At 12:17 pm on February 26, 1993, a 1,500lb urea-nitrate fuel-oil bomb hidden inside a rental van caused a massive explosion that ripped through the parking garage of the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring another 1,042 – the first large-scale terrorist attack on U.S. soil by Islamic extremists. The terrorists had intended to topple one of the buildings onto the other, potentially killing tens of thousands of innocent Americans. Sadly, the fourteenth anniversary of that event passed last week with very little discussion by major media outlets, even though that lethal attack by Islamic terrorists ominously foreshadowed the unspeakable horror of 9/11.
At 8:00 pm on June 6, 2006, the Ohio affiliate of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OH) honored one of the unindicted conspirators in that 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Siraj Wahhaj, a Brooklyn, NY imam that had also served as a defense witness at the trial of one of the men convicted for that terrorist attack, the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman (a conviction that CAIR has labeled “a travesty of justice”). More than 400 CAIR-OH supporters gathered at this fundraising banquet.
Following the event, CAIR-OH issued a press release heralding the more than $100,000 that Siraj Wahhaj had helped raise that evening for the organization’s “civil liberties work”. CAIR-OH Director Adnan Mirza attributed the fundraiser’s success to the popularity of CAIR-OH’s agenda with Ohio Muslims. “Our community sent a very clear message that the work we do is vital to the well-being of the Ohio Muslim community and that CAIR-Ohio’s efforts are appreciated,” she said.
Of course, Siraj Wahhaj’s ties to the 1993 World Trade Center terrorist attack may not have been known to the hundreds of CAIR supporters who were in attendance that evening, but they were certainly known to CAIR. On repeated occasions, CAIR officials on the state and national level have not only risen to the defense of Wahhaj, but they have gone to great lengths to embrace the unindicted terror co-conspirator and involve him in the inner workings of the organization, such as having him serve on their Advisory Board. CAIR National spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, has gone so far as to call Wahhaj “one of the most respected Muslim leaders in America.” Curiously, that article by Hooper praising Wahhaj has disappeared from CAIR’s website.
Hooper was defending his terror-linked comrade after Dr. Daniel Pipes had noted the connections between CAIR and Wahhaj, yet without substantively dealing with criticism offered by many noting the inconsistency of an organization that loudly proclaims itself a “moderate” voice representing the American Muslim community and a self-proclaimed staunch opponent of terrorism would so consciously embrace and promote an individual that bore responsibility for one of the deadliest terror attacks in the US prior to Oklahoma City and 9/11.
In that same article by Hooper, he further attacks Pipes:
Pipes continues to promote a spurious distinction between "patriotic" Muslims and "chauvinists" who "want to impose Islamic law and other Middle Eastern ways on this country." Of course Pipes fails to mention even one instance in which CAIR called for the imposition of Islamic law in America.
This is an outright lie, as Pipes has posted on his website a July 1998 news article in which CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad is quoted speaking to a group of California Muslims expressing his hope of seeing an America under the domination of Islam. In that article, Ahmad is quoted as saying,
Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran ... should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.
It is hardly an extraordinary leap to conclude that Omar Ahmad, who again was one of Hooper’s organization’s co-founders, who is listed on CAIR National’s website as a member of the Board of Directors, and who was addressing the crowd in question in his capacity as a representative of CAIR, was in fact representing the views of CAIR when he called for the establishment of shari’a as the highest legal authority in America, which presumably would also mean higher than the US Constitution. Nonetheless, CAIR deliberately savages any commentator who dares to draw that conclusion.
Years after Ahmad was reported to have made that statement, CAIR began waging a media campaign to attack the journalist who recorded Ahmad’s statement, with Ahmad saying “she’s lying”. CAIR’s protests notwithstanding, the newspaper in question has stood by the journalist’s reporting.
With respect to the “civil rights work” that Siraj Wahhaj was helping CAIR-OH raise funds for, it might be that CAIR will soon start waging a campaign against the Columbus Dispatch to expunge from the public record its report in February of last year where former CAIR-OH president and current CAIR National Board Vice Chairman, Ahmad Al-Akhras, likened the publication of the Danish Mohammad cartoons to a physical assault against Muslims, thus a crime. The Dispatch, which identified Al-Akhras as “an advocate of free speech”, said that he
was insulted by a Danish newspaper’s publication of cartoons depicting the prophet. Most American newspapers, including The Dispatch, have refused to publish the cartoons. "Your fist should stop where my chin is," Al-Akhras said.
This was the same CAIR official who just weeks after the Wahhaj fundraiser had submitted a letter to the editor in the Dispatch saying that the jihad being waged by the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Courts Union against the UN-backed Somali government, and which was beginning to brutally impose shari’a law on the citizens of that country, was “a positive development”.
Ahmad “Free Speech” Al-Akhras, who lives in the Columbus, Ohio-area and is still active with the local CAIR-OH affiliate, was the subject of a FrontPage Magazine article last August (“CAIR, Assault, and Videotape”) for assaulting a local independent journalist who was taping his speech at a rally in support of the Hezbollah terrorist organization. But woe unto those who dare note the support given by CAIR officials to terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah and HAMAS.
I also reported last year (“Kafir-phobia: Americans as Anti-Muslim Bigots”), about the public campaign led by CAIR-OH against non-Muslims in an Ohio community, implying that the community was seething with racial and religious hatred against Muslims in response to repeated acts of arson against a Muslim-owned business. CAIR-OH called on law enforcement authorities to investigate the arsons as hate crimes, even after it was discovered that the business owners themselves were responsible for the acts of arson. In that incident, CAIR-OH issued no apology for inciting hatred and displaying their bigotry against the non-Muslims in the community that they had falsely blamed for the fires.
This is indicative of the “civil liberties work” conducted by CAIR-OH that is being supported with the funds raised in the event featuring Siraj Wahhaj. The organizers of the CAIR-OH event may have believed that the fourteen years that had passed since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing may have been sufficient for memories of Wahhaj’s personal involvement in that terrorist attack to fade, but the support and praise showered on Siraj Wahhaj over the years by CAIR officials only stains the $100,000 he helped CAIR-OH raise that evening with a deeper blood red.
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