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Congressman Brad Sherman

Representing the 30th District of CALIFORNIA

Muslim Public Affairs Council Tries to Halt Congressman Sherman’s Hearings

  

Jul 30, 2008
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Sherman Oaks, CA – On Tuesday, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) demonstrated in front of the Office of Congressman Brad Sherman, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism and Nonproliferation. The demonstrators demanded the cancellation of a subcommittee hearing on whether American foreign aid is going to organizations affiliated with terrorists.

 
“This hearing will go on. We need to make sure that the State Department is not giving U.S. tax dollars to those on the other side in the war on terrorism,” said Sherman. “I know there are many in our community so desperate for peace that they want us to sweep under the rug the pro-terrorism positions of some groups. There are groups in the Islamic world truly dedicated to peace, but we should not blind ourselves to the fact that some are not.”
 
The day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, MPAC executive Salam Al-Marayati created a furor when he stated on a Los Angeles radio program, “If we are going to look at suspects, we should look at groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list…”[1]
 
Two brothers have played a critical role in leading MPAC.  Maher Hathout is a senior adviser and one of the founders of MPAC, while his brother Hassan Hathout served as MPAC’s president.
 
In the “about the authors” section of his book, Hassan Hathout is described as “a close disciple of the late Hassan Al-Banna of Egypt,”[2] the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.  
 
Maher Hathout has praised Hassan Al-Turabi as a reformist working for peace and justice for all.[3] Hassan Al-Turabi was head of the Sudan National Islamic Front (NIF) which the U.S.
 
 
 
government condemned for supporting terrorism, and for launching a genocidal war in southern Sudan. Al-Turabi has been described as the “power behind the throne” in Sudan during the 1990s, as leader of the NIF and as Speaker of the National Assembly.[4]   Turabi gave Osama Bin Laden sanctuary in Sudan.[5]
 
Maher Hathout has also asserted that “Hezbollah is fighting for freedom” and that the organization is “very American”.[6] In fact, Hezbollah is listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization.
 
“The Muslim Public Affairs Council should apologize for the statements of its executive director on September 11, 2001, and should disown and sever all connection with the Hathout brothers,” said Sherman.
 
[1] Larry Stammer, “After the Attack: Jewish-Muslim Dialogue Newly Tested,” The Los Angeles Times, September 22, 2001.
[2] Hassan Hathout, Maher Hathout, and Fathi Osman, In Fraternity: A Message to Muslims in America, The Minaret Publishing House, 1989.
[3] The Minaret, July-August 1997, p.20. 
[4] Human Rights Watch Bio of Turabi online at https://www.hrw.org/press/2002/03/turabi-bio.htm. 
[5] Human Rights Watch Bio of Turabi online at https://www.hrw.org/press/2002/03/turabi-bio.htm.
[6] Maher Hathout, Debate on Terrorism, L.A. radio station, November 13, 1998, posted on the Voice of Islam website.