Protest Expected Over Orlando Visit of Controversial Speaker


Local media is reporting that unidentified protesters are planning to demonstrate against the presence of Muslim Brotherhood network figure Siraj Wahaj who will be the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for the Orlando chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations next month. A university website provides a concise biography of Wahaj detailing his involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood network:

Wahaj is a well-known African-American Muslim speaker in North America , and a supporter of Islamic causes in America . He’s currently the Imam (religious congregation leader) of the Masjid Al-Taqwa Mosque. Born and raised in New York as Jeffrey Kearse, he became a Sunday school teacher as a teenager, then later went to New York University (NYU) where he studied Math Education. In 1969, he converted to Islam. He changed his name to Siraj Wahaj, which means ‘Bright Light’ in Arabic, and was chosen to receive Imam training at the Ummul Qura university of Mecca in 1978. In addition, he also taught Islamic Studies at Howard University. Siraj has been vice president of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) since 1997 and has served on the Majlis Ash-Shura, a consultative council of Islamic scholars, since 1987. He is also a member of the board of advisors for the American Muslim Council. He has appeared on several national television talk shows and interviews in America and was the first person to give an Islamic invocation to the United States Congress. He led his Brooklyn community in an anti-drug patrol in Brooklyn, New York, which was a success and put a dent in the drug trade in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and received praise from the New York Police Department for his work.

Omitted from this biography is that Wahaj was a character witness for Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called ‘blind-sheikh’ convicted in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and was also named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. Critics also accuse Wahaj of anti-American speech such as calling for replacing the American government with an Islamic caliphate and warning that America will crumble unless it accepts Islam. Wahaj is a frequent speaker at events sponsored by US. Muslim Brotherhood organizations.

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