Religious Freedom v. Religious Fanaticism: The Curious Case of Siraj Ibn Wahhaj

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, was...charged with 11 counts of felony child abuse...kidnapping and [was] declared the primary suspect in the passing of his...son...


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Following the apprehension of five black Muslims from a makeshift compound in rural New Mexico, local law enforcement found signs of 11 severely malnourished children, alongside the remains of another about 100 feet away from their supposed base of operations.

Upon further investigation, the family, headed by Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, was suspected of spearheading training sessions with a mixture of legally purchased rifles and handguns, as well as possessing literature on how to build untraceable assault-style rifles.

According to the prosecutors, this camp had the markings of a future tragedy if left unchecked, which the defence with quick to deject with what they believed was an assault on the alleged’s civil liberties.

These claims were cast aside by the defence on the grounds of religious and racial discrimination, stating “[if] these were white people of Christian faith who owned guns, that’s not a big deal because there’s a Second Amendment right to own firearms in this country.”

Siraj’s lawyer followed this up with “[when] black Muslims [enact their Second Amendment right, it is deemed] to be something nefarious, something evil [without evidence of the fact].”

This accusation was vehemently denied by the prosecution team, as the raid on the compound had been preceded by over two months of covert surveillance before a warrant was eventually granted.

While this was “not [the typical] camping trip” according to Deputy District Attorney Timothy Hasson, the whole predicament painted an eerie picture, which the defence, and ultimately the District Court Judge did not buy, leading to the eventual house arrest, rather than pre-trial detention of four of the five alleged child abusers.

To some, this was a luxury they could not afford, given the severity of their alleged crimes.

After four hours of testimony and deliberation on Monday, the District Court Judge—to the bewilderment of all who were present—ruled in favour of the defence’s position, stating “if you have lived in northern New Mexico for any period [you’d be] aware that many people here live in unconventional ways.”

However, given some of the disturbing developments as to the nature of the “far from ideal circumstances” that the remaining children had endured, this seemed to be a ‘slap on the wrist.’

Given the seemingly bizarre rituals that were performed by the family—children included—upon Siraj’s now deceased son, as well as other telltale signs, including a nearby gun range and the horrifying recountments of the events that preceded the suspicious death of three-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj.

According to the account of one of the older children’s experience, Abdul-Ghani’s ‘mother’, Jany Leveille, was under the presumption that ‘her child’ was ‘possessed by demons’, which could only be ‘cleansed’ through divine intervention vis-à-vis the Koran, instead of alleviated through his doctor prescribed medication. Unfortunately, the child had died during one of the sessions, allegedly succumbing to a series of seizures in which he suffered.

To date, the identity of the uncovered body has yet to be determined by the medical examiners, and as such, state prosecution has yet to file charges. However, that is subject to change pending an autopsy.

Despite the seizures, FBI agent Travis Taylor testified against the Wahhaj family, whom he believed had made a move out to rural New Mexico to prepare for Abdul’s reincarnation as Jesus, who would then “instruct others on the property about what corrupt institutions to get rid of”, which might have included schools.

However, Judge Backus found the prosecution team was unable to link the family to any immediate threat they allegedly posed, leading to the dismissal they had trained the children to carry out school shootings.

To further complicate manners, it was later found that the child had been kidnapped from his biological mother, Siraj’s legal wife in Georgia, about seven months before the warranted raid by none other than Siraj himself.

Hence the rationale for the judge’s refusal to grant him pre-trial house arrest, which was awarded to the other four.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, was not only charged with 11 counts of felony child abuse but was accused of kidnapping and declared the primary suspect in the passing of his disabled three-year-old son, whose identity has yet to be linked to the remains uncovered three days ago.

We will update the readership, pending further developments in the case.


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Alexander Singh Dhaliwal

A journalist with interests in identity politics and 19th-20th Century Western History, whose belief in putting family before government stands bar none. Alex is entering his fourth of five years as a political science-history major at the University of Calgary, where he advocates on behalf of free speech, as the mechanism by which we keep our society functioning.

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