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National Religious Leaders Call on Southern Poverty Law Center

                               WASHINGTON, DC (August 14, 2012) –  National religious and civil rights leaders today issued a letter calling on the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to withdraw from a widely publicized teleconference sponsored by the extremist Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).  MPAC leaders  have made aggressively anti-semitic statements, supported Hamas and Hezbollah, repudiated moderate Muslims, and hosted a speaker with Neo-Nazi connections to speak at their events. 
 
The MPAC teleconference is scheduled for Wednesday, August 15th at 5:30 p.m. PST (8:30 p.m. EST).  Concerned citizens are encouraged to contact the Southern Poverty Law Center at (334) 956-8200 or email and politely ask the SPLC, a self-described “civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry,” not to participate in the teleconference with MPAC.  The text of the letter follows:
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Richard Cohen, President
Morris Dees, Founder
Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Project Director
Southern Poverty Law Center
400 Washington Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36104
 
August 14, 2012
 
Dear Mr. Cohen, Mr. Dees and Ms. Beirich:
 
We note with great concern the Southern Poverty Law Center’s participation in the widely publicized teleconference sponsored by the Muslim Public Affairs Council on Wednesday, August 15 at 5:30 p.m. PST/ 8:30 p.m. EST, with Wajahat Ali, Ms. Beirich, and Salam Al-Marayati, President of the sponsoring Muslim Public Affairs Council.
 
We urge you in the strongest possible terms not to partner with Mr. al-Marayati or with the Muslim Public Affairs Council.  To treat MPAC as a legitimate organization, much less a valued partner of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is an extraordinary rejection of Jewish Americans and of moderate Muslim Americans.   We present at this link ( http://www.scribd.com/doc/102897106 ) excerpts from extensively documented findings about the statements and actions of Mr. al-Marayati and the Muslim Public Affairs Council that surely require you, if you have any decency, to cancel your participation in the August 15 MPAC teleconference. 
 
Given the neo-Nazi connections, aggressive Jew hatred and the repudiation of moderate Muslims demonstrated in the views of MPAC, we would urge your Board of Directors, staff, supporters and donors to ask:
 
· Does the Southern Poverty Law Center endorse these MPAC policy positions?
· If not, why are you partnering with MPAC on August 15, 2012? 
· If the Southern Poverty Law Center actually agrees with these MPAC positions , should your donors continue to support your activities with donations totaling over $36 million per year?
 
We hope that you agreed to this teleconference through ignorance of the Muslim Public Affairs Council positions documented at http://www.scribd.com/doc/102897106, and now that you are aware of their extremism, you will cancel your participation.  We look forward to an informed and civil dialogue with you if you have any questions.
 
Sincerely,
 
Rabbi Jonathan Hausman
Esther Levens, President and CEO of the Unity Coalition for Israel - unitycoalitionforisrael.org
Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director, Religious Liberty Program, The Institute on Religion and Democracy – theird.org
Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, Founder and President of Voice of the Copts - voiceofthecopts.org
Rev. Keith Roderick, D.D. Secretary General of the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights - coalition-me.org
Juliana Taimoorazy, Founder and President of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council - iraqichristianrelief.org

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