Obama’s unsavory ties
Oct 27, 2008 20:18 | Updated Oct 28, 2008 10:15
Obama’s unsavory ties
By DANIEL PIPES
One watches with dismay as Democratic candidate Barack Obama manages to hide the truth on his longstanding, if indirect ties to two institutions: the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), listed by the US government in 2007 as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding trial; and the Nation of Islam (NoI), condemned by the Anti-Defamation League for its “consistent record of racism and anti-Semitism.”
First, Obama’s ties to Islamists:
• The Khalid al-Mansour connection: According to former Manhattan Borough president Percy Sutton, Mansour “was raising money for” Obama’s expenses at Harvard Law School. Mansour, a black American (né Don Warden), became adviser to Saudi prince Al-Walid bin Talal, CAIR’s largest individual donor. Mansour holds standard Islamist views: He absolves the Islamist government in Sudan of sponsoring slavery, he denies a Jewish tie to Jerusalem and he wrote a booklet titled “Americans Beware! The Zionist Plot Against S. Arabia.” (Both Obama and Mansour deny Sutton’s account.)
• The Kenny Gamble (also known as Luqman Abdul-Haqq) connection: Gamble, a once-prominent pop music producer, cut the ribbon to the Obama campaign headquarters housed in a South Philadelphia building he owns. Gamble is an Islamist who buys large swaths of real estate in Philadelphia to create a Muslim-only residential area. Also, as the self-styled “amir” of the United Muslim Movement, he has many links to Islamist organizations, including CAIR and the Muslim Alliance in North America. (MANA’s “amir” is Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.)
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• The Mazen Asbahi connection: The Obama campaign’s first Muslim outreach coordinator resigned after it came to light that he had served on the board of a subsidiary of the Saudi-sponsored North American Islamic Trust, with Jamal Said, another unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Hamas funding trial. Asbahi has ties to CAIR’s Chicago and Detroit offices, to the Islamic Society of North America, yet another unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas funding trial, and to other Islamist organizations.
• The Minha Husaini connection: The campaign’s second Muslim outreach coordinator has an Islamist background, having served as an intern in the Muslim Public Service Network. Immediately upon her appointment by Obama, she met with a group of about 30 Muslims including such notorious figures as CAIR’s Nihad Awad; the Muslim American Society’s Mahdi Bray, who has publicly supported Hamas and Hizbullah; and Johari Abdul Malik of the Dar al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, who has advised American Muslims: “You can blow up bridges, but you cannot kill people who are innocent on their way to work.”
SECOND, OBAMA’s ties to the Nation of Islam:
Obama’s long-time donor and ally Antoin “Tony” Rezko partnered for nearly three decades with Jabir Herbert Muhammad, a son of NoI leader Elijah Muhammad, and says he gave Jabir and his family “millions of dollars over the years.” Rezko also served as executive director of the Muhammad Ali Foundation, a rogue organization that, without Ali’s permission, exploited the name of this CAIR awardee.
Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s esteemed pastor for 20 years, came out of a Nation background. Recently he accepted protection from an NoI security detail, and has praised Louis Farrakhan, the NoI’s leader, as one of the “giants of the African American religious experience.” Wright’s church celebrated Farrakhan for his having “truly epitomized greatness.”
Farrakhan himself endorsed Obama, calling him “the hope of the entire world,” “one who can lift America from her fall,” and even “the messiah.”
That Obama’s biography touches so frequently on such unsavory organizations as CAIR and the Nation of Islam should give pause. How many of politicians have a single tie to either group, much less seven of them?
The writer is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.