The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has announced that the director of its Washington office met in an “intimate” meeting with President Obama to discuss issues pertaining to his upcoming trip to the Middle East, including Israel. According to the MPAC announcement:
March 11, 2013, MPAC along with other Muslim and Arab American leaders met with President Barack Obama to discuss issues that will pertain to his upcoming trip to the Middle East. Haris Tarin, the Director of MPAC’s Washington, DC, office, attended the intimate meeting with the President, as he prepares his agenda for this visit to Palestine, Jordan and Israel. The group discussed with the President and his senior advisers how his trip can be a catalyst for restarting the dialogue that will lead to the implementation of a comprehensive peace plan in the coming months. Ideas were also presented on how to engage the Palestinian people, especially the burgeoning youth population. Tarin and others shared with the President some of the important work being done by the Palestinian people in achieving their aspirations for an independent and viable Palestinian state. The group also made recommendations on key messages and policy issues that must be considered by the Americans, Israelis, Palestinians and other people in the region to ensure a just and sustainable peace process. =‘This meeting is an important first step by the President and his administration in ensuring that reliable voices of Palestinians and other concerned group and people in the region are heard,’ Tarin said. We are heartened that the President is beginning his second term with a trip to the region, and we hope that we can build a constituency for peace-making here in the United States and ensure that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a zero-sum issue in our domestic discourse.”
Other media reports indicate that Presidential meeting also included representatives of the Arab American Institute, the American Task Force on Palestine, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the American Federation of Ramallah Palestine.
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.
A post from November 2012 reported that MPAC had joined the rest of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood in blaming Israel for the current Gaza conflict by referring only to Israeli military action and not mentioning the campaign of rocket fire emanating from Gaza. According to the MPAC statement, Israel’s true aim was the “assassination of Palestinian leaders, destruction of Gazan infrastructure and the gross killings of Palestinian civilians, including women and children”: