What did you expect him to say? “Oh, yes, we put them up to it, kaffir”? “Yes, we all knew about what they were doing, and we all approved”?
It is no surprise at all that Imam Charles Aziz Bilal of Masjid Al-Hamdulillah would say these things. What is unfortunate is that the mainstream media takes these statements at face value, with no attempt to determine whether or not he is telling the truth.
“Bomb suspects Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui described as devout Muslims with no hint of extreme leanings,” by John Asbury, Alison Fox, and Zachary R. Dowdy, Newsday, April 2, 2015:
Those who saw Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui attending services at their masjid, or walking in their Queens neighborhood said the former roommates were devoted to Islam and family — but never showed interest in violent jihad, as authorities charge.
“They have been an upright family,” said Imam Charles Aziz Bilal of Masjid Al-Hamdulillah mosque on Sutphin Boulevard, speaking of Velentzas, her husband and daughter.
Both women attended the masjid and appeared to be upstanding members, he said.
“Very honest, very sincere, very dedicated family,” he said of Velentzas and her husband, Abu Bakr. “They’re family-oriented. They have children in the community, born in the mosque. Good religious people.”
The imam said he was surprised to hear the accusations. He got a phone call at 4 a.m. informing him of the charges against the women he knew as peaceful adherents to Islam.
“That’s not what we promote here,” he said, adding that extremism is not a component of his teachings.
The charges against the women include plotting to detonate a bomb, that they had been in contact with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and that they were inspired by the Islamic State group.
David Isaac, 64, said he was walking his dog at about 6:20 a.m. Thursday when he saw three black SUVs at Velentzas’ house. Isaac was surprised to hear about the accusations.
“A mother who took care of her daughter, normal,” he said. “Very friendly, nothing political, nothing extremist. . . . If they were doing it, they were doing it on the down low.”…