Muslim Public Affairs Council

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Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
Motto "Making Muslims Part of the Solution Since 1988"
Formation 1986
Purpose Policy advocacy agency
Headquarters Los Angeles
Washington, D.C.
Region served United States
President Salam Al-Marayati[1]
Key people Hedab Tarifi (Chair, Board of Directors)
Dr. Maher Hathout (Senior Advisor)
Main organ Board of Directors
Affiliations Muslim Public Affairs Council
Website http://www.mpac.org/
Formerly called Political Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is a national American Muslim advocacy and public policy organization headquartered in Los Angeles and with offices in Washington D.C. MPAC was founded in 1986.

MPAC has participated in a number of coalitions and networks, worked with Japanese-American organizations and has retained the support of Russell Simmons for several years.[2]

History[edit]

MPAC was founded in 1986 as the "Political Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California". It was later renamed in 1988 to the "Muslim Public Affairs Council."[3]

In its history, it has condemned the death fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the attacks on the World Trade Center, and denounced the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.[3]

Mahdi Bray formerly was political director of MPAC.[4][5]

Envisioning Peace: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict[edit]

Calling it the "most complicated and intractable (issue) of our time" MPAC recommends a peaceful solution which will lead to coexistence and mutual respect. "The Muslim Public Affairs Council believes that this dialogue will lead to a strategy to end this conflict that has taken too many lives and has destabilized an entire region of global significance." Their position paper states:.[6]

  1. " At MPAC’s core is an Islamic sensibility that human beings should conduct their lives in accordance with a higher ethical and moral wisdom, tested through the ages and designed to afford maximum dignity and justice to human life. It is these ideals shared by our friends in the interfaith community, that we appeal to as we continue to travel the extremely difficult road of peace between Israelis and Palestinians."
  2. "In addition to offering our position as stated above as clearly as possible with the hopes of facilitating fruitful and honest dialogue and strategizing, we conclude by offering principles for the pro-Israel camp to engage with us in the future in a manner that we believe will yield better results enabling us to have a positive influence on the peace process."

Actions against terrorism[edit]

MPAC started "The National Grassroots Campaign to Fight Terrorism" by providing guidelines to American Muslim community leaders to ensure that Mosques are not used by potential terrorists and to monitor activities inside Mosques. This program is instituted in cooperation with Mosques across this great country to regulate what kind of groups may assemble in a Mosque and inform the United States Department of Homeland Security if any suspicious activity takes place.[7]

Large publications have taken a note of MPAC's activities to prevent terrorism on American soil. The Wall Street Journal praised American Muslims for being "part of the solution".[8] The Philadelphia Inquirer said to "credit Muslims who speak out" against terrorism.[8]

Response to the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot[edit]

On August 10, 2006 the London Metropolitan Police announced that it had arrested key suspects in a terrorist plot to detonate bombs on a number of flights from the UK to cities in the U.S. and that the plot had been disrupted[9] as it was "getting close to the execution phase",[10] with a dry run planned within two days of the arrests according to U.S. intelligence officials.[11] High security measures were put in place at all UK airports, including a banning of all non-essential hand luggage. Security was also increased at many airports around the world, with a large number of flights into the UK being cancelled.

A few hours later U.S. President George W. Bush said the plot was "a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation."

Both the MPAC and the Council on American Islamic Relations criticized the use of the term 'Islamic fascism.' Edina Lekovic, spokeswoman for the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, said, "The problem with the phrase is it attaches the religion of Islam to tyranny and fascism, rather than isolating the threat to a specific group of individuals."[12]

Senior National Staff[edit]

  • Salam Al-Marayati - President
  • Edina Lekovic - Director of Policy & Programs
  • Haris Tarin - Director, Washington D.C. Office
  • Suhad Obeidi - Director of Operations

Coordination[edit]

MPC is also a member of the American Muslim Political Coordination Council (AMPCC), along with the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), American Muslim Council (AMC), and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). AMPCC's primary concern is to coordinate the member organizations on activism and lobbying.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]