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Obama Names New Islamic Envoy

Obama has named Rashad Hussain as the special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a 57-member group said to be the “collective voice of Muslims.” The move follows Obama’s desire for a “new beginning” in ties between the United States and Muslims, many of whom have felt targeted since the September 11th attacks. Obama believes Hussain has and will continue to play a key role in developing partnerships with Muslim countries and populations around the world. Hussain will be responsible for strengthening cooperation between the US and the OIC, as well as countering distorted accounts of America disseminated by Al Qaeda and similar radical Islamic groups.

Hussain has a master’s degree in public administration and in Arabic and Islamic students from Harvard University. He also holds a JD from Yale Law School. In January 2009, Hussain was named deputy associate counsel. Prior to that, he served as a trial attorney at the US Department of Justice and as an assistant on the House Judiciary Committee.

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