The U.S. State Department’s Counter Terrorism (CT) Bureau apologized on Tuesday for promoting a controversial Muslim scholar, Bin Bayyah, whose organization has reportedly backed Hamas and endorsed a fatwa authorizing the murder of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah is the vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), a controversial organization founded by Egyptian cleric Yusuf Qaradawi–a Muslim Brotherhood leader “who has called for the death of Jews and Americans and himself is banned from visiting the U.S.,” according to Fox News.
Last Friday the CT Bureau tweeted a link to a press release on Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah’s site condemning the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls by the Boko Haram group.
Terrorism analyst Patrick Poole said that the State Department must more carefully choose the Muslim leaders it promotes.
“This administration is continuing to push extremist clerics like Bin Bayyah as part of a fantasy foreign policy that somehow they are somehow a counter to al Qaeda,” Poole said. “But in Bin Bayyah’s case, it was his organization that issued the fatwa allowing for the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and said it was a duty for Muslims all over the world to support the Iraqi ‘resistance’ against the United States that gave religious justification for al Qaeda’s terrorism.
Bin Bayyah is one of several clerics who endorsed a 2004 fatwa that called for the the killing of Americans in Iraq, PJ Media reported in 2013, when Bin Bayyah met with National Security Council staff at the White House.