The Bin Bayyah Bungle
Obama seeks advice from another “moderate” terrorist supporter.

Sheikh Abdulla bin Bayyah


Andrew C. McCarthy

The calls by Qaradawi and his IUMS for the killing of American soldiers and civilians are worth remembering. At the time of the 2004 IUMS fatwa, the organization’s vice-president was Qaradawi’s longtime confidant, Sheikh Abdulla bin Bayyah. Today, in addition to his IUMS labors, it turns out that Sheikh bin Bayyah has a new position: Obama-administration adviser.

This week, the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Steve Emerson and John Rossomando broke the news that the Obama administration issued a visa to bin Bayyah and hosted him at the White House on June 13. We learn about this not from the most transparent administration in history but because bin Bayyah posted an account of the meeting on his website — complete with a photograph of bin Bayyah holding court at a long table surrounded by Obama’s raptly attentive national-security staffers.

While Obama officials refused for nearly two weeks to confirm the meeting or comment on its substance, Qaradawi’s deputy took pains to expunge his mention of national-security adviser Tom Donilon’s presence at the session. But the administration finally acknowledged the meeting to Fox News on Thursday. Bin Bayyah had emphasized that it was the administration, not he, who sought the confab — to seek “new mechanisms to communicate” with the IUMS, as Gayle Smith, Obama’s national-security counsel, reportedly put it. Ms. Smith is also said to have thanked the co-author of the 2004 fatwa for “his efforts to bring more understanding amongst humanity.”

Recall that Obama’s crack national-security team previously issued a visa to Hani Nour el-Din, a member of the Blind Sheikh’s Egyptian terrorist organization, so he could come to the White House for consultations. Remarkably, the administration defended huddling with bin Bayyah on the ground they were trying, as Fox News reported, “to counter the al Qaeda narrative.” Al-Qaeda, of course, supports suicide terrorism against Israel and violent jihad to drive American troops out of the Middle East, just like Qaradawi and the IUMS. Indeed, in principle, there is no difference between al-Qaeda’s rationale for the mass murder of civilians on 9/11 and Qaradawi’s support for murdering American civilians in Iraq. Osama bin Laden explained it this way:

The American people should remember that they pay taxes to their government, they elect their president, their government manufactures arms and gives them to Israel and Israel uses them to massacre Palestinians. The American Congress endorses all government measures, and this proves that all of America is responsible for the atrocities committed against Muslims. All of America, because they elect the Congress.

As one would expect, bin Bayyah lobbied his hosts to “take urgent action” to help Syrian opposition forces backed by the Brotherhood and al-Qaeda in their jihad against the Assad regime — something that no one except John McCain has demanded more ardently than Qaradawi. Administration officials have told media outlets that the president has indeed decided to provide weapons to the Syrian “rebels.”

It is not known whether Donilon, Smith, Rashad Hussein (Obama’s envoy to the 57-government Organization of Islamic Cooperation), and the other administration officials on hand congratulated bin Bayyah and the IUMS on recently welcoming Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh as a member of the organization. Yes, Hamas is still a terrorist organization. And yes, it is still a federal crime to promote terrorism — at least nominally. But when it comes to the Brotherhood, our president is obviously of a mind to let bygones be bygones, insha Allah.

Taking cues from the Brotherhood is working out well, wouldn’t you say? Iraq and Libya are imploding; the Obama-backed Islamic-supremacist regimes in Egypt and Turkey are brutally repressing authentic democratic revolts; the Taliban is poised to retake Afghanistan; and now, we’re off to Syria. Meanwhile, the few brave House conservatives who have the temerity to raise questions about Brotherhood infiltration of our government are run out of town by a bipartisan posse; the materials used to train our agents are purged of references to the enemy’s ideology; and the White House rolls out its red carpet for terror promoters who urge the murder of our troops while promising to conquer America, Europe, and Israel.

Not to worry, though. Obama’s got just three and a half years to go. How much damage could he do, right?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. He is the author, most recently, of Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy.