic supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and with strong ties to Saudi Arabia. Ms. Mogahed, who was born in Egypt and lived in the U.S. since the age of 5, is the executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and the co-author of a book with Dr. Esposito suggesting that majority of the world’s Muslims support some form of democracy. Dr. Esposito is also a member of the Gallup Center along with Ahmed Younis, previously a National Director for MPAC. In 2003, Ms. Mogahed was identified in 2003 as the Outreach Coordinator for the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (ICP) whose co-founder recently lost a DOE security clearance and whose Imam will probably be deported on immigration violations. Ms. Mogahed is the daughter of Elsayed Mogahed, an Egyptian immigrant who is a former engineering scientist at the University of Wisconsin and director of the Islamic Center of Madison (ICM). The website of the ICM links mainly to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations and Souheil Ghannouchi, the President of the Muslim American Society (MAS), was ICM Imam and President for several years. The MAS is part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closest to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.