Friday, April 1, 2016
MPAC Chief's Bolshoi
I am posting a report filed by a friend and associate, Louis Palme, who attended last night's conference put on by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and its chief, Salam Al Marayati. This took place at the Pacifica Institute in Los Angeles. Just days ago, he appeared at a panel in Los Angeles with Hillary Clinton. Enough said about that. In this piece. Marayati's absurd claims are effectively rebutted.
Conference Report: From San Bernardino to Brussels – Not a Sign of Islamic Terrorism
Slippery Salam Baffles the Audience with Well-honed Taqiyah
On March 31, the Muslim Public Affairs Council put together a hasty conference to dispel any suggestion that Islam was involved in the deadly terror attacks in San Bernardino and Brussels. The Belgian Consul General, Rudi Veestraeten, arrived with no prepared remarks, but invited Americans to visit Brussels. LAPD’s Deputy Chief Michael Downing was a no-show, replaced by Commander Horace Frank. The principal speaker at the event was Salam Al-Marayati, the President of MPAC, who ultimately turned hostile to the rather skeptical audience. He chided one questioner that our community should not be divided on religious lines – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim – but rather on the basis of the intelligent verses the stupid.
What was most interesting about the conference were the positions the MPAC President had on numerous issues related to Islamic terrorism.
1. Extremists have hijacked the religion with their extreme interpretation of Islam, and it is up to moderate Muslims to defend the faith. Jihad really means “striving” to be better people.
What Al-Marayati failed to mention is that of the 59 instances of “jihad” (majahidu = strive or struggle) in the Quran only 16 of them have no object – implying internal striving. Compare Surah 9:73 (“O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.”) with Surah 84:6 (O man! Surely you must strive (to attain) your Lord, a hard striving until you meet Him.”)
2. Sharia just means “the way.”
Actually Sharia Law is a complete, totalitarian system of obligations covering everything from birth to death with defined sanctions and punishments including beatings, amputations, and stonings. The manual of Sharia Law endorsed by the U.S.-based International Institute of Islamic Thought, Reliance of the Traveler, is over 1,200 pages long. Sharia Law is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution.
3. There is no compulsion in religion (quoting Surah 2:256)
That early passage in the Quran was abrogated by Surah 3:83 which says, “Are they seeking a religion other than Allah’s, when every soul in the heavens and the earth has submitted to Him, willingly or by compulsion?”
4. Regarding the passage in the Quran, Surah 5:51, “Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends,” Al-Marayati insisted that the translation forbids being “allies” with non-Muslims.
There is a website, Islam Awakened, which lists over 50 English translations of the Quran. Of those translations of Surah 5:51, 28 forbid making “friends” and 25 forbid making “allies” or “patrons.” The authoritative commentary on the Quran, the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, states, “Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them.”
5. Al-Marayati cited Peter Bergen’s book, The United States of Jihad, as saying that Americans have more to fear from non-Muslim violent extremism than from Muslim terrorism.
What Bergen wrote is, “As we have seen, by the end of 2015, forty-five people had been killed in jihadist terror attacks in the United States, while right-wing racists and antigovernment militants had killed forty-eight.” (page 270) Note that his sample of data excluded the 9/11/01 Islamic terror attacks on New York and Washington which killed 2,977. This selective sampling of terror attacks distorts the true picture of Islamic terrorism in the U.S.
6. Al-Marayati chided the audience, “Don’t try to teach me about my religion (Islam), because I don’t teach you about your religion.” He wants to exclude all conversation about Islamic ideology from the discussion of terrorism.
The problem with that approach is that it blinds us to the true motivations behind the terror attacks. Reliance of the Traveler defines the objective of jihad as “makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians . . . until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax.” (Section o9.8) The San Bernardino terrorists, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, were deeply religious and so committed to jihad in the way of Allah (al-jihad fi sabil Allah) that they would abandon their infant child and declare their fidelity to the Islamic State. Brussels Islamic suicide bombers included two brothers, Ibrahim El-Bakraoui and Khalid El Bakraoui, who were devout Muslims to the end. There can be no other explanation for their actions than a conviction they were emulating their prophet Muhammad who said, “I have been made victorious with terror.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 52, Number 220)
7. When someone in the audience accused Al-Marayati of engaging in Taqiyah, he was offended and he asserted once again that non-Muslims are out-of-line when they try to use Islamic terms with Muslims.
As Stephen Coughlin said in his landmark book, Catastrophic Failure – Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad – “You can’t defend what you do not understand against an enemy you refuse to comprehend. . . . For the national security and law enforcement communities, the priority in the War on Terror has been to subordinate U.S. national security interests to the requirement not to offend Islam – that is, not to be ‘inflammatory.’. . . . Because language is the key terrain in information warfare, understanding the enemy and using accurate descriptors is essential to exposing and countering the enemy’s strategy of ‘civilization-jihad’ ‘by our hand.’”
Al-Marayati, who works tirelessly week after week to obscure the Islamic roots of terrorism, is a master of deceit, and few lay people can trip him up. However, continuing to challenge and probe at his Taqiyah will equip us to ultimately win this information battle with the apologists for Islam.
The Pacifica Institute is a controversial organization that is run by Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish imam who lives in Pennsylvania and is wanted in his native Turkey due to his opposition to the Erdogan government. They also run a network of charter schools which have drawn some community opposition.
As for the invitation to visit Belgium by the Belgian consul general, I will pass. The place has been taken over by radical Islamists, and there is no point in subjecting myself to unneeded risk. Besides, I don't care for 15% beer. I suspect the terrorist probably use it as an ingredient in making their bombs.
As for LAPD's Michael Downing, the chief of the anti-terror squad, he is nothing more than an apologist for Marayati and his ilk. This is the same guy who I saw speak at a forum on the subject of sharia law at the Islamic Center of Orange County in which he (along with others) informed us that sharia was no threat to the US. Sure. Death for leaving a religion, adultery, homosexuality, and blasphemy are all right in line with our laws not to mention the parts defining women's rights vis-avis men. After the event outside, I informed Downing that in 1992, his host, the head imam at the mosque (Muzammil Siddiqi), had hosted the Blind Sheikh, convicted terrorist Omar Abdel Rahman and translated his sermon on jihad into English. Downing's reaction? Quote: "Well, you know Gary, some people change over time."
As for Marayati himself, I have heard him speak several times myself. In December 2012, I talked to him personally at MPAC's annual convention held at the All Saints Episcopalian Church in Pasadena (Yes!) I asked him why he had not signed the Freedom Pledge letter sent to him by Former Muslims United asking recipients to sign a simple statement that American apostates from Islam should not be harmed. He told me there was no need since no such death penalty existed in Islam for apostates.
Which, of course, is a bunch of bolshoi. I wouldn't believe this guy if he told me my eyes were blue.
So there it is: The latest exercise in damage control after yet another massacre carried out in the name of Islam. "Don't blame Muslims. Don't blame Islam."
I won't blame all Muslims, but I sure won't blame Buddhism.