On Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010, in a televised speech to the OIC a 57-country block of Islamic States, President Obama named 31-year-old Rashad Hussain as his envoy to the OIC.
“Rashad has played a key role in developing the partnerships I called for in Cairo,” Obama told the gathering in the video message. “And as a hafiz of the Koran, he is a respected member of the American Muslim community, and I thank him for carrying forward this important work.” (A hafiz is someone who has memorized the Islamic text.)
Soon as Rashad was named the controversy began, specifically because of this incident. According to an archived notice in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs:
A session on civil rights called “Get up, Stand up; Stand up for your Rights: The State of Contemporary Civil Liberties” was held Sept. 5 at the annual conference for the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada, held alongside the Islamic Society of North America’s 41st annual convention in Chicago. Laila Al-Arian, daughter of civil and political rights activist and Muslim leader Sami Al-Arian, opened the session with her father’s story. She gave a heart-wrenching, emotional account of an innocent man targeted for free-speech activities, whose rights were stripped thanks in part to the PATRIOT Act. Al-Arian, who has not yet been to trial, has been held in a federal penitentiary for over a year and a half. Al-Arian’s situation is one of many “politically motivated persecutions,” claimed Rashad Hussain, a Yale law student. Such persecution, he stated, must be fought through hope, faith, and the Muslim vote.
Sometime between October 2007 and the President’s announcement, the two sentences pertaining to Mr. Hussain have was removed from the official report of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs removed. At first Hussain denied the report, then after the reporter who wrote the report re-confirmed her original account Hussain said he couldn’t remember the report, but after Politico posted the recording of his speech Hussain finally admitted his transgression.
“As a law student six years ago, I spoke on the topic of civil liberties on a panel during which I responded to comments made about the Al-Arian case by Laila Al-Arian who was visibly saddened by charges against her father. I made clear at the time that I was not commenting on the allegations themselves. The judicial process has now concluded, and I have full faith in its outcome.”
The issue of Mr Hassan is much more than that one particular statement. He is a regular on the speakers circuit for groups associated with terrorists. Some examples include:
In May 2009, Mr. Hussain was one of the speakers a Leadership Summit of the Council for Advancement of Muslim Professionals (CAMP). Many of the sponsoring organizations of that event are tied to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood including Islamic Relief, Amana Mutual Funds, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.
in October 2000 Mr. Hussain spoke at a conference sponsored by the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) and the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University (CMCU). The conference was titled “Islam, Pluralism, and Demoracy and featured many leaders of the global Muslim Brotherhood including former German diplomat Murad Hoffman, and International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) leaders Louay Safi, Jamal Barzinji, Hisham Al-Talib, and AbdulHamid Abusylayman. The AMSS was founded in 1972 as an outgrowth of the Muslim Student Association and has long been associated with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
In June 2002, Mr. Hussain was listed as part of a Congressional Staffers panel at the American Muslim Council’s (AMC) 11th annual convention. The AMC was headed at that time headed by Abdurahman Alamoudi, a leader in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and currently imprisoned as part of a plot to assassinate the Saudi head of state, Crown Prince Abdullah. Other important leaders of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood such as Jamal Barzinji were also part of the AMC.
The appointment of Mr. Hussain is just another step in the President’s foreign policy strategy of befriending radical Islamists.