Radical Egyptian cleric Yusuf Qaradawi is considered so radical that the United States bans him from entering the country.
Qaradawi, considered the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, has called for the killing of Jews and Americans.
That history makes the June 13 White House meeting with Sheik Abdullah Bin Bayyah all the more inexplicable. Bin Bayyah is vice president
of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), a group founded
by and headed by Qaradawi. The IUMS has a long history of supporting
Hamas -a top Hamas leader is an IUMS member - and of calling for Israel's destruction.
Bin Bayyah's website claims that he met June 13 with senior Obama administration officials at the White House.
Nonetheless, it was the Obama administration which sought the meeting with Bin Bayyah, his website's account said.
"We asked for this meeting to learn from you and we need to be
looking for new mechanisms to communicate with you and the Association
of Muslim Scholars (another name used for the IUMS)," Gayle Smith, senior director of the National Security Council, reportedly said.
Bin Bayyah's June 13 account placed other senior officials in the meeting, including: Rashad Hussain, the U.S. special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and White House spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri. But the account was later changed to delete the reference to Donilon's presence at the meeting.
Smith also thanked Bin Bayyah for
"his efforts to bring more understanding amongst humanity" during the
meeting, the Bin Bayyah account said.
The White House did not respond to repeated requests for comments between June 14 and Tuesday.
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