Local media is reporting that the US-based Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has announced a plan which it says is aimed at helping U.S. mosques identify and reeducate radicals. According to an LA Times report:
April 14, 2014 Seeking a way to prevent violence like last year’s deadly Boston Marathon bombing, an Islamic advocacy group Monday announced a plan aimed at helping U.S. mosques identify and reeducate radicals.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council — which long has pushed for a moderate, American-based Islam — hopes its ‘Safe Spaces Initiative’ will get mosques to stop a pattern of dealing with extremists by simply shunning them and kicking them out.
The plan was unveiled a day before Tuesday’s one-year anniversary of the marathon bombing, allegedly orchestrated by ethnically Chechen Muslim brothers who lived in the Boston area. One of them, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had turned toward extremism and was banished from a Boston-area mosque after challenging its moderate teachings.
‘The message there was that ejection is not the answer,’ said Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Los Angeles-based council.
But, Al-Marayati noted, it is not an uncommon reaction: Many American mosques traditionally have dealt with radicals by kicking them out or finding ways to isolate or distance them from the larger group.
‘Ejection from the community does not solve the problem. It just makes the problem worse,’ Al-Marayati said.
Read the rest here.
The GMBDW reported in January that MPAC had issued a “Declaration Against Extremism.” Although the MPAC Declaration called for, among other things, “respecting all cultures”, 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.
As we noted at that time, just seven days after MPAC’s “Declaration Against Extremism” MPAC was promoting a story accusing Israel of opening a dam during a freak winter storm, causing massive flooding in the Gaza Strip. As the IP report noted, the dam in question does not appear to exist.
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. A 1989 US Muslim Brotherhood document introduced as evidence in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial refers to the last name of one of the MPAC leaders, Mather Hathout, in a list of “Islamic Centers and Groups in the field.” 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.