The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is holding its 12th annual conference in Pasadena this year on December 15, and it is shaping up as a barn burner. This year's conference will be unique in that it is taking place in a Christian Church-the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, a church with a history of social activism.
Both MPAC and the church are advertising this as a gesture of two faiths coming together. Some are taking it as another example of gullible, well-meaning Christians allowing themselves to be used by Jihadist Muslims bent on eventually eliminating Christianity and other religions. What is the truth?
As for the MPAC, there is much reason to suspect the worst. (Hat tip Investigative Project on Terrrorism) This is an organization with connections back to the Muslim Brotherhood, It is also an organization that tried to cast doubt on any Islamic involvement in 9-11. Their leader, Salam Marayati, is one of about 200 Islamic leaders in America who received the Freedom Pledge letter from the apostate organization Former Muslims United asking them to sign a pledge that apostates in the US should not be harmed. To date, only two have signed it, and Marayati is not one of them. Nor is another prominent leader of MPAC, Maher Hathout, who also received the letter. (Hathout will be a speaker at the conference.) In addition, one of their principle spokespersons, Edina Lekovic, has a controversial past of her own when she was listed as a managing editor with the UCLA Muslim Student Association newspaper, al Talib (Hat tip Steve Emerson) in July 1999 when they published an article praising Usama bin Laden.
When the December 15 event was announced the church received numerous letters and communications criticizing them for hosting this organization, which poses as moderate, but is anything but. In response, MPAC and the church held a news conference yesterday condemning the "right-wing Christian hate groups" who would object to the conference being held in a church. They claimed to have received "hate mail" and "threats". The LA Times covered yesterday's press conference. (In the video, Hathout is seen to Marayati's right.
Not being one who has sent any communications to the church, I cannot speak as to what they have received. Thus far, I have not seen the church show the public the e-mails themselves. I don't engage in hate mail or threats myself, but I do believe that the church should have engaged in a little due diligence as to MPAC.
This week, Marayati participated in a radio debate on KPCC with Ryan Mauro, who is active in the counter Jihad movement.
Interfaith activities on the surface seem like a great thing. The problem is that all too often, when you examine the history and past statements of many of the Muslim leaders participating in these events, you find troubling relationships and troubling past statements that call into question their sincerity.
I would hope that during this conference, while the church officials and MPAC officials are lamenting the "hate" directed at them, that someone will ask about the hate directed towards Jews and if MPAC can explain its history of anti-Semitic expressions as documented in the above link from the Investigative Report on Terrorism. In addition, hopefully, another topic will come up for discussion-the never-ending persecution of non-Muslim minorities across the Islamic world-a topic MPAC prefers not to discuss.