Final Thoughts on Appearance by Siraj Wahhaj

I was not very happy to open up the student newspaper last week and see another big story about Siraj Wahhaj without a single mention of his history of extremism. Oddly enough, I contacted a number of local media outlets about Wahhaj and none of them mentioned anything about his history (like I said, sometimes I wish these folks were Christian extremists since the media actually seems to care about that).

Anyway, here’s my letter-to-the editor about Wahhaj’s appearance,

The Western Herald headlined its story on Islamic scholar Imam Sirraj Wahhaj, “Scholar tells truth about Islam.” It’s a shame that in two separate articles, the Western Herald couldn’t be bothered to report the truth about Wahhaj.

The Western Herald couldn’t be bothered to report that Wahhaj is on record as supporting the stoning to death of adulterers, saying that “If Allah says stone them to death, through the Prophet Muhammad, then you stone them to death, because it’s the obedience of Allah and his messenger — nothing personal.”

Nor could the Western Herald be bothered to mention Wahhaj’s odd view of Osama bin Laden, of whom he told the Wall Street Journal in 2003, “I’m just not so sure I want to be one of the ones who say, ‘Yeah, he did it. He’s a horrible man.'”

And, of course, space reasons probably precluded mentioning that Wahhaj was an unindicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing or that he appeared as a character witness on behalf of terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who is currently serving a life term for his role in the 1993 WTC bombing.

Presumably if Osama bin Laden ever appears at WMU, the Western Herald will headline the event, “Former Construction Engineer to Give Speech.”

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