Covering Up for Jihadists in the White House

Robert Spencer has a great piece on the new envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference here.

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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
’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

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

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

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.

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