Egypt’s Shaikh Omar Abdul Rahman dies after 25 years solitary confinement in US prison

Omar Abdul Rahman

Shaikh Omar Abdul Rahman, who was controversially convicted of plotting terror attacks in the United States in the 1990s, has died aged 78. He had been suffering from diabetes and coronary artery disease.

Abdul Rahman, who was blind since infancy, was said to be the spiritual leader of Egypt’s Gamaa Islamiya which aimed at bringing down former President Hosni Mubarak.

Abdul Rahman fled Egypt to the US in 1990 and began teaching in a New Jersey mosque. A circle of his followers was convicted in the 1993 truck bombing of New York’s World Trade Center that killed six people.

Later in 1993, Abdul Rahman was arrested for conspiracy to carry out a string of bombings against the United Nations, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington Bridge and other New York landmarks. After being convicted – many say falsely, based on the testimony of an agent provocateur – he spent 25 years in solitary confinement. He said his only crime was speaking out against injustice.

Although he became blind in infancy, Abdul Rahman learned Braille and achieved hifz of the Quran at a tender age of 11. He graduated from Al-Azhar in Cairo with the highest honours and went onto complete a PhD on the Muslim duty of Jihad, a controversial topic which could have led many to fear persecution. In his mosque sermons he would openly criticise the evil practices of the Egyptian leaders of his time and encouraged people to stand up against them.

Abdul Rahman was arrested and tortured on more than one occasion in Egypt during the times of Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat. He was also a strong proponent of Sunni-Shia unity.

As you’re here…

5Pillars have one humble request from you…

Thousands of Muslims around the world visit our website for news every day. Due to the unfortunate reality of covering Muslim-related news in a heightened Islamophobic environment, our advertising and fundraising revenues have decreased significantly.

5Pillars is editorially and financially independent, with no sectarian or political allegiance to any particular group or movement. Our journalism has been exclusively grassroots focussed and our sole purpose is to defend Islam and Muslims in the media.

This makes us unique in comparison to other online Muslim media outlets who are neither independently regulated by a reputable body nor are they managed by qualified journalists.

Our journalism takes time, money and effort to deliver. But we do it because we believe we have a duty to Allah (swt).

You may not agree or like everything we publish. However, which other Muslim news site that is run by experienced journalists will take on the responsibility of being a shield for Islam and Muslims in the media?

If you follow 5Pillars, and you understand its importance in today’s climate, then please support us for as little as £5 a month, it only takes a minute to make a donation. Jazakallah khayran.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:“The best deeds are those done regularly, even if they are small.” [Ibn Mājah]



Add your comments below