Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayya, an Islamic scholar who is the vice-president of an organization that supports Hamas and has controversial views on Israel, reportedly met with Obama administration officials at the White House this month. In a post published on the Muslim leader’s website on June 13, entitled, “White House Visit,” it is announced that Shaykh Bin Bayyah met with prominent and high-ranking federal government staffers.
“Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah visited the White House where he met with senior advisers and aides to President Obama and called for the protection of the Syrian people and the Muslim minority in Myanmar,” the bulletin opens.
“The distinguished scholar Professor Abdullah bin Bayyah, President of the Global Center for Renewal and Guidance and Vice President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, visited the White House where he met with Ms. Gayle Smith, a senior aide to President Barack Obama, and Mr. Rashad Hussain, U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of the Islamic Conference,” the post continues.
And that’s not all. The article also claims that Shaykh Bin Bayya met with the director of public relations at the White House — and representatives from seven U.S. government agencies. Rather an an informal meeting, the text indicates that the Islamic leader spoke to the group, calling for justice and equality and pushing the U.S. government to take “urgent action to help lift the injustice on the Syrians.”
“Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah addressed the audience by speaking about humanity’s need for two kinds of justice, namely: a) justice in which everyone is equal and one person does not oppress another, nor does one state oppress another state, and b) a justice specific to the powerful, which is to help lift the injustices from vulnerable peoples such as the Syrian people, the Palestinians, and the Muslims in Myanmar,” the article continues.
Critics will also likely be less-than-content over the fact that Shaykh Bin Bayya’s website proclaims that it was the U.S. government who approached him to come in and address these issues. Smith, who serves as President Barack Obama’s special assistant and the senior director of the National Security Council, is quoted in the bulletin.
“Ms. Gayle Smith was pleased with this meeting, saying, ‘We asked for this meeting to learn from you and we need to be looking for new mechanisms to communicate with you and the Association of Muslim Scholars,’” Shaykh Bin Bayya’s website quotes the White House official as saying. “She thanked the Shaykh for his efforts to bring more understanding amongst humanity.”
According to the Daily Caller, a senior Obama administration official confirmed that the meeting took place and that the parties discussed poverty and global issues. The outlet also provides some reasons why the faith leader’s White House visit may rile critics:
Bin Bayyah, who was ranked in one survey as the 30th most influential Muslim in the world in 2009, is a Islamic scholar from Mauritania currently teaching at King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia.
He is also a vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), an organization founded and led by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a radical Muslim preacher banned from entering the U.S. since 1999 who has praised the Holocaust, publicly prayed that Allah would allow Muslims to commit the next Holocaust of the Jews and legitimized the killing of American soldiers in Iraq.
In a statement posted on IUMS’ website on the occasion of welcoming Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh into the organization in February 2012, the organization declared that “the Union will spare no effort in the service of the Palestinian cause, praising the jihad of the Palestinian people and led by Hamas to resistance,” according to a translation by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
“It is simply outrageous and politically scandalous that Obama Administration officials would invite to the US and secretly meet with a known leader of a group which has issued proclamations and fatwas calling for the killing of Jews and Americans,” said Steve Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, in an interview with the Daily Caller. “To legitimize such a radical Islamic leader and his militant Islamist group is the equivalent of recognizing Al Qaeda.”
(H/T: Daily Caller)