May 1, 2013 Before a sold-out house, MPAC honored three exceptional projects — “5 Broken Cameras,” “Bones” and the Sundance Film Institute — for their Voices of Courage and Conscience at its 22nd Annual Media Awards this past Saturday. The evening was filled with celebration, standing ovations and emotional moments as each of the honorees thanked the American Muslim community for their support and shared the inspiration behind their projects.
MPAC described the awards as:
In an effort to promote positive and accurate portrayals of Islam and Muslims, MPAC each year recognizes Voices of Courage and Conscience who are the best in their field. Since 1991, MPAC has honored artists, actors, authors, and activists for their artistic contributions to mutual acceptance and diversity. MPAC’s Media Awards are a production of its Hollywood Bureau, which serves as a resource and ally to television networks, film studios, screenwriters and the creative community at large.
One of the presenters at the ceremonies was Rabbi Leonard Beerman, founding Rabbi of the Leo Beack Temple who was described as ” a man of the good word and of righteousness.” Rabbi Beerman was said to have
….relayed the long story of interfaith relationships coming together to bring legendary actor Dustin Hoffman to the night’s celebration. In the end, Hoffman had contracted a serious virus and was unable to attend, but he decided to deliver an audio message for the event.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) was established originally in 1986 as the Political Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California whose leaders had backgrounds suggesting they were associated with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. MPAC has since developed into the political lobby arm of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and has opposed almost every counterterrorism action proposed or carried out by the U.S. government, often suggesting that the efforts were aimed at the U.S. Muslim community. MPAC has also acted to support a variety of Palestinian terrorist organizations as well as facilitating a wider range of terrorism by defending or justifying violence carried out by Islamic groups. Nevertheless, MPAC has developed particularly extensive relationships with agencies of the U.S. government including meetings with the Department of Justice and the FBI.
MPAC and its leaders have made anti-Semitic statements that assert or imply an organized Jewish effort to defame and exclude U.S. Muslims from U.S. political life and has engaged in frequent and virulent demonization of Israel including describing Israeli actions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque as a “rape of the soul of the Islamic people”, asserting that the objective of Israeli actions in Gaza was “gross killings of Palestinian civilians, including women and children”, and accusing supporters of Israel of using tactics similar to Hitler’s. In December 2009, MPAC reported that “Israeli doctors had extracted human organs from dead Palestinians during the 1988 intifada and into the 1990s.” MPAC leader Salamn Al-Marayati suggested on a talk radio show on September 11, 2001 that Israel might have been behind the 911attacks. stating:
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.
At one time, MPAC was known to have a “Hollywood Bureau” described as “responsible for advancing Muslim American perspectives in the entertainment industry by serving as an information clearinghouse in Islam for the Hollywood community.” In August 1994, Al-Marayati suggested that the Hollywood portrayal of Arabs in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie True lies was comparable to the “Nazi propaganda” that made the Holocaust possible.”