iOS app Android app

Salam Al Marayati
GET UPDATES FROM Salam Al Marayati
Salam Al Marayati is executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, an American institution which informs and shapes public opinion and policy by serving as a trusted resource to decision makers in government, media and policy institutions. Salam written extensively on Islam, human rights, democracy, Middle East politics, and the Muslim American communities. Salam also works as an advisor to several political, civic and academic institutions seeking to understand the role of Islam and Muslims in America and throughout the world. You can learn more about Salam's work at Salam can be reached at

Dr. Ilhan Cagri is MPAC Research and Program Fellow working on human rights and international religious freedom issues. Ilhan can be reached at

Entries by Salam Al Marayati

Blasphemy Laws Don't Protect Religion, They Hurt It

(2) Comments | Posted April 29, 2016 | 12:59 PM

Last Wednesday, I spoke on a panel at Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs In DC. The conference, co-hosted by the Center's Religious Freedom Project and the Center for Islam and Religious Freedom, looked at the historical sources of blasphemy laws and their implementation...

Read Post

Empowering And Thanking Those Who Stand Up to Islamophobia

(5) Comments | Posted March 22, 2016 | 3:02 PM

On March 9, The Huffington Post posted an article by Soorah Hassan on the growing Islamophobia in the United States. The piece powerfully illustrates the types of bigotry American Muslims face, and analyzes the United States' effort to be a multicultural nation.

While narrating her experiences...

Read Post

The View Forward for American Muslims in 2016

(4) Comments | Posted January 8, 2016 | 9:25 AM

Co-authored with Ilhan Cagri

As we start the new year, it is a time for us to reflect on how our society is addressing relations between the US and the Muslim World and the impact this relation has on the status of American Muslims.

So far, how one addresses this...

Read Post

Dreams Emanate From 'Rock the Kasbah'

(2) Comments | Posted October 18, 2015 | 7:36 PM

America is a land of opportunity, and there is no greater potential for positive change than America's film industry. It can stereotype but it can also humanize. It can fuel war propaganda but it can also provide glimpses of hope for peace. It can rationalize espionage and torture, but it...

Read Post

Russia's Holy War

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2015 | 5:50 PM

Russia's military intervention in Syria is not just about supporting a tyrant by the name of Bashar Al-Assad to do their bidding in the Middle East. The Russians are playing a dangerous game of shaping it into a holy war for Christians in the Middle East and between Christians and...

Read Post

Organization of Islamic Cooperation Seeks Authentic Muslim Voices to Counter ISIS

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 9:52 AM

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is convening this month with a focus on combatting violent extremism. Russia and the United States plan on unveiling their strategies on countering ISIS. The strength of their respective plans will be strategies on ways in which Muslim governments will be involved in the...

Read Post

When Disagreements Turn Destructive

(1) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 11:12 AM


One of the most telling scenes in the film, Lawrence of Arabia, occurs when the British overrun Jerusalem and the Arabs are upset that they have been swindled. "Unfair!" they shout. As portrayed in the movie, the British are conducting themselves in an...

Read Post

The Key to Defeating ISIS Is Islam

(121) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 3:32 PM

America needs Islam -- not to convert people to the religion, but as the antidote to the toxic and threatening ideology of ISIS.

Bombs cannot destroy ideas. Decapitating the leadership of ISIS will not stop violent extremism. Our efforts to dismantle al-Qaeda by killing Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda-in-Iraq...

Read Post

Colonial Baggage for America in Palestine

(7) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 2:08 PM

Recently a Pentagon report given by Lt. General Michael Flynn indicated that Israel's annihilation of Hamas could be achieved, but at the cost of a more radical group rising from the ashes of Gaza.

The Palestine problem did not start with the creation of Israel in 1948. It...

Read Post

Winning the Ideological Battle Against Terrorism

(8) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 3:57 PM

In President Obama's counterterrorism speech at the National Defense University, he said, "The success of American Muslims" is the antidote to al-Qaeda's narrative and that of its affiliates.

On the one hand, the U.S. is winding down its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and shrinking those theaters...

Read Post

Living Within an Interfaith Framework

(3) Comments | Posted December 24, 2012 | 4:29 PM

By Salam Al-Marayati, President of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and Rev. Ed Bacon, Rector of All Saints Church and author of '8 Habits of Love'

A historic convention recently took place involving American Muslims and All Saints Church in rosy...

Read Post

From Religious Polarization to Religious Peacemaking

(17) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 4:57 PM

This week, a historic convention will take place involving American Muslims and All Saints Church in rosy Pasadena -- the first national Muslim convention at a church. We will move to how we collectively work for a cultural climate change that ends the paradigm of polarization. America's religious...

Read Post

Muslim and Copts Unite Against Hate and Violence

(4) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 12:50 PM

On Sept. 17, Muslim and Coptic Christian leaders stood shoulder to shoulder at Los Angeles City Hall, condemning both the hate of the anti-Muslim video,"Innocence of Muslims," and the violent reactions to the video. The imagery and prose were inspiring.

The following are some...

Read Post

Blasphemy Laws Are Against Islam

(173) Comments | Posted March 16, 2011 | 9:48 AM

Blasphemy laws or laws prohibiting defamation of a religion are incompatible with Islamic thought and philosophy. The concept of Defamation of Religions denies a person their free will to choose -- one of God's greatest gifts to humanity -- and deprives individuals of their right to free speech and expression....

Read Post

5 Questions Swirling Around the 'Ground Zero Mosque' Debate

(40) Comments | Posted August 22, 2010 | 10:29 AM

Most of those opposed to the Park51 Muslim cultural center -- known as the "Ground Zero mosque" despite being neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero -- have understandable apprehensions about Muslims. The questions raised by opponents of the cultural center deserve clear, unambiguous answers about Islam in America. That's...

Read Post

Anti-Muslim Is Anti-American

(154) Comments | Posted July 27, 2010 | 12:43 PM

From New York to Tennessee to California, mosques and Muslim community centers are meeting a small but fierce swelling resistance from an increasingly vocal minority of local citizens' groups who charge that mosques represent a major threat to America's way of life and central values. Such baseless and hateful attacks...

Read Post

Freedom of Speech for Some but Not All

(131) Comments | Posted July 13, 2010 | 11:59 AM

White House correspondent Helen Thomas and CNN Middle East expert Octavia Nasr recently lost their jobs because of their controversial statements related to the Middle East.

Yet there is no outrage, let alone calls for resignation, when two members of Congress commit similar if not worse offenses. Senator Charles Schumer...

Read Post

Free 11 Muslim Students Representing America's Conscience

(23) Comments | Posted February 15, 2010 | 12:14 PM

Civic and Political life at the University California of Irvine (UCI) will never be the same after 11 Muslim students chose to speak out at a UCI event sponsoring Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren.

The Orange County Register reported on the incident:


Read Post

Hate Speech Can Be Countered With Truth, Leadership

(2) Comments | Posted January 12, 2010 | 5:45 PM

The Quran encourages Muslims to promote religious freedom and counter religious bigotry. However, it also upholds the importance of the freedom to express one's own thoughts, even when they may be seen as distasteful or disrespectful by others. The Quran documents the countless attempts to defame the Prophet as a...

Read Post

Fort Hood: A Defining Moment for Muslim Americans

(5) Comments | Posted November 12, 2009 | 10:40 AM

To my fellow Muslim Americans,

A moment of truth has arrived for us. We now must demonstrate, beyond the condemnations and condolences, that we are working for America, not merely taking seats on the margins of our society. Are we an integral part of the American fabric or...

Read Post