Already missing from the news cycle is the story of Muslim leader Siraj Wahhaj, who alerted authorities to the squalid conditions in New Mexico in which his son, two daughters, another man and woman, and 11 children were living.
Authorities arrived at the compound to some of the most horrifying conditions they had ever seen, and prosecutors identified the makeshift home as a training ground for militant children, including in carrying out school shootings. The imam’s son had been wanted for kidnapping his own four-year-old child, who had severe disabilities. The body of a young child was recovered from the site, but authorities have yet to verify its identity.
Siraj claims his son and daughters had strayed from his teachings of Islam, had somehow become radicalized, and were possibly dealing with mental illness. He presented himself as a peaceful and well-respected imam, careful to distance himself from the terrorist conditions in which his family was found. But the facts on that count are doubtful.
Who Is Siraj Wahhaj?
Born Jeffrey Kearse in Brooklyn, Wahhaj converted to the Nation of Islam in 1969, and changed his name to Jeffrey X12. He became a leader in the community and regularly taught that “white people are devils.” By 1975, he reigned in his outspoken racism toward white people and converted to a more orthodox Sunni Muslim, changing his name to the Arabic Siraj Wahhaj.
He is the founder of and an imam at Masjid At-Taqwa in Brooklyn, and is well known and respected, attracting Muslims from all over the world to hear him speak. In 1991, Wahhaj became the first Muslim to lead a prayer at the start of a session of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In that same year, he said, “As long as you remember that if you get involved in politics, you have to be very careful that your leader is for Allah. You don’t get involved in politics because it’s the American thing to do. You get involved in politics because politics are a weapon to use in the cause of Islam.”
Siraj Wahhaj, In His Own Words
He appeared on a prosecutor’s list of possible co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center attack, and was an unwavering defender of the Blind Sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, who had been a worshipper at Wahhaj’s mosque. He is on record as referring to America as the “Most wicked government on the face of planet Earth.”
He has also stated, “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’d 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.”
He has claimed, “In time, this so-called democracy will crumble, and there will be nothing. And the only thing that will remain will be Islam.” He says the United States should be under Sharia law, that Muslim men should be allowed to have four wives, and that people should be stoned or have their hands chopped off if it is the will of Allah.
Perhaps he is not personally responsible for this training camp in New Mexico, and perhaps his children operate at a more extreme level than he does, but he is no peaceful American religious figure.
Islamic Extremist Influences Liberal Poster Children
Wahhaj is also a mentor to Linda Sarsour, an American-born activist of Palestinian heritage who is on the board of the anti-Trump Women’s March. Also a Brooklyn native, she is known for her staunch support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, and her outspoken desire for Sharia law in the United States.
Sarsour introduced Wahhaj at the Islamic Society of North America conference as, “My favorite person in this room, that’s mutual, is Imam Siraj Wahhaj, who has been a mentor, and motivator and encourager of mine, someone who has taught me to speak truth to power and not worry about the consequences.”
Sarsour once touted Saddam Hussein as a “hero” to Palestinians. She and the Women’s March praised Assata Shakur, who was convicted of murdering a police officer in 1977, as a hero. Her blatant anti-Semitic values are hidden in plain sight behind the smoke screen of intersectional feminism. She once said “Nothing is creepier than Zionism,” and her Twitter account profile describes her as “Islamophobia’s Worst Nightmare.” This is her primary raison d’être.
It’s Not Just Sarsour, Either
Although Sarsour claims not to be anti-Semitic, she signed the Ali Abunimah’s 2012 Orwellian definition of anti-Semitism, which made the preposterous claim that Zionism oppresses Judaism and Islam. Sarsour is joined in highly questionable connections to hateful men by fellow Women’s March board members Tamika D. Mallory and Carmen Perez. All three women are ardent fans of the racist, homophobic, anti-American leader of The Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan.
Mallory has appeared on stage at many events with Farrakhan. Perez claims their appearance and association with Farrakhan gave them a platform to speak for millennials. When confronted with the idea that associating with Farrakhan seems like a refusal to condemn anti-Semitism, Mallory balked, claiming that she had a rich history with the Nation of Islam.
She claimed her history of feeling marginalized and belittled led her to feel safe and comforted around the women at the events she attended. She used the cloak of intersectional politics to guilt people away from the fact that she willingly and eagerly shares a platform with a man who spews hate and intolerance.
The dangerous connections that the leaders of this influential progressive group have are incredibly alarming, and hardly ever in the news long enough for people to notice. A camp within the United States where children were being trained to shoot up schools in terrorist attacks should be in the news every day, until every connection is explored and scrutinized.