It was, unfortunately, no surprise when the Obama Administration selected Salam Al-Marayati to represent the United States government at a human rights conference sponsored by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Salam al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), was chosen by the Obama administration to deliver remarks in Warsaw, Poland—home to one of the largest Jewish ghettos during the Holocaust—during the OSCE’s Human Dimension Implementation Meetings (HDIM), a 10-day gathering meant to foster the “promotion of tolerance,” according to the group’s website.
No surprise, because Marayati had already been dispatched by the Obama Administration in 2010 to speak on human rights on behalf of the U.S. to UNESCO in Paris and at the U.S. mission to the United Nations in Geneva.
Al-Marayati was selected to participate in the confab by the U.S. delegation, which was led by Ambassador Avis Bohlen, a Georgetown University professor and former Clinton administration official, according to MPAC’s website.
The selection of al-Marayati, who has drawn criticism for defending terrorist acts and blaming Israel for 9/11, raised concerns among some observers, who deemed his presence at the human rights meetings offensive.
“It is inexplicable that a person who blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks and advocated for terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Hezbollah—which has killed more Americans than any terrorist group in the world except al Qaeda—was chosen to represent the United States,” said Josh Block, a former Clinton administration official who now serves as CEO of The Israel Project, a pro-Israel educational group.
The argument against Marayati’s appointment to the delegation is large and, indeed, had resulted in Marayati’s appointment in 1999 to a Congressional committee on terrorism being actually rescinded, once his record of extremism up to that date had been publicized.
In 1993, Marayati called Israel’s creation a “crime” which he vowed to “work to overturn.”
In 1996, following the killing of a Palestinian terrorist, Muhammad Hamida, as he chanted ‘Alahu Akbar (‘Allah is Great’) and carried out an attack in Jerusalem that killed one Israeli civilian and injured 23 others, Marayati didn’t deplore Hamida’s act of terror – he deplored the killing of Hamida as a “provocative act” and demanded the extradition to America of those who had killed him “to be tried in a U.S. court on terrorism charges.”
In 1997, providing anticipatory defense for Islamist terrorist assaults on Americans, Marayati claimed that the Clinton Administration was in the pocket of Israel and pondered “whether the American people are aware of and ready for the consequences.”
In 1998, following the slaughter of hundreds in the al-Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in east Africa, Marayati condemned military strikes launched upon al-Qaeda by the Clinton Administration as “illegal, immoral and illogical.”
The same year, he defended the French Holocaust denier, Roger Garaudy, describing his prosecution and fining in France as “persecution of his right to express an opinion.” Marayati has also complained of “having the Holocaust shoved down [his] throat.”
In 2001, Marayati provided a crude apologia for Palestinian terrorism by claiming that Jews murdered by Palestinians were “the expected bitter result of [Israel's] reckless policy.”
Following the 9/11 attacks, he argued that Israel had carried out this slaughter of thousands of Americans: “I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list, because I think this [the 9/11 attacks] diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies.”
If all this isn’t enough, Marayati has openly supported the Lebanese Shia terrorist group, Hezbollah, and defended members of the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas, which calls in it Charter for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews, who had been found guilty of funneling money to terrorists.
Worse still, the Obama Administration has exhibited a pattern of appointing Muslim extremists and their apologists to sensitive posts:
- Rashad Hussein, now U.S. envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, who has denounced the prosecution of a Florida professor who was later found to have been illegally funding the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad;
- Dalia Mogahed, adviser in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, who has been a promoter-apologist of Islamist groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA);
- and Mohamed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, who has spoken in praise of Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamist Iranian republic, and is now believed to have leaked sensitive intelligence documents; to name only three.
That Marayati and his colleagues influence policy is undeniable. One example: in October 2011, following a threatened cut-off in cooperation between American Muslims and the FBI – cooperation Marayati has publicly opposed in any case since at least 2005 – Deputy Attorney-General James Cole announced that the Obama administration was recalling all training materials used for law enforcement and national security agencies in order to eliminate all references to Islam. Marayati also demanded the creation of an inter-agency task force to prepare new manuals.
With this record, Marayati’s latest appointment to the U.S. delegation to the OSCE human rights conference is a further act of appeasement that can only call into question the Obama Administration’s commitment to combating Islamist extremists.
Indeed, in the Administration’s refusal to even refer to Islamist extremists and its tendency to refer to terrorist acts perpetrated by Islamists as ‘man-made disasters,’ we see a systemic blindness to a clear and present danger.
The U.S. Embassy in Poland praised al-Marayati’s presence.
“The United States is proud to have Mr. Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Professor Ethel Brooks of Rutgers University, and Ms. Nida Gelazis of the Woodrow Wilson Institute serving as public members in the USG delegation to HDIM,” the embassy said in a statement. “Their expertise will be invaluable in addressing these topics at the meeting.”
One official with a Jewish organization said the embassy’s statement was tone deaf, and demanded the Obama administration explain itself to the Jewish community.
“That he was chosen to address human rights and religious tolerance, and that our embassy in Poland said in a statement that it is ‘proud’ to have him provide his ‘expertise,’ compounds the concern,” said the official, who requested anonymity. “Whoever made this decision owes the American people and the Jewish community an explanation for this error in judgment.”