Born in Washington, Adhami has a degree in architecture from Brooklyn's Pratt Institute.The news account hardly scratches the surface.
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.
Siraj Wahhaj is an African American convert to Islam. He currently serves as Imam of the Masjid Al-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, New York.
Born as Jeffrey Kearse, Wahhaj was raised as a Baptist in New York City. He attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, where he studied math education. His interest in Islam, he says, arose shortly after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., which prompted Wahhaj to go "looking for more militancy."
In the course of that search, Wahhaj became involved with the Nation of Islam and its leader, Louis Farrakhan, under whose influence he converted to Islam in 1969. Aligning himself with Islam's Sunni sect, Wahhaj studied at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca in 1978.
In 1981 Wahhaj founded his own mosque, the aforementioned Masjid Al-Taqwa, which initially was based in a friend's Brooklyn apartment (with a membership of fewer than 25 people). Today, however, Wahhaj’s mosque is recognized by Muslims all around the world.
In 1991 Wahhaj, who had managed to cultivate an image as a moderate in the eyes of the American public, became the first Muslim ever to recite an opening prayer before a meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives.
That same year, however, Wahhaj, in a speech before the Islamic Association of North Texas, called Operation Desert Storm (the U.S.-led military campaign to drive Saddam Hussein's invading forces out of Kuwait) "one of the most diabolical plots ever in the annals of history." Moreover, he predicted that America would fall unless it "accepts the Islamic agenda."