Gamble’s associates and agendas expose him as a dubious figure that politicians seeking to present an image of inclusion would be wise to avoid. This is doubly true for a campaign like Obama’s that already has suffered serious missteps in its interaction with the Muslim community.
Best known for his work in the music business, Gamble has held high-ranking posts with the Muslim Alliance in North America, which focuses on African-American converts to Islam. That description fits Gamble and most of the group’s senior members, some of whom also have roots in the Nation of Islam and Black Panther movement. Indeed, the formation of MANA was inspired by Jamil Al-Amin, the onetime Panther “justice minister” H. Rap Brown. MANA’s enthusiasm for Al-Amin remains untainted in the wake of his conviction for the 2000 murder of a sheriff’s deputy.