A radical imam threatened me with death—and was later hired to preach in U.S. prisons. I was surprised, but I shouldn’t have been.
Less than a year after I moved to the United States in 2006, I was asked to speak at the University of Pittsburgh. Among those who objected to my appearance was a local imam, Fouad El Bayly, of the Johnstown Islamic Center. Mr. Bayly was born in Egypt but has lived in the U.S. since 1976. In his own words, I had “been identified as one who has defamed the faith.” As he explained at the time: “If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death.”
After a local newspaper reported Mr. Bayly’s comments, he was forced to resign from the Islamic Center. That was the last I would hear of him—or so I thought.
Imagine my surprise when I learned recently that the man who threatened me with death for apostasy is being paid by the U.S. Justice Department to teach Islam in American jails.