The White House has finally divulged the names of American Muslim leaders who met with President Obama this week, including Imam Mohamed Magid, who has advised the administration on formulating responses to incidents that Islamists consider offensive.
After stonewalling journalists for two days about the names of the participants at the meeting Wednesday, the White House quietly attached the list of attendees to the end of its daily press briefing transcript Thursday evening.
The guest list identified Imam Magid as a representative of the Adams Center, a large mosque in Sterling, Virginia. He has also served as president of the Islamic Society of North America, according to the group’s website.
Imam Magid, a native of Sudan, has served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism Working Group and has worked as an adviser to the White House National Security Council to formulate U.S. responses to appeal to moderate Muslims in the battle against Islamist extremists.
It was Mr. Obama’s first meeting with American Muslim leaders at the White House, coming at a time of renewed discussion about the threat of radicalization of Muslims in the West. The hourlong talk focused on civil rights, anti-Muslim bias, and extremism, according to participants.
The other attendees were Bilqis “Qisi” Abdul-Qaadir, director of women’s basketball operations at Indiana State University; Arshia Wajid, founder of American Muslim Health Professionals; comedian Dean Obeidallah; Kameelah Rashad, founder of Muslim Wellness Foundation and Muslim chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; Diego Arancibia, board member and associate director of the Ta’leef Collective; Farhan Latif, chief operating officer and director of policy impact at the Institute of Policy and Understanding; Sherman Jackson, professor of religion and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California; Azhar Azeez, president of the Islamic Society of North America; Farhana Khera, president of Muslim Advocates; Rahat Hussain, president of the Universal Muslim Association of America; Hoda Hawa, national policy adviser of the Muslim Public Affairs Council; Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute and Haroon Mokhtarzada, CEO of Webs.
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Also at the meeting were Mr. Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.
The White House said Mr. Obama “reiterated his administration’s commitment to safeguarding civil rights through hate crimes prosecutions and civil enforcement actions” during the meeting, and also discussed countering the Islamic State “and other groups that commit horrific acts of violence, purportedly in the name of Islam.”
The president urged Muslim Americans “to remain civically engaged in their communities,” the White House said.
The Justice Department named ISNA in a court document as an unindicted co-conspirator with other “entities who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood” during prosecution of a terrorist financing case in 2007 against the Holy Land Foundation, once the largest Muslim charity in the U.S.
A federal judge later ruled that the document should not have been revealed to the public. The ISNA has said that its inclusion in the charitable foundation’s list of unindicted co-conspirators amounted to guilt by association.
• Dave Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
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