FLASHBACK: Obama's 2008 Muslim Outreach Advisers

Mazen Asbahi
September 24, 2012

In 2008, Obama’s Muslim Outreach Adviser, Mazen Asbahi, resigned following reports that he was linked to an Imam with ties to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Asbahi sat on the board of an investment fund, Allied Assets Advisors Fund, with Jamal Said, an imam from Illinois who has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. The government has also investigated Said over fundraising for Hamas.

After Asbahi resigned, Minha Husaini joined the Obama campaign as liaison to the Muslim community. In September 2008, Husaini attended a discussion with Muslim leaders and community members, including leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The Department of Justice has listed CAIR as an unindicted coconspirator for financing Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Obama campaign responded to criticism, saying Husaini would not have attended the discussion if she had known leaders from CAIR would be present.

Obama created controversy over the weekend during an interview with Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes. Kroft asked Obama if the recent events in the Middle East, including the mob attacks in Cairo and the terrorist attack in Benghazi that resulted in the murder of four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, had "given you any pause." Obama responded by calling the terrorist attack and riots "bumps in the road" to a democratic Middle East.

On Monday, while taping an interview for The View, Obama remained hesitant to refer to the Benghazi attack as terrorism.