Obama names Rashad Hussain special envoy to Muslim world

By William Wan President Obama said today he is naming Rashad Hussain as his special envoy to the Organization of … Continued

By William Wan

President Obama said today he is naming Rashad Hussain as his special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference as part of his effort to build up relationships with the Muslim world.

The announcement came in a video message by Obama to the seventh annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum meeting in the Qatari capital. More on his announcement here.

Some background on the position from AFP:

George W. Bush formally named the first U.S. envoy to the OIC in February 2008, appointing Texas entrepreneur Sada Cumber. The OIC, based in the Saudi city of Jeddah, with its 57 members is the world’s largest Islamic assembly.”

Some background on Hussain from ABC’s story:

A former trial attorney at the Justice Department and clerk to Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Hussain is a devout Muslim and helped inform the speech President Obama gave in Cairo — particularly with the speech’s references to the history of Islam and the Koran, and its general tone.

Here’s Hussain’s credentials from the official White House press release:

Rashad Hussain is presently Deputy Associate Counsel to President Obama. His work at the White House focuses on national security, new media, and science and technology issues. Mr. Hussain has also worked with the National Security Staff in pursuing the New Beginning that President Obama outlined in his June 2009 address in Cairo, Egypt. Mr. Hussain previously served as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hussain was a legislative assistant on the House Judiciary Committee, where he focused on national security-related issues. Mr. Hussain received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Upon graduation, he served as a Law Clerk to Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals. Mr. Hussain also earned his Master’s degrees in Public Administration (Kennedy School of Government) and Arabic and Islamic Studies from Harvard University. He attended college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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  • thehamptons1

    I’m not going to prejudge this new unaccountable “czar”. I’ll wait to see what Glenn Beck says. He always digs deep enough to get the real scoop, and he always gives his sources for verification.

  • Montedoro

    This nomination is a disaster.First, Rashad Hussain, as a devout Muslim, must be loyal, first and foremost, to Islam and the worldwide Muslim community — NOT to America. As a Muslim, he is part of the Muslim world in terms of values and loyalty, not part of our world. If we have to have an envoy to the Muslim world at all, then let it be a loyal American like John Bolton, someone who will defend America’s interests, and not the interests of Islam.Second, appointing an American envoy to the political organization of the Islamic world means lending legitimacy to the fundamental Islamic division of the world into Islam and non-Islam, Muslim and non-Muslim. The rest of the world, including America, divides the world into nation-states.It should be noted that ALL Muslim-majority countries, embodied by the OIC that Hussain will be an envoy to, subscribe to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam — and NOT to our Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Cairo Declaration officially declares the Islam is superior to everything else and that ALL human rights must come from and be in accord with Islamic sacred Sharia law. This is totally incompatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because Sharia law requires the legal subordination of non-Muslims to Muslims and of women to men. Sharia law also forbids freedom of religion, requires the killing of apostates, blasphemers and homosexuals. Which declaration of human rights does Rashad Hussain subscribe to?

  • mikeghouse

    Montedoro;Rashad is a devout Muslim and his loyalty is to the nation that raised him. However, there is always an affinity to one’s land of ancestors; Muslims love their homelands, Hindus have loyalty to India, Jews would die for Israel, Irish will do anything for Ireland, so would Chinese do… But affinity to be mistaken for loyalty is wrong. You have wrong information about declaration of Universal Human rights, all countries were signatories to it, Muslim or otherwise with a few exceptions. They also signed the Cairo declaration which is not a whole lot different.Rashad is an American and he will stand by American laws, period.

  • mikeghouse

    Indians are certainly excited about this appointment –

  • wtrimble2

    @ MONTEDOROYou are ignorant of the religion. The points you have stated may be followed by some Muslims. Just like your view is follow by some Americans who only look for negative ideas in a vast group of good, God fearing people. The Quran is clear.Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those charged with authority among you. [Qur’an 4: 59]And for those who are ignorant of the term” Allah” it means the “God” in Arabic. Not just any god, but the God of Abraham. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Arabs used the word. Our elected officials are those charged with authority among us and any good Muslim will follow that commandant. I am sure Rashad Hussain will do an excellent job. If only we could get all Americans to follow those charged with authority. Unfortunately we have some very un-American Americans like MONTEDORO.

  • coloradodog

    MONTEDORO WROTE:”Second, appointing an American envoy to the political organization of the Islamic world means lending legitimacy to the fundamental Islamic division of the world into Islam and non-Islam, Muslim and non-Muslim. The rest of the world, including America, divides the world into nation-states.”——————————-And what would you call the Special Envoy to the Pope? Is not the Catholic Church a political organization that seeks to influence American politics by Bishops denying legislators not in lock-step with them Communion. Is is not a political issue that this Country allows Bishops and Cardinals to hide their dirty, perverted, disgusting pedophile priests from civil authorities? Does this not lend legitimacy to the fundamental Catholic division of the world into Catholic and non-Catholic?Or is the Catholic Church exempt from your argument “by special mandate of Her Lord?”

  • yasseryousufi

    Montedoro wrote,”First, Rashad Hussain, as a devout Muslim, must be loyal, first and foremost, to Islam and the worldwide Muslim community — NOT to America”—————————————————-One assumes you would also ask Jews to be barred from being appointed to Israel as ambassadors and mediators in Middle East, by the extention of this logic

  • ghulammuhammed3

    Obama’s choice of Indian Muslims, while breaking out of the traditional Anglo-Saxon, or Jewish political stranglehold on US state appointments especially in foreign relations field, cautiously avoids more pronounced Muslim and Arab identifications of his new opening to Muslim world. Indian Muslims as a community have been a neglected lot and have not only suffered maligned neglect from the Brahmin headed ruling class, but have been sidelined by the world Muslim narrative writers too. Obama’s choices will focus new light on a 150 million strong community that had surprisingly remained moderate but deeply committed to their religious beliefs. The new generation with grounding in both secular and religious education is coming forth with very balanced responses to new world challenges. Impacting US foreign policies, their contribution to a more humane and inclusive world ethos would be welcomed by one and all.

  • youcancallmeroy

    One would think that if Politico.com could uncover the incriminating tape recording of this Hussain character, the vast resources the Messiah / Whitehouse vetting team could do so, Correct? The fact that this Administration has a seemingly endless Rolodex of radicals readily available at his fingertips should scare the living heck out of every American who values liberty. True, once exposed (by others), they soon make an exit (low profile) from Obama’s administration. But this still begs the question: Why were they ever a part of his team in the first place?