Rashad Hussain was appointed by President Barack Hussein Obama to be the United States’ second Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). After he was appointed he became the subject of much scrutiny and anti-Muslim rhetoric from right-wing Islamophobes. He was called every name in the book.
Now the American Islamic College (AIC) and the OIC is jointly organizing a conference from September 28-30 on the topic of “Islam and Muslims in America” to be held at the AIC. Rashad Hussein was one of the headline speakers for the conference and his presence was essentially a sure thing considering that his JOB is to be the special envoy to the OIC. The Islamophobe-sphere went buck wild when they heard that Hussain would be a speaker and responded with their usual hate smears calling it a “supremacist gathering,” a “Muslim Brotherhood event,” throwing in all the usual buzz words and the kitchen sink like “Hamas,” “Shariah,” “Khilafah,” yada yada.
In light of these attacks Rashad Hussain canceled his scheduled speech at the conference last minute citing a “scheduling conflict” according to the emcee (hat tip: Joel).
Are you serious? So at the last minute the Special Envoy to the OIC has a “scheduling conflict”? What possible “scheduling conflict” would keep the special envoy to the OIC from attending a major OIC conference right here in the United States, in fact in his hometown? Did he have another scheduled event at the OIP (Organization of Intimidated Pushovers)?
Where is this guy’s priorities? And why is he kow-towing to the Right-wing hate machine? Why is he submitting to the intimidation and smear tactics that have so successfully exposed the glaring weakness of the Obama administration? Are the higher ups telling him to sit this conference out because it will be bad for PR? Do they and he not realize that this essentially empowers the goons on the far-right that no one in the Muslim community gives the light of day or takes seriously?
This episode reveals a very troubling problem, Rashad Hussain seems to be nothing more than window dressing used by the noodle-kneed Obama administration to create the image that Obama is trying to reach out to the Muslim world.
This intimidation and acquiescence to hate and fear mongering has to stop and if the Obama administration is truly serious about reaching out to the Muslim world he has to go beyond symbolic action and translate that symbolism and usage of pretty words into tangible and concrete results. Pulling the plug at the last minute means you aren’t serious and only furthers the perception that all the talk is just for show.