The meeting was said to have been one of several between leading
American Muslims and Gadhafi. They included leaders of the Nation of Islam, with which
Barack Obama was associated in the 1990s, specifically in assisting with the organization of the 1995 Million Man March.
The head of the Nation of
Islam, Louis Farrakhan, has attacked Obama for U.S. participation in the
NATO assault on Libya.
On March 21, Awad acknowledged that CAIR solicited Gadhafi. But the
American Muslim director said the Libyan ruler did not respond.
"We never received a penny from his group, from his government," Awad
Awad as well as two colleagues, CAIR chairman Larry Shaw and spokesman
Ibrahim Hooper, met Gadhafi during his visit to the United Nations in
September 2009. The three Americans called Gadhafi "the world Islamic
popular leader" and then asked for Libyan funds to launch the Muslim Peace
Foundation. One goal of the foundation was to distribute one million Korans
throughout the United States in an effort to bolster the image of Islam.
Until 2007, Americans were prohibited from receiving money from Libya,
which was on the State Department's list of terrorist sponsors. CAIR also
sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia to solicit $50 million for the group.
"We want to assure you that Muslims in America are your brothers and
supporters," Shaw, a southern state representative, was quoted as telling
Gadhafi. "They share with you your interests and aspirations."
A minister and attorney has asserted that Farrakhan was a
major influence on both Obama and the black community. E. W. Jackson, bishop
of the Exodus Faith Ministries, cited Obama's role as organizer and
"enthusiastic supporter" of the Nation of Islam leader during the so-called
"Million Man March" in Washington in 1995.
"Obama clearly has Muslim sensibilities," Jackson, who does not claim a
personal friendship with Obama, said. "He sees the world and Israel from a
Muslim perspective. His construct of 'The Muslim World' is unique in modern
diplomacy. It is said that only The Muslim Brotherhood and other radical
elements of the religion use that concept. It is a call to unify Muslims
around the world."
In 2004, Abdul Rahman Al Amoudi, founder of several American Muslim
groups, was sentenced to 23 years for receiving money from Gadhafi as part
of a plot to kill Saudi King Abdullah. During the 1990s, Al Amoudi served as
an Islamic adviser to then-President Bill Clinton.