Siraj Wahhaj is a regular visitor to the Central Ohio area, but his next appearance in Columbus will be as a featured speaker at the 2008 Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention held here later this month. One of the unindicted co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Wahhaj has been in the news recently for being featured in NY subway ads that have proved controversial in light of his known terrorist ties.
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:
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 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:
If 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 Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam [and the Crusades], p. 45)And 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])More ISNA interfaith moderates!
Be sure to check out some of our other recent ISNA-related posts:
- 1995 ISNA Convention: Judaism “a most racist religion” (7/28/08)
- DOJ: Facts tie ISNA to HAMAS (7/24/08)
- FBI Declassified Memo: ISNA conferences “provided opportunities for the extreme fundamentalist Muslims to meet with their supporters” (7/23/08)
- Members of Congress ask DOJ to withdraw from 2007 ISNA convention (7/15/08)
- HAMAS terrorist leader thanks ISNA (7/14/08)