Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Letter From the MPAC Executive Director to the Muslim Community

(Originally Posted by Huda Shaka at Muslamics)

As some Muslamics readers commented, let's keep the focus on the LAPD project and coming up with a wise, strong, united response to the situation.

Dear Friends,

As-salaamu alaykum. Last week, the Los Angeles Times published several articles regarding the Los Angeles Policy Department's recent announcement that they will be initiating a project which will essentially "map" Muslims in the Southern California area.

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify our position to you directly:

- MPAC does not support, nor has agreed to work with the LAPD on a "mapping" program. Deputy Chief Mike Downing misrepresented MPAC's position in his comments to the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 9th which stated that MPAC "embraced the program 'in concept'." This is simply not true. We have at no point embraced, supported or otherwise signed onto this vaguely defined proposed program.

- MPAC strongly opposes, and will work against any "mapping," profiling, or singling out of Muslims or any other community that could essentially be used by the LAPD's counterterrorism division to violate our privacy, civil liberties, and human rights.

- MPAC is committed to working with decision makers directly to get better decisions made -- be they in government, Congress, the media, interfaith, or Muslim community circles. We stand in defense of the Constitution and our core values as Muslim Americans.

- I, along with other Southern California Muslim leaders, will attend a meeting with LAPD officials on Thursday, November 15 to see complete information and to critically review the proposal before making any assessments or recommendations.

Thank you to all those who have contacted us with your comments, your feedback, and your concerns. We are seriously reviewing the known aspects of this so-called "mapping" plan and will issue our full assessment publicly after Thursday's meeting.


Salam Al Marayati

Executive Director,
Muslim Public Affairs Council

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