Saturday February 18, 2017
Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a Hafiz-e Qur’an and Qari (reciter of the Qur’an), falsely accused of involvement in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, died in a US prison on Saturday February 18. He was 78.
By the time Sheikh Omar was 11 years old, he had memorized the entire Qur’an.
Sheikh Omar, who was blind from childhood and preached at a number of mosques in New York City, was sentenced to life in 1996 for his alleged role in planning the World Trade Centre attack although he was not convicted of that particular attack.
Instead, he was falsely accused of giving his blessings to attacks on multiple landmarks in New York including the United Nations Headquarters, the Lincoln Bridge and Tunnel. Emad Salem, an Egyptian intelligence officer, recruited by the FBI to entrap Sheikh Omar, concocted the entire criminal plot.
After a kangaroo trial lasting several months, Sheikh Omar was sentenced to life imprisonment.
His real crime was that he had issued a fatwa condemning the Egyptian dictator Anwar Sadat to death for his treachery in surrendering to the Zionist entity. Sadat was executed on October 6, 1981 by young military officers at a military parade in Cairo.
Sheikh Omar called for an Islamic revolution in Egypt to rid the corrupt system and bring about an Islamic socio-political order in society.
Sheikh Omar vehemently opposed US-Zionist plots against Muslims that led to his arrest. Following a kangaroo trial in a New York court, he was sentenced to life in prison.
He suffered solitary confinement and was subjected to constant humiliation. Whenever anyone visited him in prison, he would be subjected to humiliating body searches both while leaving his prison cell and returning back. Not prepared to put up with such humiliations, he stopped seeing visitors.
He was a heart patient and also suffered from diabetes. He died at the Butner Federal Medical Center in North Carolina early in the morning on Saturday February 18, according to a statement issued by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
His son Ammar told Reuters in Cairo that his family had received a phone call from a US representative saying his father had died.
Sheikh Omar lost his eyesight when he was only 10 months old. This was the direct result of lack of medical facilities in a country where the bulk of resources are spent on military hardware or consumed by corrupt military officers. Despite such massive outlays, the Egyptian military never won a single battle against the Zionist invaders.
By the time Sheikh Omar was 11 years old, he had memorized the entire Qur’an. Thereafter, he was sent to an Islamic boarding school to study Islamic Theology.
Thereafter, studied at Cairo University’s School of Theology and later earned a doctorate from Al-Azhar University in Cairo.
His death has eliminated the one voice that could have rallied people even while being behind bars.
He gained prominence during the Sadat dictatorship and his staunch opposition to the so-called peace treaty with Zionist Israel that he denounced as a complete surrender and betrayal of the Egyptian and Palestinian people. Sheikh Omar called for an Islamic revolution in Egypt to rid the corrupt system and bring about an Islamic socio-political order in society.
His outspoken criticism of the Egyptian regime marked him for elimination. He was arrested, imprisoned and tortured. In this, the Egyptian, Zionist and American regimes were all united.
While there was no chance of his release, his very presence was seen by successive Egyptian and Zionist regimes as a threat to their existence. His death has eliminated the one voice that could have rallied people even while being behind bars.