Monday, February 22, 2010

So it was true after all

Rashad Hussain, a 31-year-old deputy associate counsel in the White House, was recently appointed U.S. special envoy to the Organization of Islamic States (with 57 members, the most important Muslim organization).

Soon after his nomination it emerged that Hussain, while still a law student, had complained publicly about the 'politically motivated persecution' of Sami Al-Arian, at that time a cause celebre of the left and Islamists. Al-Arian was subsequently convicted of assisting a terrorist organization. (The comments were made at an event organized by the Muslim Student Association, an organization linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.)

Hussain denied having made such statements, and they were mysteriously censored from an article about the meeting. The White House backed up his claim until - you guessed it - a recording turned up. Now, Hussain says his comments were 'ill-conceived or not well-formulated.' But not to worry, he continues to enjoy the White House's confidence and has been dispatched to his new post in Jeddah.

Hussain was reportedly involved in drafting President Obama's Cairo speech to the Muslim world. He is a dreadful choice to represent the United States to the Muslim world, but it's probably safer to have him there than inside the White House.

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