Update: A reader points out that the OpEdNews’ listing of Rashad Hussain in the same paragraph as UMA does not necessarily imply a connection between the two. The original document in question — The 500 Most Influential Muslims of 2009 (pdf) — does not mention UMA, so the juxtaposition of UMA with Hussain in the same paragraph of the news article may be entirely coincidental.
The whole business is intriguing, but that particular track now looks like a dead end.
A time-hallowed tradition in American politics dictates that presidential news that might prove unpleasant or embarrassing be consigned to a White House press office announcement late on a Friday afternoon. This buries the story in the less-scrutinized weekend news cycle, and — given the shallowness and attention-deficit of American media culture — the topic usually disappears from the headlines by the time Monday rolls around.
This past weekend the Obama administration took this tradition a step further by announcing the appointment of the president’s OIC envoy on a Saturday. As The New York Times reported last weekend:
President Obama has appointed Rashad Hussain, a deputy White House counsel, to be his representative to the Muslim world, White House officials said Saturday.
Mr. Hussain will become the special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, an intergovernmental group with 57 member states that calls itself the collective voice of Muslims.
“Appointing a special envoy to the O.I.C. is an important part of the president’s commitment to engaging Muslims around the world based on mutual respect and mutual interest,” the White House said in a statement.
Mr. Hussain will replace Sada Cumber, who had been appointed to the post by President George W. Bush.
Mr. Hussain, who is Muslim, will work to strengthen cooperation between the United States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the White House said. In addition, he will seek to counter any disparaging images of the United States in the Muslim world…
As deputy associate counsel to Mr. Obama, Mr. Hussain has focused on national security, new media and science issues. He worked with other White House staff members on Mr. Obama’s speech to the Muslim world from Cairo last June. Previously, he worked as a trial lawyer at the Justice Department and served as a legislative assistant on the House Judiciary Committee.
So Mr. Hussain worked on Obama’s Cairo speech, and has been a legislative aide on the Hill dealing with national security issues — to those of us familiar with the Islamist infiltration of Congress and the federal government, that smells of the Muslim Brotherhood. No wonder the administration wanted to bury the news about this guy.
And sure enough, despite dedicated efforts to scrub the internet of damaging information, little troubling tidbits are bubbling to the surface. In the video clip below, Monica Crowley tells Fox News about Rashad Hussain’s defense of convicted Hamas fundraiser Sami al-Arian:
As we all know, Hamas is also known as “The Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine”, so Rashad Hussain’s connection with the MB seems all but certain.
When I first saw the news on Saturday, I had no recollection of the name “Rashad Hussain”. Unfortunately, by that time it was too late for a productive internet search on his name — the first 50,000 or so results were news stories or press releases about his appointment as envoy to the OIC.
However, as I was clicking through hundreds of links to identical news reports, I happened upon this brief item on OpEdNews, from December 4th of last year, as a part of an article about “the 500 most influential Muslims of the World”:
The United Muslims of America (UMA) is one of the oldest American Muslim organizations, established in 1982. One of its founding President, Dr. Islam Siddiqui, was appointed by President Clinton as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and President Obama has appointed him as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the US Trade Representative. Ironically in the list of political leaders there are only two entries i.e. Congressman Keith Ellison and Rashad Hussain, who is appointed as the Deputy Associate Counsel to the president by President Barrack Obama. [emphasis added]
“United Muslims of America” rang no bells, so I looked it up in the 1991 Holy Land Foundation document (pdf) which provides a list of Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in the United States. It doesn’t appear there, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an MB entity, just that it wasn’t included in that particular document.
The name “Rashad Hussain” no longer appears in association with UMA, so presumably the organization’s website was part of the “scrubbing” operation instigated by the White House prior to Mr. Hussain’s appointment.
So what’s wrong with UMA? Why did the administration want to erase the virtual breadcrumbs leading from its new appointee back to the United Muslims of America?
The group’s website seems largely to be a shell — a place where prominent Muslim leaders can be listed without being associated with any particular activity. Its “About” page says:
United Muslims of America (UMA) was established in 1982 as the first non-partisan Muslim public affairs organization in America. UMA’s mission is to educate and encourage American Muslims to actively participate in the mainstream social, economic, civic and political activities in America.
To promote interest of all American Muslims and create peace and harmony among different American ethnic and religious groups such as Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others, on the basis of American Heritage –
Liberty, Freedom and Justice for all…
To advocate fair and genuinely evenhanded policy in dealing with all nationals and countries.
UMA promotes the interests of all Muslims regardless of their racial, national or ethnic origins.
UMA believes in forging a nationwide alliance with American Muslims as well as the people of other faiths in pursuit of peace, harmony and fairness for all…
This is pretty innocuous stuff, and there’s no indication that UMA has ever done anything radical. The only reason I can think of for hiding Mr. Hussain’s connection with it is to remove any link between him and some of the other people involved with UMA.
As of December 14th, 2009, Rashad Hussain was still listed as associated with UMA, as OpEdNews discovered. By February 13th, not even two months later, his name was gone — coincidentally, just in time for his appointment as President Obama’s Man in the Ummah.
In the interests of restoring the Google connection between Rashad Hussain, UMA, and the “community activists” it lists as its associates, here are the notables whose thumbnail bios UMA sees fit to display on its website:
– – – – – – – – –
Some of the community activists who served or are serving on UMA’s board are:
Dr. Islam Siddiqui, founder and past president of UMA, is currently serving as Vice President, Science and Regulatory Affairs, for Crop Life America. Earlier, he served as Under Secretary of Agriculture under President Clinton, and spent 28 years in various positions with the California Department of Food and Agriculture including the Directorship of the of the Division of Plant Industry.
Syed R. Mahmood, past president of UMA was a nominee for U.S. Congress as a Republican candidate in 2002. He was also a Republican nominee for California State Assembly in 2000. He served in the Executive Committee of the Republican Party for two years. Mr. Mahmood is the founder of the American Institute of International Studies, a non profit think tank organization.
Dr. Agha Saeed, former UMA board member, is the founder and the National Chairman of American Muslim Alliance, a nationwide Muslim political organization. He is also the Chairman of Pakistan American Democratic Forum and Chairman of American Muslim Taskforce for Elections and Civil Rights (AMT). He is currently teaching at California State University at Hayward.
Nisar Hai, past president of UMA ran for U.S. Congress as a Republican Candidate in the primary election in 1992 from District 31.
Ziad Ziadeh, past president of UMA, served in the Central Committee of the California Democratic Party during 1999-2000
Iftekhar Hai, current UMA board member, is on the Executive Board of many International, national, and local Interfaith organizations. Mr. Hai is involved full time in interfaith activities and has established cordial relations with many leaders of other faiths. He is also the president of the United Muslims of America Interfaith Alliance.
Shafi Refai, current president of UMA is a Civil Engineer working for the City of Oakland. He is also the Vice President of the Northern California Inter-religious Conference, an interfaith organization founded in 1913. He served on the board of Indian Muslims Relief & Charities and Islamic Society of East Bay.
Dr. Waheed Siddiqee, past president of UMA, worked as a Research Scientist at SRI International and Lockheed for more than 25 years. He is one of the founding members of United Religions Initiative (URI), a world-wide interfaith organization. He has also served as the president of S.F. Islamic Center and Pakistan Association of San Francisco.
Dr. Joseph DiCaprio, former UMA board member, worked as a medical doctor in the Health Department of the County of Santa Clara. He was one of the founding members of the Islamic Center of San Francisco and its first president. He has established an organization Hilf-ul-Fuzool, whose aim is to facilitate conflict resolution among organizations and individuals.
Javed Ellahie, an attorney with the office in San Jose, has been an advisor to UMA and provided valuable guidance to UMA executives in political and legal matters. He is a long time supporter of UMA.
Maboob Akhter has several years of management experience and is one of the founders of UMA. He has been very active in the Republican Party. He was the Editor of UMA’s Newsletter for many years and also served as a secretary in the early years of UMA.
Javed Khan, President of JESKELL, Inc., a Business Organization, is currently on UMA’s board. He is an ardent supporter of UMA and provides guidance and valuable financial support to UMA.
HammadUllah Husaini, Director of Designs, California Micro Devices, is currently serving as the treasurer of UMA. He has keen interest in political, economic, and social issues both on a local and national level and plays a key role in UMA’s policy making.
Dr. Kaleem Kawaja: An engineering manager in NASA’s Space Science program is the UMA representative in Washington D.C. He is the founder and president of Association of Indian Muslims of America (AIM), and The Organization for Universal Communal Harmony (TOUCH). He is a trustee and the president of the Muslim Community Center, Silver Spring, MD.
Shahed Amanullah: an engineer by profession, has served as the board secretary and now is the UMA representative in Texas. He is a regular commentator on Muslim affairs in media outlets including CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, Voice of America, and the BBC. He is the founder of the zabihah.com halal restaurant guide and is the editor-in-chief of the Muslim newsmagazine altmuslim.com.
Other prominent people listed as associated with UMA are: Qasim Moon, G.M. Shazada, Esam Haleem, Dr. Sarfraz Siddiqui, Najme Minhaj, Zafar Maqsood, Aziza Sleithholm, Yousef Salem, Syed Ali, Khushroo Banu Sheikh, Fathy El Khamshoshi, Namir Al-Nagem, Badruddin Hyatt, Sabri Kawash, Abdul K Khatri, Omar Rizvi, Dr. Zulfiqar Ali, Patricia Khan, Mir M Hussain, the late Marghoob Quraishi, the late Ghafoor Serang, the late Syed Saifullah, the late Inam Siddiqui, and the late S.A. Husaini.
None of these names means anything to me, but they may mean something to investigators who regularly trawl the sewers of the international Islamic terror networks.
And I’m willing to bet that at least one of the above names belongs to someone whom the White House does not want listed on the same page with Rashad Hussain.
On February 14, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Report first broke the story of Rashad Hussain’s statements about Sami al-Arian:
Rashad Hussain, White House official and President Obama’s newly appointed Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference, has a history of participation in events connected with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood as well as support for Brotherhood causes, once having called prosecution of the U.S. leader of a Palestinian terrorist organization one of many “politically motivated persecutions.” Mr. Hussain’s official biography states:
Rashad Hussain is presently Deputy Associate Counsel to President Obama. His work at the White House focuses on national security, new media, and science and technology issues. Mr. Hussain has also worked with the National Security Staff in pursuing the New Beginning that President Obama outlined in his June 2009 address in Cairo, Egypt. Mr. Hussain previously served as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hussain was a legislative assistant on the House Judiciary Committee, where he focused on national security-related issues. Mr. Hussain received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Upon graduation, he served as a Law Clerk to Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals. Mr. Hussain also earned his Master’s degrees in Public Administration (Kennedy School of Government) and Arabic and Islamic Studies from Harvard University. He attended college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
However, 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 Democracy 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 AbuSulayman. 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.
In September 2004, while still a Yale law student, Mr. Hussain participated in a session at the annual conference of the Muslim Student’s Association (MSA) of the U.S. and Canada. The MSA has long been associated with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and at the session, Mr. Hussain appeared along side the daughter of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian and labeled Al-Arian’s prosecution “politically motivated persecution.” 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.
(It should be noted that in the latest version of the above report, the two sentences pertaining to Mr. Hussain have been removed, sometime after October 2007 according to the Internet Archive.)
It should also be noted that in August 2008, Mr. Hussain published a paper titled “Reformulating the Battle of ideas: Understanding the Role of Islam in Counterterrorism Policy.” Although a full analysis of this paper is beyond the scope of this post, it should be noted that many of the recommendations match the agenda also being pushed by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood including:
- “Policymakers should reject the use of language that provides a religious legitimization of terrorism such as ‘Islamic terrorism’ and ‘Islamic extremist.’ They should replace such terminology with more specific and descriptive terms such as “Al-Qaeda terrorism.” Controlling counter-terrorism language has been a long-standing effort of the U.S. Brotherhood.
- “The United States should welcome and encourage the further development of mainstream Muslim organizations and moderate institutions.” As an example, the paper references the work of the Fiqh Council of North America, a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
- “The primary cause of broad-based anger and anti-Americanism is not a clash of civilizations but the perceived effect of U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world.” Linking terrorism to U.S. foreign policy and “legitimate grievances” has been another longtime goal of the U.S. Brotherhood.
Concerning Rashad Hussain, the Obama administration has treated the Internet the way Joseph Stalin treated those group photos of the “Old Bolsheviks”. The embarrassing evidence has been airbrushed out, leaving peculiar undifferentiated blurry splotches in an otherwise detailed background.
What else is out there besides these little bits and pieces that the White House airbrush missed?
What are we not supposed to find out about Rashad Hussain?
Hat tip for the Fox News video: Vlad Tepes.