For Siraj Wahhaj, a New York-based radical imam, it is a time of recovery. Just as good medicine has improved his health, bad journalism is helping to improve his image.
Wahhaj appeared in Philadelphia last month to announce the creation of a network of free health clinics, citing inspiration from a recent cancer diagnosis and the ensuing treatment. A laudable project? Perhaps. But it is no excuse to whitewash his terrorist connections and Islamist views.
Exemplifying the slanted journalism that welcomes radical Muslims into the mainstream, the Philadelphia Inquirer offers absolutely no hint that Wahhaj might be anything other than a warm, fuzzy philanthropist. Islamist Watch set the record straight with a letter to the editor, which the paper published in an abridged form. Our full text, with added links, is as follows:
If David Duke launched health clinics for low-income Americans, you could be sure that reporters covering the story would not fail to mention that Duke is a leading white supremacist.
Why should it be any different when health clinics are launched by a leading Islamic supremacist?
In his March 25 article, "A Call to Help Muslims in Need of Health Care," Don Sapatkin is guilty of a sin of omission. He declines to inform readers that Siraj Wahhaj, head of the organization sponsoring a new medical network that will target "underserved Muslim communities," happens to be one of the most radical imams in America.
Wahhaj was listed among the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and plots to destroy other Manhattan landmarks. He later testified in praise of ringleader Omar Abdel Rahman, whom Wahhaj hosted at his mosque.
In addition, Wahhaj has promoted polygamy, excused stoning, and voiced desire to see the Constitution replaced with Islamic law, predicting that the U.S. will fall unless it "accepts the Islamic agenda."
A radical providing health services is still a radical. Readers and future patients deserve to know the ugly truth about this man.
What goes for combating terrorism goes for combating bad journalism: if you see something, say something. Are media portraying CAIR as an unblemished "civil rights organization" — or as the Inquirer labels the Wahhaj-led Islamists of MANA, a "social service organization"? Are periodicals misrepresenting the methodologies of jihadists, as an IW reader chided Smithsonian for doing in a piece that describes the Islamist group Tablighi Jamaat as "apolitical," even though it is anything but? Write the editor, call the management, and make your informed voices heard.