The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has condemned the decision by the US Supreme Court to uphold the ban on ‘material support’ in the form of training, advice, and/or services to foreign terrorist organizations. According to the MPAC statement:
On Tuesday the Supreme Court ruled six to three to uphold the ban on ‘material support’ in the form of training, advice, and/or services to foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). The broad-brushed ruling continues to impede the work of human rights and humanitarian organizations aiming to promote nonviolent means of advocacy. The ruling not only dismisses the fundamental rights that protect the work of such organizations vis-a-vis granted under the U.S. Constitution, but it also erodes the institutions of diplomacy and conflict resolution that are alternate measures to military force. One of the main plaintiffs in this suit, the Humanitarian Law Project (HLP), insisted that providing educational resources and tools to push militant groups toward peaceful means of advocacy could not be deemed criminal under the U.S. Constitution. In addition, numerous members of civil society have deemed this a violation of their First Amendment rights. Stephen Vladeck, Professor of Law at American University, stated, “The decision sends a clear message that the First Amendment does not protect even the most benign forms of advocacy on behalf of groups designated as ‘foreign terrorist organizations’ by the Secretary of State.” According to Chief Justice John Roberts, providing “even seemingly benign support bolsters the terrorist activities of that (FTO) organization.” Thus, efforts to push FTOs away from violence into peaceful advocacy ultimately undermines any American administration’s goal to foster global security without the constant exertion of our military. Rather than minimizing terrorism, this ruling will only serve to escalate it further. Not only does it put up new barriers to communication and education, which can de-escalate global political tensions, it effectively shuts off pathways toward peaceful alternatives to violence. This leaves only military force as the only conceivable option left for governments and militant groups alike. As a result, more time, lives, money and resources will be spent in order to defeat violent groups. Ultimately, this harms America’s national security. Charities, communities, and Congress need to come together to offer a legislative fix. Not only does the ruling threaten fundamental constitutional rights, it only serves to undermine the safety and security of our nation.
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. A previous post reported that MPAC recently participated in a White House meeting with President Obama and cabinet officials to announce the President’s nomination to the Supreme Court.