VIDEO: ‘Dangers of Extremism’

The following video is of a lecture that I just gave this past Thursday titled, “The Dangers of Extremism,” which was given at the Dearborn Community Center/Masjid As-Salam.

The talked touched on the following:

1)      The ideological similarities of those extremist Muslims who kill fellow Muslims in this time with the “Khawarij” who martyred Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (KW) approximately 1,300 years ago.

2)      The meaning of the hadeeth, “Whoever changes his religion, kill him,” and its meaning that is related to committing treason not simply changing ideology to aethism or Christianity.

3)       The agreement/covenant that American Muslims have in protecting the society.

4)      Al-Islam’s position against vigilantism.

5)      The sanctity of all human life.

6)      Steps to take in reporting persons’ coming to mosques or over the internet using extreme rhetoric irrespective if the persons are authentic extremists or informants.

7)      The responsibility that all Muslims have to be informants regarding seeing any criminal activity going on in society.

8)      The sacred command that Muslims have been given not to spy in persons’ private matters and affairs.

9)      Productive ways of challenging bad governmental policies such as being civically engaged and speaking up against injustices per the hadeeth, “The best struggle [jihad] is to speak a word of truth/justice to an oppressive leader[ship].”

Further insights from Hajj trip

My recent trip to Hajj was so rich, that it’s taking me quite a bit of time to disgest it.

I will be writing soon, G-d willing, a piece on the intellectual reasoning of why Al-Qaeda/Al-Qaeda types primarily target Muslims, which compromise up to 85% of their casualities.  My interactions with scholars and hearing directly from people in the region were very insightful regarding this issue as well as two books that I was given in Saudi Arabia on the subject written by Mufti Abdul-Azeez ibn Abillah Aali Shaykh and Shaykh Muhammad Walad Muhammad An-Naajim.  One thing is for certain in my mind is that the Saudi scholars and government  are seriously confronting the criminality of hiraabah (unlawful warfare) and irhaab (terrorism). 

In Mina prior to my appearance on Saudi TV 2, I had a very interesting conversation with a Ugandan journalist, who was also making Hajj.  The gentleman stated that people are reverting to Islam at high rates in Rwanda in part to the protection that Muslim Hutus gave to Tutsis during the genocide when Hutus were involved in ethnic cleansing.  I was asked if I was willing to come to speak to the Muslim community in Uganda; G-d willing, I’ll make it over there. 

Back to my appearance on Saudi TV 2, Newsweek contributor Lorraine Ali and I gave an uninterrupted interview for an hour about our experiences while on Hajj as well as the state of Muslims in America.  The interviewer asked many questions relating to Islamophobia, in particular the Park51 controversy and anti-Muslim rhetoric in right-wing media.  I personally was surprised that so much of the interview was devoted to the issue of Islamophobia, and how American Muslims need to be doing more in confronting Islamophobia given the international stature of America.

I’ll be writing more, G-d willing, as more comes to my mind.

Video urges Detroit area

Video urges Detroit area Muslims to attack

Free Press Staff Writer

In a video released today, a senior Al-Qaeda leader calls for Muslims living in metro Detroit to commit jihadist attacks inside the U.S. — a call that was swiftly and strongly condemned by local Muslim-Americans.

In a 48-minute recording posted on the Internet, Adam Gadahn — a native of California who is now Al Qaeda’s American spokesman — called upon Muslims living in what he called “the miserable suburbs of Paris, London, Detroit” to attack Americans, citing as examples the Ft. Hood shooter in Texas and the man who tried to set off a bomb on a plane descending into Detroit Metro Airport on Christmas Day.

Detroit, known for its Muslim population, was the only U.S. city mentioned by the Al-Qaeda leader. London and Paris also have significant Muslim communities.

This was the first time in memory that Al-Qaeda referenced metro Detroit’s Muslim population, say local leaders.

The video was publicized today by the Maryland-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terrorism. The video has been posted on You Tube.

The Detroit FBI could not be immediately reached today for comment about the new video.

Speaking into a camera, Gadahn said he had a message “to my Muslim brothers residing in the states of the Zio-Crusader coalition … from the emigrant communities, like those which live on the margins of society in the miserable suburbs of Paris, London, Detroit.”

He also addressed Muslims “arriving in America or Europe to study in its universities or seek their daily bread in the streets of its cities.”

Gadahn tells Muslims living in metro Detroit and across the West:

“Know that jihad is your duty as well, and you have an opportunity to strike the leaders of unbelief and retaliate against them on their own soil. As long as there is no covenant between you and them, here you are in the battlefield just like heroes before you.” Gadahn claimed that Muslims are religiously justified in the attacks because of U.S. military opearations in the Muslim world, but Gadahn’s views have been slammed by other Muslims.

Gadahn then praises the actions of terrorists such as Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers; Nidal Hassan, the Ft. Hood shooter, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the native of Nigeria who tried to set off a bomb on a Michigan-bound airliner. Gadahn also calls upon Muslims not to harm other Muslims or their property when committing jihadist attacks.

Gadahn’s comments were attacked by Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“He obviously doesn’t know Muslims in Detroit,” Walid said today. “It appears to be a desperate plea by Al-Qaeda, which has virtually no support among Muslims in any Western countries.”

Gadahn “should turn himself in and renounce Al-Qaeda’s murderous ideology,” Walid said. “Up to 85% of Al-Qaeda’s casulties are Muslims. His whole discourse is irrational and insane. … Al-Qaeda is an enemy to Islam itself.”

SITE said on its website that Gadahn “urged Muslims to take initiative and carry out acts of individual jihad in states of the ‘Zio-Crusader coalition’ in a video released on jihadist forums.”

The video was made by the media branch of Al-Qaeda, as-Sahab, and is called “The Arabs and Muslims: Between the Conferences of Desertion … and the Individual Duty of Jihad,” said SITE.

The video also contains clips featuring Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni cleric who previously lived in the U.S. and influenced the Christmas Day bomber.

On Al-Qaeda’s Gadahn calling Detroit Muslims to ‘jihad’

Adam Gadahn, a born American who is now an Al-Qaeda spokesman, spoke on a video just released asking Muslims residing in the “miserable suburbs” of Paris, London, and Detroit to rise up in “jihad” against “the West.”

Outside of Gadahn’s call being un-Islamic and worthy of the strongest condemnation, he simply does not understand the condition of Muslims in Detroit.

Detroit Muslims are not under occupation nor feel powerless.  Detroit Muslims that I interact with and know are not like the foolish ones in other areas of the world that have joined Al-Qaeda.  Detroit Muslims are overwhelmingly law abiding and civically engaged.  The first Muslim judge in America and first Muslim deputy mayor of a major city is a Detroiter, Adam Shakoor, who is a role model of mine.  Michigan’s first Muslim female state legislator lives in Detroit, Rashida Tlaib.  Judge Charlene Elder sits on the bench in Detroit.

Also, Detroit Muslims are very educated in Islam.  In fact, it is safe to say that the average mosque attending Muslim in Detroit is significantly more educated about Islam than the average Muslim who sides in a village in Afghanistan or Pakistan.  We know that the Qur’an clearly says whoever kills an innocent person is like one who kills all of humanity, and we know the Qur’an commands believers, “Do not kill yourselves” (i.e. suicide bombings).

Gadahn’s speech is double talk.  On the one hand, he states that great care should be taken in not harming Muslims.  On the other hand, over 80% of Al-Qaeda’s victims worldwide are Muslims!  It is impermissible to kill civilians of any faith in a legitimate conflict according to Islam’s final prophet, Muhammad. The Qur’an also clearly says that whoever unlawfully kills a Muslim will dwell in Hell-fire in which they will reside forever.  Gadahn should think about this regarding where many of his Al-Qaeda comrades will dwell in the afterlife.

If Gadahn wishes to help Muslims as he claims, he should leave Al-Qaeda and advise them to stop killing innocent people including Muslims.  Not only has Al-Qaeda killed many Muslims from the World Trade Center on 9/11 to security forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, but their speech and actions have given a negative image of Islam to millions of people around the world.

As far as I’m concerned, Gadahn is an enemy to Islam.