Witch Hunt: Right-Wing Media Smears Rashad Hussain As A ‘Terrorist Sympathizer’

From MediaMatters.org:

Right-wing media figures seized on what ABC News’ Jake Tapper has described as an "apparently erroneous" report of a statement allegedly made by President Obama’s nominee for special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference Rashad Hussain to portray him as a "pro-jihadist," a "radical," and a "terrorist sympathizer." But, as Tapper points out, Hussain has argued that terrorism is "antithetical" to Islam had has written extensively on "[d]iscrediting the terrorist ideology…to stop al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups."

Right-wing media figures smear Hussain as pro-terrorist and call for his firing

Fox News: "Obama’s Islamic Envoy Quoted Defending Man Charged With Aiding Terrorists." A February 16 FoxNews.com article reported on the "controversy over remarks attributed to [Hussain] defending a man who later pleaded guilty to conspiring to aid a terrorist group." Despite acknowledging in the article that "the White House says the controversial remarks defending Al-Arian two years earlier were made by his daughter — not by Hussain," the article ran the title "Obama’s Islamic Envoy Quoted Defending Man Charged With Aiding Terrorists."

American Thinker calls Hussain "a terrorist sympathizer," who is "pro-jihadist." On a February 18 blog, American Thinker contributor J. C. Arenas asked "how a terrorist sympathizer has risen to such a position within the president’s administration." Arenas also calls Hussain "pro-jihadist" and referred to President Obama’s "radical minions," who are "members of an increasing network of radical individuals whom share a common belief system and they’re working together for a common purpose; to fundamentally change America."

Atlas Shrugs called Hussain a "Jihadist in the White House." On February 17, Atlas Shrugs writer Pamela Geller highlighted a Human Events post by Robert Spencer, under the headline "Covering up for Jihadists in the White House."

Hannity guest: Hussain’s appointment is "an intentional effort to get folks with a radical perspective into the administration." On the February 17 edition of his Fox News program, host Sean Hannity said of Hussain’s appointment: "[N]ow I don’t know what has happened with the vetting process," adding that "[an] Obama nominee defended a guy who was convicted of aiding a terrorist group." Fox News contributor Pat Caddell said, "[I]f the White House hadn’t had so many problems with people, they might be able to get away with the fact that they are claiming it was his sister." Fox News contributor Kate Obenshain claimed that "there’s no mistake, it’s not the vetting process, Sean. It’s an intentional effort to get folks with a radical perspective into the administration," and said of the disputed quote, "Give me a break! This guy, you mean to tell me for five years, he didn’t mind being inappropriately — a quote inappropriately attributed to him where he’s defending a man involved with an organization that killed over 100 Israelis?"

Brad Blakeman: Hussain has "more in common with our enemies than what we stand for as a nation" and Obama should "dump him now." Appearing on the February 17 edition of Fox News’ America Live, Republican strategist Brad Blakeman asked "how is it possible that the White House found somebody who has more in common with our enemies than what we stand for as a nation? This is our representative to the Muslim world? Somebody who aids and abets a confessed terrorist?" After host Megyn Kelly asked Blakeman if he was "overstat[ing] the case," he responded "I do not," and added, "For him to have made those comments after being appointed to a White House position is unconscionable and the president needs to dump this guy and dump him now."

Read more here at Media Matters.