Politics

Muslim Woman At Center Of Heritage Kerfuffle Says She’s In Discussions For A Presidential Appointment

Saba Ahmed made headlines this week when she stood up for Islam to a hostile conservative panel. Now she says she wants a job in the Obama administration.

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press / MCT

WASHINGTON — The woman at the center of a controversy about Islamophobia, the conservative movement, and the media this week said she’s talking to the Obama administration about a presidential appointment.

Saba Ahmed told BuzzFeed Friday that discussions with the White House over a presidential appointment have been ongoing “for months,” though she declined to say who in the administration she’s spoken with or how serious the conversations are.

“Just like any other American, citizen I’d like to serve my country,” Ahmed said.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ahmed is a law student at American University, where she is studying patent law. She said she hopes to apply her talents to the patent office. But she said she’s also interested in a presidential appointment in other areas.

“I’m also interested in national security,” she said.

Ahmed became the center of a media maelstrom earlier this week after she stood up at an event about Benghazi hosted at the Heritage Foundation headquarters that was covered by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. Ahmed told Milbank she felt “targeted” by panelists who rejected her contention that the panel was disparaging Islam as dangerous and violent.

On Friday, Ahmed posted to “Exploring Presidential Political Appointments! :-)” to her Facebook page over an image reading “it can take enormous courage to let go of the things that hurt us.”

She said she expected criticism of her discussions with the Obama administration about a political appointment.

“People will say — well, I think you know what people will say,” she said. Of American Muslims, she added, “we deserve to be here, we’ve been here for a long time.”

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