Top U.S. Islamic Cleric Dr. Salah Soltan Sentenced to Death in Egypt

A man once hailed as "one of the most respected Islamic scholars in the country" was sentenced to death today in an Egyptian court after being found guilty on charges of inciting murder.

Dr. Salah Soltan, a senior member of the international Muslim Brotherhood, lived and worked in the U.S. for more than a decade.

He is still listed as a member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) on their organizational brochure.

Al-Ahram reports:

A Cairo criminal court sentenced Mohamed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide, and 13 other leading members of the group to death on Monday for inciting murder in the now infamous case known in the media as "Rabaa control room."

The 14 convicted include Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan, former Kafr El-Sheikh governor Saad El-Hossainy and preacher Salah Sultan. The court has also set the date of 11 April to announce its verdict concerning other defendants in the case.

The court has referred the death sentences to Egypt's Grand Mufti for revision. The referral of the sentences to the Mufti is the first step in the legal process required to enact a death sentence. The Mufti's decision is not binding. However, following his decision the court will issue a final verdict. Once a final verdict is issued, defendants can appeal.

Badie and another 13 Brotherhood figures are convicted of setting up an operation after the violent dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya protest camp in mid-August in 2013 to direct the movements of Brotherhood supporters across the country as part of plans to defy the state and spread chaos, as well as plot attacks on police stations, private property and churches.

Soltan was arrested in September 2013 as he tried to flee to Sudan, and was charged with incitement to kill and attempted murder.

His son Mohamed, who has become a cause celebre for the American media and U.S. Islamic organizations, was also convicted in the current case and will be sentenced on April 11:

The story of Salah and Mohamed Soltan will not be unfamiliar to regular PJ Media readers.

Just last week, Mohamed Soltan was trying to paint himself in court as an innocent spectator swept up in the aftermath of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi's overthrow. I noted here that multiple Western media reports at the time identified Mohamed as one of the top leaders organizing the violent Muslim Brotherhood protests in Cairo following Morsi's removal from office.

Salah Soltan has also been the subject of several of my reports here at PJ Media going back to January 2009 when he appeared on Al-Nas TV threatening America with death and destruction for its support of Israel.

At the same time the elder Soltan was threatening America on Middle East TV, his son Mohamed was seen leading anti-Jewish genocidal chants in front of the Ohio Statehouse (as I reported here last week):

Salah Soltan was also a leading figure at the Muslim Brotherhood protests dispersed by Egyptian authorities in August 2013, even appearing on stage at the protest standing beside an al-Qaeda flag:

Soltan beside AQ flag

Our late PJ Media colleague Barry Rubin noted here in August 2011 that Soltan had issued a fatwa in Egypt authorizing any Muslim to kill any Israeli that could be found in the country. He also took note of the media backlash I had received for reporting on Soltan's extremist activities and open support for Islamic terrorism.

I followed up Barry's report with my own observing everything I had written about Salah Soltan going back to my first report in April 2006. Despite all the attempts by the establishment media to paint him as an interfaith moderate, I chronicled a lengthy list of his activities:

  • Sultan leading a Hajj tour with al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki following the 9/11 attacks (after Awlaki had been allowed to leave the country);
  • His appearance at a July 2006 pro-Hamas rally in Turkey featuring leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the prime minister of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh;
  • Sultan’s attendance at a July 2007 conference in Doha, Qatar, where he shared the speaker dais with the head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, and Yousef al-Qaradawi;
  • The cancellation of his TV program in Bahrain by the that government (whom he worked for at the time!);
  • The L.A. Times article that identified Salah Sultan by name as a “controversial Sunni figure”, among those “glorifying holy war” and “sharing the outlook of Al-Qaeda” causing trouble in Bahrain;
  • His interview with the official Muslim Brotherhood website following the November 2008 elections where he claimed that Jews assassinated President Kennedy and advocating Islamic theocracy in U.S. elections;
  • His December 2008 appearance on Egyptian Al-Nas TV (which I reported on here at PJM) warning of the imminent destruction of the U.S., invoking notorious Islamic hadith calling for the extermination of the Jews by Muslims, and citing approvingly the Protocols of the Elders of Zion;
  • His March 2010 interview on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, where he invoked the blood libel claiming that Jews make their Passover matzos with the blood of non-Jews;
  • His leading a crowd in cheering fires in Israel that had claimed the lives of dozens of Israelis in December 2010;
  • And following the killing of Osama bin Laden in May, in an article published on the Muslim Brotherhood website he lauded bin Laden as a warrior who “had raised the banner of jihad for the sake of Allah and had served a lofty goal,” and stating that U.S. “terrorism” was greater than bin Laden’s.

A year later, Salah Soltan was a senior member of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. As I reported here in August 2012, Soltan could be seen in his new role visiting with a number of U.S.-designated terrorists and Islamic extremists across the Middle East.

Those who have followed my reporting here and elsewhere on Salah and Mohamed Soltan know that my continued interest in their activities was not merely academic, as the pair were my former neighbors in my hometown of Hillard, Ohio.

The elder Soltan even served as religious director of our local mosque, the Noor Islamic Cultural Center.

That story was covered in the 2-part documentary by The Blaze titled The Project. My PJ Media colleague Andrew McCarthy and I were interviewed:

When Mohamed Soltan burned down their family home in Hilliard as part of a staged "Islamophobic" hate crime in January 2012, Soltan repeatedly cited in sworn testimony that my writings, that documentary, and Erick Stakelbeck's October 2007 CBN News report on their presence here incited the arson. Here's that 2007 CBN News report:

And yet court documents in a later civil case indicate that investigators fingered the younger Soltan for the crime, and he fled the U.S. for Egypt in February 2013 as investigators were looking to question him further on his role in the fire.

Now, nearly a decade into this saga, I expect that no apologies will be forthcoming from the various media outlets and local figures who publicly attacked me for reporting on this, including our local newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch.

The establishment media needs to be more forthcoming in reporting on extremism inside the Muslim community. Salah Soltan, now sentenced to death for his crimes, was not some marginal figure in the American Muslim community, but one of its leaders. And those organizations that continued to support him in the face of the mountain of evidence compiled over the years should be subject to some hard questions. But I'm not holding my breath.