In an effort to foster peace through dialogue and break the silence surrounding motherhood and violent extremism, Women without Borders (WwB) brought Aicha el-Wafi and Abdul Haqq Baker together ten years after 9/11 for their first conversation at the Paley Center in NY on 8 Nov. 2011. El-Wafi is the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person ever to be tried in a US court on charges of having been involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, and Abdul Haqq Baker is the former Imam of the Brixton Mosque in London, which Zacarias attended during the process of radicalisation. The conversation provided Aicha el-Wafi with the opportunity to ask questions to one of the men who watched her son’s descent into extremism, and to seek answers as to ‘what went wrong’. Both wanted to send a strong message to mothers around the world: they can and should be the first line of defence against the ideologies of violent extremism in their children and spouses.
Abdul Haqq Baker