Imam Siraj Wahhaj comes to the valley
This weekend the Arizona Muslim Alliance (AMA) is having its first annual “Celebrate Unity Leadership Summit”. This summit is to be held at the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley in Scottsdale, Arizona on Saturday, November 23, 2019 for most of the day. The summit will feature the so-called “unifying” speaker and Islamic scholar–Imam Siraj Wahhaj. Wahhaj will also be touring other AMA affiliated mosques in the Phoenix Valley on Friday, November 22, 2019.
Wahhaj is a notorious, well known radical Islamist anti-American cleric whose dossier of Islamist and separatist ideologies is legendary in the United States, even for the dyed-in-the-wool Islamist Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups. The fact that this local upstart “coalition” of mosques –the AMA– is sponsoring Wahhaj and using his radical type as their first impression on the Valley and our Muslim communities is both very revealing and thus consequential in understanding the ideological underpinnings of various mosque leadership involved in this consortium of so called “unity” organization of many of the mosques in the Valley– the Arizona Muslim Alliance.
We call on Arizonans and especially our Muslim communities to speak out against the fringe ideas of Siraj Wahhaj and guard against his likes and radicalization under the guise of unity.
In fact, apropos to the subject of unity Imam Siraj Wahhaj famously said:
“A brother asked me yesterday. He said, ‘brother Imam Siraj, after you do all this traveling around the country, around the world, what would you like to focus on? What would you like to be your area of focus?’ I said working on the unity of the Muslims. Because you know what brothers and sisters, if we were united nobody could stop us. You wouldn’t have to vote for Bush or Clinton. No, you wouldn’t have to. If we were united and strong we’d elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. And the rest of the world, take my word, 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us” – October 1992. (IPT)
Wahhaj has never repudiated those remarks nor any of the troves of decades of speeches, work, commentary, and radicalization we are about to share with you.
The Arizona Muslim Alliance and its leadership must be held accountable to this man’s ideas and leadership- the man they chose among so many others in America to launch their “celebrating unity leadership summit”
What is this new organization, the Arizona Muslim Alliance?
After you learn below who and what Wahhaj stands for, you may get a better understanding of what the leaders of our local Muslim communities actually agree to have influence their followers and youth. In fact looking at the Arizona Muslim Alliance mission proves this synergy with Imam Wahhaj.
- Their motto is “AZ Muslims in Unison”. Are they intending to push the impression that Siraj Wahhaj speaks for all local Muslims “in unison”?
- Arizona Corporation Commission lists Arizona Muslim Alliance, Inc. with an address of the same address as the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley (in Scottsdale) [Arizona Muslim Alliance] and filed by Arizona Muslim Alliance Director Sarfaraz Sheikh. The following members as their Board of Directors: Kristy Sabbah, Ahmed Ewasha, Ahmed Hashim, and Salaheddine Tomeh. The Corporation commission lists the “known place of business” as the same address as the address of Salaheddine Tomeh of the Arizona Cultural Academy, a private Islamic K-12 school.
- Their posted Vision, Mission, Philosophy and policies:
- The AMA is a platform to “bring together the Muslim community in Arizona and act as a unified voice to address the religious, social, economic, and political needs of the Muslims in this land.
- Vision: “to be the unifying Federation of Muslim organizations in Arizona, the leading advocate of the diverse Muslim community, and a catalyst for enriching the society at large”
- Mission: “uniting the Muslim community in Arizona by establishing effective communication, enhancing cooperation, sharing resources, and correlating activities among Arizona’s Muslim organizations. Representing and defending the interest of Arizona Muslims. Enhancing Muslim participation in the public sphere; encouraging cooperation and partnership with other religious and civic groups for the common good; providing services not available nor provided by individual member organizations.”
- Philosophy and policies: they report complying by local state and federal government law. They “will not interfere with member organization procedures, operations, and finances.” They “will represent the interests of main stream [sic] Arizona Muslims who are integral part of the citizens of Arizona… a diverse community, not limited to certain race national origin or ethnicity”. Note that no mention is made of ideological diversity. This is a Islamist monolithic coalition of the Islamist establishment in Maricopa County.
- They define main stream [sic] Islam as:
- “a complete way of life guided by the authentic sources of Islam; the glorious quarter and in the authentic tradition of the Prophet Mohammed”
- “Other traditions, man-made rules, cultures and ethnic behaviors and traditions are not considered as sources of AMA however, reserves the right to follow a ruling agreed upon by the majority of Islamic scholars”– if this isn’t a central Islamist separatist doctrine we don’t know what is.
- Organizationally: it is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization apparently with an assembly of voting within a ‘House of Representatives’?
- The rest of their definitions and policies are noted at this link.
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy has previously done in-depth exposes on many of the local imams. It most notably included an in depth expose on “Exposing the ‘Flying Imams’” from the Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2008 edition. Therein, Dr. Jasser exposed the backgrounds, ideologies and track records of some of the leading local imams here in Arizona that led to the case, Ahmed Shqeirat et al. vs. U.S. Airways. Sure enough, the lead contact imam for Imam Wahhaj’s Celebrating Unity event here in Arizona is again, Ahmed Shqeirat of the Islamic Community Center of Tempe (ICCP).
Additionally, Dr. Jasser wrote this expose for the Arizona Republic on August 23, 2014: “Muslim: I was bullied for criticizing Hamas”. Dr. Jasser laid out how he became the subject of the Eid (Holiday) sermon on so-called Islamophobia by Imam Yaser Ali at the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley who in speaking against Dr. Jasser, said, “even Muslims can be against their own community”. Dr. Jasser further noted,
Even in America, leading Muslim organizations and clerics bully with threats of ostracism those Muslims who dare to dissent. Old-guard ideologues, too, used to monopoly control, make it crystal clear to their Muslim critics: Take us on and we will make an example of you as a traitor to the Muslim community (the ummah)… Intimidation and intolerance, from the bully pulpit by imams like Yaser Ali, are symptoms of a much deeper and broader conflict between political Islam (Islamism) and modernity — and more specifically, liberal democracy. Reform will not come easily. It must come from within, driven by both love for our faith and frank public critique of our leaders. But it cannot be done without the support of our non-Muslim allies, for universal human rights, freedom of conscience and, indeed, American security hang in the balance.
There has since been little to warrant exposure on our state or national platforms to goings on locally here in Arizona. However this weekend’s upcoming visit by the radical Islamist, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, brings home all of the areas, AIFD has been working to reform locally, nationally, and globally for years since our founding.
This new local coalition organization of the local Islamist establishment, the Arizona Muslim Alliance stands in stark contradiction to the principles of our reformist and anti-Islamist coalition- the Muslim Reform Movement. See our Declaration and compare and contrast what we stand for versus what the Islamists of the Arizona Muslim Alliance claim to stand for while living in this great land of freedom, the United States of America.
Who is Siraj Wahhaj?
When Dr. Zuhdi Jasser’s Simon & Schuster book, “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save his Faith” came out in 2012 he noted that Imam Wahhaj’s keynote speech at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America in 1995 was the entire reason he was moved to dedicating his life to defeating the Islamist ideology. Dressed in his Navy
uniform, having represented the National Naval Medical Center at the Islamic Medical Association that met in conjunction with the ISNA meeting, Dr. Jasser saw Imam Wahhaj hold up the Qur’an and declare his desire to replace the US Constitution with the Holy Qur’an and to make America into an Islamic state. Read the three page excerpt from his book about Siraj Wahhaj (Pages 85-87).
Eight years later, Dr. Jasser would found the American Islamic Forum for Democracy to fight that very insurgency of the Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the West.
Wahhaj is an Islamist imam with a long track record of separatism and anti-American anti-semitic vitriol. This imam has a long track record of vilifying America the society it citizens and its culture. The following is only a smattering of many of the radical comments he has made and while the Arizona Muslim Alliance (AMA) claims to be a “diverse” organization, they all seem to have agreed to bring one of the most notoriously radical imams in the United States. When all is said and done, the AMA leadership selected this leader to represent them and teach their population here locally while they claim to be a diverse organization. There are obvious reasons truly moderate, pro-American, reformist Muslim organizations locally are not part of this Arizona Muslim Alliance and will likely not only never be a member, but will continue to confront their Islamist separatism which they peddle under the rubric of pan-Islamic “unity”. This AMA is simply another Muslim brotherhood legacy group with a penchant to amplify the voices of anti-American separatism and radicalization of leading Islamist icons like Siraj Wahhaj.
Siraj Wahhaj Jr and the recent New Mexico 2018 terror cell
Court records identified that children in a camp were being starved and trained in jihad to imminently shoot up a school and a hospital. After the state of New Mexico incredulously dropped the ball and charges were dismissed as time ran out on them, the FBI and DOJ then moved in with their own charges against the cell leaders. The federal government now controls the fate of the cell. Following the initial raid, authorities confirmed that the body of the three-year old found in the compound was that of Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj. Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj is the grandson of radical Islamist preacher Siraj Wahhaj, Sr coming this weekend to teach Arizona Muslims how to unite. Out of the five suspects arrested in this case, one is Siraj Ibn Wahhaj’s son, and another two are his daughters.
This case and what happened with the younger generation of the Wahhaj family will likely demonstrate the pathways of how American Muslims are often radicalized. Granted, there is no evidence that the senior Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. had anything to do with the New Mexico compound and his children’s jihadi terror training camp. In a Facebook video the day after the story broke, he stated that he “want[ed] to find out what happened, what made [his] children act in such a dramatic way.” We at AIFD believe that his non-violent Islamist preaching spawned the separatist, violent Islamism that we saw in the New Mexico compound. The apples do not fall far from the insurgent, separatist tree of Islamism (whether or not imam Wahhaj taught violence or non-violent). But see his teachings below.
Since the New Mexico jihadi compound story broke, the mainstream media has gone to great lengths to avoid any in-depth coverage of this story. Clearly, the mainstream media is protecting the senior Wahhaj’s reputation as well as that of the major network of organizations to which he is tied. Had Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. not been related to this story, the coverage would have been very different. In cases of terrorism linked directly to the families of prominent Islamist activists and preachers, the American Muslim community finds itself at a defining moment.
How American Muslims learn and respond to the slippery slope of non-violent Islamism and its inherent separatism, as evidenced in the Wahhaj family, is critical. Will we remain in hopeless denial of the evils of Islamism? Will we as a diverse ideological community continue to allow the Islamist “establishment” to dominate and oppress our communities? Or will we finally garner the strength to stand up to Islamism and its separatism? The Wahhaj family patriarch planted the seeds of Islamist separatism for decades. His hateful rhetoric spreads both within his family and in leadership positions throughout our communities. We can stay silent and enable this radicalization process, or we can fight with every fiber of our being against Islamist brainwashing.
While CAIR offered condolences and support for the Wahhaj family in September 2018 when it was exposed that Imam Wahhaj’s children were involved in a terror cell his grandchildren were found in atrocious Third World conditions and a three-year-old died in an exorcism. Rather than acknowledge the role that the imam might have played and radicalization of his own children and thus his grandchildren, CAIR instead thanked him for his contributions and wanted Americans to believe that we still owe him a great debt. They even had the temerity “to condemn as hate groups those who will use this as an opportunity to smear the man”.
Wahhaj is a leading fundraiser for major American Islamist organizations
He is a leading fundraiser and preacher for major American Islamist organizations like CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America), MAS (Muslim American Society), and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America). , Abdulrahman Alamoudi, the head of the American Muslim Council (AMC) the organization that invited him to give the first Muslim invocation to the US Congress in 1991, is still serving time for trafficking over $300,000 cash from Libyan dictator Gaddafi in a plot to assassinate then Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in addition to other terror finance charges. This was likely an Al Qaeda operation. And Wahhaj still speaks highly of his time giving the first Muslim invocation to Congress, and conveniently ignores that the organization that made it happen has dissolved as its head joined the work of Al Qaeda.
Imam Siraj Wahhaj in his own words—a radical Islamist
- Supremacy of the Islamic state: Imam Wahhaj has a long history of endorsing the supremacy of his Islamic state over the United States or a Western country. He has told his followers according to Paul Barrett in the Wall Street Journal October 24, 2003, quote 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.”
- 9-11 truther: Referring to unnamed forces in the government and media he preached “these people want the destruction of Islam” Paul Barrett, WSJ “One Imam Trades the Path of Islam in Black America” October 24, 2003. He further said, “Why is even a truth or who brushed off evidence that Osama bin Laden’s involvement in 9/11 was obvious.” He dismisses bin Laden’s own video pronouncements claiming responsibility for the terror attacks and prefers to remain neutral. He thought it may be a media ruse: “I’m just not so sure want to be the one of the ones who say yeah he did it. He’s a horrible man”
- Wants the defeat of America: “if only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replaces 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 of 8 million Muslims united America the country will come to us.” Source
- Close to ’93 World Trade Center bombing master mind, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman: In the early 1990s he sponsored talks by Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman in mosques in New York City and New Jersey. Abdel-Rahman was later convicted for conspiring to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993 and Wahhaj was designated a potential unindicted co-conspirator. Source
- Close to Al Qaeda operative Alamoudi: As noted above, in that video clip, Wahhaj becoming the first Muslim to provide an opening prayer to the United States Congress. On that same day he was sponsored by the American Muslim Council and its executive director Abdulrahman Alamoudi, an Al Qaeda operative who was later convicted and is currently serving a 25 year sentence for conspiring with the Libyan government to assassinate the king of Saudi Arabia as well as on terrorism charges.
- Horrifically anti-Western. In an audio tape recording where Wahhaj was speaking on “the Afghanistan Jihad” on September 28, 1991 he said, “and he alone declared, ‘whoever is at war with my friends, I declare war on them’, ‘who is a friend of 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. Here what I’m telling you. Hear it well. The Europeans are not your friends. Your friend is Allah, the messenger and those who believe. Those people will never be satisfied with you until you follow their religion. They will never be satisfied with you.” Source
- America is the devil and these punishments are commanded: In this audio he says, “I swear by God, I swear by God, the American government is controlled by Shaitan (the devil)…no doubt about it… If you commit zina (fornication) the punishment is 100 lashes. If you commit adultery the punishment is death by stoning, capital punishment…When you steal, God is angry, cut off their hands”… Woww to the Muslims who take Kafirs as friends. Kafirs will take you away to the remembrance of Allah… surrounded by kafirs making the hearts of our children corrupt. Do not hang out with the non-Muslims. You talk just like them. They are corrupt.” Listen below to video or see full transcript provided by Middle East Forum here.
- On homosexuality:“Brothers and sisters, I don’t believe any of you are homosexual. This is a disease of this society. According to the Kinsey report, some 10% of the American people are homosexual. Over 25 million Americans, one out of ten. Men who prefer men, sexually, and women who prefer women. Now, there may be some who have some little tendency, maybe, among the Muslims, among us, allahu alam, I don’t think so, but hopefully today’s khutbah can get rid of that if you have it in your heart.And number two, I want you to be able to defend against these homosexuals, so you have good argument, Inshallah, and also to remind you last week what I told you, the news that we got from Toronto, supposedly of some Muslims coming out of the closet. Homosexuals, Muslims in Toronto, who want to establish a mosque over the land, for the gays, Muslim gays. We are against that 100%. We don’t accept it. We will never accept it, no matter how much the American government and the Canadian government legislate it in the laws that it is acceptable, it will never be acceptable by the Muslims.” See the full transcript of this video provided by the Middle East Forum here. Listen below:
- Why Muslims should get involved in politics: “I just want to say this. Brothers and sisters, in my opinion what the Muslims do in America will have a profound effect on Muslims everywhere on this earth. As long as you remember that if you get involved with politics, you have to be very careful that your leader is for Allah. You don’t get in politics because it’s the American thing to do. You get involved in politics because politics can be a weapon to use in the cause of Islam.” –source
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a Muslim led think tank and activist non-profit organization based in Phoenix, AZ, addresses the root cause of the domestic and international threat of radical Islamist terrorism. AIFD’s mission is to advocate for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution – liberty and freedom – through the separation of mosque and state and is dedicated to providing an American Muslim voice calling for genuine reform against Islamism and the ideologies which fuel global Muslim radicalization.
About M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.Dr. Jasser, president and founder of AIFD, and co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, is the author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith“, and is also founder of Take Back Islam. Dr. Jasser is an American Muslim and son of Syrian immigrants who fled Ba’athist oppression in 1966. Zuhdi is a physician in private practice and a former US Navy officer. He is a former commissioner and Vice-Chair of U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) appointed by the U.S. Senate serving from 2012-2016. An internationally recognized expert on Islamism, Dr. Jasser is widely published in the field and is featured in many top tier media. He regularly testifies to the U.S. Congress on the threat of global Islamism and domestic and foreign counter-ideology strategy. Zuhdi’s work is dedicated to championing universal human rights rooted in an American and Western identity from within the “House of Islam”. Twitter: @DrZuhdiJasser
Phone: 480 225 7473