Art Moore entered the media world as a public relations assistant for the Seattle Mariners and a correspondent covering pro and college sports for Associated Press Radio. He reported for a Chicago-area daily newspaper and was senior news writer for Christianity Today magazine and an editor for Worldwide Newsroom before joining WND shortly after 9/11. He earned a master's degree in communications from Wheaton College.More ↓Less ↑
Imam Siraj Wahhaj
A nonprofit activist group that “alerts Americans about the threat of radical Islam” has launched a campaign to urge a Washington-area hotel to cancel its hosting of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ annual banquet this week, which features a controversial Muslim imam who foresees a violent overthrow of the “filthy” U.S. government assisted by jihad warriors armed with Uzis.
The New York City–based Clarion Fund points out co–keynote speaker Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing investigation, was featured on a panel in 2005 titled, “Replacing the Constitution with the Koran: ‘Conquest or Conversion’ through Islamic Propagation.”
Clarion Fund spokesman Alex Traiman said his group is urging citizens to send a letter to the host hotel, the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, Va., through a special website.
“The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Leading the Change,’ but we must ask ourselves what ‘change’ they are leading,” said Raphael Shore, founder of the Clarion Fund, producers of the films “Obsession” and “The Third Jihad”.
Traiman told WND his group – which has 30,000 people on its e-mail list, along with the names of 50,000 people who purchased its film “Obsession” – already has prompted a substantial number of people to write the Arlington hotel.
‘We’re just a venue’
A spokesman for the Marriott Crystal Gateway, Thom Puccio, told WND, however, the CAIR event would go on Saturday night as planned.
Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, Va.
“We’re simply providing hospitality services as a matter of hotel operations,” Puccio said in response to the Clarion campaign. “In no way do we support or endorse any group or individual by virtue of accepting their business. We are simply carrying out our function as a venue provider.”
Puccio, the director of sales and marketing, was asked if there is a line the hotel would draw, however, regarding the types of groups it would host. Would it allow the Ku Klux Klan to hold an event, for example?
“I would not comment on that,” he said.
“We’re just a venue, we’re just an option,” Puccio continued. “If there are 50 hotels or 100 hotels in the D.C. area, we’re just one of those hotels. It’s not a matter of supporting anything regarding any of these groups, whether they be associations or corporations. We’re simply providing the space for them to hold their events.”
But while you wouldn’t endorse any group, Puccio was asked further, are there not certain groups you wouldn’t want associated with your hotel, such as the KKK?
“I would not comment on that,” he said.
The venue for this year’s CAIR conference, the Clarion Fund notes, is adjacent to the Pentagon, which was struck in the 9/11 attacks.
As late as last Thursday, CAIR’s promotion of the event listed Wahhaj as a keynote speaker along with White House special adviser Dalia Mogahed.
But by Friday, days after the release of “Muslim Mafia,” published by WND Books, Mogahed’s name was replaced with civil-rights activist Jesse Jackson’s.
Mogahed, who is traveling, could not be reached. But her assistant, Jason Bough, told WND that as far as he knew, Mogahed was still scheduled to speak Saturday.
Bough said he had no idea why her name had been replaced with Jackson’s.
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper did not reply to WND’s request for clarification and comment.
Mogahed sparked controversy of her own recently when she defended Shariah, or Islamic law, on a British television show hosted by a member of an extremist Muslim group, insisting the majority of women around the world associate Shariah with “gender justice.”
Mogahed, senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, was appointed to President Obama’s Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Former Republican Rep. Paul Findley of Illinois, a supporter of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, also will speak, according to CAIR. In the wake of 9/11, Findley blamed the attacks on America’s support for Israel. He released a book shortly before 9/11, “Silent No More,” that sought to improve the image of Islam in the U.S. He charged President Bush “overreacted” to the 9/11 attacks, and he claimed Americans had been “misled by the American media, which is controlled by the Jewish lobby.”
America’s ‘worst nightmare’
As WND reported, Wahhaj, a regular CAIR fundraiser and a former member of its advisory board, is just one of many Muslim leaders affiliated with the group who have been named or prosecuted in U.S. terrorism-related investigations.
“Muslim Mafia” cites internal documents that show Wahhaj remains heavily involved in CAIR business. At last year’s CAIR banquet, Wahhaj led the fundraising, bringing in $210,000 by the end of the night. In 2006, CAIR’s national office enlisted him to work with the group’s leadership to raise $1 million.
In a videotaped May 8, 1992, sermon obtained by the authors of “Muslim Mafia,” titled “Stand up for Justice,” Wahhaj makes it clear that, contrary to CAIR’s media guide, he believes jihad means “holy war,” not merely a “struggle to better oneself.”
Opening screen on CAIR’s website advertising annual banquet featuring Siraj Wahhaj and Dalia Mogahed, whose name has been replaced with Jesse Jackson’s
“If we go to war, brothers and sisters – and one day we will, believe me – that’s why you’re commanded [to fight in] jihad,” the Brooklyn-based Wahhaj says. “When Allah demands us to fight, we’re not stopping and nobody’s stopping us.”
Wahhaj preaches Islam teaches violent insurrection in “infidel lands” such as America, points out the “Muslim Mafia” co-authors, counterterrorism investigator P. David Gaubatz and “Infiltration” author Paul Sperry.
“Believe me, brothers and sisters, Muslims in America are the most strategic Muslims on Earth,” Wahhaj says in the 1992 sermon, arguing the government can’t drop bombs on warring Muslims in the U.S. without causing collateral damage.
The American government’s “worst nightmare is one day that the Muslims wake these people up in South Central Los Angeles and other inner-city areas,” he says in the video.
Wahhaj exhorts the faithful to go into the “hood and the prisons and convert disenfranchised minorities, and then arm them and train them to carry out an Uzi jihad in the inner cities.”
“We don’t need to arm the people with nine-millimeter and Uzis,” he says. “You need to arm them with righteousness first. And then once you arm them with righteousness first, then you can arm them [with Uzis and other weapons].”
CAIR tells the public in its media guide, however, “There is a common misperception among Westerners that the Quran teaches violence.”
Wahhaj makes it clear, nevertheless, he sees Islam as a uniquely militant religion.
“We don’t have a ‘turn-the-other-cheek philosophy’ like the Christians,” he says. “Allah has given us permission to fight them” so that the “word of Allah can be uppermost.”
“If we were united and strong, we’d elect our own emir and give allegiance to him,” Wahhaj was quoted as saying. “[T]ake my word, if 6 to 8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.”
Those who struggle for Allah, it doesn’t matter what kind of weapons, I’m telling you it doesn’t matter! You don’t need nuclear weapons or even guns! If you have faith in Allah and a knife! If Allah wants you to win, you will win! Because Allah is the only one who fights. And when his hand is over your hand, whoever is at war against my friends, I declare war on them.
Citing Emerson, “Muslim Media” notes Wahhaj once likened the U.S. to a trash bin and prayed it would “crumble” and be replaced by Islam.
“You know what this country is? It’s a garbage can,” Wahhaj said. “It’s filthy.”
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