Islamic Studies

Imam Siraj Wahaj "Unindicted Co-conspirators" Former Prosecutor Clarifies

Asalamu alaykum,

Every one should put the name of Imam Siraj in the title section of his/her blog along with the words “Unindicted Co-conspirator” and former Prosecutor clarifies.  This will flood out, inshallah, the post of the fascists, bigots and the  ill informed. We must stand and make it known the reality of the accusations. Below is a CNN interview with one of the former prosecutors in the case. He makes clear the reality behind these accusations.

Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor in that case, said Wahhaj’s name was included in a filing that prosecutors were required to provide to defense attorneys in the case, a list of all the names of people who could possibly be foreseen to come up in the evidence. The filing, McCarthy said, has been called a “co-conspirator list.” But Wahhaj was never named by the prosecution.

“The only time he came up in a meaningful way before the jury is when the defense called him as a witness,” McCarthy recalled.

McCarthy said that although the list named anyone the government might allege during the trial was a co-conspirator, not everyone on the list was so labeled.

In another interview he said about the list, ““I think the list is probably an interesting footnote to people. I get asked about it every couple of years when some story or another about Wahhaj comes up. I think the list is a tempest in a teapot.” (meaning not a big deal)

Wahhaj said Monday that he was a character witness for Abdel-Rahman in the context of “what we knew about him before the incident,” citing him as a “scholar in Islam” and “a great reciter of the Quran.”

“People try to make the connection as if I’m endorsing some bad deeds that [were] done by Sheik Abdel-Rahman,” he said. “That had nothing to do with it.”

He added, “not only have I never been charged with anything, not one FBI agent has ever asked me one question in relationship to that bombing.”

Wahhaj also said that he regrets some of his more controversial statements, such as calling the FBI and the CIA “terrorists.”

“What I was saying is that not all the FBI or CIA are terrorists, but there are some elements in there,” he said. “So if you want to accuse some Muslims [of being terrorists], OK. These Muslims did that, but don’t undermine the entire faith. That’s what the message is.”

Wahhaj said the New York Post’s “cheesy” and “anti-Islam” reaction to his participation in the Subway Project is “the very reason the young Muslims want to put out this ad campaign.”

Islamic Circle spokesman Azeem Khan called the situation a “perfect microcosm” of what the ads seek to address: that Wahhaj’s portrayal in media reports is similar to how Islam is often depicted.

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

Add Comment

Leave a Comment