TRAIN-ING DAY FOR JIHADISTS
MUSLIM SUBWAY ADS HAVE TERROR TIE-IN
By JEREMY OLSHAN
READ THE RAILS: Pro-Islamic ads would steer riders to Web links.
Last updated: 6:37 am
July 21, 2008
Posted: 4:42 am
July 21, 2008
An Islamic group plans to blitz 1,000 subway cars with advertisements this September in a campaign being promoted by a Brooklyn imam whom federal officials have linked to a plot to blow up city landmarks.
The group says its mission is to explain the true nature of Islam to non-Muslims who believe the religion is bent on acts of violence – but Siraj Wahhaj, the inflammatory imam who appears in a promotional YouTube video for the project, has defended convicted bomb-plotters and called the FBI and CIA the “real terrorists.”
US Attorney Mary Jo White even named Wahhaj one of 170 unindicted co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the thwarted plan to blow up a slew of buildings.
“In time, this so-called democracy will crumble, and there will be nothing, and the only thing that will remain will be Islam,” Wahhaj said in one of his sermons.
The stark, black-and-white ads of the Subway Project promote Islam with the goals of clearing up long-held misconceptions about the faith and reaching out to those interested in becoming Muslim, according to the Islamic Circle of North America, the group behind the campaign.
Timed to run during the month of Ramadan, the ads come in pairs, reading “Q: Prophet Muhammad?” or “Q: Islam?” and the corresponding answer is always “A: You deserve to know.”
Those interested in knowing more are directed to call (877) WHY-ISLAM or to visit whyislam.org, which provide literature that teaches and proselytizes about the faith.
The group insists it is not looking to transform subway cars into the “G-had train.”
“Anyone who looks at this ad objectively can see that it is not preaching anything,” Azeem Khan, the group’s assistant secretary general, told The Post. “There is a lot of Islamaphobia out there. We provide people with a chance to speak with an actual Muslim who is informed.”
Wahhaj, imam of Al-Taqwa mosque, is a former member of the Nation of Islam and was the first Muslim to give an invocation at the House of Representatives.
Formal charges were never filed against him by White, although he did serve as a character witness for the defense in the trial of Omar Abdel-Rahman, “the blind sheik” who is now serving a life sentence for his role in plotting the 1993 WTC bombings.
In the promotional video for the Subway Project, Wahhaj is the first to speak.
“Every day in this city, some 4.9 million people ride the subways – that is a lot of people,” he says. “Imagine them seeing the word Islam. Imagine them seeing the word Muhammad.”
The MTA confirmed that the group has signed a contract for the ad campaign but would not comment further.
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