Friday, April 18, 2008

Noor Center hosts Hezbollah apologist to coincide with 25th anniversary of Beirut embassy bombing

The extremist Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has apparently found a home in Hilliard at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center. Just this past February, MPAC community development director Haris Tarin made an appearance at Noor. And just this past weekend, the chief MPAC extremist himself, Salam Al-Marayati, was the featured speaker at a youth(!) event at Noor:

NICC Youth Group Presents:
Forming a National & Religious Identity in the Age of Islamophobia
Salam Al Marayati
Executive Director of Muslim Public Affairs Council

The First Muslim Leader to testify before US House

Saturday, April 12th, 2008
11:00 am-1:00 pm

Noor Islamic Cultural Center, 1st Floor
Noor Islamic and Cultural Center

Al-Marayati made national news this week when he refused to meet with the Pope, as reported by the Associated Press (“US Muslim Group Declines to Meet Pope”). So much for “interfaith relations”. However, this isn’t the first, or even the second, time that Al-Marayati’s extremism has made news.

What is so particularly offensive about Al-Marayati’s appearance is that the visit of this openly pro-Hezbollah supporter coincides with the 25th anniversary of the US Embassy bombing in Beirut by Hezbollah, which killed 63 people, including 17 Americans.

In June 1999, Al-Marayati was selected by then-House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt to serve on a 10-member congressional commission on terrorism. But as the CNN article pictured below with Marayati shows ("US Muslim leader denies he’s a terrorist sympathizer"), this announcement was immediately followed by revelations that Al-Marayati had made numerous statements in support of terrorism and terrorist organizations. In fact, his appointment to the terrorism commission was revoked by Gephardt following these revelations. (See the Investigative Project’s profile on Al-Marayati.)

One particular statement that raised the attention of the media was found in MPAC’s 1999 counterterrorism policy paper, which asserted that the Hezbollah suicide attack on the US Marine barracks in Beirut, which killed 241 American servicemen, was not a terrorist attack, but a military operation:

And lest anyone think I’m doing something dodgy with his quote, here’s the screen capture from the MPAC policy paper:

What’s even more obnoxious is that MPAC equated the Hezbollah suicide attack with John Wayne and the movie, The Fighting Seabees. As the Investigative Project profile indicates, this is a favorite theme for Al-Marayati, who has compared the Islamic doctrine of jihad (holy war) to Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech:

“When Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death,’ that statement epitomized jihad”
For more background on Al-Marayati and MPAC, see the CAMERA analysis and the Discover the Networks profile.

And give a call to Hilliard Mayor Don Schonhardt (614 334-2365 — city switchboard) and ask him what he’s doing to address the steady stream of Islamic hate sheikhs and terror enthusiasts going through the Noor Islamic Cultural Center and Sunrise Academy.