Peshwaz Azad Waise, 28, was arrested Wednesday morning at the Denton County Courts Building on East McKinney Street and charged with making terroristic threats.
Waise, who is of Middle Eastern descent, tried distribute copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, to people at various establishments in Denton, including Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton’s Center for Women at 207 N. Bonnie Brae St. He reportedly threatened people at the women’s health center and was later detained by police at the courthouse.
“While being detained, Peshwaz became agitated and said, ‘I’m imposing the death penalty [on the officers who were dealing with him],’” according to a news release from Denton police. “He later told them, ‘Anybody who touches me is going to bleed.’”
Denton police spokesman Shane Kizer said Waise was unarmed when he was arrested.
Kizer said police don’t know if the suspect is a Denton resident, but Waise’s Facebook page indicates he attended Chantilly High School in Chantilly, Virginia, and George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
Denton police initially contacted Waise while they were responding to a separate call Tuesday night. According to Kizer, Waise intercepted police at the intersection of Fort Worth Drive and Interstate 35E.
“He confronted them screaming about Allah and God,” Kizer said.
The news release said Waise was not breaking any laws, so police continued on to the other call without detaining him.
About 5:30 a.m., Waise picked up English-language copies of the Quran at the Islamic Society of Denton mosque at 1105 Greenlee St., according to Imam Mohamed Fouad.
Waise then made his way to the IHOP restaurant southeast of the University of North Texas campus, where employees said he was trying to distribute copies of the Quran to servers and customers. UNT police were called to the restaurant based on a report of a disturbance, and police asked him to leave, according to the news release.
IHOP employee Darel Walker relayed information from another server who saw Waise interacting with customers. Walker said the suspect was asked to leave the restaurant after someone in a Donald Trump T-shirt confronted him.
“He approached everybody with the same [book],” Walker said.
After Waise left IHOP, he went to the Center for Women a little over a mile away on Bonnie Brae Street. There, he insisted that employees take the Quran, the release said.
“He told them to give the Quran to the chaplain or chapel ‘or die,’” the release said.
Police were called to the women’s health center at about 8 a.m., but Waise left before they arrived.
Waise then took his copies of the Quran to the courts building on East McKinney Street and reportedly tried to give them to a judge. He was stopped after telling security officers he was “the king,” the report said.
Police arrested Waise once they obtained a warrant for earlier terroristic threats at the women’s center. Authorities subsequently searched his silver Nissan Versa for weapons and explosives, but found none.
Kizer said investigators are still trying to find any of Waise’s potential employers and places of residence. UNT officials confirmed he has never been enrolled at the university.
Kizer said the suspect has not yet been arraigned, but he did have a brief interaction with Waise in the city jail.
“He asked me to come over and talked about being on a religious mission,” Kizer said.
More: Denton imam says suspect wanted to preach, ‘worried’ others at mosque (but didn’t call the FBI or anyone else)
Imam Mohamed Fouad, a leader of the Islamic Society of Denton, said he met Waise for the first time when the 28-year-old joined morning prayers. After the prayer ended, Waise shook everyone’s hand, something not commonly done in Islam.
“Traditionally, you sit for individual reflection and prayer afterwards,” Fouad said. “Everyone was worried by his behavior.” [but no one alerted authorities]
Fouad said Waise introduced himself and told the imam he was born in Iraq, but was raised in Virginia. According to Waise’s Facebook page, he graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, in 2010.
Waise wanted to talk to Fouad about preaching Islam to Americans. He believed it was a Muslim’s responsibility to go out and teach people about Islam so they wouldn’t be ignorant and would find God.
“I told him that is not our responsibility,” Fouad said. “Our responsibility is to build a place for people to pray and for people to come to if they want to learn about Islam. We don’t go knocking on people’s doors.” [Is the imam intentionally lying? Exercising taqiyya? See end of post for more]
Unlike Christianity, Islam does not allow just anyone to preach scripture. Fouad said those who teach Islam are supposed to be scholars trained extensively in the religion.
“If someone preaches that is not a specialist and gets asked a question they cannot answer, it reflects badly on Islam,” he said.
Still set on his mission, Waise asked Fouad for English copies of the Quran. Those holy books would be the ones he later tried to distribute to hospital employees and judges before police arrested him and charged him with making terroristic threats to a medical center employee.
Although Fouad thought Waise may have psychological issues, he does not believe the man is dangerous.
“This is nothing related to terrorism,” he said. “He is not scary. He just wanted to preach.”
It’s not terrorism, it’s just Islam. But back to the imam’s taqiyya on Islamic dawah, “evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah indicates that it is obligatory to call people to Allah.”
The scholars have clearly stated that calling people to Allah, may He be exalted, is a communal obligation (fard kifaayah) with regard to the regions in which the callers live, for every region and area needs the da‘wah (call) and needs people who are active in this field. So it is a communal obligation; if sufficient numbers of people undertake it, the duty is waived from the others and for the others da‘wah becomes a confirmed Sunnah (Sunnah mu’akkadah) and a great righteous deed.
But if the people of a specific area or region do not undertake da‘wah, the burden of sin is incurred by all of them, and it becomes obligatory for all of them; each person must undertake to call people to Islam, according to his ability.
This is what CAIR does routinely, handing out whitewashed Korans and infiltrating schools to indoctrinate kids of all ages without their parents consent.