MPAC Launches National Campaign to Fight Terrorism
Friday, May 28, 2004
(Washington D.C., June 2, 2004) On Friday, May 28, The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) held a large press conference at the Islamic Center of Southern California to announce MPAC’s National Campaign to Prevent Terrorism, a five step plan that was released last week to mosques throughout the United States. [Five-Step Plan Included Below]
At Friday’s press conference, law enforcement officials stood side by side with American Muslim community leaders to announce and support the initiative. John Miller with the Department of Homeland Security Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, Steve Gomez Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the Counterterrorism unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sandra Hutchens, Chief of Counterterrorism Bureau with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, Dr. Maher Hathout, Spokesperson for the Islamic Center of Southern California and Senior Advisor to the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Salam Al-Marayati, Executive Director of MPAC, Sarah Eltantawi, Communications Director of MPAC, Omar Zaki, Political Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, S. CA and Imam Saddiq Saafir of Masjid Ibadallah in Los Angeles spoke at the press conference.
Dr. Maher Hathout said at the press conference, “We have zero tolerance to the notion that Muslims are not doing their job. We’re not going to allow that. Things are being said about Muslims that nobody could say about any other religion in America and get away with it,” he said.
During the press conference, Community Leaders emphasized that supporting efforts to keep our communities safe must be done while fully respecting each American’s rights to their civil rights, civil liberties, and right to dissent.
The press conference was covered by Al-Jazeera, San Diego Union Tribune, San Jose Mercury, Los Angeles Daily News, NBC4, CA, The Desert Sun, Atlanta Journal Constitution, KPOM-TV, AR, Voice of America, ABS, CBN, Philippines, The Kansas City Star, The Grand Rapids Press, Las Vegas Review Journal, The Oakland Tribune, Monterey County Herald, Charlotte Observer, Associated Press Newswire, Reuters, Wichita Eagle, and The Washington Post.
MPAC’s National Campaign to Prevent Terrorism
An American Muslim Grass-Roots Effort
May 28, 2004
Dear Imam/Muslim Leader:
“...and do not spread destruction on earth after it has been so well ordered”
(Holy Qur֒an 7:85)
With this clear injunction from the Holy Qur’an, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) launches a national grass-roots campaign to recruit Mosques and other Muslim organizations to participate in a specific program to counter terrorist threats directed toward our nation.
In the spirit of religious duty and patriotism, we are asking Mosques to follow a five-step program:
1. Provide any information on terrorist suspects to law enforcement. MPAC is asking the community to be on the lookout for the recently named Al-Qaeda terrorist suspects that the Federal government announced on May 26. Any information regarding these suspects should be immediately turned over to law enforcement. More information on these suspects can be obtained on the internet at http://www.fbi.gov
2. Re-emphasize that terrorism is not a valid means of struggle in Islam. While most Muslims know that terrorism and taking of innocent life is abhorrent to our faith, we must nevertheless re-emphasize these teachings in such confusing times. We urge each Mosque/Muslim organization to begin an in-depth program that explores these tenets of our faith using specific examples from the Quran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
3. Know who’s meeting in your Mosque. Your Mosque is a place of spirituality, worship, and education. While it must service the needs of the local community, Mosque leaders should keep an eye towards who is conducting meetings in the facility. If not already in place, we are advising Mosques to institute a policy whereby meetings are authorized through the Imam, Mosque administrator, or other such appropriate person. Attendees of the Mosque should respect this policy.
4. Develop skills to detect criminal activities. MPAC encourages leaders to develop the skills to detect criminal or terrorist activity through training programs with law enforcement. Develop a program with these agencies and provide training to your constituency. Helping law enforcement should not turn into vendettas against any individual, so providing specifics to understand criminal behavior is critical.
5. Establish an inter-Mosque communication network. Many Mosques make up regional Shura councils. If your Mosque is not part of one, please consider joining or even forming one if one is not established in your area. Utilize the relationship amongst Mosques to establish strong lines of communication.
Please call MPAC at 213 383 3443 to join this campaign. May God guide us as we strive only in His cause. May God bless America.