Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah visited the White House where he met with senior advisers and aides to President Obama and called for the protection of the Syrian people and the Muslim minority in Myanmar.
The distinguished scholar Professor Abdullah bin Bayyah, President of the Global Center for Renewal and Guidance and Vice President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, visited the White House where he met with Ms. Gayle Smith, a senior aide to President Barack Obama, and Mr. Rashad Hussain, U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. He also met with a number of experts including the director of public relations in the White House and representatives from seven government agencies.
Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah addressed the audience by speaking about humanity’s need for two kinds of justice, namely: a) justice in which everyone is equal and one person does not oppress another, nor does one state oppress another state, and b) a justice specific to the powerful, which is to help lift the injustices from vulnerable peoples such as the Syrian people, the Palestinians, and the Muslims in Myanmar. In this context, Shaykh bin Bayyah thanked President Obama for demanding the rights of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar (formerly Burma) during his recent visit there. Likewise, the Shaykh called on the U.S. government for urgent action to help lift the injustice on the Syrians.
The meeting also touched on issues of development in the Islamic world whereupon Bin Bayyah pointed out the importance of adopting a “grassroots” form of development which stems from the bottom of the community pyramid to the top rather than the other way around in terms of facing poverty seriously. For her part, Ms. Gayle Smith was pleased with this meeting, saying, “We asked for this meeting to learn from you and we need to be looking for new mechanisms to communicate with you and the Association of Muslim Scholars.” She thanked the Shaykh for his efforts to bring more understanding amongst humanity.