The White House’s National Security Council has confirmed that staffers held a June 13 meeting with Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah (photo right), an Islamist cleric who shares leadership of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, where he is vice-president and the terror supporter Yusuf al-Qaradawi is president. Radical Egyptian cleric Yusuf Qaradawi is considered so radical that the United States bans him from entering the country. Qaradawi, considered the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, has called for the killing of Jews and Americans.
UK Daily Mail The meeting occurred on the same day the Obama administration announced plans to arm Syria’s rebel jihadist factions, in the wake of a determination that President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism, which released a report Late Tuesday covering the circumstances of the meeting, wrote that bin Bayyah has referred to the anti-Semitic Islamist al-Qaradawi ‘as “a mountain upon whose peak there is light” and as “a great reformer” who “spreads knowledge and wisdom.”‘
‘Like many in the global Muslim Brotherhood movement who pose as moderates to the press and to liberal intellectuals by issuing condemnations of al-Qaida,’ it read in part, ‘Bin Bayyah refuses to label the acts of groups such as Hamas, Hizballah or Palestinian Islamic Jihad as terrorism.’
He has also issued ‘an endorsement of the push by Muslim intellectuals to criminalize blasphemy against the Muslim prophet Muhammad and Islam,’ the group reported.
Bin Bayyah wrote on his website in the days following that meeting that he ‘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 Cooperation (OIC).’
‘He also met with a number of experts,’ that claim continued, ‘including the director of public relations in the White House, the national security adviser, and representatives from seven government agencies.’
Al-Qaradawi is generally considered the leading Islamic scholar affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. He has called openly for the destruction of Israel and the deaths of all Jews, called Adolf Hitler a divine punishment for the ‘misdeeds of the Jews’ and claimed the Nazi Holocaust has been popularly exaggerated.
Al-Qaradawi has also said he wants to die ‘in the service of jihad’ by blowing himself up in Israel and killing Jews in the process. ‘I have supported [suicide bombings] for the past 20 years,’ he said in 2008.
The two clerics’ close association has caused reputational trouble for bin Bayyah among Western governments, and the U.S. State Department has denied al-Qaradawi entry into the country since 1999. But the Obama administration welcomed bin Bayyah into the White House.
Bin Bayyah’s own views about Palestinian terror attacks on Israeli targets may have made inviting him to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue a difficult call.
Smith is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy at the National Security Council. Hussain is the lawyer tapped to implement the ‘new beginning with Muslims around the world’ which President Obama promised during a June 4, 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt.
Bin Bayyah cultivates an image as a Muslim moderate despite his views. Al-Qaradawi, meanwhile, is a more vocal proponent of Muslim suicide bombers killing Jews, especially in portions of Israel thatPalestinians claim as their territory.