On February 2, 1995, Siraj Wahhaj was named by US Attorney Mary Jo White as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people, injured 1,042 others, and foreshadowed the horror of 9/11.
On September 8, 2007, Ahmad Al-Akhras, close advisor to Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and president of the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio (IFCO), will host Siraj Wahhaj as guest speaker at an IFCO fundraising dinner here in Columbus. Mayor Coleman has appointed Al-Akhras to numerous Columbus city government boards, commissions and committees. (UPDATE: I forgot to mention that Al-Akhras is also on the city’s Community Relations Commission. I know — the irony!)
I guess it is only appropriate that at the same time Mayor Coleman is dealing with anti-Semitism in the Columbus Police Department, that he shows his solidarity by having his friend and advisor Al-Akhras bring to Columbus one of the most notorious hate sheikhs in America. How’s that for sympathy?
Siraj Wahhaj says that he isn’t sure that Osama bin Laden is responsible for 9/11; he calls for the return of the global Islamic caliphate and the imposition of Islamic shari’a law, including punishment by amputations and stoning; and he calls for the violent overthrow of American government.
Wahhaj even served as a defense character witness in the trial of blind hate sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, who was a regular feature in Wahhaj’s mosque until he was convicted for seditious conspiracy and sentenced to life in prision for his leadership in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing plot. Rahman’s followers were responsible for the 1997 attack on European tourists in Luxor, Egypt, which killed 58.
Even the Left-leaning publication, Salon, has spoken out concerning Wahhaj’s extremist views and the reluctance of CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper to address them:
Nor could he be asked about CAIR board member Siraj Wahaj. Wahaj, the imam of the Taqwa Mosque in Brooklyn, decried on TV the Sept. 11 attacks as “criminal” and “wrong.” But Wahaj also had invited convicted terrorist Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman to speak at his mosque, and even testified on his behalf. Before then, in 1991, speaking to the Islamic Association of North Texas, Wahaj called Operation Desert Storm “one of the most diabolical plots ever in the annals of history,” and that the war was “part of a larger plan, to destroy the greatest challenge to the Western world, and that’s Islam.” Just as the USSR fell, so too will the U.S., Wahaj said, “unless America changes its course from the new world order and accepts the Islamic agenda.” (“Islam’s Flawed Spokesman”, Salon [09/26/2001])As the Church Lady used to say, “Well, isn’t that special?”
Thanks to Al-Akhras, Wahhaj has become a regular staple on the Columbus fundraising circuit. Earlier this year I had two articles published concerning past appearances by hate sheikh Wahhaj in town: at the June 2006 CAIR-OH fundraiser; a March 2006 Sunrise Academy fundraiser; and a February 2007 fundraiser for the Abubaker Al-Siddique mosque (see “CAIR’s Blood Money” and “Hometown Jihad: The School Gym that Terror Built”).
Here’s a sampling of Wahhaj’s greatest hits taken from my two FrontPage articles linked to above:
Paul Barrett, an editor for Business Week and author of the recent book, American Islam: Struggle for the Soul of Religion, has spent considerable time with Wahhaj and made him one of the primary subjects in his book (read the introduction to Barrett’s book at the Washington Post). Barrett has previously described the transformation of America into an Islamic state that Wahhaj would like to see:If you think I’m exagerating about the virulent message of hate spewed by Siraj Wahhaj, following this link to the Investigative Project website where you can see a video of Wahhaj in action, where he condemns America as “a garbage can”:He has told his followers that a society governed by strict Islamic law, in which adulterers would be stoned to death and thieves would have their hands cut off, would be superior to American democracy. Speaking of unnamed forces in the U.S. government and media, he has preached, “These people want the destruction of Islam.” (“One Imam Traces the Path of Islam in Black America”, Wall Street Journal [October 24, 2003])Barrett also describes how Wahhaj brushes off evidence of Osama bin Laden’s involvement in 9/11, including dismissing bin Laden’s own video pronouncements claiming responsibility for the terror attacks, preferring to remain “neutral” on the subject:He says the al-Qaeda leader’s videotaped boasting about the attacks may have been a media ruse: “I’m just not so sure I want to be one of the ones who say, ‘Yeah, he did it. He’s a horrible man.’” (Ibid.)Elsewhere Wahhaj has offered a grotesque convergence of bin Laden’s calls for the revival of the Islamic caliphate with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream” speech, envisioning an Islamic supremacist society:“I have a vision in America, Muslims owning property all over, Muslim businesses, factories, halal meat, supermarkets, all these buildings owned by Muslims. Can you see the vision, can you see the Newark International Airport and a John Kennedy Airport and La Guardia having Muslim fleets of planes, Muslim pilots. Can you see our trucks rolling down the highways, Muslim names. Can you imagine walking down the streets of Teaneck, [New Jersey]: three Muslim high schools, five Muslim junior-high schools, fifteen public schools. Can you see the vision, can you see young women walking down the street of Newark, New Jersey, with long flowing hijab and long dresses. Can you see the vision of an area . . . controlled by the Muslims?” (quoted in Daniel Pipes, “The Danger Within: Militant Islam in America”, Commentary [Nov. 2001])How is this Islamic supremacist society governed by an Islamic caliph supposed to come about? Wahhaj is not shy about laying out his plan for violent revolutionary action by Muslims:“[I]f only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate. If we were united and strong, we would elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. Take my word if eight million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.” (quoted in Jagan Kaul, “Kashmir: Kashmiri Pundit View-point,” Kashmir Telegraph [May 2002])And what message does Sunrise Academy send to its non-Muslim neighbors by hosting Siraj Wahhaj? In an audiotape message Wahhaj speaks of his love for the kuffar (infidel):“. . . And he [Allah] declared ‘Whoever is at war with my friends, I declare war on them.’ Who is a friend of Allah? [He chants a passage in Arabic] Allah. Your true friend is Allah, the messenger, and those who believe. Americans and Canadians. Hear it well. Hear what I’m telling you well. The Americans are not your friends, hear what I’m telling you, hear it well. The Canadians are not your friends, hear what I’m telling you, hear it well. The Europeans are not your friends. Your friend is Allah, the Messenger and those who believe. These people will never be satisfied with you until you follow their religion. They will never be satisfied with you. . .” (audiotape, “The Afghanistan Jihad” [September 28, 1991]; quoted in “UCLA Sponsors of Terrorism”, FrontPage Magazine [April 4, 2003])
Demonize Saddam Hussein. Blow them up, no one say anything about it. Demonize Libya, Qadaffi, blow them up, attack them, no one say anything. Demonize Khomeini, all of the leaders, demonize them one by one by one. Demonize all the Muslim leaders and then when they come to get us no one will open their mouth because see he is a terrorist, it says so right here in the paper.Wahhaj’s appearance at the fundraiser was announced in an email earlier this week from Mayor Coleman advisor Ahmad Al-Akhras himself:
Alhamdulilah We gotta response for them. Who are the real terrorists? It’s not the Muslims, but the real terrorists is some segments of the United States government.
You know what this country is? It’s a garbage can. It’s filthy, filthy and sick. This country is taking our children. We’re trying to raise them up righteous. And you with your sick, low morals grabbing them, trying to teach a man how to be respectful towards his wife. And you got perversity all over. Wicked filth everywhere.
Salam to allMy sincere thanks to the brave soul and member of the Central Ohio Muslim community who sent this announcement to me, who obviously requested anonymity for fear of retaliation from the Al-Akhras crew of thugs. They said it was sent because they are gravely concerned with the long string of extremists and hate preachers that Ahmad Al-Akhras and his network of associates are regularly bringing into our area, the radicalizing influence they are having on local Muslim institutions, and the direct threat they pose to Central Ohio. This is proof of what I have been contending all along that the Al-Akhras/CAIR-OH network of extremists who are the loudest and most obnoxious members of the Muslim community here in the Columbus area are not representative of it, but instead, are only its’ most radical and extreme element. Central Ohio Muslims deserve better public representatives than CAIR, ISGC, ICFO and Ahmad Al-Akhras.
The Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio (IFCO) cordially invites you and your family to attend the “Annual Fundraising Dinner” at the Asian Cusine [sic], 8008 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43235 @ 6:00 P.M. on Sunday, September 9, 2007.
We would be honored if you and your family would join us.
Dinner Ticket Cost: $25 per ticket
Our Guest Speakers: Imam Siraj Wahhaj & Dr. Parvez Ahmed, CAIR Chairman
Please give us a call or reply back to us as soon as possible so that we could plan dinner order accordingly. We are expecting over 250 people would join us at the program. So please confirm your dinner tickets as early as possible.
Please support our fundraising effort to build a new “Community Center” on the Sunbury land and to up keep our existing facilities at the Broad Street and Cook Road. Allah will give you a reward to support this worthy cause.
If you can not attend, please send your tax deductible donations payable to “IFCO” and to be mailed at the following address:
P.O. Box 1055
Columbus, OH 43216-1055
FOR TICKETS, PLEASE CALL:
Abdo Abdouni [ph. # removed]
Ahmad Al-Akhras [ph. # removed]
Siraj Haji [ph. # removed]
Fatimata Kamara [ph. # removed]
Sohail Khan [ph. # removed]
Abukar Osman [ph. # removed]
Mohamed Shareef [ph. # removed]
M. Rustam Ali [ph. # removed]
We appreciate your support for IFCO.
Most Central Ohio Muslims reject the extremist views of Siraj Wahhaj and Ahmad Al-Akhras. Mayor Michael Coleman, on the other hand, embraces them in his bosom.