The New York Times is reporting on an “unofficial partnership” between the Los Angeles Police Chief and Salam al-Marayati, the head of the US-based Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). The report begins:
MARCH 6, 2015 On a damp and dreary Saturday two months ago, several hundred mourners gathered outside City Hall here for a memorial service honoring Dr. Maher Hathout. Born in Egypt and trained as a cardiologist, Dr. Hathout, 79, had devoted decades to espousing a moderate version of Islam and reaching across denominational lines to other faiths.
So there was nothing surprising about the presence of rabbis and priests, Sikhs and Episcopalians at the service. The unexpected moment came when a man in a different sort of vestment, the dark blue uniform of the Los Angeles Police Department, knelt before Dr. Hathout’s widow and presented her with the carefully folded triangle of an American flag.
For the man in the uniform, Deputy Chief Michael Downing, that moment distilled the uncommon role he has within the department. While his full title aptly describes his investigative mission — commanding officer of the counterterrorism and special operations bureau — it omits what has become the signature element of his 33-year career. In a city with a history of traumatic, adversarial relations between the police force and various minority groups, Muslims among them, Chief Downing has forged bonds that are both durable and contentious.
‘He has delivered,’ said Salam al-Marayati, 54, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a national advocacy group founded in Los Angeles. ‘He’s been outspoken against Islamophobia, and he’s stood up to criticism for listening to us.’
For his part, Chief Downing, 55, said, ‘We’ve learned the hard lessons that you can’t declare war on your own citizens, on the people we serve, or on their ideas.’
The unofficial partnership between Mr. Marayati and Chief Downing has included joint appearances last month at the White House’s conference on ‘Countering Violent Extremism.’ Late last year, the Muslim Political Affairs Council bestowed its annual award f”
Read the rest here.
Despite the article’s claim that the late Dr. Mather Hathout had devoted his life to moderation and interfaith outreach, we have long reported that MPAC and its leaders Dr. Hathout and Salam al-Marayati have a history of anti-Semitic statements that assert or imply an organized Jewish effort to defame and exclude US Muslims from US political life and have 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.” On the day of September 11, 2001 Al-Marayati suggested on a talk radio show on September 11, 2001 that Israel might have been behind the 911 attacks. More recently, only seven days after MPAC’s “Declaration Against Extremism” the GMBDW reported in December 2013 that 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 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 “Hathout” in a list of “Islamic Centers and Groups in the field.” MPAC has since developed into the political lobby arm of the US Muslim Brotherhood and has opposed almost every counterterrorism action proposed or carried out by the US government, often suggesting that the efforts were aimed at the US 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 US government including meetings with the Department of Justice and the FBI.
For our obituary of Mather Hathout, go here.