Obama's Disturbing Muslim Outreach: Resigned but not Gone?

Obama's Muslim Outreach Coordinator, Mazen Asbahi, resigned in August after only ten days in his position, when it was revealed that he had ties to groups associated with the Muslim Brotherhood The question is no longer about what kind of judgment was used in bringing Asbahi on a campaign that has been plague with questionable advisors and mentors, but whether Asbahi has actually left.

Asbahi's official stint on the Obama team ended when it came to light that he was one of six trustees of Allied Asset Advisors Funds, a subsidiary of "subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and an advisor to the Dow Jones Islamic Fund. Both NAIT and Dow Jones Islamic Fund fall under the umbrella of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). NAIT, which owns nearly a third of all U.S. mosques and Muslim centers, many funded by the Saudi government, advocates a radical form of Islam. In fact, a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed that NAIT played an important role in the takeover of a Chicago-area mosque by Islamic fundamentalists who replaced the more moderate leaders. (Struggle for the soul of Islam; Hard-liners won battle for Bridgeview mosque," Chicago Tribune, February 8, 2004) 

In a report annotated by almost 500 sources, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report concludes that ""ISNA was created in the matrix of early organizations design to propagate Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood fundamentalism throughout the world... ISNA and its key leaders have a disturbing record of association with organizations and individuals that are accused and/or convicted of providing assistance to terrorist organizations as defined by the U.S State Department... The largest body of evidence concerning these associations relates to ISNA's support of the Palestinian terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad."

As with his other radical associations (William Ayers, Samantha Power, Reverend Wright), Mazen Asbahi may be quietly waiting behind the scenes to resume his place when the election is over. Investor's Business Daily reports that Asbahi "has not stopped working on behalf of Obama."  They quote the "former" coordinator as saying that, "despite his official exit he was still "110%" behind Obama and that he was participating in campaign conference calls on Muslim outreach."  Leaving the campaign was a "strategic decision," according to Asbahi.

This "strategic" decision brings to mind other similar strategic decisions by Obama. In an article How Barack Obama learned to love Israel, (The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2007) his friend Ali Abunimah criticizes Obama's suddenly positive public expressions about Israel. Abunimah comes to understand Obama's strategy when the two men run into each other. "As he [Obama] came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, ‘Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.' He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy. "

Associates who unnerve, if not terrify, most Americans may be temporarily put aside for "strategic" campaign purposes, but who will be influencing the course of the nation if there is an Obama Whitehouse and the President is finally up front?
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