The annual convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), which will be held in Long Beach, California tomorrow, features a somewhat eclectic group of speakers. Representatives of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the ACLU are scheduled to address the group, as is former U. S. Ambassador Joe Wilson.
Wilson, the bane of the Bush Administration’s existence, has alleged that the White House intelligence on Iraq was flawed. The ambassador’s analysis conflicts with every known intelligence estimate and he himself can hardly claim impartiality—having served as foreign policy advisor to ill-fated presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
Joining by satellite, Tariq Ramadan will also speak to the MPAC conference. Hired by Notre Dame, Ramadan could not take the job when the U. S. State Department pulled his visa over terrorism concerns.
Ramadan’s grandfather founded the International Muslim Brotherhood. The Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood is Hamas.
Additionally, Ramadan has called the September 11, 2001 attacks upon the United States “interventions.” He made these comments in French to press outlets based in France.
But an official from the U. S. State Department is also scheduled to address the convention—Alina Romanowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. At press time, U. S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, a conservative stalwart, was also scheduled to speak at the meeting.
Part of Long Beach, the convention site, runs through Rohrabacher’s district and the congressman serves on the House International Relations Committee. Nonetheless, Rohrbacher’s staffer hastened to inform me, the congressman was not attending the conference as a representative of the committee.
Moreover, if the House has not wrapped up its business by Saturday, Rep. Rohrbacher may not make the MPAC convention at all.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.