MPAC in Denial About Radicalization of Muslim Youth?
by Steven Emerson
May 23, 2007
Earlier today, on CNBC's Kudlow & Co., I debated the spokeswoman for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Edina Lekovic, on the findings of the recent Pew Poll on the levels of radicalism within the American Muslim community.
Lekovic, while a student at UCLA, was Managing Editor of the Muslim Students' Association's newspaper, al-Talib. In July 1999, under Lekovic's editorship, the paper published an article entitled, "Jihad in America," which included the passage:
"When we hear someone refer to the great Mujahid (someone who struggles in Allah's cause) Osama bin Laden as a ‘terrorist,' we should defend our brother and refer to him as a freedom fighter, someone who has forsaken wealth and power to fight in Allah's cause and speak out against oppressors. We take these stances only to please Allah."
When confronted with this fact, interestingly, Lekovic denied it, claiming that she was merely the editor of UCLA's mainstream student newspaper, the Daily Bruin – it is true that Lekovic was editor of the Daily Bruin during the 1997-1998 academic year. But as you can see, in July 1999, she is clearly listed as the Managing Editor of al-Talib, in the upper right hand corner. This column was published almost a full year after the Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. At this point, the role of Bin-Laden in these bombings was widely and publicly known.