In responding to the arrest of five American Muslims in Pakistan, U.S.Muslim Brotherhood organizations have taken the opportunity to promote themselves as an alternative to radicalization. In its report titled “Strengthen America, Forging an Effective Counterterrorism Enterprise between Muslim Americans and Law Enforcement”, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) recommends itself and other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations as a bulwark and counter to radicalization. The report explains:
Up to this point, the discussion on community policing has focused on how law enforcement can obtain information from community members to prevent a possible terrorist attack. However, communities – in this particular case, Muslim Americans – can and must play a greater role beyond being largely passive sources of information. Muslim American communities can serve an important counterradicalization role through intellectual and social service initiatives that create a hostile environment for terrorist recruitment. While law enforcement focuses on counterterrorism (criminal activity), Muslim communities can protect the nation through counterradicalization efforts. On the ideological front, Muslim American leaders and communities have been very strong and consistent in their denunciations of terrorism since 9/11. They must continue to do so. If studies on the backgrounds of Muslim terrorists consistent show one thing, it is that they typically lack a strong background in religious knowledge. This view has not been lost on the religious leadership. Prominent traditionalist Muslim scholar Abdal Hakim Murad denounces Al-Qaeda and its ideologically like-minded ilk as those who “embrace a very secular heresy.”Thousands of other high-level Muslim scholars back this denunciation of Al-Qaeda and its abuse of Islamic concepts like jihad and takfir (excommunication). At the grassroots level specifically within the United States, the Muslim Public Affairs Council developed and disseminated its National Grassroots Campaign to Fight Terrorism. The Campaign was also endorsed by the Islamic Society North America, the largest Muslim umbrella organization in the United States.
The MPAC report further endorses itself as well as the Council on American- Islamic Relations (CAIR) another U.S Muslim Brotherhood organization that is an outgrowth of the U.S. Hamas infrastructure:
Constructive, engagement-oriented organizations – whether they are national policy advocacy organizations like MPAC or state and locally-focused political and policy advocacy groups like the Muslim Alliance of Indiana and the Texas-based Freedom and Justice Foundation – are different in that they tackle problems in their early stages or even before they form. Both approaches have their advantages and their disadvantages. Furthermore, they are not in conflict with each other; their approaches to public policy and political influence are complementary. Currently, there are several civil liberties groups such as the Council on American- Islamic Relations and Muslim Advocates, as well as ethnic-based groups such as the Asian Law Caucus and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, catering to these needs. However, there are fewer Muslim policy-oriented organizations like the Muslim Public Affairs Council. If Muslim American communities seek to maximize their public policy influence and representation at local, state and federal levels, a better balance of policy and legal advocacy is needed.
While MPAC claims to be fighting terrorism in general, its stances and efforts parallel the global Muslim Brotherhood which generally denounces groups such as Al-Qaeda while providing rhetorical, logistical, and financial aid to its own favored jihadist groups such as Hamas. In addition, the global Brotherhood plays a role in producing a climate conductive to radicalization through promoting the idea of a “war on Islam.” The MPAC report provides a further example by suggesting the existence of “a cottage industry of individuals who seek to distort the image of Islam and Muslims.”:
As the previous section broadly described, the relationship between law enforcement and Muslim communities is a two-way street. This section focuses on what law Decisions and assessments of Muslim communities must be made based on credible information. Law enforcement must make sure that whatever judgments it makes about Muslim communities must come from credible sources. There is a cottage industry of individuals who seek to distort the image of Islam and Muslims. While everyone has the right to free speech, bigotry masquerading in scholarship without solid analysis is counterproductive when applied to counterterrorism. Therefore, it is essential that law enforcement get the correct information to make the best assessments possible.
MPAC and other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations generally conflate criticism of their leaders and organizations with criticism of Islam and Muslims in general.
MPAC was established initially in 1986 as the Political Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California whose key leaders likely had their origins in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Since that time, MPAC has functioned as the political lobbying arm of the U.S. Brotherhood. MPAC has opposed virtually every count-terror initiative undertaken or proposed by the U.S. government. At times this opposition was said to be on civil-rights grounds but, just as often, MPAC claimed that U.S. counter-terror efforts were aimed at the U.S. Muslim community itself. MPAC has consistently supported and facilitated terrorism by supporting terrorist organizations and, more broadly, constructing an elaborate ideology defending the use of violence by Islamists and Islamist organizations. More than any other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organization, MPAC has developed extensive relationships with the U.S. government which have included numerous meetings with the Department of Justice and the FBI.