Over the last few weeks, The House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees held hearings on issues that MPAC’s Policy Bureau has long been recognized for its leadership. The hearings provided an opportunity to highlight our past work and offer guidance on how to navigate the important issues discussed in these hearings.
Intelligence agencies have long stated that white supremacy and domestic terrorism are the top national security threats to our nation. Sadly, the most vulnerable communities in our country, including Blacks, Muslims, Asians, Jews, and Latinos, have been specifically targeted by white supremacists because of their background. They have suffered mass murders and acts of terror across the country, including the shootings at an African American church in Charleston, the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and Walmart in El Paso, Texas, just to name a few.
In the days leading up to the recent House Judiciary Committee hearing entitled The Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, MPAC continued our longstanding engagement with key committee members, and provided a guide to help the members understand how they should approach their ongoing oversight responsibilities. In recent months, MPAC also met with senior law enforcement officials within the Biden Administration to discuss the current state of the white supremacist threat to the U.S., and around the world. Through these meetings, we have received credible information that acknowledges the U.S. as the largest global exporter of hate ideology. In other words, this is a homegrown threat that must be acknowledged and addressed with a priority that reflects this assessment.
Following the hearing, we delivered a Statement for the Official Record in which we emphasized the importance of policymakers to maintain their focus and attention on the issue at hand, which is of significant concern. This continued engagement and advocacy can play a crucial role in shaping public policy and ensuring that important matters are addressed with the urgency they demand.
Earlier this month, we also engaged the House Foreign Affairs Committee as they prepared for a hearing entitled The Dire State of International Religious Freedom. This hearing is very timely considering that Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi and Israeli President Isaac Herzog were recently invited by Congressional Leadership to address a Joint Meeting of Congress. Given the track record of human rights abuses and repeated and rampant violations of the basic tenets of religious freedom perpetuated by the Indian and Israeli governments, the U.S. response to the dire nature of these affronts appears to be selective, only applying to foreign adversaries, and not those whom we as a nation choose to associate ourselves with.
Following the hearing, we submitted a Statement for the Official Record that emphasized the selective nature of the United States’ response to violations of religious freedom, specifically highlighting the treatment of Muslims in India and the horrifying attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem during Ramadan.
Over the past few decades, MPAC has distinguished itself as a vocal advocate for protecting and advancing religious freedom, regardless of one’s faith. A major component of this advocacy has always been ensuring this foundational principle is reflected in our foreign policy, specifically scrutinizing the United States’ relationship with the countries it chooses to celebrate.
As we continue our work on these issues, MPAC is committed to promoting religious freedom, human rights, justice, and equality for all and protecting our communities against the threat of white supremacy. We call on policymakers and society as a whole to work in unison, recognizing the shared responsibility in promoting safety and security for all Americans.By working together, confronting hatred in all its forms, and supporting vulnerable communities, we hope to protect our communities and build a more fair and inclusive society.
MPAC will continue to engage with the Biden Administration and Congressional leaders on these issues and ensure your voices are heard on Capitol Hill.