U.S. embassies are hosting Iftar meals during the month of Ramadan. That's fine, but part of good diplomacy should include judicious control of the guest list. That didn't seem to happen when Laurie Fulton, the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, hosted the fast-breaking meal last week with "prominent Muslims and representatives of other faiths" at her official residence in Copenhagen. The Embassy did not release a guest list for the event. However, the Embassy's website shows Ambassador Fulton sitting with Mohammed Fouad Albarazi.
Albarazi gained notoriety in early 2006, when at the beginning of the furor over the Danish Muhammad cartoons, he told al-Jazeera, the largest Arabic language satellite television network, of a rumor that Qurans would be publicly burned in Copenhagen's City Hall Square. A few days later demonstrators attacked the Danish Embassy in Damascus. Soon after, Albarazi called for the United Nations to ban "publication of material that blasphemes or insults religions."
Despite this background, in 2007 then-US Ambassador to Denmark James Cain invited Albarazi to an Iftar at his Residence. In the resulting controversy, critics asserted that the Ambassador "acted too naïve" or was a 'useful idiot.'
Apparently the Embassy's institutional memory faltered or for some reason Ambassador Fulton chose to ignore Albarazi's past actions and give him official sanction through her invitation to her residence.