Witch-Hunt Against Huma Abedin

Following widespread ridicule of the suggestion that Anthony Weiner may have secretly converted to Islam as part of a socialist plot to orchestrate a Muslim takeover of the USA, the conspiracy-mongerers are now settling on the idea that Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin – who works as an aide to Hilary Clinton – may be a spy for the Muslim Brotherhood. The inspiration for this has come from Walid Shoebat (whose views I overviewed here) and Ben Barrack; as they explain:

Al-Liwa Al-Arabi (translated here) claims to have leaked an extensive list, which was partially published by Al-Jazeera and several other major Arab newspapers. The detailed list included Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin, as belonging to the Brotherhood’s secret women’s division known as the Muslim Sisterhood or what is known as the International Women’s Organization (IWO). Egyptian Al-Dostor revealed that the Sisternood included 63 International members that span 16 different countries; it’s also confirmed by the Arab Centre for Studies, headed by researcher Abdul Rahim Ali. Neither Huma nor any major western media outlet even mention what is common knowledge in the Arab world. Yet, confirmed by Arab sources – is that Huma Abedin has a brother named Hassan Abedin who works at Oxford University.

The theory is that because these relatives haven’t condemned Huma’s marriage to a non-Muslim, this may be a sign that they’re in on the conspiracy. Given this, we apparently do not need to dwell on the fact that there is no evidence that Huma has ever abused either her own or her husband’s professional position in any way.

But what what of Shoebat’s touted “SECRET Muslim Brotherhood Connections” among Huma’s relatives? Shoebat doesn’t give us much to go on: the link given for Al-Liwa Al-Arabi leads to an obscure and short-lived blog from January 2010, while the al-Jazeera piece is largely derivative of Egyptian newspapers (so far as I can tell from Google translate). The aforementioned Abdul Rahim Ali appears to be the actual source, but where he got his information from remains unclear.

Saleha Abedin appears to be a respectable academic and a moderate: she’s a co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, and, according to her profile there:

Dr. Abedin is a member of several inter-faith organizations committed to promoting peace and dialogue including the Millennium World Peace Summit, the Vienna Round Table for Christian Muslim Dialogue, the Peace Council, the Parliament of World Religions, and the World Council of Muslims for Interfaith Relations. She is also committed to promoting the advancement of women and has been part of a founding group for a pioneering women’s college. Dr. Saleha Abedin serves as the Director of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs.

But even if Shoebat’s claim turns out to be correct, it’s a rather big jump from identifying a “member” of the Muslim Brotherhood to showing that that this person’s daughter is therefore a spy working against the USA.

The “SECRET Connection” regarding Huma’s brother is even more tenuous: the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, where he’s based, has some troubling names on its board, but the notion that this is somehow the key to understanding the OCIS as an Islamist conspiracy is excessive.

There is no evidence that Huma Abedin has been involved in any wrongdoing. The abuse now being heaped on her by conservative websites in no more than a witch-hunt against a successful young woman, at a time when she is doubtless suffering great personal distress and humiliation over her husband’s sexual failings. It’s distasteful to witness.

UPDATE (26 June): It seems that Shoebat hadn’t quite scraped the bottom of the barrel. Here he is in Frontpage Magazine, warming to his conspiracy theory in conversation with Jamie Glazov:

FP: Look, some skeptics would still say: “So What? Huma is still not a member of the Sisterhood. And that’s that.” How would you respond?

Shoebat: Imagine during World War II, the U.S. government accepted Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress or one of Hitler’s henchmen daughters to work with our State Department and even be with the Secretary of State 24/7?

After all “Braun” they argue “is not a member of the Nazi Party”; how will that bode with the American people?

17 Responses

  1. Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood?

    No? Ummm … how about anyone you’re related to?

  2. I actually find this laughable Richard. If you read your previous post, the entire rational of the piece is guitl by association. So and so once worked with so somehow who is somehow loosely associated with someone. Yet when it comes to a woman working side by side with one of the highest offices in the land, who grew up in Saudi Arabia, and whose mother is actually a member of a known terrorist organization with specific plans to infiltrate high offices, then this is to be brushed asides a mere witch hunt… So hypocritical… So typical…

    • The issue with Benador is that it’s remarkable that someone of such vulgar, excessive, and absurd rhetoric had a central strategic role within the neo-conservative movement. I didn’t suggest that Woolsey and co are “guilty” – but the association is certainly risible, and perhaps reveals something of interest about the dynamics of the movement. By contrast, the claim that Huma Abedin has “infiltrated” the US government is based on no evidence whatsoever, and is being peddled opportunistically by a man who claims to know that Barack Obama is “definitely” a Muslim.

    • The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization? News to me — they actually gave up violence some time ago and are enemies of more violent “jihadist” groups like al-Qaeda. And where are these “specific plans” to infiltrate high office?

      Huma Abedin and her mother are, quite blatantly, secular Muslims, hence why she married a non-Muslim .Of course, Islamophobes will use actually use that to reinforce their delusions of persecution (something about taqiyya and other words they don’t understand).

  3. I could care less where the info came from. It’s valid. Certainly worthy of further examination.

  4. Huma Abedin and her mother are, quite blatantly, secular Muslims, hence why she married a non-Muslim

    Really? So then why is Humna’s mother a member of the The Muslim Sisters, a group^with close ties to the MB, a terror organisation.

    And if Huma is so secular and cuddly, then why has Weiner himself said he stopped drinking alcohol in her presence in order not to offend her beliefs?

    To a truly secular Muslim, having a glass of wine should be of concern only to you and your chianti.

    • So now her husband has to disrespect her beliefs in order for her to be secular? (Not that he hasn’t already.) We can tell she’s secular because she married a non-Muslim, an act that Muslim Brotherhood cleric Qardawi, for example, certainly doesn’t approve of. Having qualms about alcohol doesn’t change that. Oh, and please give use some source for this claim regarding alcohol? Thanks. Islamophobes have a penchant for parroting everything they see on their hate sites.

      Really? So then why is Humna’s mother a member of the The Muslim Sisters, a group^with close ties to the MB, a terror organisation.

      The Muslim Brotherhood is actually not a “terror organization,” as it gave up violence some time ago and indeed opposes the ideology of al-Qaeda et al. And the only “proof” that Huma’s mother is part of a supposedly affiliated group is an obscure corner of the internet from the genocide-minded, crude, and bigoted Walid Shoebat — I’m not convinced.

  5. Thank you so much for writing this article. My greatest fear is that the U.S. will be attacked again while all of the ding-bats are running around looking under rocks, instead of paying attention to building a strong, well educated, thinking nation.

  6. The MB is a counter-revolutionary force, funded by Saudi Arabia (and thus part of the U.S./Israeli project for the region.) Here in Lebanon, the pro-U.S. (now) minority is funding Salafists and other extremists–the U.S. doesn’t care about “democracy” here. The point I’m trying to make is that the bigger debunking to take place is the idea that somehow counter-revolutionary Islamists and socialists might have common cause. They don’t. Forget Weiner and his NGO-obsessed wife. They are not problematic for their religious affiliation. They are problematic for their class position and dominance within the halls of power.

  7. No Nassir, the MB is a terror organisation and its found Al Bana an islamist dirtbag.

    • No, June, it is not a terror organisation. In your crazy world anything Islamic is a terror organisation.

      P.S. You are a dirtbag.

  8. Read some of their ‘literature’ will you. The MB is a FarRight fascist organisation whose aim and goals are Nazi in both tone and scope.

    Its founder espoused violence. And that founder’s “enlightened” academic grandson has proposed a “moratorium” on the stoning of women.

    NUckledraggers everyone.

  9. Sorry, June, but I read a bit more than just the literature that confirms my own biases. Neutral observers are a good thing. I’m not saying that I’m particularly fond of the MB (I’m not fond of any type of conservative – Muslim, Christian, Burkean or otherwise. Nuckledraggers, every one), I’m just saying that they are not what you bigoted mind, and the bigoted ‘literature’ that informs you mind, say they are.

    P.S. Do you know what “moratorium” means?

  10. […] Witch-Hunt Against Huma Abedin (barthsnotes.com) […]

  11. […] I noted the conspiracy-theory about Huma Abedin in June last year; the subject appears to have been raised first by Walid Shoebat, in the wake of a failed conspiracy theory (suggested by Eleana Benador, who has handled PR for Richard Perle, James Woolsey, and Frank Gaffney) that Abedin’s husband Anthony Weiner may have secretly converted to Islam. […]

  12. […] he has no special knowledge and no real insight; I previously discussed his attacks on Huma Abedin here (Shoebat has also claimed to have had an inside track on the origin of the Innocence of Muslims […]

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