Sunday, June 27, 2010

President Obama Appoints Muslim Attorney Samar Ali Who Specializes in Shari’a Compliant Transactions to 2010-2011 White House Fellowship

As Black Rob would have said way back when, "like whoa!" This is a pretty startling development that the White House would appoint Samar S. Ali, Esq. to a fellowship position when she specializes in Shari’a compliant transactions/Islamic banking and writes articles (click here or below to read New Court Ruling on Overseas Deposits) for various clients in the Middle East discussing how Shari'a allows Muslims to circumvent the jurisdiction of courts in the United States of America.

I'm not saying that Ms. Ali should be denied this position, but I highly doubt that Ms. Ali provided a full client disclosure list to the White House in her application materials and Obama's administration is too sloppy to properly verify said materials. Nevertheless, considering the United States is currently at war in two (2) Muslim countries, do any of Ms. Ali's current and/or past clients pose a national security risk to the United States of America?

I had only briefly heard about Shari'a compliance and Islamic banking prior to hearing this story, so I have been doing some research on the topic. While not a definitive source by any means, here is the basic summary on Wikipedia:

Islamic banking refers to a system of banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law (Sharia) and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Sharia prohibits the payment or acceptance of interest fees for the lending and accepting of money respectively, (Riba, usury) for specific terms, as well as investing in businesses that provide goods or services considered contrary to its principles (Haraam, forbidden).

Click here to read Attorney Ali's full attorney profile at Hogan Lovells.


The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 22, 2010
White House Appoints 2010-2011 Class of White House Fellows

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the White House announced the appointment of 13 outstanding men and women to serve as White House Fellows. The White House Fellows come from diverse backgrounds, varied professions and all of the 2010-2011 Fellows have shown a strong commitment to public service and leadership. The 2010-2011 class of Fellows and their biographies are included below.

“This year’s White House Fellows are comprised of some of the best and brightest leaders in our country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “I applaud their unyielding commitment to public service and dedication to serving their community.”

The White House Fellows Program was created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to give promising American leaders “first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.” This unique position in our nation’s government encourages active citizenship and service to the nation. The Fellows also take part in an education program designed to broaden their knowledge of leadership, policy formulation, military operations, and current affairs. Community service is another important component of the program, and Fellows participate in service projects throughout the year in the Washington, D.C. area.

Selection as a White House Fellow is highly competitive and based on a record of remarkable early career professional achievement, evidence of leadership potential, a proven commitment to public service, and the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute successfully at the highest levels of the Federal government. Throughout its history, the program has fostered leaders in many fields including leaders in government, business, media, medicine, diplomacy and the military. Additional information about the White House Fellows program is available at

2010-2011 Class of White House Fellows

Samar Ali, Waverly, TN. Samar Ali is an Associate with the firm Hogan Lovells US LLP. She is responsible for counseling clients on mergers & acquisitions, cross-border transactions, Shari’a compliant transactions, project finance, and international business matters. During her time with Hogan Lovells, she has been a founding member of the firm’s Abu Dhabi office. Prior to that, she clerked for The Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and for The Honorable Edwin Cameron, now of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, where she also worked extensively on editing his book Witness to AIDS. While in Nashville, Samar led the YMCA Israeli-Palestinian Modern Voices for Progress Program, and is currently the transatlantic liaison for the development of the Palestine Diabetes Institute. She is a founding member of the first U.S. Delegation to the World Islamic Economic Forum, and has served as an Advisory Board Member of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health. She is also a three-time Southeastern Tae Kwon Do Black Belt Champion. Samar received a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School and a B.S. in Political Science with Honors from Vanderbilt, where she served as the first Arab-Muslim student body president.

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