And he’s using your tax dollars to do it while Congress does nothing to prevent it.
Pandith said that it is historically significant that the Commander-in-Chief of the US asked “us to put the priority of engaging with one fourth of humanity front and centre…
From the moment of his inauguration, President Barack Obama’s approach to relations with the Islamic world is a departure from that of previous administrations, a US State Department official told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the US-Islamic World Forum.
Farah Pandith, Special Representative to Muslim Communities, US Department of State, has worked for both the Bush and the Obama administration, with an experience “representing different chapters in American history in terms of what’s happening around the world.
“What is very clear is that President Obama, from the very beginning, on the steps of the Capitol, spoke very clearly in his inauguration address to Muslims and said that he wanted to begin again – they wanted to create a new opportunity to build relationships. That’s historic, that’s never happened before, that a president would use that moment to do that.”
His inaugural address was to Muslims – if you weren’t aware.
Months later Obama addressed the Turkish parliament on his desire to rebuild and restore relationships with Muslims, and in Cairo in 2009 he “put forward his vision to generate an opportunity to connect with Muslims around the world based on mutual interests and mutual respect”.
Pandith said that it is historically significant that the Commander-in-Chief of the US asked “us to put the priority of engaging with one fourth of humanity front and centre, so that we are thinking out-of-the-box…finding new tools to work with…what are (our) common interests, whether it’s science or technology, or health or education or entrepreneurship – the president has made that very clear. Each part of our government is invested in his vision so you see the Department of Commerce and you see the US Agency for International Development” engaging countries at all levels.
In the Department of State, “Secretary Clinton has said that we need to do more than we’ve ever done before. We have always engaged with faith communities and different kinds of communities through educational programmes and other things, but what she’s asked us to do is really focus on things that are very unique in this administration.”
The program for the the 9th Annual U.S. Islamic World Forum, sponsored by the U.S. Brookings Institution and opening today, indicates that for the first time members of open Middle Eastern Muslim Brotherhood groups will be participating and features a seminar on promoting Islamic charities that includes the leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). According to the program, the following members of MIddle Eastern Muslim Brotherhood organizations are scheduled to participate:
- Suleiman Abdel Qadir (Former General Observer, Muslim Brotherhood, Libya)
- Esam al-Haddad (Foreign Relations Committee Officer, Freedom and Justice Party, Egypt)
- Mohamed Gaair (Senior Official, Muslim Brotherhood Libya)
In addition, the following individuals tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood are also featured:
- Tariq Ramadan ( son-in-law of the founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood)
- Jasser Auda (colleague of Tariq Ramadan, multiple affiliations)
- Rachid Ghannouchi (head of Enahda, the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia)
- Abdallah bin Bayyah (King Abdulaziz University, European Council for Fatwa and Research)
- Awakkol Karman (2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, Islah Party- Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen)
- Sherman Jackson (Islamic Society of North America)
- Mohamed Magid (Islamic Society of North America)
- Radwan Masmoudi (Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy)
Nihad Awad, the leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is also listed as participating in a session on Islamic charities titled “Developing New Mechanisms to Promote the Muslim Charitable Sector.” A recent post reported reported that new Congressional legislation contains a report recommending that the Attorney General sever its ties with CAIR as the FBI has already done. In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas. Nevertheless, the session was scheduled to include U.S. counter-terrroism officials from the State and Treasury Departments.
Also participating in the Forum were the following individuals either part of or close to the U.S. government:
- Steven Simon (Senior Director, Middle East and North Africa, National Security Council, White House)
- Farah Pandith (Special Representative to Muslim Communities, U.S. Department of State)
- Rachid Hussain (U.S. envoy to the OIC, history of ties to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood)
- Dalia Mogahed, (Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, close to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood)
- Emile Nakhleh (former head of CIA Political Islam program)