Since its inception in 1986, MPAC has worked diligently to foster a vibrant Muslim American identity and to represent the interests of Muslim Americans to decision makers in government agencies, media outlets, interfaith circles and Hollywood studios.
We provide a glimpse here of our efforts to improve the society in which we live for all Americans by working to inspire an active, bright element of America's pluralism – Muslim Americans – into a life of service.
MPAC founded as the Political Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California.
MPAC receives 501(c)3 status and is renamed Muslim Public Affairs Council.
USA Today publishes MPAC op-ed entitled "Middle East Dictators Don't Speak for Islam."
MPAC issues statement regarding the Gulf Crisis, condemning the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and calling for U.S. withdrawal from the region.
Morgan Freeman presented with MPAC's Inaugeral Media Award for his role as "Azeem" (the Muslim Moor) in the film "Robin Hood."
MPAC Executive Director serves as co-director of Healing Los Angeles coalition following L.A. riots.
MPAC condemns "fatwa" against writer Salman Rushdie.
MPAC releases debut issue of "Counterterrorism Chronicle," a regular briefing providing an American Muslim perspective on national security issues.
MPAC condemns the bombing of Federal Building in Oklahoma and calls for thorough investigation.
MPAC board member Dr. Laila Al-Marayati joins the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing.
MPAC sponsors forum in Washington, DC examining the "Media Image of Muslims," featuring NBC Nightline host Ted Koppel.
Senate Minority Leader Richard Gephardt appoints Salam Al-Marayati to the National Commission on Terrorism at the request of then Congressman David Bonior. Gephardt's withdraws nomination, following intense pressure by pro-Israeli groups despite broad support from public officials and interfaith leaders (including Jewish groups). Major newspapers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, publish editorials in support of Al-Marayati.
Dr. Maher Hathout delivers invocation at the Democratic National Convention.
MPAC presents Media Award to Warner Brothers' dramatic film "Three Kings," which portrays the plight of the Iraqi people living under Saddam Hussain and with U.S. sanctions, featuring George Clooney, Ice Cube, and Mark Wahlberg.
MPAC denounces Taliban and condemns destruction of Buddhist holy sites.
MPAC honors VH1 and Yusuf Islam for their primetime documentary special "Cat Stevens: Behind the Music."
September 11, 2001
MPAC condemns horrific terror attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon.
MPAC holds first annual national convention on "The Rising Voice of Moderate Muslims" in Long Beach, CA.
MPAC condemns murder of journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan.
For first anniversary of 9/11 attacks, MPAC volunteers hand sewed the names of all the victims of 9/11 on quilt, which is flown to New York City in time for the commemoration ceremony.
Salam Al-Marayati testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the shutting down of three major Muslim charities during a hearing entitled, "An Assessment of Tools needed to Fight the Financing of Terrorism."
MPAC organizes "INS Monitors Program" with support from interfaith and civil rights groups to serve as observers, document irregularities, and provide resources to Arab males' from 22 nations required to register with the INS.
MPAC opposes U.S. invasion and war on Iraq.
MPAC organizes coalition of religious and civil rights groups to call on President Bush to withdraw his nomination of infamous Islamophobe Daniel Pipes to the U.S. Institute of Peace. National campaign results in Pipes being given a backdoor one-year appointment instead of full three-year term.
MPAC condemns Madrid terror attacks and anti-Shia attacks in Iraq.
MPAC launches National Grassroots Campaign to Fight Terrorism, an initiative endorsed by ISNA and over 600 mosques around the country.
Congressman Christopher Shays (R-CT) reads from testimony he requested from MPAC critiquing the 9/11 Commission's Recommendations on public diplomacy in the Muslim world.
MPAC releases "Counterproductive Counterterrorism: How Anti-Islamic Rhetoric is Impeding America's Homeland Security," an examination of the negative impact of Islamophobes on fighting terrorism during its 4th annual convention on "Countering Religious & Political Extremism."
MPAC condemns London terror attacks, supports U.S. fatwa against terrorism.
MPAC raises $25,000 for Hurricane Katrina survivors with disabilities.
MPAC releases groundbreaking study on attitudes of Muslim American youth, entitled "Muslim, American, or Both: A Survey of Young American Muslims Post-London Attacks."
MPAC's 5th annual convention tackles theme of "Examining Our Role in America," featuring keynote speakers Ambassador Joe Wilson and Tariq Ramadan.
MPAC holds first annual "American Muslim Policy Forum" in Chicago in cooperation with the Islamic Society of North America.
MPAC rejects Osama Bin Laden's video message calling for "global war."
MPAC forms interfaith coalition to oppose Israeli war on Lebanon, holds an interfaith vigil for the victims and an end to the violence, and organizes meetings with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) .
Senior Advisor Dr. Maher Hathout presented with John Allen Buggs Award in Human Relations by the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, following an intense public campaign of character assassination conducted by rightwing pro-Israel groups.
MPAC presents inaugural "Human Security Award" to Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
MPAC holds 6th annual convention on "Reform, Renewal and Relevance," featuring acclaimed journalists Robert Fisk (The Independent, UK) and Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!, Pacifica).
MPAC kicks off "Truth Over Fear: Countering Islamophobia" campaign, a national traveling workshop which empowers people to identify and combat Islamophobia by understanding both the emotion of fear and effective ways to engage neighbors, media professionals and public officials about its impact and danger. MPAC staff conducted more than 50 workshops around the country during 2007 and 2008.
MPAC and the Progressive Jewish Alliance launch "NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change," a year-long fellowship for young Muslim and Jewish professionals aimed at increased mutual understanding and enhanced civic engagement on local issues.
MPAC convenes historic meeting of Sunni and Shia Muslim leaders which leads to creation of "Intrafaith Code of Honor" in Southern California which was later replicated by local Muslim community coordinating councils in Detroit, MI and at the annual ISNA Convention.
MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati visits Guantanamo Bay detention facility, provides critique of mental health of detainees to Pentagon officials.
MPAC launches Hollywood Bureau to conduct proactive outreach to film and tv studios, to serve as resource in developing multi-dimensional portrayals of Islam and Muslims, and create inroads for aspiring Muslim artists.
MPAC releases special report entitled "The Impact of 9/11 on Muslim American Young People: Forming National and Religious Identity in the Age of Terrorism and Islamophobia" at a Capitol Hill forum co-sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance.
MPAC holds historic National Muslim American Youth Summit, which brings 27 college student leaders from 12 states to Washington, DC to network, enhance their commitment to civic engagement, and meet with government and Congressional leaders on issues of concern.
MPAC becomes consultant on new CW show "Aliens in America", which features a positive portrayal of a Muslim character on network television. MPAC hosts special screening of the show with the co-creators and a Muslim American audience.
MPAC releases "6 Tips for Tackling Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" which provides tools for student groups to effect confront university assault on Muslim students.
MPAC condemns Saudi ruling to punish rape victim.
MPAC's 7th annual convention features Undersecretary of State Lawrence Butler, "Aliens in America" star, author Fawaz Gerges ("Journey of the Jihadist"), Presidential candidate Mike Gravel.
MPAC releases "Activate '08 Election Guide," which features the presidential candidates' positions on five key issues of importance to Muslim American voters: national security and civil rights, healthcare, the economy, the Iraq war, immigration, and U.S.-Muslim World relations. The guide also provided campaign officials with key information on engaging Muslim voters.
MPAC staff conduct more than 20 "Rock the Muslim Vote" Townhall Forums around the country ahead of the primary elections.
MPAC presents 2nd annual Human Security Award to Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangledesh and innovator in microlending.
MPAC welcomes Bush Administration's decision to stop using "jihadist" terminology in its official communications. The news comes following more than a decade of work by MPAC to explain the power and danger of language in domestic and foreign policy.
MPAC presents 17th annual Media Awards to Producer Omar Amanat for "The Visitor," The CW sitcom "Aliens in America," Morgan Spurlock for "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?"
MPAC raises objections to mosque surveillance with Department of Justice in a series of open letters and meetings with high level officials within the department and the FBI.
Second annual National Young Leaders Summit takes place in Washington, DC bringing together 20 college and graduate students from around the country.
Second annual Southern California Young Leaders Summit held in Los Angeles, introducing 25 of the areas high school and college students to decisionmakers in local government, media, civic and entertainment arenas. Two of the delegates have op-eds published in local newspapers.
MPAC mourns passing of Imam WD Muhammad, a leader and pioneer of the American Muslim community.
MPAC collaborates with a national network of interfaith leaders to condemn and repudiate anti-Muslim hate material disguised as a paid advertisement -- a DVD called "Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West" -- insert in more than 70 million newspapers in 13 swing states one month ahead of the national election.
MPAC staff hold more than 20 Rock the Muslim Vote Townhall Forums around the country, bringing candidates and community members to talk about the issues in the upcoming election
MPAC Hollywood Bureau holds first special event, "An Evening with Howard Gordon," the executive producer of the hit Fox drama "24."
MPAC condemns Mumbai terror attacks.
Pastor Rick Warren, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard Schmierer, South Asian rock star Salman Ahmad, rock singer Melissa Etheridge, and authors Dr. Juan Cole and Reza Aslan participate in MPAC's 8th annual convention, which focused on the theme "New Era, New Role."
MPAC holds special Gaza Benefit Concert at the University of Southern California to raise money for humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, which was devastated by a 3-week assault by Israeli military forces and resulted in more than 1,500 deaths. More than $80,000 is raised. Featured artists included Michelle Shocked, MESTO Orchestra with Dr. Nabil Azzam, Mark Gonzales, Omar Offendum and the Zaytouna Dabkah Group.
MPAC New York City co-sponsors one-page ad in the New York Times of "Open Letter to President Obama" calling for him to call for an immediate end to the Israeli military assault on Gaza, and for even-handed leadership in the region.
MPAC staff and members meet with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to voice objections the mayors’ offensive statements unconditionally supporting Israel's military invasion of Gaza.
MPAC Media Awards Gala honors "The Simpsons" for an episode called "Mypods & Boomsticks," journalist Amy Goodman, and Academy Award winning "Slumdog Millionaire." We also honored playwright Wajahat Ali as the Emerging Muslim Artist.
MPAC releases policy paper on Middle East peace process called "Envisioning Peace: An American Muslim Perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."
MPAC hosts Capitol Hill briefing with independent Palestinian legislator Dr. Moustafa Barghouti, and a series of community forums in Southern California.
Third annual Muslim American Young Leaders Summit brings 15 college and graduate students to Washington, DC where they meet with White House Office of Public, State Department, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the Brookings Institute.
MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati becomes Huffington Post blogger.
Third annual Southern California Young Leaders Summit brings high school and college students to LA to meet with civic, government, interfaith and Hollywood leaders for internship and career opportunities and to learn about the decision-making process.
Salam Al-Marayati's op-ed "U.S. Jews, Muslims Must Look Forward, Not Look Back" published by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency ahead of his scheduled speaking appearance at the inaugural convention hosted by J Street.
"NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change" featured in American Public Media's "Speaking of Faith" with Krista Tippett. A joint program between MPAC and the Progressive Jewish Alliance, NewGround is a Muslim-Jewish fellowship program for young professionals in Southern California led by co-directors Aziza Hasan and Malka Fenyvesi.
MPAC releases "Abusing Women, Abusing Islam: Re-Examining Sharia Court Rulings in Contemporary Times" policy paper at State Department special briefing.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Sherin Ebadi, Iranian lawyer and human rights activist, received 3rd Annual Human Security Award in Washington, DC.
MPAC condemns Ft. Hood shooting massacre. An op-ed written by Salam Al-Marayati is quoted by witness Juan Zarate during a Congressional Homeland Security Committee meeting about the Ft. Hood attack. A second op-ed, entitled "Major Hasan and the Quran," is published in the Wall Street Journal.
Ninth annual convention features Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, Undersecretary of State for Middle East Affairs Tamara Wittes, "24" Executive Producer Howard Gordon, acclaimed actress and performer Debbie Allen, and Congressman Andre Carson. Congressional streamed live online for the first time.
MPAC Government Liaison Alejandro Beutel's op-ed "Muslim Americans and Law Enforcement" is published in the Christian Science Monitor.
Government Liaison Alejandro Beutel testifies before Maryand state legislature in support of Workplace Religious Freedom Act.
MPAC condemns Yemeni-American imam Anwar Awlaki's deadly message to American Muslims for the second time.
MPAC-DC holds Capitol Hill forum on "U.S.-Iran Relations Post-Elections: Confrontation or Engagement?"
MPAC-LA serves as U.S. Census community partner, launches "Count Me In" community outreach campaign and PSA (public service announcement) reaches out to hard to count communities in Los Angeles.
MPAC and J Street co-sponsor Capitol Hill discussion "From Washington to Jerusalem: How Can Jewish & Muslim Americans Bring Peace to the Middle East?"
19th annual MPAC Media Award honors Dave Eggers for "Zeitoun," Cherien Dabis for "Amreeka," ABC Television for a "Grey's Anatomy' episode called Give Peace a Chance, and the Bollywood film "My Name is Khan."
MPAC launches "I Am Change" Civic Leadership program, which empowers people to tackle local affairs by organizing and communicating effectively. MPAC staff offer workshops on the political process, advocating effecitvely with public officials, and working in coalition with other local groups on issues of common concern. (Watch the promo video here.)
MPAC holds "Set the Truth Free" events with Ambassador Ed Peck in Anaheim, CA and Washington, DC to raise awareness of civilian casualties from Israel's attack on a humanitarian convoy which attempted to break the ongoing siege on Gaza.
MPAC releases video message called "Injustice Cannot Defeat Injustice," featuring nine of America's most prominent imams and scholars speaking out against violence in the name of Islam. The video was featured on CNN, NPR
During 4th annual National Young Leaders Summits, 20 college and graduate students have their first ever meeting in the White House West Wing with administration officials as well as meetings with four members of Congress, and officials from the Departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security.
MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati and Young Leaders Summit delegate Saaliha Khan attend White House iftar, where President Obama voices his support for American values of religious freedom and defends the right of organizers to build a community center in lower Manhattan.
Los Angeles Times publishes op-ed by Director of Washington, DC Office Haris Tarin called "A Muslim's Faith in America."
IN THIS SECTION
one-time or monthly donation.
Or become a member.