I Was a Terrorist…Seriously!

Also see link about Kamal Saleem aka Khodor Shami’s side-kick in fraud Walid Shoebat.

http://www.loonwatch.com/tag/walid-shoebat/

***

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/kamal-saleem-former-terrorist-islamophobia

I Was a Terrorist…Seriously!

Ex-jihadist Kamal Saleem tells tales of palling around with Arafat, Qaddafi, and Saddam. But his story has some big holes in it.

—By Tim Murphy

Illustration: Steve WacksmanIllustration: Steve Wacksman

As Michigan state legislators considered a planto curb illegal immigration last fall, they heard dramatic testimony from a man named Kamal Saleem. He warned the lawmakers that Islamic extremists were sneaking into the country with nefarious plans. “If we don’t pass this bill,” the fiftysomething Lebanese American told them, “we will be legalizing terrorism to be part of our culture.”

Saleem’s testimony was rooted in an extraordinary backstory: He purports to have spent half a decade recruiting Islamists in America—before finding Christ and laying down arms. “I came to the United States of America not to love you all,” he declared at a rally on the Capitol steps after the hearing. “I came to…destroy this country as a terrorist.”

Over the last five years, Saleem’s tale of terror and redemption has made him a minor celebrity among Christian conservatives. Part national-security wonk, part evangelist, he is one of ahandful of self-described “ex-terrorists” who have emerged in the post-9/11 era to share their experiences. He has spoken in state capitols, at the Air Force Academy, and at colleges and churches around the country. He has been a guest on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club and started his own nonprofit, Koome Ministries, of which he was the only full-time employee in 2009. Tax records show Saleem earned $48,000 from the ministry that year—and had a $39,000 expense account—while Koome took in nearly $100,000 in donations and grants.

According to his memoir, The Blood of Lambs, Saleem, who grew up in Lebanon, broke into the terror biz at the age of seven by running weapons—strapped onto sheep—for Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat (who kissed his forehead at a public ceremony, “his breath bearing tales of garlic and onion”). As a teenager, he helped run a terrorist camp in the Libyan desert at the behest of Moammar Qaddafi. He visited Iraq, where he rubbed shoulders with Saddam Hussein. In the late 1970s, he traveled to Afghanistan, working alongside the mujahideen and CIA spooks to beat back the Soviets. AKansas City Star columnist skeptically dubbed him the “Forrest Gump of the Middle East.

Kamal Saleem: kamalsaleem.com“I came to…destroy this country as a terrorist.” —Kamal Saleemkamalsaleem.comSaleem claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has put a $25 million bounty on his head, and that there have been attempts to earn it: After a 2007 event in Chino Hills, California, he writes in his book, he returned to his Holiday Inn to find his room ransacked and a band of dangerous Middle Easterners on his trail. Saleem describes calling the police to alert them to an assassination attempt. Local law enforcement, however, has no record of any such incident.

That’s just one of many of Saleem’s tales that don’t stand up to scrutiny. (Through a spokeswoman, Saleem refused to comment for this story.) Doug Howard, a professor of Middle Eastern history at Michigan’s Calvin College, first encountered Saleem in 2007, when he was invited to speak at the school. Howard quickly became suspicious: For starters, Saleem claimed to be a descendant of the “Grand Wazir of Islam,” a position that doesn’t exist. Howard dug deeper and discovered that Saleem’s original name was Khodor Shami—and that for more than a decade before outing himself as a former terrorist he had worked for Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. (CBN declined to comment. Focus on the Family confirmed Saleem was an employee but would not comment further.)

A former friend also sheds light on Saleem’s past. Wally Winter, a nurse in Albuquerque, New Mexico, first met him when they both worked at a hospital in Abu Dhabi in 1979. Two years later, he got a phone call from Saleem; he’d come to the United States and needed help. Winter says he welcomed Saleem into his spare bedroom, opened a bank account for him, taught him how to drive, and helped get him a job at the hospital where he worked near Oklahoma City. When Winter moved to the city, Saleem came along. “He had no money,” Winter says. “I had to drive him wherever he was going.” The two were close; Winter would bring Saleem to his parents’ home on holidays.

“He could sell swampland in Louisiana,” Saleem’s former roommate says. “I really do not believe the story about the terrorism.”

Winter recalls his former roommate as a devout Muslim whose yarns often lapsed into wild exaggeration. “He could sell swampland in Louisiana,” Winter says. “I really do not believe the story about the terrorism. I totally believe that he would make up something like that to either make money or become well known.”

A cloud of doubt also hangs over Saleem’s frequent speaking partner, Walid Shoebat, another converted ex-terrorist who runs a ministry and whose books include Why I Left Jihad andWhy We Want to Kill You. Shoebat has offered contradicting statements on whether he uses an assumed name. An Israeli bank he claims to have bombed in the 1970s has said it has no record of the incident; a spokesman for Shoebat says that’s probably because the attack “caused no injury and minor damage.”

Wouldn’t authorities have some interest in someone who claims to have been involved in some of the biggest Middle Eastern militant movements of the 1970s and ’80s? Saleem claims that local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have “reached out” to him to learn about “the Islamist mindset and tactics.” But Kathleen Wright, an FBI spokeswoman, says she has “no information that Kamal Saleem has spoken at an FBI-sponsored event.” She could not say definitively whether the bureau had ever been in contact with him. Winter, for his part, says he has never been questioned by authorities about his former roommate.

Ironically, this apparent lack of official scrutiny may be the strongest evidence against Saleem’s credibility. As Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, puts it, “The FBI or the Department of Homeland Security don’t let people who are terrorists into the country and not detain them just because they claim they got the Holy Ghost.”

This story originally ran in the March/April 2012 issue with the headline “Sleeper Sell.”

I Was a Terrorist…Seriously!

http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/kamal-saleem-former-terrorist-islamophobia

Ex-jihadist Kamal Saleem tells tales of palling around with Arafat, Qaddafi, and Saddam. But his story has some big holes in it.

As Michigan state legislators considered a planto curb illegal immigration last fall, they heard dramatic testimony from a man named Kamal Saleem. He warned the lawmakers that Islamic extremists were sneaking into the country with nefarious plans. “If we don’t pass this bill,” the fiftysomething Lebanese American told them, “we will be legalizing terrorism to be part of our culture.”

Saleem’s testimony was rooted in an extraordinary backstory: He purports to have spent half a decade recruiting Islamists in America—before finding Christ and laying down arms. “I came to the United States of America not to love you all,” he declared at a rally on the Capitol steps after the hearing. “I came to…destroy this country as a terrorist.”

Over the last five years, Saleem’s tale of terror and redemption has made him a minor celebrity among Christian conservatives. Part national-security wonk, part evangelist, he is one of ahandful of self-described “ex-terrorists” who have emerged in the post-9/11 era to share their experiences. He has spoken in state capitols, at the Air Force Academy, and at colleges and churches around the country. He has been a guest on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club and started his own nonprofit, Koome Ministries, of which he was the only full-time employee in 2009. Tax records show Saleem earned $48,000 from the ministry that year—and had a $39,000 expense account—while Koome took in nearly $100,000 in donations and grants.

According to his memoir, The Blood of Lambs, Saleem, who grew up in Lebanon, broke into the terror biz at the age of seven by running weapons—strapped onto sheep—for Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat (who kissed his forehead at a public ceremony, “his breath bearing tales of garlic and onion”). As a teenager, he helped run a terrorist camp in the Libyan desert at the behest of Moammar Qaddafi. He visited Iraq, where he rubbed shoulders with Saddam Hussein. In the late 1970s, he traveled to Afghanistan, working alongside the mujahideen and CIA spooks to beat back the Soviets. A Kansas City Star columnist skeptically dubbed him the “Forrest Gump of the Middle East.

Saleem claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has put a $25 million bounty on his head, and that there have been attempts to earn it: After a 2007 event in Chino Hills, California, he writes in his book, he returned to his Holiday Inn to find his room ransacked and a band of dangerous Middle Easterners on his trail. Saleem describes calling the police to alert them to an assassination attempt. Local law enforcement, however, has no record of any such incident.

That’s just one of many of Saleem’s tales that don’t stand up to scrutiny. (Through a spokeswoman, Saleem refused to comment for this story.) Doug Howard, a professor of Middle Eastern history at Michigan’s Calvin College, first encountered Saleem in 2007, when he was invited to speak at the school. Howard quickly became suspicious: For starters, Saleem claimed to be a descendant of the “Grand Wazir of Islam,” a position that doesn’t exist. Howard dug deeper and discovered that Saleem’s original name was Khodor Shami—and that for more than a decade before outing himself as a former terrorist he had worked for Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. (CBN declined to comment. Focus on the Family confirmed Saleem was an employee but would not comment further.)

A former friend also sheds light on Saleem’s past. Wally Winter, a nurse in Albuquerque, New Mexico, first met him when they both worked at a hospital in Abu Dhabi in 1979. Two years later, he got a phone call from Saleem; he’d come to the United States and needed help. Winter says he welcomed Saleem into his spare bedroom, opened a bank account for him, taught him how to drive, and helped get him a job at the hospital where he worked near Oklahoma City. When Winter moved to the city, Saleem came along. “He had no money,” Winter says. “I had to drive him wherever he was going.” The two were close; Winter would bring Saleem to his parents’ home on holidays.

“He could sell swampland in Louisiana,” Saleem’s former roommate says. “I really do not believe the story about the terrorism.”

Winter recalls his former roommate as a devout Muslim whose yarns often lapsed into wild exaggeration. “He could sell swampland in Louisiana,” Winter says. “I really do not believe the story about the terrorism. I totally believe that he would make up something like that to either make money or become well known.”

A cloud of doubt also hangs over Saleem’s frequent speaking partner, Walid Shoebat, another converted ex-terrorist who runs a ministry and whose books include Why I Left Jihad andWhy We Want to Kill You. Shoebat has offered contradicting statements on whether he uses an assumed name. An Israeli bank he claims to have bombed in the 1970s has said it has no record of the incident; a spokesman for Shoebat says that’s probably because the attack “caused no injury and minor damage.”

Wouldn’t authorities have some interest in someone who claims to have been involved in some of the biggest Middle Eastern militant movements of the 1970s and ’80s? Saleem claims that local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have “reached out” to him to learn about “the Islamist mindset and tactics.” But Kathleen Wright, an FBI spokeswoman, says she has “no information that Kamal Saleem has spoken at an FBI-sponsored event.” She could not say definitively whether the bureau had ever been in contact with him. Winter, for his part, says he has never been questioned by authorities about his former roommate.

Ironically, this apparent lack of official scrutiny may be the strongest evidence against Saleem’s credibility. As Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, puts it, “The FBI or the Department of Homeland Security don’t let people who are terrorists into the country and not detain them just because they claim they got the Holy Ghost.”

This story originally ran in the March/April 2012 issue with the headline “Sleeper Sell.”

Alleged former terrorist Kamal Saleem to speak in Allegan

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2012/01/alleged_former_terrorist_to_sp.html

Published: Monday, January 23, 2012, 6:58 AM
 
ALLEGAN — Allegan County political organization Constituting Michigan-Founding Principles will host a self-proclaimed former terrorist on Thursday at the Allegan High School Events Center.

Kamal Saleem claims to have been a former Islamic radical and terrorist before converting to Christianity. He has since published a book detailing his experiences and makes regular tours speaking about his life and views.

”He had entered the U.S. and gotten in an accident, and received medical care,” said Carol Dannenberg, of Constituting Michigan-Founding Principles. “He thought, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to hurt these people.’ He was raised to believe that there was no hope, that killing was a good thing.”

”I met Saleem in my travels to Lansing,” said Bill Sage, one of the co-founders of Constituting Michigan. “He’s here to talk about keeping American law in American courts, to make sure that the Constitution is what we’re drawing from.”

Sage characterizes the organization’s main focus as education reform and a return to focusing on the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights in schools. Sage will also be speaking at the event, as will state Rep. Dave Agema, according to organizers. Agema is one of the sponsors of House Bill 4769, which seeks “to restrict the application of foreign laws” in Michigan. Opponents have characterized the bill as discriminatory towards Islam.

Saleem himself is also the subject of controversy. Questions have been raised regarding the authenticity of his claims, as well as the goals of his speeches.

”I believe he’s a complete fraud, and his claims are bogus,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR-Michigan, an American-Islamic relations council. “He says he’s been reformed by the Holy Ghost. If he were an actual former terrorist who snuck into the U.S., the FBI or immigration services would’ve detained and deported him by now.”

Walid claims that Saleem’s real name is Khodor Shami and that many details of his background do not add up.

”He’s profiting off the cottage industry of Islamophobia,” Walid said. “If he thinks that I’m lying, that I’m trying to falsely discredit him, he should sue me for defamation.”

Sage claims much of the controversy surrounding Saleem is the result of media bias.

”People don’t like his message, they don’t want him out there,” said Sage. “But if you listen to Kamal, you’ll understand.”

Walid encourages caution.

”Individuals should research his claims, and form their own opinions,” said Walid. “Don’t be taken in just because it sounds interesting.”

Rep Agema’s fake ex-terrorist ‘Kamal Saleem’ exposed

Forum: Saleem challenged by member of the crowd

By Shakil Saghir

After a long and hard debate, I finally decided to attend Kamal Saleem’s Sept. 25 talk at the Midland Center for the Arts. My purpose of attending the talk was to take notes and ask questions during a Q&A session. Because there was no Q&A, I decided to raise my concerns here.

He started his talk with a few sentences of peace and right after that started to describe the importance of Sept. 11 for Muslims, linking it to the Battle of Vienna and revenge, which was news for me — a born Muslim. That was the beginning of his, what I believe, hate speech.

His next claim was “God of the Quran does not love his people”; whereas, at least 11 of 99 attributes (names) of Allah have a meaning of love, compassion, mercy, or peace including Al-Wadood, The Loving. His love is mentioned in the Quran many times including: “And He is oft-forgiving, the Loving (85:14)”. Saleem claimed that Allah wants Muslims to die for Him and says this is the primary reason for the terrorism/ suicide bombing in the world, ignoring the underlying geopolitical reasons and terrorism by non-Muslims, including Christians (remember the Crusades). According to a 2008 Pew poll, only 5 percent of Pakistanis justified suicide bombing, even though Pakistan is the country most affected by the menace. As a Muslim, I was taught that suicide is prohibited in any circumstance, no exception. The Quran specifically says: “O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful (4:29)”. The concept of suicide bombing was alien to Muslims; for example, in Pakistan, the first suicide attack occurred only in the mid- ’90s and none were recorded in Afghanistan until 2002. However, the history of suicide bombing goes back to 1 AD (see, “Dying to Win” by Robert Pape). The Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka (LTTE), a Marxist organization, invented the suicide vests and killed many, including Rajiv Gandhi, then Indian Prime Minister.

Saleem also kept calling Muslims as Moslems, which was weird. As a former believer of the religion he should know the correct pronunciation.

According to Kamal, most of the terrorism and killings in history have been perpetrated by Muslims, which is a fallacy. Ironically, even ignoring earlier historical events such as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the genocide of native North and South Americans and of other native people, most of the killings in the last 100 years have been carried out by non-Muslims (e.g., WWI, WWII, USSR [Stalin], China [Mao], Congo [Leopold II of Belgium], British India [1947]; Cambodia [Pol Pot], North Korea [Kim Il Sung], Ethiopia [Menghistu], Korea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka [LTTE], Gulf, Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, to name a few). A detailed, but not exhaustive, list can be found athttp://www.scaruffi.com/politics/dictat.html. The FBI database indicates that attacks by Islamic extremists on U.S. soil comprised only 6 percent during 1980-2005.

He also spent significant time on the concept of Taqiyya and linked it to stealth jihad by saying Muslims are allowed to lie by their religion. Growing up as a Muslim, I only heard this term in reference to Shia religion; however, I never encountered a situation confirming this even with my Shia friends with whom I grew up. The term Taqiyya is a false concept not belonging to the authentic teachings of Islam — I did not find a single entry in Hadith (Sahih Bukhari, the most authentic compilation) or the Quran which can relate to this concept. (I even searched with words: lie, lying, Taqiyya, etc. at http://www.searchtruth.com/). One of the Hadith that I found during my search was “The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks he tells a lie; whenever he is entrusted he proves dishonest; whenever he promises he breaks his promise (Book #51, Hadith #12).”

During the Google search, however, I saw “Lying is not permitted except in three cases: (1) a man’s speaking to his wife to make her happy; (2) lying at times of war; (3) and lying in order to reconcile between people. Even though I could not find any Hadith to back this up, if we consider this to be true, it is not different from the teachings of Judaism (e.g., Talmud, Baba Kamma 113a) or Christianity (e.g., 1 Samuel 16 incident), for detail see http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/08/silencing-spencer-taqiyya-and-kitman-are-part-of-judeo-christian-belief/.

Jihad was described as a Holy War (the term itself has come from the Crusades) by Kamal and was explained as the 6th pillar of Islam, obligatory for every Muslim. Jihad is never considered as one of the pillars of Islam by Sunni Muslims, and fighting is only permitted in self defense after exhausting every other option.

And even then, Muslims must follow strict rules of combat including prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees, and livestock. The notion that Islam spread through the sword was emphasized by the speaker — one question I had for him was how did it spread to Indonesia, Malaysia and many other parts of the world where no Muslim soldier ever put his feet? Compulsion in religion is in fact forbidden in the Quran: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error (2:256)” and “And neither I am going to worship that which you have worshipped, nor will you worship the One whom I worship. For you is your faith, and for me, my faith (109:4-6).”

Unfortunately he was not open to Q&A. Contrary to Saleem’s assertion that all the verses of love and peace in the Quran came when Muslims were weak (prior to their immigration to Madina) and were abrogated thereafter (after the establishment of Islamic state in Madina), the former verse was revealed in Madina (two years after the immigration) prohibiting Muslims to forcefully converting anyone to Islam, including their own children.

Of course his talk could not be complete without bringing up the fear of Sharia in the U.S. Scholars agree that Muslims living in non-Muslim countries have to comply with laws and regulations of the country where they have been living — this is what I was taught and therefore, I don’t see an issue of Sharia laws taking over our Constitution.

Kamal also kept quoting verses from the Quran (e.g., 5:51, 5:80) out of context and generalizing from them; whereas, those verses were revealed on specific occasions mentioning specific groups of people. He mentioned that slavery is not prohibited in the Quran (it isn’t in the Bible either), which is true; however, he forgot to mention how many times the Quran mentions the importance of freeing slaves; only one of many verses in the Quran should suffice as an answer: “…Righteous are those who believe in God, the last day, the angels, the scripture, and the prophets; and they give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy, the traveling alien, the beggars, and to free the slaves; and they observe the prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat); and they keep their word whenever they make a promise; and they steadfastly persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and war. These are the truthful; these are the righteous. (2:177).”

Even the POWs were treated with respect by Muslims and subsequently released (e.g., see POWs of the battle of Badr) — a thing never practiced at that time; POWs were either killed or enslaved. This verse also answers his assertion that when Muslims sign a peace treaty it is only valid for 10 years and it has to be broken within that period

I believe he wanted to mention the peace treaty of Hudaybiyya, which was signed between the Muslims of Madina and the polytheists of Mecca for a stipulated period of 10 years but which was broken by the Meccans two years later. He misquoted many other verses which are popular with Islamophobes. Explanations of a few can be read at the following site as I cannot go in detail of all here: http://www.load-islam.com/.

Another topic was the presumed ambitions of Muslims to dominate the world and convert everyone to Islam which can easily be rejected as Muslims ruled India for over 500 years and remained a minority. Similarly, large populations of Christians live in Lebanon (40 percent), Palestine pre-1948 (30 percent) and Egypt (10 percent), to name a few countries. Jews and Christians (always called people of the books in the Quran and never nonbelievers or infidels) and Muslims lived together in peace for millennium; even when Jews were persecuted in Europe, they were safe in Muslim countries. The issues that we currently see are the result of geopolitics (colonization, occupation [Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq], denying freedom by supporting dictators and preventing the liberation [Kashmir, Chechnya]), not religion. More information can be gleaned at: http://www.al-bab.com/arab/background/jews.htm.

Saleem mentioned killing of Jews of Bani Quraiza in Madina after the Battle of Trenches without giving any details. They were guilty of treason by helping Meccans in the battle when they had an agreement to support Muslims and their fate was determined using Jewish laws (Deuteronomy 20:10-18) by one of their former leaders upon their agreeing to his adjudication (read Martin Lings’ book, “Muhammad: his life based on the earliest sources.” This is the common punishment of treason even today (Section 110 of Article III states, “…such person or persons shall be adjudged guilty of treason against the United States, and shall suffer death …” and this is exactly what happen to Anwar Al-Awlaki recently).

His portrayal of the status of women in Islam was also completely wrong. In order to understand the issue of the treatment of women in Muslim countries, we should separate the religion and the culture. The maltreatment of women by Muslims can always be traced to the cultural practices and never to the teachings of the religion itself. The Quran clearly states that men and women are equal in creation and in the afterlife, but not identical. Both of them are created from a single soul. One person does not come before the other, one is not superior to the other, and one is not the derivative of the other. A woman is not created for the purpose of serving a man. Rather, they are both created for the mutual benefit of each other (Quran 4:1, 30:21).

And before I end, I would like to write summary of my research on Kamal Saleem. He was born in 1957 and according to his claim, he was recruited by the PLO in Beirut, Lebanon when he was 7 years old, that would be 1964 or 1965. This cannot be true as the PLO was founded on May 28, 1964 in the West Bank and had its first armed wing in Southern Lebanon in 1969 and was not deployed to Beirut until the mid 1970s. His claim that he was a member of both the PLO (a socialist organization with Christians as members [e.g., Hanan Ashravi, George Habash]) and the Muslim Brotherhood (an arch rival of the PLO) and that he met Yasir Arafat, Moammar Gadhafi, Hafiz Al-Asad and Saddam Husain is ridiculous.

To further this, I include excerpts from one of the posts I found online which is supposedly from one of his nephews, Mohammad Itani. The real name of Kamal Saleem is Khodor Al Shami. He was a Sufi with Sheikh Rajab who never believed in militancy and the Brotherhood was not in existence in Lebanon during his time there. His Dad, Kamal Shami, was a blacksmith in downtown Beirut. Many of his close friends were Christians and he could not ask his son to kill Christians, as Kamal Saleem claims, while being friends with them. Additionally, Kamal Saleem’s older brother, Mahmound Shami, married a Christian, Madlin Khoury; this gives the lie to his claim that his mother and father taught him to hate and kill non-Muslims. He used to work with his brother and never handled a gun. Before his coming to the U.S., he worked in the Persian Gulf where he was introduced a man who helped him come to the U.S. As to his time in Afghanistan, he was actually living in the U.S. and had regular phone contact with his family. It is all about fame and fortune.

This sounds right, since just before ending his talk he started selling his and similar books, videos and CDs including interpretations of the Quran for Christians (Snake oil salesmanship!). I hope the audience will choose to go to the original sources and not fall into his trap and see the world through his eyes.

Shakil Shagir is a Midland resident.

Kamal Saleem’s ‘Ex-terrorist’ Story Does Not Add Up

So-called "ex-terrorist" Kamal Saleem

http://www.themuslimwatch.com/2011/03/kamal-saleems-ex-terrorist-story-does.html

Kamal Saleem is one of a number of Middle Eastern faces, who is currently profiting off of the cottage industry of Islamophobia with his “ex-terrorist” turned holy roller road show.

Saleem claims to be from a Lebanese Sunni Muslim family, which is a descendant of the “Grand Wazir of Islam,” and that he was a terrorist with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).  Furthermore, Saleem states that his terrorism affiliation with the PLO inspired by Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood ended after receiving the “Holy Ghost” and accepting Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him) in his life.  Saleem’s story like his other wannabe “ex-terrorist” comrades, however, just does not add up.

For starters as author Chris Hedges points out, there is no such title as the “Grand Wazir of Islam.” Saleem’s “Grand Wazir” lineage claim is also bizarre due to the fact that the adjective “grand” would not be used in front of the term wazir (advisor) to begin with. Even the title “Grand Wazir” was not bestowed upon Aaron (Peace Be Upon Him), who was a prophet and the wazir of Moses (Peace Be Upon Him) according to the Qur’an!

It’s also very interesting that Saleem claims to have been a terrorist inspired by Islam as a member of the secular, Marxist influenced PLO, whose long time executive committee member and long time spokeswoman, Hanan Ashrawi, was a Christian.  Saleem wants us to believe that Ashrawi, George Habash and the countless others from Christian backgrounds in the secular PLO were also inspired by Islam as he claims was his “terrorist” motive in dealing with the pesky problem of illegal Israeli occupation.

Furthermore the Muslim Brotherhood, who Saleem claims he had dual affiliation with, was averse to the secular, Marxist leaning PLO during the time that he claimed to have been a member.  In fact, it is also well known that the Muslim Brotherhood inspired Hamas was supported by Israel to be an “Islamist” counter to the secular PLO/Fatah. To this day, Hamas and the PLO have been at odds with each other to the point of killing each other in the streets of Palestine in recent years.  Hence, Saleem’s claim of being an “Islamist” terrorist in the PLO while having felicity to the Muslim Brotherhood is utterly preposterous.

The reality is that Saleem has made a nice career for himself collecting honorariums, writing a book and getting exposure from the hyper-Islamophobic Aramaic Broadcasting Network (ABN) since the tragedy of 9/11. If he were indeed an “ex-terrorist,” I’m sure that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would have deported him by now for fraud because people with terrorism ties cannot get entry visas much less obtain American citizenship.  And the FBI does not simply let “ex-terrorists” walk the streets because they claim to have received the “Holy Ghost” without detaining them for questioning.  Changing idelogies does not absolve persons under American law from terrorism ties that they admit to.

The unfortunate part about Saleem’s bogus career is not his snake oil peddling but that there are so many individuals who do not care about the truth and lack intellectual honest that provide him a platform.