Chicago lawyer Mazen Asbahi, who was appointed volunteer national coordinator for Muslim American affairs by the Obama campaign on July 26, stepped down Monday after an Internet newsletter wrote about his brief stint on the fund’s board, which also included a fundamentalist imam.
“Mr. Asbahi has informed the campaign that he no longer wishes to serve in his volunteer position, and we are in the process of searching for a new national Arab American and Muslim American outreach coordinator,” spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.
A corporate lawyer at the firm of Schiff Hardin LLP, Mr. Asbahi tendered his resignation after he and the Obama campaign received emailed inquiries about his background from The Wall Street Journal. He did not respond to the email or a message left at his law office; the campaign released a letter in which Mr. Asbahi said he did not want to be a distraction.
Yeah, right. Actually, the discovery of Asbahi’s affiliations was the ‘distraction’.
……In 2000, Mr. Asbahi briefly served on the board of Allied Assets Advisors Fund, a Delaware-registered trust. Its other board members at the time included Jamal Said, the imam at a fundamentalist-controlled mosque in Illinois.
……The eight-year-old connection between Mr. Asbahi and Mr. Said was raised last week by the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, which is published by a Washington think tank and chronicles the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, a world-wide fundamentalist group based in Egypt. Other Web sites, some pro-Republican and others critical of fundamentalist Islam, also have reported on the background of Mr. Asbahi. He is a frequent speaker before several groups in the U.S. that scholars have associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Justice Department named Mr. Said an unindicted co-conspirator in the racketeering trial last year of several alleged Hamas fund-raisers, which ended in a mistrial. He has also been identified as a leading member of the group in news reports going back to 1993.
Mr. Said is the imam at the Bridgeview Mosque in Bridge-view, Ill., outside Chicago. He left the board of the Islamic fund in 2005, Securities and Exchange Commission filings state. A message left for Mr. Said at the mosque was not returned.
Allied Asset Advisors is a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust. The trust, which is supported financially by the government of Saudi Arabia, holds title to many mosques in the U.S. and promotes a conservative brand of Islam compatible with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and also akin to the fundamentalist style predominant in Saudi Arabia.
By the way, some background about that ‘fundamentalist-controlled mosque in Illinois’:
From the Militant Islam Monitor:
In what seems more a bribe then donation Chicagos Mayor Daley cut the ribbon to a park ‘funded’ by the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation at the same time that Mohammed Salah, one of their prominent members is on trial for terrorism and membership in Hamas.
Salah, 51, could face life in prison if convicted of charges including racketeering conspiracy, providing material support to terrorism and obstruction of justice. Also charged in the case were senior Hamas political leader Mousa Abu Marzook, currently a fugitive living in Syria, and Palestinian activist Abdelhaleem Hasan Abdelraziq Ashqar of Virginia.
……The mosque, which gave money to several Muslim charities later shut down by the government amid terrorism-funding allegations, has long been a focal point of the federal probe into Hamas activity in the south suburbs.
Bridgeview Mosque member Mohammed Salah was found directly responsible for the drive by murder of David Boim a 17 year old American living in Israel. The verdict put an end to the Islamic Association of Palestine whose spokesman, Rafiq Jabir was the spokesman for the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation.
Jurors ruled that Oak Lawn-based Quranic Literacy Institute, a nonprofit group that translates religious texts, is liable for Boim’s death. Quranic Literacy was accused in the lawsuit of laundering Hamas money in the early 1990s and providing cover for suspected high-ranking Hamas operative Mohammed Salah of Bridgeview.
Keys already had ruled that Salah — as well as Muslim charity Holy Land Foundation and Palos Hills-based Islamic Association for Palestine — were liable for Boim’s death. That ruling marked the first time American organizations had been held liable for the actions of terrorists overseas, and Wednesday’s jury award marked the first time they were hit in the pocketbook.
“We have exposed and hopefully put to an end the network in the U.S. that supported Hamas,” Landes said. “The veil has been lifted.”
……The Bridgeview Mosque Foundation has been a terror hub for decades . In his book “American Jihad” counter terrorism expert Steven Emerson recounted a visit to the mosque and his encounter with Jamal Said:
Obama’s list of associates reads like a Who’s Who of Islamic terrorism.