Dialogue between Aicha el-Wafi and Abdul Haqq Baker
On 8 November 2011, SAVE – Sisters Against Violent Extremism will facilitate a fascinating meeting between Aicha el-Wafi and Abdul Haq Baker at the Paley Center for Media in New York.
El-Wafi is the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, who is serving life in prison after being convicted of conspiring with the 9/11 hijackers. Baker was the chairman of Brixton Mosque, and became Moussaoui’s friend and confidante after he had left his family home in France and moved to England in search of religious purpose to his life. He witnessed Moussaoui’s radicalization under the influence of extremist preachers, and unsuccessfully tried to persuade him not to involve himself in violent jihad. El-Wafi and Baker will come together for a unique conversation, in which El-Wafi will seek answers to the many questions she has been asking herself since her son left home in 1993.
Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan decent, moved to London at the age of 24 seeking adventure and opportunity. He soon began worshipping at the Brixton Mosque in London. Baker was one of the first to recognize early warning signs of radicalization in Moussaoui, after he began attending talks by the radical preacher Sheik Abdullah el-Faisal, who was later jailed for incitement to racial hatred and for calling for the killing of Jews, Americans and Hindus. Baker observed Moussaoui’s descent into extremism, finally ejecting him from the Mosque after his aggressive behavior clearly showed that he was seeking violent jihad. One month before 9/11, he was arrested in the USA for breaking immigration laws. After the attacks, his involvement in a flying school and links to Al-Qaeda training camps made him a prime suspect of conspiracy with the hijackers. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2006, narrowly escaping the death sentence.
For a decade, Aicha has been asking herself how her “happy boy” could have turned into an extremist bent on deadly jihad against the West. Now for the first time she will gain an insight from an eyewitness into the influences and events that her son was exposed to during those critical years in London. SAVE invites you to attend this unique event, which will provide answers not just for Aicha but for anyone who feels that their society, community or family is threatened by terrorism.
Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 6:30-8 pm
Location: Paley Center for Media, 25 West 52, New York, NY
10th Floor, Kissinger Global Conference Room
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