August 6th, 2008
02:07 PM ET

Obama's Muslim affairs coordinator resigns

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/06/art.obama.ap.jpg caption="Obama’s campaign says it is looking for a new Muslim outreach adviser."]
Alexander Marquardt
CNN Political Producer

After barely a week on the job, Barack Obama's Muslim outreach adviser resigned from the campaign after an old business connection with a fundamentalist Islamic imam surfaced last week.

Mazen Asbahi, a Chicago corporate lawyer, stepped down Monday after joining the campaign on July 26 as its national coordinator for Muslim affairs. The Wall Street Journal first reported the resignation on Tuesday night.

In a letter to the campaign, Asbahi wrote, "I am stepping down from the volunteer role I recently agreed to take on with the Obama campaign as Arab American and Muslim American outreach coordinator in order to avoid distracting from Barack Obama's message of change."


Filed under: Barack Obama • Islam • Raw Politics
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. greg N.C.

    I agree with that Cindy, why does obama even need a muslim advisor?
    Maritza, well said, who is this guy, (obama). If things like this is what we can expect if he gets in to the white house, (not checking back grounds of his advisors throughly), what will happen to our country?
    Be run by hate shooting revernds and or muslim advisors that wwhat the country goverened under muslim religous law.

    Nick, all of us should be suppicous of muslims, after all was in not the religon were those folks that flew planes into some buildings some were, ( i know world trade towers, our pentogon and even destroying a field in PA. Yes our country's constitution states religous freedom, but, i believe it also states some were in ther something about seperation of church and state, that is what muslims would like, america to be run by muslim rule, obama will make that happen if he gets in to office.

    August 7, 2008 at 1:43 am |
  2. Grayce

    Hey, the media keeps putting out denigrating news about Obama....let's hear about McCain. For instance, let's hear about McCain's great standing at the Naval Academy... There were 899 midshipmen in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy. McCain graduated 894th, fifth from the bottom. And where did Obama rank in his Harvard class?

    August 6, 2008 at 11:07 pm |
  3. Michael

    Whats he done??????

    It's a pity more people didn't apply this logic to George W. Bush.

    August 6, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  4. bk

    Obama can't be trusted to run our country. The reason people don't know where he stands on issues is because he talks out of both sides of his mouth. He only reads prepared speeches. Now his wife is back reading what she is told. He avoids all town hall debates he thinks he can get elected by rhetoric and telepromters. I hope the american people are smarter than that.

    stormerF is right Obama got elected in Chicago by getting lawyers and eliminating his opponents. Its called voter suppression. That is the same thing he did in the primarys by not wanting a revote in Mi. and Fl. Obama is nothing more than a liar and a cheat.

    August 6, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  5. Sheron-OH

    Nick, you got it right. The world is sitting back waiting on us to get it right–BUSH didnt get in office on us using our brains-instead we are once again refusing to see what is in front of us. Instead we are still hiding behind the YODA years and looking a skin color. Well BUSH had all that experience at least that is what we wanted to believe. We have just got to stop and think for ourselves with our brains and not are YODA past.

    August 6, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  6. Sheron-OH

    If people would stop the stupid stuff. Where did you find that Obama changed his name from what his parents gave hm. Why dont they simply say they wont vote for an African American instead of playing the stupid card. I guess with these type of belief in a name they are still believing there was WMD. So I really hope tht we would want to get pass the stupid stuff and not falling play to what the world already thinks of US–RACIAL stuck on stupid people. I thought US was smarter than that but I guess we are still stuck on the REAGan years of blacks belong over their in the corner otherwise they are trying to be more than what they are –ELITE US oh yeah right black are ELITE if they can read,write and SPEAK without studdering. If the U S wants to be a leader people must stop following the YO DA years.

    August 6, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  7. James Dylan

    Obama is a joke. I'd love the hear who his appointees might be. Maybe he could get an actual Al Qaeda member in the white house. Commander in Chief this guy could never be; quit talking about "not ready to lead."

    August 6, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  8. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    Why is it that McCain doesn't have to explain why he refuses to talk about religion? Does he even believe in GOD? He may be a Satan worshipper for all we know. I guess him being a veteran makes that ok huh?

    August 6, 2008 at 9:26 pm |
  9. Annie Kate

    So Obama had a Muslim outreach person – I'm sure for those who still believe Obama is a Muslim instead of a Christian that this fact will be one more nail in the coffin of the belief that Obama is a Muslim.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 6, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  10. jt

    This is a big problem for Obama.

    He have some bad connection.

    Pastor Wright.



    Maybe more.

    August 6, 2008 at 8:58 pm |
  11. stormerF

    I have to agree with Jim, Barack Hussein Obama,sounds Muslim to me,After all he only spent 20 years listening to a radical preacher who blames white people for poverty,and Damning America That sure sounds non christian to me.As to his Muslem Adisor its probably a relative from his past that he just found out about. What has he done anyway? He got all the people thrown off the ballot who ran against him on some technicality and he was the only one on the ballot.So go figure? Whats he done??????

    August 6, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  12. Nick

    To Jim:

    Why not mention that "Hussein" is as common name in Africa as John is in America and that his mother named him after his father which happens to be African.

    I noticed that you made a point to include "Hussein" when you wrote out Obama name. Just another fear tactic to scare the us. Well I live in New Orleans so its gonna take more than that to scare me.

    August 6, 2008 at 8:14 pm |
  13. Nick

    Apparently I missed the press release but when did being a Muslim become a bad thing? I thought being an American gave you the right to freedom of religion. Was that taken out of the Constitution? And when did it become a requirement to run a full background check on everybody you talk to.

    This entire thing is becoming a complete joke and I cannot wait for November to come because I am sick of it!

    No matter who wins the election America will continue to go down compared to other countries because of ignorance. China is sitting back watching us make fools of ourselves and just hoping for another 4 more yrs of Bush.

    August 6, 2008 at 8:04 pm |
  14. Annie Lee

    I wonder if that cover on The New Yorkers Magazine was really a satire....

    Annie Lee
    El Dorado Hills, California

    August 6, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  15. Annie Lee

    Mike....that was good!!! How about picking someone from Al Queda for Secretary of Defense.

    People.....please wake up!!!!

    Annie Lee
    El Dorado Hills, California

    August 6, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  16. jim

    I always knew Barack Hussein Obama is a closet muslim. If elected, he will reveal himself as a muslim. Not to worry, Mr hit and run Jack Cafferty will always support him the bleeding heart biased liberal that he is..

    August 6, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  17. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Wow, ties to radical Islam. Wonder who Obama plans for his cabinet, someone from Al Queda? Maybe this is why he's so hot to end the war.

    August 6, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  18. Sharon from Indy

    Going into the VP selection and the conventions soon, both Obama and McCain cannot take any chances on real or imagined people maybe working against the American people. Both parties would have a field day with anything controversial right now.

    I sure Obama said it was political not personal.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  19. Larry

    Who is his Christian outreach coordinator?

    August 6, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  20. Maritza

    Muslim outreach coordinator? say what? , since when has a candidate running for President of the United States needed a Muslim outreach coordinator ? what do his campaign advisor's think , do they fail to see the problem here? when you concider Obama';s questionable connections with Islam and radical clergy he listened to for a span of twenty long standing years, how can the American voter not question who this guy really is, this candidate is not only arrogant and naive about who voters will trust and give their vote to ,but we have some serious red flags being waved in our face that can't be ignored , there is a long list of concerns that need to be analized when it comes to Obama, long before he packs up the wife and kids and heads for the White House, the time is now to examine what he's really all about, Change , hope ? empty marketing ploy, little words largely misused. Something else to concider, does Obama just recruit on the surface of Change?" don't his 300 advisors check people out before they get direct deposit? futher proof of a serious lack of judgement. Muslim Outreach Coordinator? What?


    August 6, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  21. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    Listen.............If outspoken, uneducated people didn't believe and spew all the muslim crap about Obama he wouldn't have to have someone as a Muslim Advisor. See........he doesn't know anything about Muslims and their religion and such.........he is a Christian you see..........if you were Christians you wouldn't be hammering on him the way you do.................

    August 6, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  22. AG, Rochester Hills, MI

    I will be happy to serve as obama's new Muslim outreach coordinator. Feel free to contact me.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  23. Larry

    Wonder how that $20 million is working out on getting the Latino vote?

    August 6, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  24. Chicago

    I think our choices this year a pretty weak.
    What happend to the good old days.

    I'm not voting... pointless anyway in my electoral state... but even if it wasn't always DEM... I'd just pass on this one... there is no respect for the office anymore anyway.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  25. JC- Los Angeles

    Now that's change; it only took one week (7 days) for Obama to make change happen.

    I'm an undecided Independent and with Obama and McCain hacking up the place, I'm most likely to remain both undecided and unconvinced.

    I guarantee someone is looking for a picture taken during some past social event that will link Obama with a cast of characters like Asbahi.

    I can hear Obama now: "that's not the Barack Obama I knew." Hiring some linked to hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood? great job Barack and Michelle; hilarious.

    If nothing else, after Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Brownie, Greenspan, Mozilo, O'Neil, Prince, Ebbers, Rigas, Kozlowski, Lay, Delay, Duke Cunningham, Spitzer, McGreevey, McCain and Obama, no one knows anything about anything.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  26. Cindy

    OK...why does he even have a Muslim outreach adviser? Shouldn't his words transcend all races and religions? Does he have to chose which groups to pander to to get them to vote for him otherwise they won't?


    August 6, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  27. Larry

    How many people from Chicago work for obama? Is there an organizational chart of who does work for obama?

    August 6, 2008 at 2:14 pm |