Marie Harf explains

In his mind-numbing United Nations speech this week (White House text here), President Obama invoked the authority of Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah. Obama cited bin Bayyah’s good works, such as they are:

The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed and confronted and refuted in the light of day. Look at the new Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies — Sheikh bin Bayyah described its purpose: “We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace.”

Is that really worthy of a shout-out in a speech by the President of the United States? I doubt it, but it’s worse than that. As the Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo noted following the speech, bin Bayyah’s group once backed a fatwa that called for the deaths of American soldiers in 2004. When the Obama administration met with bin Bayyah last year, Andy McCarthy commented:

Bin Bayyah is the principal deputy to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief sharia jurist and the driving force of the IUMS. In addition to being behind the 2004 fatwa [against American troops in Iraq], Qaradawi also promotes suicide bombing against Israel. The IUMS strongly supports the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, Hamas, the terrorist organization designated as such under American law. Indeed, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh – a close ally of both Qaradawi and Turkey’s Islamic supremacist prime minister (and Obama fave) Recep Tayyip Erdogan – was welcomed into the IUMS as a member in 2004.

Only last year the State Department apologized for promoting bin Bayyah on Twitter. This time around there was no apology, but there was an explanation. State Department spokesman Marie Harf appeared on Megyn Kelly’s FOX News show Thursday night to do the explaining. She cites a recent bin Bayyah fatwa taking issue with ISIS, discussed in this NPR report. As for bin Bayyah’s 2004 fatwa, Harf borrowed a page from the Tommy Vietor playbook, explaining that 2004 — dude, that was like 10 years ago.

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