Illuminating the Palestinian Narrative

December 22, 2023 Updated January 11, 2024 Articles

Sunday, Dec. 17, MPAC led a teach-in hosted by All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA. 

I joined in conversation with our panelists and experts in their field to provide the Islamic narrative on Jerusalem and Palestine. 

Munir Shaikh of Bayan Islamic Graduate School delivered a presentation about the early Islamic history of Jerusalem and Palestine. Taking to the podium, Fayez Hammad, Ph.D, of University of Southern California delved into the history of Ottoman Palestine and the religious coexistence that prospered under Islamic rule. Dr. Eba Hathout, MD, of Harvard Medical School and President of the Hassan Hathout Foundation delivered a moving account of her father, Dr. Hassan Hathout’s commitment to his faith principles as documented in his memoirs during the time he spent away from his studies volunteering his time providing medical care to the people of Palestine. 

Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, MD, President of Kinder USA and former member of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, reflected on her harrowing journey as part of the delegation to Jerusalem in 2001, sharing excerpts from her dissent that was included in the 2001 Annual Report to the State Department after the Commission did not reach a consensus on a statement regarding Israel and the Occupied Territories. 

Also presented was a short film with historical footage documenting the timeline of events that occurred during the 20th century that led to the realities of this current moment and a video of former US President Harry Truman discussing the creation of Israel.

“There are many who believe and fight for a better humanity. A humanity that allows people to feel the pain of others, whether or not they agree with their ideologies. A humanity that yearns to protect the lives of innocent children, women and men, regardless of the color of their flag. Once again we extend our hands and open our hearts to all who are willing to work for a just peace. To endure the uncomfortable conversations. To resist mountains of hatred. And to make a difference wherever we can.”Dr. Eba Hathout, MD

This important dialogue was a powerful testament to the resilience of the people of Palestine who have endured nearly a century of occupation and helps shed light on the vital historical facts that have been erased from our social studies textbooks and are unknown in current social, religious and political culture in the US. 

Now more than ever, it is incumbent upon us all to amplify the Islamic narrative which is vital for fostering peace, not only within the interfaith community but also among our policymakers. As we join in solidarity, we ask that you share this message globally as we come together to advocate for the cessation of violence and occupation in the region.

“Friends in faith rise while you still have a choice. On the wings of love, soar above, and sing with your hearts, not only your voice. God is Love. God is Love. God is Love.” — Dr. Hassan Hathout

In service,

Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC President

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