On Feb. 20, 2003, Professor Sami Al-Arian of the University of South Florida was arrested by the Department of Justice for his leadership of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a designated terrorist organization. Al-Arian was a radical supporter of Islamic terrorism, a man who announced at rallies that he sought "victory to Islam" and "death to Israel." He created the organization in America, designed, at least in part, to bring terrorists to U.S. soil.
On Sept. 5, 2004, law student Rashad Hussain spoke at a Muslim Student Association (MSA) conference. The MSA is in and of itself a troublesome organization, which has been repeatedly linked to terror -- but that wasn't the main problem. The main problem was Hussain's speech, in which he explicitly defended Al-Arian, calling his prosecution "a sad commentary on our legal system … a travesty of justice … [one incident in a] common pattern … of politically-motivated prosecutions."
On Feb. 28, 2006, Sami Al-Arian pled guilty to conspiracy to help Islamic Jihad.
And on Feb. 14, 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Rashad Hussain to his Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference.
When news broke of Hussain's 2004 statements, Hussain immediately called reports mistaken, explaining that he had not uttered those words. Unfortunately for Hussain, Politico.com quickly recovered a tape of the MSA conference. Hussain then backtracked, stating, "I made clear at the time that I was not commenting on the allegations themselves. The judicial process has now concluded, and I have full faith in its outcome." Very reassuring.
Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration is standing by its man, the same way they originally stood by communism-friendly Green Czar Van Jones. This is troubling not only because Obama consistently elevates those who champion anti-American causes, including Jones and Hussain, but also because of his original selection of these people for powerful posts.
The simple fact is that Hussain is not a problem merely because of his 2004 comments. He is a problem because of what he believes about the Muslim world in general.