Washington, Aug.8 : Senator Barack Obama's national Muslim outreach coordinator, Mazen Asbahi, has resigned over his connections to a man who the Justice Department named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the racketeering trial last year of several alleged Hamas fund-raisers.
A Chicago lawyer, Asbahi, was appointed to help Obama reach out to Muslims. He stepped down on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday night.
"I am stepping down from the volunteer role I recently agreed to take on with the Obama campaign as Arab-American and Muslim American coordinator in order to avoid distracting from Barack Obama's message of change," Ashabi wrote in a statement Obama's campaign staff released last night.
The paper had inquired about his relationship with Jamal Said, who served on a board with Asbahi in 2000 that is a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust, which holds titles to mosques, Islamic centres, schools, and other real estate around the country. Said had been named in an investigation of alleged Hamas fund-raisers, which ended in a mistrial last year, the paper added.
Obama aides said Asbahi had only worked in his volunteer position in the campaign since July 26 and they would appoint a new person to the job.