Obama's Muslim Affairs Advisor Resigns

Barack Obama's Muslim Affairs adviser, Chicago lawyer Mazen Asbahi,  has resigned after an internet newsletter wrote about his stint on the board of an Islamic investment fund and his involvement in various Islamic groups. 

He resigned only after the Wall Street Journal opened an inquiry into his background. He has refused to respond personally to questions asked by the Journal, saying he did not want to be a "distraction" (a term the Obama campaign has frequently used to deflect scrutiny. If one uses as search terms in Google the words "Obama and "distraction" 1,220,000 results are displayed).
From the Journal:
In 2000, Mr. Asbahi briefly served on the board of Allied Assets Advisors Fund, a Delaware-registered trust. Its other board members at the time included Jamal Said, the imam at a fundamentalist-controlled mosque in Illinois.

"I served on that board for only a few weeks before resigning as soon as I became aware of public allegations against another member of the board," Mr. Asbahi said in his resignation letter. "Since concerns have been raised about that brief time, I am stepping down...to avoid distracting from Barack Obama's message of change."

The eight-year-old connection between Mr. Asbahi and Mr. Said was raised last week by the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, which is published by a Washington think tank and chronicles the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, a world-wide fundamentalist group based in Egypt. Other Web sites, some pro-Republican and others critical of fundamentalist Islam, also have reported on the background of Mr. Asbahi. He is a frequent speaker before several groups in the U.S. that scholars have associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Justice Department named Mr. Said an unindicted co-conspirator in the racketeering trial last year of several alleged Hamas fund-raisers, which ended in a mistrial. He has also been identified as a leading member of the group in news reports going back to 1993.

Mr. Said is the imam at the Bridgeview Mosque in Bridge-view, Ill., outside Chicago. He left the board of the Islamic fund in 2005, Securities and Exchange Commission filings state. A message left for Mr. Said at the mosque was not returned.

Allied Asset Advisors is a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust. The trust, which is supported financially by the government of Saudi Arabia, holds title to many mosques in the U.S. and promotes a conservative brand of Islam compatible with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and also akin to the fundamentalist style predominant in Saudi Arabia. Allied executives did not respond to inquiries.


Barack Obama has spent over twenty years living and working in Chicago. David Axelrod, his campaign strategist,  has spend decades operating in the rough and tumble world of Chicago politics. As the Los Angeles Times and others have reported, Barack Obama had close friends in the pro-Palestinian community who he credited with influencing his views regarding the Middle East conflict. He appeared at various events sponsored by pro-Palestinian groups.

Alu Abunimah, the founder of the Electronic Intifada, has also noted Barack Obama's involvement in these events.
Yet he was unaware of problems involving Mazen Asbahi?  How did Asbahi come to be a key part of the campaign, despite his involvement in these suspect groups and activities? Was he not vetted by a campaign which has been praised as a crack campaign team? Or did Barack Obama just decide to throw Asbahi under the bus as he has so many others because these affiliations have now become a political problem and because outside parties have finally started scrutinizing Barack Obama?

Barack Obama's Muslim Affairs adviser, Chicago lawyer Mazen Asbahi,  has resigned after an internet newsletter wrote about his stint on the board of an Islamic investment fund and his involvement in various Islamic groups. 

He resigned only after the Wall Street Journal opened an inquiry into his background. He has refused to respond personally to questions asked by the Journal, saying he did not want to be a "distraction" (a term the Obama campaign has frequently used to deflect scrutiny. If one uses as search terms in Google the words "Obama and "distraction" 1,220,000 results are displayed).
From the Journal:
In 2000, Mr. Asbahi briefly served on the board of Allied Assets Advisors Fund, a Delaware-registered trust. Its other board members at the time included Jamal Said, the imam at a fundamentalist-controlled mosque in Illinois.

"I served on that board for only a few weeks before resigning as soon as I became aware of public allegations against another member of the board," Mr. Asbahi said in his resignation letter. "Since concerns have been raised about that brief time, I am stepping down...to avoid distracting from Barack Obama's message of change."

The eight-year-old connection between Mr. Asbahi and Mr. Said was raised last week by the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, which is published by a Washington think tank and chronicles the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, a world-wide fundamentalist group based in Egypt. Other Web sites, some pro-Republican and others critical of fundamentalist Islam, also have reported on the background of Mr. Asbahi. He is a frequent speaker before several groups in the U.S. that scholars have associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Justice Department named Mr. Said an unindicted co-conspirator in the racketeering trial last year of several alleged Hamas fund-raisers, which ended in a mistrial. He has also been identified as a leading member of the group in news reports going back to 1993.

Mr. Said is the imam at the Bridgeview Mosque in Bridge-view, Ill., outside Chicago. He left the board of the Islamic fund in 2005, Securities and Exchange Commission filings state. A message left for Mr. Said at the mosque was not returned.

Allied Asset Advisors is a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust. The trust, which is supported financially by the government of Saudi Arabia, holds title to many mosques in the U.S. and promotes a conservative brand of Islam compatible with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and also akin to the fundamentalist style predominant in Saudi Arabia. Allied executives did not respond to inquiries.


Barack Obama has spent over twenty years living and working in Chicago. David Axelrod, his campaign strategist,  has spend decades operating in the rough and tumble world of Chicago politics. As the Los Angeles Times and others have reported, Barack Obama had close friends in the pro-Palestinian community who he credited with influencing his views regarding the Middle East conflict. He appeared at various events sponsored by pro-Palestinian groups.

Alu Abunimah, the founder of the Electronic Intifada, has also noted Barack Obama's involvement in these events.
Yet he was unaware of problems involving Mazen Asbahi?  How did Asbahi come to be a key part of the campaign, despite his involvement in these suspect groups and activities? Was he not vetted by a campaign which has been praised as a crack campaign team? Or did Barack Obama just decide to throw Asbahi under the bus as he has so many others because these affiliations have now become a political problem and because outside parties have finally started scrutinizing Barack Obama?