Here is the latest from Steve Emerson at the Counterterrorism Blog on this shameful episode:
Add one more item to the list that makes Maher Hathout’s selection for a major human relations award so mind-boggling: His spirited defense of an accused — and later convicted — cop-killer.
Hathout, president of the Islamic Center of Southern California and a senior advisor to the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), already has a lengthy record of hate speech to his credit. He has called Israel a nation of butchers and accused the United States of state terrorism; he has justified the actions of Hizbollah and defended terrorist financiers.
Despite these seeming disqualifiers, the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations announced recently that the Muslim activist would receive its prestigious John Allen Buggs Award in ceremonies next month. The award is given annually for what the commission describes as “outstanding human relations work.” I wrote about the award on “New Republic Online” on August 31 (reprinted with permission) and will discuss the issue again on the Fox News Network.
And despite his long record of vitriolic statements, he has maintained — as recently as a September 7 appearance on the Fox News Network, in which he tried to refute documentation of his extremism presented by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) — that he is a moderate who condemns both Hizbollah and Hamas. More about that record below.
But now IPT has uncovered the tape of a speech that Hathout gave at a benefit dinner held to raise defense funds for Jamil Al-Amin at his trial on charges of shooting one Georgia sheriff’s deputy to death and seriously wounding another.
No fewer than a half-dozen times in the speech Hathout referred to Al-Amin as “our brother.” He said he would always take Al-Amin’s word over that of supposedly untrustworthy police. And he veered off into generalized charges of racism against the United States, and even piggybacked on the Al-Amin case his standard charges of “apartheid racial slaughtering” of Palestinians by Israel.
Read it all.