New York State Prison Bans Retired Prison Imam

February 7, 2003

Source: The Boston Globe

On February 7, 2003 The Boston Globe reported that "A former state prison imam has been barred from ministering to inmates after reportedly saying even Muslims opposed to terrorism 'admire and applaud' the Sept. 11 highjackers. Warith Deen Umar, 58, who retired from his $67,919-a-year prison job in 2000, won't be allowed in the system he has tried to visit at least three or four times, state prison spokesman James Flateau said... Umar declined comment yesterday through a spokeswoman at his home. But he told WRGB-TV the Wall Street Journal was attempting to 'confuse people about Islam and to destroy the good work that's been done by the Muslim chaplains in the prisons.' Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the state has tried to fire two other imams, or Islamic prayer leaders, for pro-terrorist comments, Flateau said. One was dismissed. The other was suspended for 90 days, then retired.