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Senator Santorum Acused of “Repugnant Remarks:” A Look at the Accuser

Posted By Douglas J. Hagmann On July 26, 2006 @ 4:27 am In Douglas J. Hagmann,Editorials,Fifth Column | Comments Disabled

Mohammed KHAKU, the very same Islamic leader who has condemned a United States Senator for his “hatred of Islam,” his position on Islamic fascism, and the terrorist regimes of Iran and Syria, is closely associated with an organization who is embracing an allegedly unindicted co-conspirator of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

Investigative Report by Douglas J. Hagmann, Director


26 July 2006: An especially vitriolic editorial [1] appeared on the opinion section of al Jazeera’s web site yesterday, condemning the content of Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s speech he gave at the National Press Club last Wednesday.

The blistering criticism was written by Pennsylvania resident Mohammed KHAKU, who is also the past president of the Al-Ahad Islamic Center and the Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Pennsylvania KHAKU is associated with the Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley, of which the Stroudsburg Islamic Center is also associated. His writings have appeared on the web site of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a top Wahhabi organization with numerous ties to radical Islam.During his speech on Wednesday, July 19, 2006, Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum called for regime change in Iran and described “Islamic fascism” as the “great test” of this generation, as threatening to the United States as last century’s German Nazism and Soviet communism.

In response to the speech by Senator Santorum, KHAHU described the statements as “prejudicial remarks (that) were derogatory, and highly unbecoming for a member of US senate. KHAKU added, “The Senator rhetoric in a public forum demeans both himself and the party he represents, particularly at a time when entire Middle East is in turmoil. Muslim of Lehigh Valley strongly condemned Senator remarks outrageous, inflammatory and un-American. The Senator’s inflammatory comments do nothing to advance America’s role in the world as the leading voice for tolerance and religious freedom and should be soundly condemned as election rhetoric and appeasing the neo-conservatives and American extremism…”

Mohammed KHAKU further stated: “True to form, Senator Santorum has crossed the line and shows his clear hatred of Muslims. It is irresponsible that such comments are coming from someone who self-righteously claims to be holier than thou. Elected officials should be a voice of moderation and peace, not a voice of hatred and violence… His speech was irresponsible and ill informed, and he remarks are likely to fan hatred of Americans in parts of the Middle East. Senator’s goal was to instill fear… Zionist and the pro-Israel lobby continue to instill fear in Americans by escalating unsubstantiated threats against them and fabricating a vast web of lies to justify their actions against Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran.

Speaking of derogatory and inflammatory remarks fanning hatred, let’s take a look at some of Mohammed KHAKU’S associations and recent writings.

First, if by Senator Santorum remarks he has shown “his clear hatred of Muslims,” than by Mohammed KHAKU’s own writings, he has shown “his clear hatred of Jews.” KHAKU is an outspoken critic against Israel, accusing them of engaging in “war crimes.” In a recent editorial [2] published in the Express Times and posted on PennLive.com, KHAKU states, “The U.N., the international community and U.S. must repudiate and condemn Israel’s aggression, especially the targeting of the Palestinian civilian infrastructure, which is considered a war crime and must be condemned by the Bush administration.”

More importantly, it was less than two weeks before Senator Santorum’s speech that the Stroudsburg Islamic Center, in association with the Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley had a fundraising event that featured Siraj WAHHAJ, Imam of the Masjid At-Taqwa in Brooklyn, NY as the keynote speaker. WAHHAJ, the first Muslim to deliver the daily prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1991, later preached to an audience of New Jersey Muslims that if only Muslims were more clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate. “If we were united and strong, we’d elect our own emir [leader] and give allegiance to him. . . . [T]ake my word, if 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.”

Incredibly the same Imam who presided over a prayer session in the U.S. House of Representatives, WAHHAJ also served as a character witness in the trial for the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel RAHMAN in 1995. RAHMAN, of course, was found guilty of conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States. WAHAJ testified that ’it had been an honor to host Sheik Abdel-Rahman at Masjid At-Taqwa,” and described him as a “respected scholar” known for having memorized the Quran. “He is bold, as a strong preacher of Islam, so he is respected that way,” WAHHAJ testified. Information from then-U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White named about 170 people as “unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators” (in RAHMAN’S case); Imam WAHHAJ was on the list, but was never charged. An editorial in the New York Daily News described Imam WAHHAJ as “an unindicted co-conspirator linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.”

Mohammed KHAKU, the very same Islamic leader who has condemned a United States Senator for his “hatred of Islam,” his position on Islamic fascism, and the terrorist regimes of Iran and Syria, is closely associated with an organization who is embracing an allegedly unindicted co-conspirator of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. By that association, he is but an arms length from convicted terrorist murderer Omar Abdel RAHMAN – a man who is a textbook example of religious intolerance, hatred and violence.

Who is more repugnant? Does the question even need to be asked?

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[1] An especially vitriolic editorial: http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20editorials/2006%20Opinion%20Editorials/July/25%20o/Senator%20Santorum%20Repugnant%20Remarks%20on%20Islam,%20Iran,%20and%20Syria%20By%20Mohammed%20Khaku.htm

[2] editorial: http://www.pennlive.com/letters/expresstimes/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1151899533246430.xml&coll=2&thispage=3

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