MPAC Challenges Steve Emerson to Release Full Recording

July 12, 2005

The Muslim Public Affairs Council today called on Steve Emerson to release, in its entirety, an alleged recording of "incendiary" anti-American statements by National Director Ahmed Younis. It also demands an immediate retraction by the New York Post for falsely claiming that MPAC has issued "incendiary" statements in the past.

However, in a face-to-face meeting with Emerson in the Washington, DC studio of the Fox News Channel last Thursday, Younis told Emerson, "You know that I'm not a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer." Emerson responded, "Of course not, that's not what we're saying." In fact, Emerson was eager to further pursue the discussion and offered Younis his business card along with his cell phone number.

SEE: "2-Faced Friends of FBI: Muslim-Project Furor" (New York Post, 7/4/05)

New York Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan last week refused to allow MPAC officials to hear the recording reportedly supplied by Emerson, who has a long record of launching smear campaigns. Any release of the recording of the speech, whether by The Post or Mr. Emerson, should be in its entirety. Anything less than that would cause one to suspect that The Post is simply interested in providing a soapbox from which Mr. Emerson can comfortably wage his rabid campaign to discredit any American Muslim organization that is authentic, legitimate and effective.

SEE: "Counterproductive Counterterrorism: How Anti-Muslim Rhetoric is Impeding America's Homeland Security" (MPAC, published in December 2004)

In a letter to The Post, MPAC demands a retraction for reporter Niles Lathem's statement that MPAC has "issued incendiary statements against the United States." MPAC has never supported any organizations that support or utilize violence - i.e. terrorism, suicide bombings, beheadings, etc. To do so would be antithetical to the values of sanctity of human life, justice, mercy, and equality for all that make up MPAC's vision statement. In fact, MPAC officials have frequently been on record unequivocally condemning all varieties of violence committed in the name of religion.

But Steve Emerson knows that. Over the course of Emerson's decade-long witch hunt for what he calls "the terrorists among us," he has made countless wild accusations which have repeatedly proven to be baseless. In fact, it was Emerson who accused Middle Easterners of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Criticism of his "investigations" has come from highly respected sources, including the New York Times, which said that his 1991 book Terrorist: The Inside Story of the Highest-Ranking Iraqi Terrorist Ever to Defect to the West was "marred by factual errors... and by a pervasive anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian bias." Even his highly-publicized 1994 PBS documentary, Jihad in America, was faulted for bigotry and misrepresentation -- veteran reporter Robert Friedman accused Emerson of "creating mass hysteria against American Arabs."

As MPAC has asserted throughout its existence, American Muslims are a critical component of the American public discourse and should be included in policy-shaping discussions. MPAC is affecting American counterterrorism policy by way of its extensive experience and 16-year track record of furthering democratic, pluralistic principles.

Emerson's underhanded attempt to divide Americans in order to advance his biased political agenda does not serve any national security interest. In fact, the American Muslim community is an asset to law enforcement in their shared goal to root out terrorism and extremism. For the U.S. to embark upon successful policy-making in a post-9/11 era, we must ensure that those who are relied upon for knowledge have the requisite expertise, experience, and nuanced outlook. Steve Emerson, and those who engage in terrorism profiteering, fail this litmus test and have caused our vision for effective counterterrorism policy to be blurred.



View All


Help us continue our work with a quick
one-time or monthly donation.