Hijabi Hillary’s State Department is vociferously defending its decision to send Muslim Public Affairs Council boss Salam al-Marayati* to represent the United States telling the Washington Free Beacon that al-Marayati was invited to participate in the meeting “as a reflection of the wide diversity of backgrounds of the American people.”
*A founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and its current executive director, Salam al-Marayati gained national attention in 1999, when then-House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt nominated him to serve on the National Commission on Terrorism. Gephardt later withdrew the nomination after a public backlash highlighted al-Marayati’s defense of terrorist acts and the groups who carry them out. READ MORE HERE
IPT If the al-Marayati choice is any indication, that “diversity” apparently extends to anti-Israel ideologues who attack U.S. terrorism prosecutions, whitewash Hamas war crimes, and portray Iran as a victim of U.S. perfidy. And he runs an organization which opposes key elements of American counter-terror policies, including the drone strike which killed American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the closing of terror-supporting charities and sting operations against would-be homegrown terrorists.
A year ago, al-Marayati even threatened to sever ties with the U.S. government in a strongly-worded Los Angeles Times op-ed column. Expressing anger over the use of “anti-Muslim” training materials by the FBI and a U.S. Attorney’s office, al-Marayati wrote: “If this matter is not immediately addressed, it will undermine the relationship between law enforcement and the Muslim American community—another example of the ineptitude and/or apathy undermining bridges built with care over decades.”
In spite of MPAC’s hostile view of government policies, administration officials routinely turn to MPAC for policy advice, including the training materials al-Marayati ranted about in the Times. In February, MPAC officials met with FBI Director Robert Mueller to discuss training materials about Islam. That same month, MPAC officialsmet with top Pentagon leaders to receive an apology over a recent incident involving Quran burnings in Afghanistan.
Salam al-Marayati forced FBI to dump training files and urged FBI to seek more feedback in a future on developing training manuals on Islam.
In a January 2012 appearance on Russia TV’s “Cross Talk,” al-Marayati depicted Iran as the victim in the diplomatic crisis over its illicit nuclear program. “The problem in the case of Iran is that it is singled out as the threat.”
Speaking to a Dallas audience in 2005, al-Marayati attacked law enforcement’s use of informants in terrorism investigations. He blasted the government for using informants in the case against Umer and Hamid Hayat, a father and son living in Lodi, Calif. This disaster resulted in the convictions of the Hayats on charges of providing material support to al-Qaida and making false statements. Hamid Hayat was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
After federal authorities in May 2009 disrupted a plot to bomb synagogues and fire missiles at U.S. military aircraft, al-Marayati criticized the prosecution. The four men convicted in the plot were convicted and sentenced to 25-year prison terms.
In a 1999 PBS interview, he called Hizballah attacks “legitimate resistance.” Yet he issued no condemnation for a man who crashed his car into a crowded Jerusalem bus stop, shouting Allahu Akbar. One person was killed and 23 others injured in the incident. The attacker was shot dead at the scene, something al-Marayati condemned as a “provocative act” and he called for the shooter’s extradition to the United States to stand trial.
Al-Marayati has continued to attempt to minimize terrorist attacks by Muslims, decry U.S. government anti-terrorism measures, and blame anything he can on the state of Israel. For instance, on September 11, 2001, on a Los Angeles radio program al-Marayati said, “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.” Al-Marayati also suggested that Israel is controlling U.S. foreign policy.
At a March 12, 2006 fundraising dinner for Sami Al-Arian, he likened the prosecution to the detention of innocent Japanese civilians in the U.S. during World War II. Al-Marayati suggested that “we are being dictated upon, not only on terminology, but dictated upon on who speaks for us, and our organizations, our charities, are shut down one by one. Therefore, brothers and sisters, there is a storm that it is coming. That storm is going to be worse than Japanese internment.” One month later, Al-Arian pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a designated terrorist organization, in violation of U.S. law.
Al-Marayati’s record on defending terrorist groups and extremists is substantial. During a 2002 speech at the State Department, Salam al-Marayati, said, “Rashid Ghannouchi is an example of those who promote this need for dialogue between civilizations, not confrontation. “Ghannoushi was the head of Tunisia’s banned Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Al-Nahda Party and was convicted by a Tunisian court of responsibility for a bomb blast that blew the foot off a British tourist.