We have written a lot about Rashad Hussain, America’s special envoy to the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Saudi-based body formed in 1969 to “protect” Jerusalem from the Israelis. Hussain is a piece of work. See the posts collected here.
Notwithstanding his flaws, Hussain has made a great contribution to understanding Barack Obama. This week in a speech a the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, Hussain announced a new title for Obama. According to Hussain, Obama is America’s “Educator-in-Chief on Islam.” He may be in over his head as the president of the United States, but he’s not bad at promoting Islam. Obama embodies the the melding of the left with Islamist forces at home and abroad. Stephen Schwartz reports:
The occasion was another “post-Cairo” conference, following on the event that welcomed Islamist ideologue Tariq Ramadan to Washington in April. Hussain also declared that Obama is “Educator-in-Chief” on the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which has produced diplomatic and political events around the capital for some years. Hussain affirmed with satisfaction that presidential iftar dinners, where the fast is broken after sundown, and which had formerly been limited to diplomats from Muslim countries, now welcomed American Muslims from throughout society.
In his remarks, Hussain also congratulated Obama for sending Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser, to last year’s annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, a notorious front for Saudi-financed Muslim radicalism. Worse, Hussain has now divulged that the U.S. will support the OIC in the latter’s United Nations effort to criminalize “defamation of religion” – widely perceived as a measure to suppress criticism of Muslim practices that violate human rights. “The OIC and the Obama administration will work together in the UN on the issue of defamation of religion, especially in Europe,” said Hussain. He had previously said, at the above-mentioned April “post-Cairo” conference, that the U.S. would work with the OIC to defend the Muslim head-scarf against prohibitions on its display in schools and governmental offices – a measure common to secular France and now Islamist-ruled, but still legally-secular Turkey, as well as Muslim-majority Tunisia and Kosovo.
Obama, Hussain declaimed, has created an “overarching framework” for relations between Muslims and non-Muslims that is lacking in Europe. The problem, according to the president’s man at the OIC, is that a once-favorable relationship between the West and the Muslim countries has turned negative in the past decade – presumably, since 9/11. Put plainly, Obama’s desire to educate Americans about Islam is founded on nostalgia for a warm and reliable friendship that rarely existed.
Here Schwartz pauses to note Hussain’s explanation of the Orwellian linguistic contortions that have become a prominent feature of the Obama administration’s treatment of Islam (“a variety of factors”) and terrorism (“man-made disasters”) and jihad (a “holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam”):
As noted by Hussain, Obama has called for references to “Islamic terrorism” and “jihadism” to be expunged from the official vocabulary employed by his administration, and has pronounced last year’s Fort Hood massacre to be unrelated to Islam. As the president has assured the world, terrorism is anti-Islamic and the term “jihad” has been misused. Thus Obama presumes not only to act as “educator” on Islam to non-Muslim Americans, but to define the religion for its own adherents.
Hussain addressed his comments to an event assessing the impact of Obama’s Cairo speech. But Hussain employed a phrase that must have been chilling to those who heard in it an echo, saying “Islam is a solution” to the current global challenges emerging from Muslim ranks. A “post-Cairo” phrase indeed: “Islam is the solution” is the slogan of the radical Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
Schwartz concludes with the question: “Are we learning yet?” I think we’ve learned enough for today. I just don’t know what we can do about it.