Robert Spencer has a great piece on the new envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference here.
Rashad Hussain is the Obama administration’s newly appointed special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the thuggish international organization that is engaged in a full-scale campaign to intimidate Western governments into adopting hate speech codes that will effectively quash criticism of Islam – including jihad violence perpetrated in its name. Rashad Hussain is an apposite choice for this position, since several years ago he defended a notorious U.S.-based leader of a jihad terrorist group.
But someone doesn’t want you to know that, and made a clumsy attempt to cover it up.
In 2004, Rashad Hussain, then a Yale law student, declared that the investigation and prosecution of University of South Florida professor Sami al-Arian, who ultimately pled guilty to charges involving his activities as a leader of the terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, was a “politically motivated persecution” designed “to squash dissent.”
Journalist Patrick Goodenough of Cybercast News Service reports that Hussain’s remarks in support of Al-Arian were published in the jihad-enabling Washington Report on Middle East Affairs in November 2004. But now all that has gone down the memory hole. The Washington Report’s archived version of this November 2004 article lacks two paragraphs that were included in the original version: the ones quoting Rashad Hussain. Otherwise the article is unchanged.
The Washington Report editors, caught red-handed, decided to brazen it out, and blame their accusers – a tried-and-true tactic that is also frequently employed by jihadists in the West. They insist that there was no cover-up, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a venomous Islamophobe: according to Goodenough, “WRMEA news editor and executive director Delinda Hanley denied there was a ‘cover-up,’ and implied that anti-Muslim discrimination was behind the fact this was now being raised.”
Sure. It’s just “anti-Muslim discrimination” to be concerned about Rashad Hussain’s support for Al-Arian, a vicious suicide-bombing supporter who chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” and clearly meant it. When two Islamic Jihad suicide bombers killed eighteen people in Israel in 1995, Al-Arian called them “two mujahidin martyred for the sake of God.”
But there was no cover-up! It was all a mistake, you see: according to the Washington Report now, Sami Al-Arian’s daughter, Laila Al-Arian, actually said the words that were attributed to Rashad Hussain.
But this explanation doesn’t make sense, since the article was altered just to remove the quotes, not to change the name of the person quoted. Also, the author of the original story, Shereen Kandil, contradicts the Washington Report’s explanation, telling Goodenough:
“When I worked as a reporter at WRMEA, I understood how important it was to quote the right person, and accurately. I have never mixed my sources and wouldn’t have quoted Rashad Hussain if it came from Laila al-Arian. If the editors from WRMEA felt they wanted to remove Rashad Hussain from the article, my assumption is that they did it for reasons other than what you’re saying. They never once contacted me about an ‘error’ they claim I made.’”
Was the Washington Report covering for Rashad Hussain at its own discretion, or at the behest of someone else? Did Barack Obama himself know about this cover-up? Did someone in the White House or the State Department find out about Hussain’s defense of Al-Arian, and act to cover for the bright young special envoy before this defense was discovered and he became known as a terror apologist?
UPDATE: More from Powerline:
According to the Fox report, the White House says the controversial remarks defending al-Arian two years earlier were made by his daughter rather than by Hussain, who both appeared on a Muslim Students Association conference panel. As Fox also notes, however, the reporter covering the event stands by the quotes she attributed to Hussain, who was a Yale Law student and an editor of the Yale Law Journal at the time.
What does Hussain say? Hussain does not deny the remarks or A White House official who talked with Hussain on Tuesday said he acknowledged attending the event to discuss civil rights in a post-9/11 world but has "no recollection" when it comes to the comments attributed to him. He has not (yet) sought to explain away the remarks away as a youthful indiscretion. What does Hussain think of Sami al-Arian today? The White House doesn't say.
The Muslim Students Association is itself an unsavory organization. Founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, MSA was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum as one of the Brotherhood's likeminded "organizations of our friends" who shared the common goal of destroying America and turning it into a Muslim nation. These "friends" were described by the Brotherhood as groups that could help teach Muslims "that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands ... so that ... God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions."
The case of Rashad Hussain also casts retrospective illumination on John Brennan's NYU Islamic Center speech. In Hussain's case we see the depth of Brennan's appeasement and flattery of his NYU Islamic Center audience.
PAUL adds: Hussain has an interesting bio. He's a former high school debate star, but we won't hold that against him.
The striking thing for me is that President Obama made Hussain his deputy associate counsel at a time when, as best I can tell, he had maybe a year of experience as a lawyer (plus some time as a House Judiciary Committee staffer). And now, a year later, he has given Hussain what appears to be a reasonably significant diplomatic-type job.
I guess there's a fast track for Muslim-American lawyers, at least those with connections to Paul Soros [note: also a prominent liberal, Paul is the brother of George; I'm only speculating that Hussain's connection with him is relevant] and sympathy for Palestinian jihadists.