President Barack Obama – in calling for moderate Muslims to push harder against terrorism – praised a cleric who had supported the terrorist group Hamas, has ties to a Muslim Brotherhood leader and backed a fatwa encouraging violence against the United States military.

Obama praises Muslim cleric who backed a fatwa calling for violence against U.S. military

President Barack Obama addresses a meeting of the United Nations Security Council regarding the threat of foreign terrorist fighters during the 69th session of the U.N. General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday, Obama said groups such as the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram “will wilt and die” if the examples of moderates such as Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah and others are followed.

“Look at the new Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies – Sheikh bin Bayyah described its purpose: ‘We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace,’” Obama said.

But Bin Bayyah backed a 2004 fatwa that supported violent resistance against Americans fighting in Iraq, the Washington Free Beacon reported. The Obama administration was previously criticized after White House national security officials met with Bin Bayyah in 2013, who was the vice president of a Muslim scholars program founded by the Muslim Brotherhood.

A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to TheBlaze, but a spokesperson told the Free Beacon that Obama’s comments speak for themselves.

During the UN speech, Obama also cited moderate Muslim groups in Britain and Central Africa as well as taking on extremism in their religion.

Bin Bayyah has condemned the actions of groups such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State, but has been very critical of Israel, the Free Beacon reported.

Back in 2013, Andrew McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney in New York, criticized the administration for meeting with Bayyah:

Bin Bayyah is the principal deputy to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief sharia jurist and the driving force of the IUMS. In addition to being behind the 2004 fatwa, Qaradawi also promotes suicide bombing against Israel. The IUMS strongly supports the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, Hamas, the terrorist organization designated as such under American law. Indeed, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh – a close ally of both Qaradawi and Turkey’s Islamic supremacist prime minister (and Obama fave) Recep Tayyip Erdogan – was welcomed into the IUMS as a member in 2004.

In 2009, IUMS issued a fatwa “barring ‘normalization of relations “with Israel,” Five years earlier, IUMS delivered a fatwa permitting armed resistance against U.S. military troops fighting in Iraq, reportedly saying, “resisting occupation troops” is a “duty” for all Muslims.

“It is simply amazing that just a few months ago the State Department had to publicly apologize for tweeting out its support for Bin Bayyah, only to have Barack Obama go before the leaders of the entire world and publicly endorse Bin Bayyah’s efforts,” said Patrick Poole, a journalist and national security expert at PJ Media who has tracked Bin Bayyah, according to the Free Beacon. “It seems that nothing can stop this administration’s determination to rehabilitate Bin Bayyah’s image, transforming him from the Islamic cleric who issued the fatwa to kill Americans in Iraq and calling for the death of Jews to the de facto White House Islamic mufti.”