What neither Esposito nor the Washington Post offers the readers is a full disclosure. There is one organization to which we know that Huma Abedin has belonged (from 1996-2008) that connects her to Al-Qaeda Godfather Abdullah Omar Naseef; that organization is the Islamic Instituted of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA). What Esposito doesn't tell you is that as of today, he is still a member of the IMMA's Advisory Editorial Board. Another thing he doesn't tell you is that his name now appears on IMMA's website as "John I. Esposito" and it used to appear as simply "John Esposito." We will explain why that distinction is significant, shortly.
Here is a screen shot from 7/26/12:
As far back as 2002, the name "John Esposito" appeared as being on the same Board. Also note who else appeared on the board as well - none other than Al-Qaeda Godfather Abdullah Omar Naseef:
Ok, now that we've established that "John Esposito" served on a board with an Al-Qaeda leader, it's important to keep that fact in mind before you read his op-ed in the Washington Post today, where is name is spelled as, "John L. Esposito."
Via Washington Post:
So what can we learn from the Bachmann’s witch hunt and why it backfired this time? The first lesson is that in America today a culture of ignorance and anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry can target Muslims and non-Muslims alike, whatever their credentials, however visible or invisible they are, from Huma Abedin to President Obama. Fortunately this time the target was an American Muslim, born in a distinguished family and and educated in America, respected in Washington circles due to her long working relationship with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And who are Huma Abedin’s family members accused by Bachman and others?The good news is that one of the three Espositos is forced to admit a portion of the truth. The unfortunate news is that he doesn't focus on Hassan's time at OCIS with Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Al-Qaeda Godfather Abdullah Omar Naseef.
Hassan Abedin, Huma’s brother, earned his PhD at the University of London, was a fellow at Oxford University’s Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies for many years and is currently at the Muslim Minorities dept. of the OIC.
Back to Esposito's less-than-objective position...
Both of Huma’s parents earned doctorates at the University of Pennsylvania and both taught in the United States. Huma’s mother, Dr. Saleha Abedin, currently Academic Vice Dean at Al-Hekma College, the first private women’s university established in Saudi Arabia which now has academic affiliations with major American universities and foundations, including Harvard and Columbia University as well as University of California, Berkeley, Wellesley College, Babson College and many others. She was part of the team that designed the college with its American liberal arts curriculum, training young women for career opportunities, financial independence and social mobility. Karen Hughes, under secretary of state for public diplomacy of the Bush administration, and more recently Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have spoken at Dar al-Hekma College.Actually, we have already discovered that Syed Abedin did NOT found the IMMA; Abdullah Omar Naseef did. As for Huma's mother - Saleha Abedin - Esposito is correct about her being a Vice Dean at Al-Hekma but what he conveniently leaves out is that she is also a major player in the Muslim Brotherhood and at the International Islamic Committee for the Woman and Child (IICWC), a group that sanctions marital rape and female genital mutilation.
Huma’s father, Dr. Syed Abedin was the founder of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs and the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, which focuses on the challenges for minority Muslims living in non-Muslim societies and for non-Muslims living in Muslim societies.
We on the right in no way excuse the actions of Karen Hughes, which is what Esposito wants so that those who do can be labeled as 'hypocrites.' She was wrong and so was the Bush administration in too many ways to count when it came to dealing with the Islamic threat. Nonetheless, Huma Abedin helped to coordinate Hillary's visit to Dar Al-Hekma and that is relevant but you'd never know that by reading Esposito's piece.
In short, whether 'John Esposito,' 'John I. Esposito,' or 'John L. Esposito' wrote this piece it was biased in favor of the IMMA Board on which 'John Esposito' and 'John I. Esposito' has served. Apparently, 'John L. Esposito' is supposed to be objective because he didn't (wink, wink) serve on the IMMA.
Then again, all three Johns failed to address our concern about Huma serving on the board of the IMMA with an al-Qaeda Godfather.