Consorting With the Enemy
by Stephen Schwartz
In a normal world, U.S. and British law enforcement would aggressively investigate the "Wahhabi lobby" of radical Islamist organizations that, in the main English-speaking countries, provide pseudo-religious cover for the terrorist assault on civilization. U.S. and British investigators would not be deterred by the unfortunate fact that the "Wahhabi lobby" constitutes the "Muslim establishment" in both lands.
But we do not live in a normal world. We live in a perverse environment where U.S. and British law enforcement frequently appear more concerned about their reputation for political correctness and more afraid of accusations that they might violate someone's civil liberties, than about the death and destruction they are supposed to prevent.
Thus we see the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), one of the most hypocritical and suspect Muslim organizations in America, preening itself on having met, on August 14 in Los Angeles, with the Consul General of the United Kingdom as well as with representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the federal Department of Homeland Security, and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. The point of the meeting? Apparently, nothing more than an opportunity for Salam al-Marayati, MPAC founder, to claim credit for a decision by a Muslim individual in Britain to tip off British authorities about the alleged transatlantic airline terror conspiracy.
Al-Marayati said, "I want to acknowledge the crucial tip that came from a worried member of the British Muslim community and was the primary reason that this alleged plot was disrupted. It is that unknown hero that we want to acknowledge today as well as those Muslims in America, Europe and throughout the world who are stepping forward out of their Islamic obligation to protect their communities and their societies... These are people who are serving [sic] their patriotic duty in the United States and elsewhere."
There are two lessons to be derived from this maudlin performance.
First, al-Marayati and those like him are so desperate to show that Muslims of their stripe will participate on the right side of the battle to defend civilization that he will try to associate himself with the action of an obscure individual living thousands of miles away.
Second, the British consul general and American law enforcement, although approaching the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001, seem to have learned nothing about al-Marayati and his cohort.
While British diplomats, the FBI, DHS and assorted other agencies assigned to guard the peace may not be clear on what al-Marayati represents, five years ago al-Marayati himself was quite precise about such matters. Speaking on radio within hours of the 9/11 atrocities, according to The New York Times of October 22, 2001, al-Marayati told L.A. station KCRW, "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 because I think this diverts attention from what's happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies."
The spectacle of official British and American representatives cozying up to Salam al-Marayati should be disgusting to any loyal citizen of either country, regardless of religion, and should be especially repellent to moderate Muslims, who do not want or need al-Marayati to speak for them. The more al-Marayati and Co. are permitted to represent American Islam, the fewer opportunities moderate Muslims will have to rescue their religion from the common enemy: extremism.
It appears that neither British nor American authorities, no matter their anti-terrorist will, have changed much since 9/11; but neither has Salam al-Marayati. Since then, MPAC has conducted a consistent campaign of "profiling" against anti-terrorist figures such as Steven Emerson of The Investigative Project. I documented MPAC's hate spree against Emerson and others back in 2004.
MPAC has not changed its spots. But neither have the U.S. or British authorities changed their method of dealing publicly with those who promote defiance, exaggerated grievances, claims of victimization, and general political confrontation by Muslims in the English-speaking nations. It is past time for democratic governments to cease appeasing these domestic agitators for radical Islam; to dispense with political correctness, and to bring all such extremist activities, and those of their backers, wherever they may be, to an end.
It is also past time for Salam al-Marayati and his ilk to realize that honeyed words and photo-ops with cops will not eradicate from the public record the memory of their past incitement – exemplified by the infamous statement quoted above. MPAC and groups like it have no role to play in the struggle for democracy unless they turn over all the information they possess to law enforcement, warn American and British Muslims in no uncertain terms against radical rhetoric, and then shut down their operations. They have no hope of saving their reputations, at least in the short run of events. They should get out of the way and let those intent on protecting democracy and rescuing Islam – and who have nothing to hide, explain away, or apologize for – carry on the struggle. They should go home, read their Qur'an, and ponder how their addiction to ideology and publicity, and their ambitions and dishonesty, have harmed their community. They have succeeded for too long in imposing silence on the majority of American Muslims. Better that MPAC and the rest now be silent, than that they continue their charade of moderation, enabled by naïve Western public officials.