U.S. media is reporting that Muslim Public Affairs Council Executive Director Salman Al-Marayat has addressed a human rights conference sponsored by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OECD). According to a Washington Free Beacon report, Mr. Al-Marayati was an official part of the U.S. delegation under the auspices of the State Department:
A Muslim leader who said that Israel should have been added to the”suspect list” for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was recently selected to represent the United States government at a human rights conference sponsored by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Salam Al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), was chosen by the Obama administration to deliver remarks in Warsaw, Poland—home to one of the largest Jewish ghettos during the Holocaust—during the OSCE’s Human Dimension Implementation Meetings (HDIM), a 10-day gathering meant to foster the “promotion of tolerance,” according to the group’s website. Al-Marayati was selected to participate in the confab by the U.S. delegation, which was led by Ambassador Avis Bohlen, a Georgetown University professor and former Clinton administration official, according to MPAC’s website. The selection of al-Marayati, who has drawn criticism for defending terrorist acts and blaming Israel for 9/11, raised concerns among some observers, who deemed his presence at the human rights meetings offensive. “It is inexplicable that a person who blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks and advocated for terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Hezbollah—which has killed more Americans than any terrorist group in the world except al Qaeda—was chosen to represent the United States,” said Josh Block, a former Clinton administration official who now serves as CEO of The Israel Project, a pro-Israel educational group. Al-Marayati drew widespread criticism from Jewish leaders and others when he said that the U.S. “should put the state of Israel on the suspect list,” according to the New York Times. “If we’re going to look at suspects, we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies,” al-Marayati told a radio host, according to the Times. Al-Marayati has also defined attacks by the terrorist group Hezbollah as “legitimate resistance,” according to a report by the Investigate Project on Terrorism. He was invited to participate in the conference as a “public member of the U.S. delegation,” according to MPAC.
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A post from February 2010 reported that t Mr. Al-Marayati had traveled to Europe at the invitation of the State Department to speak about religious freedom and free speech.
MPAC, headquartered in Southern California, 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. Although proclaiming a love for the Jewish people and engaging in interfaith dialog, MPAC has made frequent anti-Semitic statements that assert or imply an organized Jewish campaign to defame and exclude U.S. Muslims. MPAC has also gone beyond criticism of Israel, engaging in demonization of the Jewish state. Such demonization includes accusations of “rape of the Palestinians” in regard to the Al-Aqsa mosque, comparisons with Nazis, accusation of apartheid and genocide, accusations of “butchery”, and suggestions that Israel is seeking the eradication of Islam from its territories. 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.