Barack Obama campaigned in Michigan last week, and during his trip, he met privately with a prominent Muslim leader. It wasn’t especially noteworthy
May 19, 2008

Barack Obama campaigned in Michigan last week, and during his trip, he met privately with a prominent Muslim leader. It wasn’t especially noteworthy; candidates meet with prominent religious leaders frequently, from a variety of faiths, in communities nationwide.

Imam Hassan Qazwini, head of the Islamic Center of America, said in an email that he met with Obama at Macomb Community College. A mosque spokesman, Eide Alawan, confirmed that the meeting took place. During the meeting, the two discussed the Presidential election, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Iraq war, according to Qazwini.

At the end of the meeting, Qazwini said he gave Obama a copy of new book, “American Crescent,” and invited Obama to visit his center. […]

Born in Iraq into a long line of Shi’ite clerics, Qazwini and his family left for Iran to escape persecution under the regime of Saddam Hussein. He later moved to the U.S. and become head of the Dearborn mosque, one of the largest Shi’ite Muslim centers in the U.S.

No one cared. No one, that is, until Debbie Schlussel, one of the more unhinged members of the conservative blogosphere, argued the day after the Obama meeting that the senator had met "with one of Hezbollah’s most important imams and agents in America." She also accued Qazwini of being “an agent of the Iranian government,” and a supporter of “Palestinian homicide bombings, HAMAS, and Hezbollah.” She added that the Wednesday meeting “says a lot about the company Obama keeps … and why he shouldn’t be President.”

Schlussel’s attack was widely parroted by the far-right, with the usual suspects charactering the Obama meeting as something scandalous.

Schlussel also quoted the Detroit Free Press article noting the Obama meeting, but omitted the one sentence that undermined her vacuous smear: “Qazwini has also met several times with President Bush and other elected officials.”

Yep, this allegedly radical, terrorist-supporting agent of Iran is so dangerous, he’s been able to hang out with George W. Bush. Better yet, Oliver Willis posted some photos of Qazwini with Bush, including one in which the president gives the imam a little kiss.

I guess the right now believes Bush "shouldn't be president"?

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