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In October 2000, Maher Hathout attended a rally in Lafayette Park across from the White House. His speech was captured on video for posterity by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. He told the assembled crowd that he was not surprised by what he called the "atrocities committed by the apartheid brutal state of Israel." After all, he reasoned, "butchers do what butchers do, and ... what is expected from a racist apartheid [state] is what is happening now."
Fast forward six years. The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations announced last Tuesday that Hathout, president of the Islamic Center of Southern California and a senior adviser to the Muslim Public Affairs Council (mpac), would receive its prestigious John Allen Buggs Award in luncheon ceremonies on October 5. The award is given annually for what the commission describes as "outstanding human relations work."
A man who called Israel a nation of butchers (he didn't stop there; he has also accused the United States of committing state terrorism) is about to be honored with a major award for effective practices in human relations work. Is this any different than giving, say, David Duke an award for healing racial relations?
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