The Muslim leader behind the beleaguered Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero is being sidelined as part of a major leadership shakeup, organizers of the controversial project announced yesterday.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will no longer be the chief religious figure in the project — though he will still play a lesser, behind-the-scenes, role in support of the planned 13-story, $100 million facility, officials said.
Rauf’s replacement, Imam Abdallah Adhami, who has been active in New York’s Muslim community, will now handle religious programming for the project, known as Park51.
HOLY ROLES: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (left) will be replaced by Imam Abdallah Adhami as the mosque leader.
Park51 organizers downplayed Rauf’s diminished role — emphasizing the imam has just launched a nationwide tour on interfaith relations. He will address the Islamic Society in North America’s diversity conference today in Detroit.
They also note he remains on Park51′s board of directors.
There’s been speculation since the summer that relations had soured between Rauf and Sharif El-Gamal, the president and chief developer of Park51.
“It is an honor for me, personally, to welcome Imam Adhami to our team. I look forward to his leadership and assistance in the development of Park51,” El-Gamal said.
Born in Washington, Adhami has a degree in architecture from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute.
Critics of the project pointed out that Adhami has a link to Imam Siraj Wahhaj, of Brooklyn, whom prosecutors fingered as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Wahhaj also was a character witness in the trial of convicted terror plotter Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman.
Adhami designed Wahhaj’s Brooklyn mosque, Masjid al Taqwa. Wahhaj also is highlighted on an Adhami-created Web site, Sakeenah.org.
Adhami called the appointment “an extraordinary opportunity to be a key adviser on a project going forward that has enormous creative and healing potential.”
Tim Brown, a retired firefighter who responded to the 9/11 attacks and has sued to block the mosque, said it sounded like Park51 and Rauf “got a divorce.”
“Imam Rauf can’t raise money needed for the project. He’s toxic. He’s only hurt the 9/11 survivors, not built bridges,” Brown said.
Brown was troubled by Adhami’s link toWahhaj.
“Siraj Wahhaj is as radical as you can get,” he said.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/mosque_sheik_up_yK7ViqWCwHy8ioXABc41XK
Iman Siraj Wahhaj, terrorist defender and US Caliphate proponent
Siraj Wahhaj was one of nine Islamic leaders who met with Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly over fears of a backlash against local Muslims after the Fort Hood massacre.”
Later that year , Wahhaj appeared as a defense witness in the trial of blind sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted of trying to blow up the Lincoln Tunnel and the United Nations.
“If we were aware of his full background,” an aide said, “it would have been done differently.”
Wahhaj heads the Masjid al Taqwa mosque in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and presides over fellow African-American converts to Islam.
“If the mayor had any discomfort he would not have invited me,” Wahhaj said after the meeting. “Of course, he knew who I was. The mayor is very smart.”
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Kelly had not previously met Wahhaj.
“It was a good, frank conversation between the mayor and the police commissioner and all the other participants,” Wahhaj said.
Wahhaj was last in the news last month when a jury threw out his $5 million lawsuit against Curtis Sliwa for claiming the mosque had run guns to Canada.
Wahhaj was an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He has defended the convicted WTC bomb plotters, called the FBI and CIA the “real terrorists,” and said he hopes all Americans eventually become Muslim.
Wahhaj’s profile from Discover the Networks: In a 1992 address to an audience of Muslims in New Jersey, Wahhaj expressed his desire to see Muslims seize control of the United States and replace its constitutional government with an Islamic caliphate. “If we were united and strong,” Wahhaj said, “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.”
Listen to this Siraj Wahhaj speech where he states Islam commands jihad of the true soldiers of Allah (SoA)…
See more links at Creeping Sharia
By the way:
“…In June 1991, Siraj Wahaj, a black convert to Islam and the recipient of some of the American Muslim community’s highest honors, had the privilege of becoming the first Muslim to deliver the daily prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives. On that occasion he recited from the Qur’an and appealed to the Almighty to guide American leaders “and grant them righteousness and wisdom.”
More here on Wahhaj: African Colonial
I say Fu&k Islam, this Country was and still is a judo-Christain Nation and if Muslims think they can take over and make us be anything but What GOD wants us to be ,Well think again Mohamed.
One and only one GOD The GOD of the Bible.
GOD Bless America, let her flag fly forever.......
I have to agree with you on that if they want to force their religion on us then I say bring it how many of them will hit the ground hard.
Gary don't know what you have there but a friend of mine picked up a .50 cal Barrett last year he tells me the darn thing has a range of about a mile. that's a pretty nice chip setter.
There must not be a mosque at or near Ground Zero. Where are the building trades that will erect the horrible thing? Where are the building supply companies that will sell them the steel and wire?
Some of the local maslams got a rude awaking yesterday their cars where all damaged by some one you know tires cut glass broke and paint all scrapped up don't if they did it themselves or if some else did for them. I just found out about it today, 3 of the local churches are getting the blame, including the LDS church. don't think you will read about that in the paper though. Poor maslams they should try being nicer to people.
Since I don't drive that lets me off the hook right there, but there many in town that do not like them or get along with them.
my apologies, but these maslams are not to be messed with not the most pleasant people to deal with at times.
you got that right.