The list of individuals who have publicly defended Huma Abedin – willfully blind Republican politicians like John McCain, John Boehner, Scott Brown, Marco Rubio, Jim Sensenbrenner, and Mike Simspson notwithstanding – may be telling us something all by itself.
In the meantime, another defender of Huma’s honor is a woman named Amina Chaudary, who wrote a piece last week called, “We’re all Huma Abedins”. At the bottom of this post, we’ll explain Chaudary’s relevance (stick with us – it’s worth it).
Let’s take a look at Chaudary’s piece, via Post Noon:
While Abedin’s credentials and visibility have afforded her support from all corners of Washington, the guilt-by-association tactics come at a serious price. They create a baseless and unfounded assumption that the loyalty of anyone working in the American government from a Muslim background somehow has a desire to further a political objective from a foreign entity. This is unfair as it is un-American, but is now par for the course when it comes to how American Muslims are viewed in the public space. The reality is that many American Muslims, particularly those born and bred here, may have no ties at all to any foreign political or social movement. This is about the fact that Islam, like previously for Judaism or ethnic affiliations like the Japanese or Chinese, is perceived as inherently un-American or anti-American.
There are scores of American Muslims working in Washington as public servants making significant and important contributions to our country. Average Americans may be surprised that many of them had actually been elected to office, while others have been appointed and some have been selected for their expertise and skills in addressing the many problems our nation faces. None of them, including Huma Abedin, deserve to have their loyalty questioned based on random or distant associations that carry no meaning and likely could disqualify any Muslim American aspiring for public office.
Where do we begin? As has been the case with all those who have come to Huma’s aid in response to the letters penned by Reps. Bachmann, et. al., a faulty premise is used to craft a ridiculous narrative. That premise is that Huma is being unjustly attacked because she’s Muslim. The truth is that the concerns raised have to do not with Abedin’s religion but with her associations, which are SUPPOSED to matter in issues related to granting someone a security clearance, especially at the level where Huma currently works (Hillary’s closest aid).
Moreover, Huma’s most ardent defenders also seem to leave clues behind that actually make them appear as less than good character references. For example, have a look at what Chaudary writes in attempt to prove her point:
While this is the first time such accusations have been leveled against Abedin in a public forum, it is not the first time guilt-by-association tactics have scuttled the promising political careers of American Muslims. Some may recall in the early days of the Obama campaign Mazen Asbahi, an American Muslim lawyer, was appointed by the campaign to undertake outreach to the American Muslim community. Within days, Asbahi was forced to resign due to guilt-by-association relationships with certain individuals, none of whom was ever convicted or indicted for criminal activity in a court of law. The Obama administration feared a distraction, and Asbahi was forced to resign. He, and others like him, would never be able to garner the widespread support for Abedin. Perhaps this is why demonizing American Muslim politicians has become all too common. For the rest of us, gaining widespread support and defense of high-ranking officials in similar scenarios is unheard of.
Mazen Asbahi? Chaudary went there?
Pssst. Amina, not a good idea.
For starters, Asbahi was jettisoned once it became learned that he had ties to a radical Imam from Chicago named Jamal Said, who has distinct ties to Hamas. The Wall Street Journal reported that Asbahi served on a Board with Said. Not only that, but when Walid was a Muslim Brotherhood activist in Chicago, Said was his trainer; Walid confirms Said’s nefarious agenda with his firsthand account.
By pointing to the Asbahi case, Chaudary introduces another name into the discussion – Ahmed Rehab, the Executive Director for the Chicago office of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Like CAIR, Said was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial.
Incidentally, Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly interviewed Rehab in August of 2008, shortly after Asbahi resigned. Note how Rehab actually defends Jamal Said in addition to Asbahi:
Obviously, Rehab knows about Asbahi’s relationship with Said. In fact, he actually defends it by praising Said as “a great American faith leader”.
As for Chaudary, are we supposed to believe that she doesn’t know about Asbahi’s connection to Jamal Said? Doesn’t care? Thinks it’s a good thing? Does she hold the same opinion of Said that Rehab does? If so, that is a person Abedin may not want in her corner.
Again, Chaudary conflates two completely separate things and isn’t challenged for doing so; being denied a security clearance / job in a Presidential administration because of associations is not even remotely similar to being convicted of a crime for having certain associations. The former is completely legitimate; the latter is unjust. Yet, Chaudary wants you to believe Huma Abedin is a victim of guilt by association. Huma’s not been proven guilty but it’s looking more and more like she should be disqualified from holding the position of Deputy Chief of Staff for the Secretary of State. It’s an apples and oranges argument on the part of Chaudary and every Huma defender that media outlets – on both the left and the right – continue to let go.
As for why Amina Chaudary’s defense of Huma Abedin might be a point of interest…
As we learned a few days ago, Huma served on the Board of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at George Washington University (GWU) as recently as August of 1997. As far back as January of 1999, a woman named Amina Chaudary is listed as that chapter’s Vice-President (her name remained on the Board until at least June of 2000). Is the Amina Chaudary who served on the same Board at MSA GWU (that Huma did one year earlier) the same Amina Chaudary that is defending Huma today? Do the two women know each other? If so, did they meet through the MSA?
Here again, is the screen shot of the MSA GWU Board from August of 1997. Notice the last name of the President at the time – Aisha Chaudary. Do Aisha and Amina know each other? Are they related? After all, we ARE talking about the same MSA GWU Board that welcomed Anwar al-Awlaki onto its Board as a “Chaplain” in late 2001.
Such associations do matter when we’re talking about national security.