Ever since the Fort Hood shooting a few months back, Anwar al-Awlaki had been quoted in the media as saying he supported Nidal Hassan’s actions, and voicing his general support for terrorist acts in the name of Islam. As a response the US government issued an international arrest warrant that pretty much amounted to “Wanted: Dead or Alive”.
Many Muslims became skeptical. And with good reason. The number of times the media reports inaccuracies regarding Muslims in the west is uncountable. Just a few weeks previously after Israel’s illegal attack of the aid flotilla, I took part in the first protest that marched from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy. Thousands of people showed up, at least enough to fill a small football stadium, but the next day the British media failed to report the number of people who took part in the protest, with the most optimistic number being given as 1000. Even now when trying to find an article on the BBC news website about the numerous protests that have taken place in recent weeks I was unable to find any.
So when it was reported on numerous sites regarding Awlaki’s stance on Fort Hood many took it with a pinch of salt as there was no way to verify that what was being said was by the man himself. Even his father appeared on television defending him and stating what was being attributed to him was false.
But after a recent TV interview al-Awlaki has made his stance clear regarding his beliefs around terrorist attacks against the west in the name of Islam. And to be honest I am not surprised. I first heard of the “Sheikh” from a friend of mine a few years ago who highly recommended his CD sets that were widely available. These CDs became very popular in the Muslim community and many people developed a fondness of al-Awlaki by hearing the kind of knowledge he espoused from his talks. I began listening to his series on Umar al-Khattab and I was impressed by the amount of information that he gave out in such short periods of time. But, as I listened further I began to gain a sense of something lying underneath of many of the things he was talking about. For a long periods of time in his talks he would go off topic and explain very narrow minded opinions and ideas regarding non-Muslims and living in the west, I eventually stopped listening as I became tired of his continuous rants. At the time I was listening to them al-Awlaki was still in prison in Yemen, and I saw the reason as to why the US would have wanted the Yemeni authorities to arrest him. Although up until that point he had never openly condoned terrorism, the Bush administration was suspicious of anyone and everyone, the epitome of this mentality being seen in the refusal of Yusuf Islam and Dr Tariq Ramadan from entering the US.
It could very well have been his imprisonment that pushed him over the edge. There has been global plea from Muslims across the internet to ask al-Awlaki to come back to the fold of normality, the video posted above being the most recent attempt. I took it off of Imam Suhaib Webb’s website, which has been at the forefront at platforming refutations of al-Awlaki’s new found ideology. Whatever the case may be, it is now for certain that he is with those of have forsaken the Divine Law, the Sunnah of the Beloved (SAWS), the practice of the first generations, and the consensus of the rightly guided scholars. All of which is eloquently explained by Brother Fadel Soliman in this short video, as well as including some of his TV interview in which he makes it clear that he supports airplane hijackings and bombings.
Let’s pray and hope that he does leave the way of transgression, as well as all our other brothers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine who have been brainwashed by Shaytaan regarding the laws of jihad. And to Him is our return.