AFP is reporting that delegates at the U.S. Islamic World Forum in Qatar voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in a mock election by more than 200 American and Muslim delegates while Hillary Clinton and Republican candidates won only a handful of votes. According to the report:
Many Muslim delegates said they hoped to see Obama win the Democratic nomination and go on to be elected next November to succeed US President George W. Bush. “I would like to see Obama become president of America because he champions ‘change and hope’, which we Muslims need as much as the Americans do,” Islamic television preacher Amr Khaled told AFP. Khaled told the forum that he speaks “on behalf of millions of Muslim youth who seek work, respect and freedom,” and urged the next US administration to “solve the political problems in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, and not to mix between Muslims and extremists.” “The Indonesian people would love to see a (US) president who has studied at an elementary school in Jakarta,” Din Syamsuddin, chairman of Muhammadiyah, one of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisations, told AFP in a reference to Obama.
Sponsored by the Qatari foreign ministry and the Brookings Institution’s Saban Centre for Middle East Policy, the annual gathering is described on its website as:
The U.S.-Islamic World Forum is designed to bring together key leaders in the fields of politics, business, media, academia, and civil society from across the Muslim world and the United States. It seeks to address the critical issues dividing the United States and the Muslim world by providing a unique platform for frank dialogue, learning, and the development of positive partnerships between key leaders and opinion shapers from both sides. Now in its fifth year, the Forum has become the foremost meeting for positive cross-cultural engagement among leaders from the United States and the Muslim world.
AFP indicated that around 280 public figures and academics from 32 countries, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the US ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, attended the fifth forum which debated the Islamic world’s expectations of the next US administration and how the presidential election will affect US policy toward Muslim countries. The following individuals known to be associated and/or supportive of the global Muslim Brotherhood were in attendance:
- Mustafa Ceric (Grand Mufti of Bosnia)
- John Esposito (Georgetown University)
- Sherman Jackson (University of MIchigan)
- Marc Lynch (George Williams University)
- Ahmed Younis (a former leader of Muslim Public Affairs Council MPAC)
- Salman Al-Marayati (MAPC Director)
No known critics of Islamism or the Brotherhood were known to be in attendance.