Question: Why is the White House so quiet about their courting of Muslims in the U.S. and does their policy on this issue add to the current mistrust of the government by almost 80% of Americans?
This recent article reveals a partial answer to this question-You Decide:
White House Quietly Courts Muslims in U.S.–Posted on The New York Times-By ANDREA ELLIOTT-On April 18, 2010:
These are pertinent excerpts from this article:
“When President Obama took the stage in Cairo last June, promising a new relationship with the Islamic world, Muslims in America wondered only half-jokingly whether the overture included them. After all, Mr. Obama had kept his distance during the campaign, never visiting an American mosque and describing the false claim that he was Muslim as a “smear” on his Web site.
Nearly a year later, Mr. Obama has yet to set foot in an American mosque. And he still has not met with Muslim and Arab-American leaders. But less publicly, his administration has reached out to this politically isolated constituency in a sustained and widening effort that has left even skeptics surprised.
Muslim and Arab-American advocates have participated in policy discussions and received briefings from top White House aides and other officials on health care legislation, foreign policy, the economy, immigration and national security. They have met privately with a senior White House adviser, Valerie Jarrett, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to discuss civil liberties concerns and counterterrorism strategy.
The impact of this continuing dialogue is difficult to measure, but White House officials cited several recent government actions that were influenced, in part, by the discussions. The meeting with Ms. Napolitano was among many factors that contributed to the government’s decision this month to end a policy subjecting passengers from 14 countries, most of them Muslim, to additional scrutiny at airports, the officials said.
That emergency directive, enacted after a failed Dec. 25 bombing plot, has been replaced with a new set of intelligence-based protocols that law enforcement officials consider more effective.
Also this month, Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Muslim academic, visited the United States for the first time in six years after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reversed a decision by the Bush administration, which had barred Mr. Ramadan from entering the country, initially citing the U.S.A. Patriot Act. Mrs. Clinton also cleared the way for another well-known Muslim professor, Adam Habib, who had been denied entry under similar circumstances.
Arab-American and Muslim leaders said they had yet to see substantive changes on a variety of issues, including what they describe as excessive airport screening, policies that have chilled Muslim charitable giving and invasive F.B.I. surveillance guidelines. But they are encouraged by the extent of their consultation by the White House and governmental agencies.
“For the first time in eight years, we have the opportunity to meet, engage, discuss, disagree, but have an impact on policy,” said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute in Washington. “We’re being made to feel a part of that process and that there is somebody listening.”
In the post-9/11 era, Muslims and Arab-Americans have posed something of a conundrum for the government: they are seen as a political liability but also, increasingly, as an important partner in countering the threat of homegrown terrorism. Under President George W. Bush, leaders of these groups met with government representatives from time to time, but said they had limited interaction with senior officials. While Mr. Obama has yet to hold the kind of high-profile meeting that Muslims and Arab-Americans seek, there is a consensus among his policymakers that engagement is no longer optional.
The administration’s approach has been understated. Many meetings have been private; others were publicized only after the fact. A visit to New York University in February by John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, drew little news coverage, but caused a stir among Muslims around the country. Speaking to Muslim students, activists and others, Mr. Brennan acknowledged many of their grievances, including “surveillance that has been excessive,” “overinclusive no-fly lists” and “an unhelpful atmosphere around many Muslim charities.”
“These are challenges we face together as Americans,” said Mr. Brennan, who momentarily showed off his Arabic to hearty applause. He and other officials have made a point of disassociating Islam from terrorism in public comments, using the phrase “violent extremism” in place of words like “jihad” and “Islamic terrorism.”
While the administration’s solicitation of Muslims and Arab-Americans has drawn little fanfare, it has not escaped criticism. A small but vocal group of research analysts, bloggers and others complain that the government is reaching out to Muslim leaders and organizations with an Islamist agenda or ties to extremist groups abroad.
They point out that Ms. Jarrett gave the keynote address at the annual convention for the Islamic Society of North America. The group was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Texas-based charity whose leaders were convicted in 2008 of funneling money to Hamas. The society denies any links to terrorism.
“I think dialogue is good, but it has to be with genuine moderates,” said Steven Emerson, a terrorism analyst who advises government officials. “These are the wrong groups to legitimize.” Mr. Emerson and others have also objected to the political appointments of several American Muslims, including Rashad Hussain.
In February, the president chose Mr. Hussain, a 31-year-old White House lawyer, to become the United States’ special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The position, a kind of ambassador at large to Muslim countries, was created by Mr. Bush. In a video address, Mr. Obama highlighted Mr. Hussain’s status as a “close and trusted member of my White House staff” and “a hafiz,” a person who has memorized the Koran.
Within days of the announcement, news reports surfaced about comments Mr. Hussain had made on a panel in 2004, while he was a student at Yale Law School, in which he referred to several domestic terrorism prosecutions as “politically motivated.” Among the cases he criticized was that of Sami Al-Arian, a former computer-science professor in Florida who pleaded guilty to aiding members of a Palestinian terrorist group.
At first, the White House said Mr. Hussain did not recall making the comments, which had been removed from the Web version of a 2004 article published by a small Washington magazine. When Politico obtained a recording of the panel, Mr. Hussain acknowledged criticizing the prosecutions but said he believed the magazine quoted him inaccurately, prompting him to ask its editor to remove the comments. On Feb. 22, The Washington Examiner ran an editorial with the headline “Obama Selects a Voice of Radical Islam.”
Muslim leaders watched carefully as the story migrated to Fox News. They had grown accustomed to close scrutiny, many said in interviews, but were nonetheless surprised. In 2008, Mr. Hussain had co-authored a paper for the Brookings Institution arguing that the government should use the peaceful teachings of Islam to fight terrorism.
“Rashad Hussain is about as squeaky clean as you get,” said Representative Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat who is Muslim. Mr. Ellison and others wondered whether the administration would buckle under the pressure and were relieved when the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, defended Mr. Hussain.
“The fact that the president and the administration have appointed Muslims to positions and have stood by them when they’ve been attacked is the best we can hope for,” said Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America.
It was notably different during Mr. Obama’s run for office. In June 2008, volunteers of his campaign barred two Muslim women in headscarves from appearing behind Mr. Obama at a rally in Detroit, eliciting widespread criticism. The campaign promptly recruited Mazen Asbahi, a 36-year-old corporate lawyer and popular Muslim activist from Chicago, to become its liaison to Muslims and Arab-Americans.
Bloggers began researching Mr. Asbahi’s background. For a brief time in 2000, he had sat on the board of an Islamic investment fund, along with Sheikh Jamal Said, a Chicago imam who was later named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case. Mr. Asbahi said in an interview that he had left the board after three weeks because he wanted no association with the imam.
Shortly after his appointment to the Obama campaign, Mr. Asbahi said, a Wall Street Journal reporter began asking questions about his connection to the imam. Campaign officials became concerned that news coverage would give critics ammunition to link the imam to Mr. Obama, Mr. Asbahi recalled. On their recommendation, Mr. Asbahi agreed to resign from the campaign, he said.
He is still unsettled by the power of his detractors. “To be in the midst of this campaign of change and hope and to have it stripped away over nothing,” he said. “It hurts.”
From the moment Mr. Obama took office, he seemed eager to change the tenor of America’s relationship with Muslims worldwide. He gave his first interview to Al Arabiya, the Arabic-language television station based in Dubai. Muslims cautiously welcomed his ban on torture and his pledge to close Guantánamo within a year.
In his Cairo address, he laid out his vision for “a new beginning” with Muslims: while America would continue to fight terrorism, he said, terrorism would no longer define America’s approach to Muslims.
Back at home, Muslim and Arab-American leaders remained skeptical. But they took note when, a few weeks later, Mohamed Magid, a prominent imam from Sterling, Va., and Rami Nashashibi, a Muslim activist from Chicago, joined the president at a White-House meeting about fatherhood. Also that month, Dr. Faisal Qazi, a board member of American Muslim Health Professionals, began meeting with administration officials to discuss health care reform.
The invitations were aimed at expanding the government’s relationship with Muslims and Arab-Americans to areas beyond security, said Mr. Hussain, the White House’s special envoy. Mr. Hussain began advising the president on issues related to Islam after joining the White House counsel’s office in January 2009. He helped draft Mr. Obama’s Cairo speech and accompanied him on the trip. “The president realizes that you cannot engage one-fourth of the world’s population based on the erroneous beliefs of a fringe few,” Mr. Hussain said.
Other government offices followed the lead of the White House. In October, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with Arab-Americans and Muslims in Dearborn, Mich., to discuss challenges facing small-business owners. Also last fall, Farah Pandith was sworn in as the State Department’s first special representative to Muslim communities. While Ms. Pandith works mostly with Muslims abroad, she said she had also consulted with American Muslims because Mrs. Clinton believes “they can add value overseas.”
Despite this, American actions abroad — including civilian deaths from drone strikes in Pakistan and the failure to close Guantánamo — have drawn the anger of Muslims and Arab-Americans.
Even though their involvement with the administration has broadened, they remain most concerned about security-related policies. In January, when the Department of Homeland Security hosted a two-day meeting with Muslim, Arab-American, South Asian and Sikh leaders, the group expressed concern about the emergency directive subjecting passengers from a group of Muslim countries to additional screening.
Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, pointed out that the policy would never have caught the attempted shoe bomber Richard Reid, who is British. “It almost sends the signal that the government is going to treat nationals of powerless countries differently from countries that are powerful,” Ms. Khera recalled saying as community leaders around the table nodded their heads.
Ms. Napolitano, who sat with the group for more than an hour, committed to meeting with them more frequently. Ms. Khera said she left feeling somewhat hopeful.
“I think our message is finally starting to get through,” she said.”
Note: This article reveals that one of the world’s most important Christian leaders, second only to the pope, feels “crucified” in Turkey, although millions of Orthodox Christians have lived there long before it became 99 percent Muslim. Is this what we should expect in the US in the future-You Decide:
Patriarch Bartholomew Feels “Crucified”-Leader of 300 Million Orthodox Christians Talks to 60 Minutes About The Hardships He And His Followers Face in Turkey–Posted on CBSNews.com-On December 17, 2009:
Note: The following web site reveals that there are many ways to wage jihad and all of them must be stopped — without racism or hatred-You Decide:
The Terrifying Brilliance of Islam–Posted on Citizen Warrior-On May 11, 2009:
Note: These recent articles and/or blog posts, book and videos relate to this issue-You Decide:
“I AM A MUSLIM,” OBAMA TELLS EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER GHEIT ISLAMIC COUP ON THE WHITE HOUSE–Posted on Atlas Shrugs-On June 12, 2010:
U.S. Files Discrimination Lawsuits On Behalf Of Muslims–Posted on Judicial Watch-On September 2, 2010:
Obama’s Islam Strategy–Posted on NewsMax.com-By Christopher Ruddy-On August 31, 2010:
Attendees at administration event bring terror ties?–Posted on The Washington Times-By Kerry Picket-On September 8, 2010:
U.S. Helps Radical Muslim Groups Get Taxpayer Dollars–Posted on Judicial Watch-On August 31, 2010:
Free Speech for Me but Not for Thee: President Obama’s Faith Protectors–Posted on The Center for Vision & Values-By Dr. Paul Kengor-On August 31, 2010:
Gallup: Obama’s Approval Highest Among Muslims—78 Percent–Posted on CNSNews.com-By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief-On August 27, 2010:
Mystery solved! Why Americans think president is Muslim: ‘Obama bears the lion’s share of the responsibility for any confusion’–Posted on WND.com-On August 20, 2010:
Is Obama a Muslim?-Posted on ImpeachObamaCampaign.com-By Ben-On August 20, 2010:
1-in-4 Americans Believe Obama is a Muslim; Here’s Why-Posted on ImpeachObamaCampaign.com-By Ben-On August 19, 2010:
BREAKING NEWS! – Is Barack Obama Really A Saudi / Muslim “Plant” in the White House?-Posted on YouTube.com-By ppsimmons-On July 27, 2010:
California Sharia “College” Set to Open–Posted on LogansWarnings.com-On August 23, 2010:
HS test ‘slams’ Christianity, lauds Islam–Posted on The New York Post-By YOAV GONEN, Education Reporter-On August 24, 2010:
Video of the Day: Obama Advisor Says You Should Leave America– Posted on ImpeachObamaCampaign.com-By Ben-On August 19, 2010:
VIDEO: Michael Savage – Lesson on History of Islam and Jihad – Why They Must Be Stopped–Posted on Vision to America-On August 16, 2010:
Obama’s Choice: Boy Scouts or Islam–Posted on ExposeObama.com-By Michael Reagan, Floyd Reports-On August 18, 2010:
Why Obama is a cultural Muslim–Posted on The Washington Times-By Jeffrey T. Kuhner-On July 8, 2010:
Pandering to Muslims Risks Safety in Skies-Posted on ExposeObama.com-On August 3, 2010:
Obama religion adviser linked to unindicted co-conspirator: “On speakers list for Muslim group cited as a ‘chief conduit’ to bring Islam to U.S.”-Posted on WND.com-By Aaron Klein-On July 26, 2010:
Obama adviser: U.S. ‘ideal place for renewal of Islam’: “Religion aide closely linked to imam seeking to build Ground Zero mosque”–Posted on WND.com-By Aaron Klein-On July 20, 2010:
Hizb ut-Tahrir in America: Lessons from Great Britain-Posted on RightSideNews.com-By IPT News-On July 18, 2010:
White House vs. Nasa. Who’s lying?–Posted on ExposeObama.com-On July 13, 2010:
Obama’s Treacherous Redirection of NASA’s Vision–Posted on Human Events-By Pamela Geller-On July 12, 2010:
THE PRINCE AND HIS GREEN ISLAMO PAUPERS-Posted on USASurvival.org-By Mark Musser-On July 9, 2010:
Obama’s unrequited apologies “President’s efforts to soothe Muslim anger only makes it worse”-Posted on The Washington Times-By Joel Mowbray-On July 1, 2010:
Yale Fellow “Obama Most Radical US President Ever”–Posted on NewZeal.blogpost.com-By TREVOR LOUDON-On June 29, 2010:
Jihad Denial Syndrome-Posted on TheHill.com_by Guy Rodgers, Executive Director of ACT! for America-On June 24, 2010:
Rashad Hussain declares Obama “Educator-in-Chief on Islam”–Posted on ExposeObama.com-By Powerline Blog-On June 25, 2010:
MSA National Condemns Suspension of Muslim Student Union–Posted on FamilySecurityMatters.org-On June 18, 2010:
Sen. Cornyn: Obama Is Blind to Islamic Extremism-Posted on NewsMax.com-By Ronald Kessler-On June 9, 2010:
Muslim From HAMAS Charity Brags About Tax-Funded Concessions From Obama WH Visit–Posted By Debbie Schlussel-On June 16, 2010:
Lieberman: Obama Wrong on Radical Islam–Posted on NewsMax.com-By Jim Meyers=On June 15, 2010:
Smiley Infidel: PBS Host Shows Willful Ignorance to Islamic Extremism–Posted on PJTV-On June 10, 2010:
S.I.O.A. seminar @ the Tennessee Tea Party–Posted on YouTube.com-By JihadWatchVideo-On May 25, 2010:
“Pamela Geller delivers a wake-up call to the Tennessee Tea Party on behalf of Stop the Islamification of America, addressing hot button issues like the 9/11 mega-mosque at Ground Zero in New York City.”
Exclusive: ‘Muslims-Only’ Enclave Thrives In Philadelphia–Posted on Family Security Matters-By Paul Williams, PhD-On May 20, 2010:
Farrakhan: Obama ‘Selected’ for This Time–Posted on NewsMax.com-On May 10, 2010:
The Bomb Failed, the System Failed, and DC Fails to See Our Enemy (But a Suspect Is In Custody)–Posted on PJTV-On May 4, 2010:
Franklin Graham: Obama ‘Giving Islam a Pass,’ Warns of Persecution–Posted on NewsMax.com-By David A. Patten-On May 3, 2010:
Is the U.S. diplomatic and intelligence community being brainwashed in dealing with Islam?–Posted on The RubenReports.blogspot.com-By Barry Rubin-On April 27, 2010:
‘South Park’: Drawing a Line in the Sand–Posted on BigHollywood.BreitBart.com-By Mark Tapson-On April 27, 2010:
‘South Park’ and the Informal Fatwa: “The veiled threats against the Comedy Central show’s creators should be taken very seriously”–Posted on The Wall Street Journal-By AYAAN HIRSI ALI-On April 27, 2010:
Taking on Islamists’ hidden agenda–Posted on TorontoSun.com-By SALIM MANSUR, QMI AGENCY-On April 24, 2010:
Dalia Mogahed: The Islamists’ White House Pipeline–Posted on FamilySecurityMatters.org-By Steve Emerson-On April 17 , 2010:
Obama White House Dumps Franklin Graham as CAIR Celebrates: “Graham “Disinvitation” To Pray At Pentagon Casts A Dark Shadow Over America’s Future”–Posted on RightSideNews.com-On April 25, 2010:
Parvez Ahmed critics focus on CAIR controversy–Posted on Jacksonville.com-By Kate Howard-On April 25, 2010:
Obama Muslim Entrepreneurship Summit: President Seeks To Deepen Economic Ties To Muslim World–Posted on The HuffingtonPost.com-By JULIE PACE-On April 23, 2010:
Resurgence Of ‘Anti-government Extremism’ Comes Under Increasing Criticism–Posted on Personal Liberty Digest-On April 22, 2010:
Group Opposes Franklin Graham’s Pentagon Event–Posted on NewsMax.com-On April 20, 2010:
Atheist Group Calls on Obama to Endorse ‘National Day of Reason’ Instead of ‘National Day of Prayer’–Posted on CNSNews.com-By Pete Winn, Senior Writer/Editor-On April 20, 2010:
Rising Muslim Hopes from Obama’s Outreach May Backfire–Posted on IsraelNationalNews.com-By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu-On April 21, 2010:
Group wants evangelist’s Pentagon event canceled–Posted on Yahoo News-By DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer-On Apriol 20, 2010:
Muslims to be excused from Obamacare mandate?-Posted on The American Thinker-On March 16, 2010:
Does America face a jihadist threat that’s even bigger than terrorism?–Book Written by Robert Spencer-On November 2008:
Question: Is it a good time to revisit the active complaint to the Federal Elections Commission over Barack Hussein Obama’s campaign finances?
These articles and/or blog posts and web site seem to reveal extremely disturbing evidence that foreign nationals from the Muslim world influenced our presidential election thru illegal contributions to Obama’s campaign-You Decide:
Call For An Audit of Obama’s Campaign Finances–Posted on BigGovernment.com-By Pamela Geller-On January 25, 2010:
Secretive donations to Barack Hussein Obama’s Presidential Campaign–Posted on WarriorsForTruth.com:
Barack Hussein Obama 2008 Presidential campaign–Posted on Conservapedia.com:
Note: These recent articles and/or blog posts relate to my recent blog posts-You Decide:
Were we forewarned about what to expect if President Obama got elected?
Are Obama’s Fingerprints On Franklin Graham Dis-Invitation?
Is Obama The Greatest Strategic Disaster For Israel?
Rising Muslim Hopes from Obama’s Outreach May Backfire!
Nuclear Summit Part of Obama Administration’s ‘Fantasy Foreign Policy’
President Obama says USA still working on its democracy!
FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Joint Terrorism Task Force Raid Militia Groups!
Did Obama’s New OIC Envoy Defend Activist Who Aided Terrorist Group?
Is U.S. Negotiating with the Taliban?
Is Our Government Seriously Misreading Al-Qaida’s Operational Objectives?
The Obama Administration Allows Tariq Ramadan To Travel To The U.S.!
The Islamic Infiltration: Inside Our Government, Armed With Our Secrets!
Are Intelligence Personnel Empowered to Employ Their Ingenuity and Resourcefulness to Connect The Dots?
Backsliding On National Security: The Immigration Connection:
What do American Citizens Know About “Sharia Law” and Is It Something That We Should Know More About?
Islam’s Child Martyrs in America!
Spitting in the Face of Everyone Murdered on 9/11!
Europe’s Looming Demise: Changes on the Continent Cloud Our Future!
Radical Movement’s Leader Forecasts America’s Demise!
Could Steps That Team Obama Has Taken Be Emboldening Terrorists?
Democrats Covertly Target CIA and Intelligence Community Officers!
Is President Obama’s Shameful Politics Harming The CIA?
Top Intelligence Republican: Obama: ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’!
When Did the American People Elect Eric Holder Commander in Chief?
Why Should Terrorists Be Given The Extraordinary Protections That You and I Have As American Citizens?
Does Human Rights Law Apply to Terrorists?
Obama and Holder’s Hidden Agenda!
NYC Police: Terror Suspects Wanted To Commit jihad!
It’s Getting Very Serious Now!
Another Imminent Homeland & National Security Issue!
Shocking New Report! Obama’s Real Terrorists: Targeting Patriots and The Right!
DHS Secretary Targets Veterans:
High Level Pentagon Official Blames U.S. For Al-Qaeda Attacks!
Sen. Obama’s Radical Islamic Past and Ties To Terrorist Groups:
Nearly 80 percent don’t trust the government!
Have Americans Stopped Having Confidence In Their Government?
Extensive Research Into Senator Obama’s Background Completed on November 10, 2008:
“Food For Thought”
“God Bless & Keep Our USA Safe”