During his United Nations address, President Barack Obama went out of his way to heap praise on a particular Muslim cleric.
The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed, confronted, and refuted in the light of day. Look at the new Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies – Sheikh bin Bayyah described its purpose: “We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace.”
A fine sentiment, but one that Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah probably does not mean in the way that Obama thinks he means it.
The Washington Free Beacon first noticed the reference to bin Bayyah. It turns out that President Obama’s exhibit moderate peaceful Muslim backed a fatwa in favor of killing American troops in 2004, in Iraq.
This isn’t even the first time that Obama’s government has promoted Bayyah. It promoted him back in May 2014, only to backtrack and apologize later.
Bayyah has recently released a fatwa against the Islamic State. That doesn’t make him a moderate.
His detractors say he’s anti-Semitic and that he has called the killing of American soldiers in Iraq justified. Those criticisms are linked to his role as a vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, an organization headquartered in Qatar and headed by Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Al-Qaradawi is an Egyptian theologian who has close links to the Muslim Brotherhood.
And while bin Bayyah has never formally broken with al-Qaradawi, he said he left the International Union of Muslim Scholars a year ago because he didn’t agree with many of the group’s positions. He added that he tried to change the group from the inside and decided he could be more effective starting his own organization to promote peace.
While Bayyah was a member, the group issued a 2009 fatwa against normalizing relations with Israel. Does he agree or disagree with that?
Bayyah visited the Obama White House in June 2013, while he was still working with Qaradawi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Interestingly, in that meeting Bayyah called for the US to get more involved in arming the Syrian rebels. That’s what Obama is doing now, in response to the Islamic State.