Press Release: MPAC, Partners Hold Press Conference on Assault on Al-Aqsa Mosque

MPAC
3 min readApr 8, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CA — Today, MPAC hosted a press conference on the troubling events occurring at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Alongside partners from the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, the INKERIJ Foundation, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), we called on our government to stand up for our ideals and lead with action on international human rights by holding the Israeli government accountable for its treatment of Palestinians. What has happened to the Palestinian people is another installment in an ongoing pattern of behavior that is an unacceptable violation of human rights, U.S. maritime/international law, and religious freedom.

Video: Press Conference on Recent Assault on Worshipers in Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli Police

During the conference, leaders from each organization further emphasized the need for the international community to address and condemn the actions of the Israeli government. A unanimous call for accountability and justice — each speaker spoke on the brutal, disrespectful acts of violence taking place against Palestinians for practicing their faith openly and proudly and the unwillingness of the U.S. to condemn these attacks.

“We cannot have double standards when it comes to human rights violations. We cannot turn our faces or shut our eyes when we see human rights, religious freedoms are being attacked in Palestine. Humans in Palestine, in Al-Aqsa mosque, in these blessed days of Ramadan have been attacked, provoked, beaten, and had their faces down on the floor, all while we’re hearing and listening to their mothers, wives, and daughters screaming and crying. We cannot have double standards when it comes to human rights violations.”

“In this place, sanctuaries, mosques, temples, churches, synagogues — they are the places where people should feel safe and secure. Not a place where they get beaten, attacked and humiliated…

Dr. Ahmed Soboh
Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Board Chair

“When your strongest ally is beating up worshipers — in the most holy of days for Muslims — in the holy mosque of Al-Aqsa, that’s a problem. And the United States government is not confronting that problem. Then they ask why they hate [the U.S.] — because you’re hating them, because you’re beating up their people in the mosque, because you’re abusing them. You’re bombing them. That is why we have anti-American sentiment and it starts with U.S. allies.”

Salam Al-Marayati
Muslim Public Affairs Council, President

The consensus — religious freedom is a right for all and this issue should be the business of everyone, not just those experiencing these acts of hatred. No one person should be able to control or condemn our faith.

“This is the third year in a row that the Muslims are being attacked during the month of Ramadan. Is this the way we would like to treat the followers of Abraham, may peace and blessings be upon him? So I asked for a call to action. Every organization, Jewish, Christian, Muslim to speak out. Against oppression, if this is what your organization is about. Speak out against oppression.”

Umar Hakim-Dey
INKERIJ Foundation, Executive Director

“Decades of indifference to Palestinian struggle and human rights have emboldened Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights, and it is time for our nation and the international community to take concrete actions to oppose these violations.“

Amr Shabaik
CAIR-LA, Civil Rights Attorney

See below for more quotes from leaders:

“We preach religious freedom to the rest of the world, but the only place religious freedom is not applied is in the holiest of holy cities, Jerusalem. Religious freedom is violated in Jerusalem and the United States is silent on that issue.”

Salam Al-Marayati
President, Muslim Public Affairs Council

“As an African American in this country, I know, from reading my history, what oppression looks like. From 1619 up until now. I can see the oppression on my people. What happened — in the month of Ramadan that is happening to the Palestinians — is oppression.”

Umar Hakim-Dey
INKERIJ Foundation, Executive Director

“As humans, as Americans. We all should stand up against injustice. We all should speak up against human rights violations in every way possible.”

Dr. Ahmed Soboh
Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Board Chair

“We call on our nation’s leaders, including the Biden administration, to condemn the attacks and address US policies that enable these aggressions to go unchecked and to stop turning a blind eye to attacks on worshippers during the holy month of Ramadan.”

Amr Shabaik
CAIR-LA, Civil Right Attorney

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MPAC

The Muslim Public Affairs Council improves public understanding and policies that impact American Muslims by engaging our government, media and communities.