Union of Muslim Scholars member Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah was able to secure a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House on June 13, despite his radical associations.
A report from the Investigative Project on Terrorism revealed a statement on Bayyah’s website, which claimed he met the president at the administration’s request. He said the National Security Council official Gayle Smith asked for the meeting and hoped to look for “new mechanisms” to communicate with the Association of Muslim Scholars.
According to IPT, the reference to meeting Smith was later deleted.
The Muslim scholar has been associated with the radical Islamist group Hamas and campaigned for the U.N. to criminalize blasphemy. He is also the deputy of Egyptian cleric Yusuf Qaradawi, who was banned from the United States for his radical statements.
Qaradawi is a Muslim Brotherhood leader who called for the death of Americans and Jews.
During the meeting, Bayyah discussed the injustices facing Syrians, Palestinians and the Muslim minority in Myanmar who are subjected to radical Buddhist mistreatment. He asked the United States to provide further aid to the Syrian rebels.
The Obama administration confirmed that the meeting took place, and a picture was revealed of Bayyah attending the meeting. According to the administration, the meeting mainly took place to counter the al Queda narrative.