The U.S. State Department’s Puzzling Embrace of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah

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Sometimes the U.S. State Department seems not quite in sync with President Trump’s unequivocal rejection of radical Islam.

One of those times recently came to the fore when the State Department’s Ambassador for Religious Liberty Sam Brownback embraced Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah.

Back in 2013, Andrew McCarthy provided information on Bin Bayyah in his National Review piece. McCarthy reported that bin Bayyah was the vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), the principal deputy to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief sharia jurist, the driving force of the IUMS, a Hamas supporter, and genocidal promoter of Israel- and Jew-hatred.

Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project, also noted that Qaradawi was banned from the U.S. because of his Islamic radicalism when he reported on President Obama’s welcoming Bin Bayyah to the White House.

In 2013, Bin Bayyah purportedly resigned from the IUMS. The report claims Bin Bayyah had stated to the secretary general of the Union of Islamic Scholars that:

“the path for reform and reconciliation requires a speech that does not fit with my role in the Union,”

Observers claimed that Bin Bayyah then preferred:

“to stop bloodshed and promote tolerance and peace”

Bin Bayyah has his own website wherein he congratulates himself on being one of the world’s most influential Muslims. Bin Bayyah’s site also includes his interview with CNN that displays his photo and the caption, ‘A Voice of Moderate Islam.’

The pithy saying that usually applies to humans, is that ‘a leopard cannot change his spots.’

There is some evidence from 2016 that Bin Bayyah might be transitioning from a hard-line Qaradawi associate and Muslim Brotherhood member to becoming more tolerant of minorities in Muslim nations.  Bin Bayyah is noted therein as the president of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies. For more information on this, read this article.

The interfaith initiative in 2016 in which Bin Bayyah participated brought together imams, rabbis and pastors from 20 countries for the stated purpose of building a bridge of peaceful and respectful co-existence between religions and to move all to stand together against religious extremism.

The introduction to this report, however, appears to reveal that the ulterior prime motive for this outreach to Jews and Christians was to induce them to join Muslims in condemning Islamophobia:

“As anti-Muslim sentiment appeared to have increased across the world, the agenda of the second edition of the American Peace Caravan has focused on new initiatives intended to dampen Islamophobia and extremism.”

Did this interfaith conference happen to note that practically all the religious-based extremism, bigoted hatred and violence in the world is coming, not from Jews and Christians, but from radical Muslims targeting Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims?

According to the organization that documents information on all aspects of radical Islam, The Religion of Peace, there have been 32,508 deadly Islamic terrorist deadly attacks since 9/11 alone.

What about a Bin Bayyah-initiated interfaith forum to denounce the Muslim world’s unremitting bigoted hatred of Israel and Jews? Or their hatred of Christians, particularly in a number of Middle East and North African nations where Islamists are seeking to ethnically cleanse Christians from their midst?

What are the odds of that happening?

In the absence of unassailable proof to the contrary, common sense says that Bin Bayyah has not, since 2013, completely given up his association with Qaradawi and the Muslim Brotherhood – and all the Jihadist beliefs associated therewith – by simply making a move to enter the interfaith arena and don the robes of a so-called “moderate Muslim.”

The phrase “moderate Muslim,” however, has a variable meaning relative to the context of a Muslim-related issue and group being referenced by politicians and the media.

Thus, the phrase has been used to describe Muslims along the Islamic religious spectrum from so-called Muslim Reformers who typically are integrated into Western Judeo-Christian, democratic culture and norms to the likes of Palestinian leader Mahmood Abbas who, like his predecessor Arafat, regularly incites Jew and Israel hatred and terrorism, but does not get his own hands bloodied.

Given the variable meaning of “moderate Muslim” and the lack of compelling evidence to prove Bin Bayyah has completely changed his spots to be fairly described as a peaceful, respectful and tolerant “moderate Muslim,’ it is fair to ask, why did the State Department’s Ambassador for Religious Liberty, Sam Brownback recently embrace Bin Bayyah?

Until such evidence appears, prudence dictates that Bin Bayyah warrants close scrutiny by the U.S. State Department and other agencies charged with keeping America safe from radical Islamists and Jihadists and their radicalizing influence and bigoted beliefs.

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