Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Indian-origin lawyer is Barack Obama's new pointman for OIC

WASHINGTON: Indian-origin lawyer Rashad Hussain, a hafiz of the holy Quran, will be America's new special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Countries, a post vital to President Barack Obama's bid to repair the US' strained relations with the Islamic world.

A White House lawyer, Hussain was nominated to the key post as he had played an important role in developing partnerships with the Muslim world, Barack Obama said.

Hussain is entrusted with deepening and expanding the partnerships with Muslims across the world, an important element of Obama's foreign policy made evident in his speech in Cairo last June.

Hussain, 31, whose parents are naturalised citizens from India and live in Plano, Texas, is presently the Deputy Associate Counsel to the President.

As a 'hafiz' (someone who has memorised the holy Islamic text) of the Qur'an, he is a respected member of the American Muslim community, Obama said about Hussain, announcing his appointment last week as his envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Countries, a 57-nation grouping.

Hussain's work at the US administration focuses on national security, new media, science and technology issues.

He has also worked with the National Security Staff as Obama sought to rebuild ties with Muslims worldwide after eight turbulent years of his predecessor George W Bush's tenure.

source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com