by Gary Fouse
Even CNN’s politically correct talk show host, Brooke Baldwin, was dumbstruck by that statement after she ran a video clip Thursday in which Imam Siraj Wahhaj spoke to the press about the arrest of his son, Siraj Wahhaj, Jr. in the New Mexico desert.
Yep. Keeping kids in starvation conditions in a filthy compound the middle of the desert while training them to fire weapons in preparation for school shootings can be “a little extreme.”
The elder Wahhaj also claims that it was he who tipped off the police to the New Mexico location when he learned that his son had absconded with his own three-year-old son in Georgia.
What CNN and other mainstream outlets are failing to report is the full background on Wahhaj Sr, a man with a long history of radical speech and associations behind him. About the farthest the media will go in describing Wahhaj’s radical background is to advise the public that he appeared as a defense witness in the trial of the so-called “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case. They generally leave out the fact that Wahhaj was an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. (He has never been charged.)
As the media loves to point out, Wahhaj was the first Muslim to give an opening prayer in the House of Representatives, which doesn’t say much for the House. It is true that Wahhaj has convinced many non-Muslims that he is a peaceful moderate. When appearing before non-Muslim audiences (and the press), he comes across as a kindly, soft-spoken, grandfatherly type. When speaking before his own congregation and Muslim groups, however, it all changes. His language becomes full of hate, especially for America, which he has called “a filthy garbage can.” He has also told his followers that Islam will take over America and made references to arming people with Uzis and 9 mm’s. Both statements are now quite ironic given the filthy conditions in the New Mexico compound and the fact that weapons were also discovered including an AR-15.
Wahhaj’s incendiary rhetoric has not turned off groups like CAIR, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Islamic Society of North America, or the Islamic Circle of North America, who use him as one of their favorite speakers. In 2013, CAIR Southern California leader Hussam Ayloush spoke in Riverside, and I asked him why CAIR would invite Wahhaj as a speaker given the statements described above. Ayloush replied that Wahhaj was “one of the most prominent and respected religious leaders in America,” and I was a bigot for asking.
Linda Sarsour is another admirer of Wahhaj, whom she describes as her mentor and who taught her to “speak truth to power.”
Also ironic is the fact that when Wahhaj came to speak at a charity dinner in Yorba Linda, California in 2011 along with another radical imam, Amir Abdel Malik Ali, sponsored by the Islamic Center of North America (ICNA), a Muslim Brotherhood-aligned group, a protest ensued prior to the scheduled beginning of the event. I was present and spoke at the protest as did several local public officials including Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA). Unfortunately, some people showed up with their own agenda and engaged the attendees with chants as they arrived, an act we did not approve of. In the lead up to the event, local residents met with ICNA representative Shakeel Syed (now of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California) and requested that they find other speakers than Ali and Wahhaj given their radical nature. Syed’s angry response was to point his finger at the lady who made the request and say that they would bring whatever speakers they chose.
Unfortunately, you will hear none of the above facts on CNN or other mainstream outlets other than perhaps, Fox. It is another sterling example of the media deliberately omitting pertinent facts.
Whether the elder Wahhaj has any involvement in his son’s activities or not, it is fair to ask how much of his teachings sank into his son. I hope that the authorities will at least explore any possible involvement on the part of the imam. To not do so would be gross negligence on their part.