Hurting the U.S. in the “Muslim World”

Brett Schaefer /

Rashad Hussain

In 2006 University of South Florida computer-science professor Sami al-Arian pled guilty to aiding Palestinian Islamic Jihad and was sentenced to more than four years in prison. At the time of al-Arian’s arrest, then Attorney General John Ashcroft called it “one of the most violent terrorist organizations in the world.”

Before al-Arian pled guilty, Rashad Hussain (appointed Deputy Associate Counsel to President Obama in January 2009) told a 2004 panel discussion on civil rights at a Muslim Students Association conference in Chicago that al-Arian’s very prosecution was “a travesty of justice” that fit a “common pattern … of politically-motivated prosecutions.” When President Obama recently appointed Hussain to be to be his special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Hussain first denied he ever made the statement, and then after confronted with evidence he did, changed his entire story.

Leaving aside the choice of Hussain for a moment, the wisdom of even having a special envoy to the OIC in the first place must be questioned. President George Bush first established the position of an American envoy to the OIC to “listen to and learn from representatives from Muslim states, and … share with them America’s views and values.” (more…)