PHILADELPHIA — December 6, 2022 — Uthman Ibn Farooq, the San Diego imam who claimed to have been stabbed by an "Islamophobic" attacker on March 23, 2022, has evaded an offer of $5,000 from the Middle East Forum (MEF). MEF made the offer to encourage the imam to provide documents confirming his claims that his attacker had been convicted and incarcerated for the attack.
In October, MEF's publication Focus on Western Islamism (FWI) published two articles suggesting the alleged attack never took place. FWI's reporting had revealed that neither the San Diego Police Department nor the San Diego County District Attorney had any information about the attack, contradicting Ibn Farooq's claims that he had filed a complaint with law enforcement officials soon after the attack.
In response to FWI's reporting, Ibn Farooq declared that not only was the perpetrator arrested, but that his attacker had pleaded guilty to the crime and had been incarcerated. Ibn Farooq has failed to provide documents allegedly in his possession that will demonstrate the veracity of his claims but has said he will provide proof of the attack in an upcoming documentary about his efforts to spread Islam.
In early November, FWI published another article further challenging the veracity of Ibn Farooq's story. It also condemned the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for using news of the alleged attack to portray the imam as a victim of an "Islamophobic" attack.
"Ibn Farooq's unsubstantiated story has been used to falsely portray the United States as a dangerous place for Muslims to practice their faith," said FWI's managing editor Dexter Van Zile. "Sadly, mainstream news outlets have failed to follow up on the story."
MEF made the $5,000 offer via Twitter on Sunday, November 27, 2022, with the expectation that Ibn Farooq would use the money to produce the documentary confirming the alleged attack. The offer required Ibn Farooq to provide the name of the perpetrator incarcerated for stabbing him, the docket number for the case, and the names of both the prosecuting attorney and police officer responsible for bringing the case to trial. Ibn Farooq did not respond to the offer by the 5 pm deadline on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.
"The attack, as described by the imam, is of serious concern, but we have yet to find any evidence even hinting that such an attack took place," said MEF President Daniel Pipes.
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