Waiting to hear any words of explanation, or better yet, apology, from the imam (or pastor), of the Powder Springs Road mosque about why he invited Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator from the 1993 World Trade Center bombings to play a starring role in the press conference held last week shortly after mosque was gutted by fire.
Marietta officials, mosque leaders and officials of the Council on American-Islamic Relations wasted no time labeling the blaze a “hate crime” — even there was no evidence to indicate that, and even though Marietta Fire officials were pointedly refraining from suggesting that might be the cause. Indeed, city police soon arrested a member of the mosque, Tamsir Lucien Mendy (a Gambian citizen who is believed to be in the country illegally), and charged him with the crime.
But by then the press conference was history and Marietta’s good name had been dragged through the mud in countless national news reports as a scene of a suspected hate crime. We’ll give the mayor a pass this time. He was merely trying to emphasize that such ugly sentiments are unwelcome in our city. But we suspect that many viewers made an unconscious connection between “Marietta” and “hate crime” despite his calming words.
Much more serious was the fact that the imam, Hafiz Inayatullah, invited or allowed WTC bombing figure Wahhaj to be part of the press conference. I can’t imagine even an ardently pro-life Christian church welcoming an avowed, unrepentant bomber of abortion clinics into its midst, much less allowing said bomber to be its spokesman, for example.
Even if Wahhaj “crashed” the press conference, or showed up at the invitation of someone other than the local mosque, one would have hoped that by now Imam Inayatullah — or someone from his congregation — would have disavowed his presence there.
Something along the lines of “Islam is a religion of peace, and we in no way support Wahhaj’s agenda.”
But their silence is saying volumes.
I’m waiting — waiting for an explanation of some kind, of any kind, for why the mosque let a terrorist be its spokesman. And for why it has taken so long to disavow him
I’m waiting — and I’ll bet I’m not the only one in Marietta who is waiting.