Home / Society / Injustice / Obama okays assassination of American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki

The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.

Obama okays assassination of American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki

This is really sad.  Whatever happened to the justice and law of Democracy that Obama and the American government claim they represent?  Assassinating American citizens is the Democratic way? This call for the assassination of an American citizen who hasn't been charged is anti-American, unconstitutional and will only increase intolerance amongst Muslim countries and America. I don't agree with what al-Awlaki has said with regards to his call for Jihad, but this is outrageous. The fact that Obama approves of killing an American citizen who has not been charged for a crime is what concerns me.

I've pasted two articles from the New York Times and the Washington Post. After that I have included a good article by Glenn Greenwald. I also added two videos from Olbermann on this issue.

News articles

U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.

Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imām, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.

American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.

But the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a House hearing in February that such a step was possible. “We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community,” he said. “If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.” He did not name Mr. Awlaki as a target.

The step taken against Mr. Awlaki, which occurred earlier this year, is a vivid illustration of his rise to prominence in the constellation of terrorist leaders. But his popularity as a cleric, whose lectures on Islamic scripture have a large following among English-speaking Muslims, means any action against him could rebound against the United States in the larger ideological campaign against Al Qaeda.

The possibility that Mr. Awlaki might be added to the target list was reported by The Los Angeles Times in January, and Reuters reported on Tuesday that he was approved for capture or killing.

“The danger Awlaki poses to this country is no longer confined to words,” said an American official, who like other current and former officials interviewed for this article spoke of the classified counterterrorism measures on the condition of anonymity. “He's gotten involved in plots.”

The official added: “The United States works, exactly as the American people expect, to overcome threats to their security, and this individual — through his own actions — has become one. Awlaki knows what he's done, and he knows he won't be met with handshakes and flowers. None of this should surprise anyone.”

As a general principle, international law permits the use of lethal force against individuals and groups that pose an imminent threat to a country, and officials said that was the standard used in adding names to the list of targets. In addition, Congress approved the use of military force against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. People on the target list are considered to be military enemies of the United States and therefore not subject to the ban on political assassination first approved by President Gerald R. Ford.

Both the C.I.A. and the military maintain lists of terrorists linked to Al Qaeda and its affiliates who are approved for capture or killing, former officials said. But because Mr. Awlaki is an American, his inclusion on those lists had to be approved by the National Security Council, the officials said.

At a panel discussion in Washington on Tuesday, Representative Jane Harman, Democrat of California and chairwoman of a House subcommittee on homeland security, called Mr. Awlaki “probably the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No. 1 in terms of threat against us.”

Source: New York Times

Muslim cleric Aulaqi is 1st U.S. citizen on list of those CIA is allowed to kill

By Greg Miller
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
A Muslim cleric tied to the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner has become the first U.S. citizen added to a list of suspected terrorists the CIA is authorized to kill, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

Anwar al-Aulaqi, who resides in Yemen, was previously placed on a target list maintained by the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command and has survived at least one strike carried out by Yemeni forces with U.S. assistance against a gathering of suspected al-Qaeda operatives.

Because he is a U.S. citizen, adding Aulaqi to the CIA list required special approval from the White House, officials said. The move means that Aulaqi would be considered a legitimate target not only for a military strike carried out by U.S. and Yemeni forces, but also for lethal CIA operations.

“He's in everybody's sights,” said the U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the topic's sensitivity.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said: “This agency conducts its counterterrorism operations in strict accord with the law.”

The decision to add Aulaqi to the CIA target list reflects the view among agency analysts that a man previously regarded mainly as a militant preacher has taken on an expanded role in al-Qaeda's Yemen-based offshoot.

“He's recently become an operational figure for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” said a second U.S. official. “He's working actively to kill Americans, so it's both lawful and sensible to try to stop him.” The official stressed that there are “careful procedures our government follows in these kinds of cases, but U.S. citizenship hardly gives you blanket protection overseas to plot the murder of your fellow citizens.”

Aulaqi corresponded by e-mail with Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 12 soldiers and one civilian at Fort Hood, Tex., last year. Aulaqi is not believed to have helped plan the attack, although he praised Hasan in an online posting for carrying it out.

Concern grew about the cleric's role after he was linked to the Nigerian accused of attempting to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day by detonating an explosive device he had smuggled in his underwear. Aulaqi acknowledged teaching and corresponding with the Nigerian but denied ordering the attack.

The CIA is known to have carried out at least one Predator strike in Yemen. A U.S. citizen, Kamal Derwish, was among six alleged al-Qaeda operatives killed in that 2002 operation but was not the target.

Source: Washington Post

Glenn Greenwald's Article

In late January, I wrote about the Obama administration's “presidential assassination program,” whereby American citizens are targeted for killings far away from any battlefield, based exclusively on unchecked accusations by the Executive Branch that they're involved in Terrorism.  At the time,The Washington Post's Dana Priest had noted deep in a long article that Obama had continued Bush's policy (which Bush never actually implemented) of having the Joint Chiefs of Staff compile “hit lists” of Americans, and Priest suggested that the American-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was on that list.  The following week, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, acknowledged in Congressional testimony that the administration reserves the “right” to carry out such assassinations.

Today, both The New York Times and The Washington Post confirm that the Obama White House has now expressly authorized the CIA to kill al-Alwaki no matter where he is found, no matter his distance from a battlefield.  I wrote at length about the extreme dangers and lawlessness of allowing the Executive Branch the power to murder U.S. citizens far away from a battlefield (i.e., while they're sleeping, at home, with their children, etc.) and with no due process of any kind.  I won't repeat those arguments — they're here and here — but I do want to highlight how unbelievably Orwellian and tyrannical this is in light of these new articles today.

Just consider how the NYT reports on Obama's assassination order and how it is justified:

The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday. . . .

American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say theybelieve that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said.  A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president. . . .

“The danger Awlaki poses to this country is no longer confined to words,” said an American official, who like other current and former officials interviewed for this article spoke of the classified counterterrorism measures on the condition of anonymity. “He's gotten involved in plots.”

No due process is accorded.  No charges or trials are necessary.  No evidence is offered, nor any opportunity for him to deny these accusations (which he has done vehemently through his family).  None of that.

Instead, in Barack Obama's America, the way guilt is determined for American citizens — and a death penalty imposed — is that the President, like the King he thinks he is, secretly decrees someone's guilt as a Terrorist.  He then dispatches his aides to run to America's newspapers — cowardly hiding behind the shield of anonymity which they're granted — to proclaim that the Guilty One shall be killed on sight because the Leader has decreed him to be a Terrorist.  It is simply asserted that Awlaki has converted from a cleric who expresses anti-American views and advocates attacks on American military targets(advocacy which happens to be Constitutionally protected) to Actual Terrorist ”involved in plots.”  These newspapers then print this Executive Verdict with no questioning, no opposition, no investigation, no refutation as to its truth.  And the punishment is thus decreed:  this American citizen will now be murdered by the CIA because Barack Obama has ordered that it be done.  What kind of person could possibly justify this or think that this is a legitimate government power?

Just to get a sense for how extreme this behavior is, consider — as theNYT reported — that not even George Bush targeted American citizens for this type of extra-judicial killing (though a 2002 drone attack in Yemen did result in the death of an American citizen).  Even more strikingly, Antonin Scalia, in the 2004 case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, wrote an Opinion (joined by Justice Stevens) arguing that it was unconstitutional for the U.S. Government merely to imprison (let alone kill) American citizens as “enemy combatants”; instead, they argued, the Constitution required that Americans be charged with crimes (such as treason) and be given a trial before being punished.  The full HamdiCourt held that at least some due process was required before Americans could be imprisoned as “enemy combatants.”  Yet now, Barack Obama is claiming the right not merely to imprison, but to assassinate far from any battlefield, American citizens with no due process of any kind.  Even GOP Congressman Pete Hoekstra, when questioning Adm. Blair, recognized the severe dangers raised by this asserted power.

And what about all the progressives who screamed for years about the Bush administration's tyrannical treatment of Jose Padilla?  Bush merelyimprisoned Padilla for years without a trial.  If that's a vicious, tyrannical assault on the Constitution – and it was — what should they be saying about the Nobel Peace Prize winner's assassination of American citizens without any due process?

All of this underscores the principal point made in this excellent new article by Eli Lake, who compellingly and comprehensively documents what readers here well know:  that while Obama's “speeches and some of his administration's policy rollouts have emphasized a break from the Bush era,” the reality is that the administration has retained and, in some cases, built upon the core Bush/Cheney approach to civil liberties and Terrorism.  As Al Gore asked in his superb 2006 speech protesting Bush's ”War on the Constitution”:

Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution?

If the answer is yes, then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited?

If the president has the inherent authority to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, imprison American citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can't he do?

Notice the power that was missing from Gore's indictment of Bush radicalism:  the power to kill American citizens.  Add that to the litany — as Obama has now done — and consider how much more compelling Gore's accusatory questions become.

UPDATE:  When Obama was seeking the Democratic nomination, the Constitutional Law Scholar answered a questionnaire about executive power distributed by The Boston Globe's Charlie Savage, and this was one of his answers:

5. Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

[Obama]:  No. I reject the Bush Administration's claim that the President has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.

So back then, Obama said the President lacks the power merely todetain U.S. citizens without charges.  Now, as President, he claims the power to assassinate them without charges.  Could even his hardest-core loyalists try to reconcile that with a straight face?  As Spencer Ackerman documents today, not even John Yoo claimed that the President possessed the power Obama is claiming here.

UPDATE II:  If you're going to go into the comment section — or anywhere else — and argue that this is all justified because Awlaki is an Evil, Violent, Murdering Terrorist Trying to Kill Americans, you should say how you know that.  Generally, guilt is determined by having a trial where the evidence is presented and the accused has an opportunity to defend himself — not by putting blind authoritarian faith in the unchecked accusations of government leaders, even if it happens to be Barack Obama.  That's especially true given how many times accusations of Terrorism by the U.S. Government have proven to be false.

UPDATE III:  Congratulations, Barack Obama:  you're now to the Right of National Review on issues of executive power and due process, asKevin Williamson objects:  ”Surely there has to be some operational constraint on the executive when it comes to the killing of U.S. citizens. . . . Odious as Awlaki is, this seems to me to be setting an awful and reckless precedent. “  But Andy McCarthy — who is about the most crazed Far Right extremist on such matters as it gets, literally — is as pleased as can be with what Obama is doing (or, as Gawker puts it, “Obama Does Something Bloodthirsty Enough to Please the Psychos”).

UPDATE IV:  Keith Olbermann's coverage of this story was quite good tonight – see here.

Source: Salon.com

Olbermann Videos

More links

Some more good articles:

The 9/14 President
Barack Obama is operating with the war powers granted George W. Bush three days after the 9/11 attacks.
By Eli Lake

Assassinating Awlaki
By Kevin D. Williamson

Let's Call Killing al-Awlaki What It Is — Murder
Kevin Jon Heller

imam

About Amir (MR)

Formerly Mujahideen Ryder (now retired), I'm a Muslim American born in Brooklyn, NY with Guyanese parents currently living in Maryland working full-time as a web developer.

84 comments

  1. May Allah protect him. Wherever he is.

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  2. Way to go Olbermann!

    The order to legitimize assassinating Awlaki is wrong on all counts. It is morally wrong, it is constitutionally wrong, and it will in fact help spread the message of Awlaki rather than impede it.

    We disagree with the rhetoric of Alwaki, but in the end of the day it is rhetoric. If we believe we are on the truth, then we need to engage with that rhetoric and defeat it with more sound logic and evidence from within our tradition (and that is what many scholars around the world are doing).

    By targeting him, the administration is sending a clear message that they really don’t care about what is morally right or what the constitution itself says (whatever happened to due process of law?)

    Worse, if the administration succeeds in this cowardly deed, rather than stem the spread of Awlaki’s message, it will in fact popularize it beyond belief. If history has taught us anything, it has taught us that ideas cannot be erased by eliminating those who say them. If Awlaki dies, he will become a legendary martyr – a poster-boy cause celebre who will be invoked by hundreds and thousands of later followers. By brutally assassinating him, his words will become immortal. And that is the last thing that we need to happen…

    More and more, the ‘War on Terror’ is changing the face of America in ways that terrorists themselves could never have done. But there is still hope – plenty of people, such as Olbermann, are active in pointing out these double standards. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with such voices, and point out the hypocrisy and double-standards whenever and wherever they appear.

    The world is not black and white – we are not with Awlaki in his message to American Muslims. But we are also not with the administration’s blatant disregard for the value of his life – and I say this as a Muslim, and as an American, and as a human.

    Yasir

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    • Allaah is preparing us for the victory…?

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    • Asalamu Alaykum Sh. Yasir,

      May Allah subhana wa t’ala reward you, forgive your sins, and place sincerity in your heart.

      Would you deeply regret your statements on the day of judgement if you knew what Allah subhana wa t’ala loved Imam Anwar? Perhaps more importantly, let’s forget WHO he is for a moment, because we don’t love personalties, we love Islaam. But should we at least listen to WHAT he has to say?

      How is that you give much attention to these matters, but little attention to the NATO bombing of 27 Afghans on Feb 28, 2010? How is it that you know the details of attacks on the West, but no details of the Muslim casualties. I admit, this could be possibly due to the dissemination of informaton and propaganda to create sympathy for the West by the media, but do you even actively search to keep updated with what’s going on in the Ummah? Why do you think a general condemnation of the U.S. or Israeli government suffices, but then on the other hand you specifically, by name, condemn Muslims over and over again?

      I respect you, I love you for the sake of Allah, you’re our teacher. But I like the old Yasir Qadhi better. I’m not sure how this “new” was reformed. Allah knows best. I ask Allah to guide us to the straight path. The scholars have a responsibility to be aware of the picture, I think your SEX and UMMAH is a secondary priority at this moment brother.

      Your student,

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      • Walaikumassalam

        Akhi, the Ustadh said nothing against Al-Awlaki except for the fact that he and the majority of scholars around the world disagree with his views and his rhetoric on the basis of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

        I don’t know what your thought process is, perhaps that you and one student of knowledge are correct and everyone else is wrong? But the fact of the matter is that the majority of scholars who have knowledge of this religion, its rulings and its fiqh, the vast majority even more than Anwar Al-Awlaki does, and more than you do. Fear Allah in dealing with the people of knowledge my dear brother. We amongst the laymen should recognize our ignorance and deal respectfully with those who possess more knowledge than us, especially with those who possess knowledge of the Shariah and its principles.

        As a Muslim, I would rather stand before Allah swt and say that I put trust in the vast majority of His knowledgeable slaves who brought forth proofs from the Qur’an, Sunnah, and juristic reasoning, instead of one or two slaves who relied more on political reasoning and rhetoric.

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        • salaam,

          you go ibn masood! Well said. I think we as Muslims have to be very wary about rhetorics vs. the message of god. Muslims have got to learn how to distinguish the truth from the person.

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        • BismiLlah,

          Assalamu ‘Alaykum,

          Jazak Allahu khayr brother. Without going into the discussion of agreement of your post or not, I would remind you that the majority is not always right.

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          • Walaikumassalam

            Bismillah

            Brother Sulaiman, such a general statement is dangerous to use, and to say so in such a sweeping manner would mean to invalidate the concept of Ijma’a in usul ul fiqh. Allah swt commands us in the Qur’an in Surah Nisa v. 59 to ‘obey those in authority amongst us’. Although this is usually used as one of the evidences to indicate that Muslims should obey their rulers; for the purposes of usul-ul-fiqh: this portion of the verse is used (amongst other sources) as evidence of the validity of ijma’a.

            Since this is a matter of fiqh. those who possess authority in fiqh are the fuqahaa from Ahlus-Sunnah, and if the vast majority of them agree upon something, that is a proof in itself in usul-ul-fiqh (in fact the scholars of usul-ul-fiqh comment that the entire field of usul-ul-fiqh can be said to be a tafseer of this verse).

            Therefore if someone such as Anwar Al-Awlaki chooses to go against an ijma’a, especially against scholars who have more knowledge and understanding of fiqh than he does, then inshaAllah it should be pretty clear to the ordinary Muslim where the authority lies. If he had been a scholar of very high and renowned standing in the knowledge of the shariah and fiqh, then that would have been another story.

            Nevertheless, we still agree with each other that it is wrong to do what the US government has ordered (both according to US law and according to the Shariah). We all agree that Anwar Al-Awlaki should be given a fair trial, he should be advised by Muslim scholars, he should be given an opportunity for justice, and this is how we support him as our Muslim brother. This doesn’t change the fact that we disagree with what he says.

            WAllahu Alam

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          • I agree 100% with brother sulaiman and remember the “when on the day of judgement ALLAH swa will ask prophet ADAM as to bring forth his decendents who are destined for hell, but he will not know how,
            ALLAH swa will tell him 1 out of every 1000 will go to heaven and the rest 999 will go to hell”
            So this shouws us where the majority is going.

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          • BismiLlah,

            Assalamu ‘Alaykum,

            Jazak Allah khayr for your nice manners bro. Just an explanation, I did not mean to invalidate the concept of ijmaa’ nor I said that majority is not right. Rather, I meant majority can sometimes be mistaken as well and this can be seen from the time of Abu Bakr (ra) and all the other Sahabah (raa) who were against Usamah bin Zayd (raa)’s leadership and being sent to fight the Roman army whilst Abu Bakr (ra) was in favour of it. Similar issues with people who gave up Zakah. Again, I am not showing my support to any of the sides rather just mentioning this concept.

            Bro/sis Suhaim, I would advise you with the same advice given to me by our brother Ibn Mas’ood. If I am mistaken in the understanding of your comment, then please explain it to us in shaa’ Allaah.

            WAllahu Ta’ala A’lam.

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      • Salaam Brother Baasel,

        Yes, these issues are important, very important infact. But the shaykhs new initiative on sex and the ummah is also very important. As a recent divorcee I understand the dire need for this topic- to develop better communication and fulfillment within a marriage has an effect on families which are the building blocks of this ummah. If we ae not stable and happy in our own homes how can we go out there effectively and give dawah? How can we raise our children to be strong practicing muslims when the husband and wife are in constant conflict and resent each other?

        Insha Allah I pray this new initiative helps our ummah to have stronger more successful marriages and in turn strengthen us as an ummah so we can tackle greater issues. Ameen

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        • The point I was trying to make was, not only directed at our beloved Sh. Yasir Qadhi, but the growing pattern of Shayukh who….(let me draw an example, which will perhaps iterate the point I’m trying to make…)

          For example, take a look at the Ft. Hood incident. How many organization, imams, shayukh specifically, by name, going into details, condemned that event?

          Now I don’t feel, me as layperson can say what they did was right or wrong. But I do find it ironic, that around the same time, 10 Afghan children were executed by NATO’s ISAF on December 28, 2009. Nobody Imam even brought this to the attention of the Muslim masses, not in a halaqa, not in a khutba (to the best of my knowledge). Do our leaders, not have an obligation to specifically, by name, going into details, condemn inflictions upon the Muslim Ummah? Do they not have a duty to seek out that news and deliver it to the masses, even if the Western media over-exaggerates attacks upon Western soil in order to create empathy for the West?

          Absolutely. The topic on Sex and the Ummah is very important and our beloved Sheikh Yasir Qadhi should continue doing it. The way I said it was incorrect and perhaps I shouldn’t have brought it up at all, as it takes away from the point I was trying to make. I apologize to Br. Yasir Qadhi, I don’t want to try and discredit him, but I’d like him to answer my question without fear of being reprehended by the Media.

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          • If they don’t condemn such things, then more support will build in the USA for war abroad, and then more people will die in Iraq/Afghanistan.

            It’s a matter of what you can do and where you have the most effect with the limited circumstance, time and energy that your Creator has blessed you with.

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      • Bismillah wa-saalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah

        Dear brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge the clear distinction between what is ijma ul ‘ulema (unanimous concensus of the scholars) and what is JAMHUR ul ‘ulema (majority concensus of the scholars). While ijma is indeed a source of hukm/law, jamhur is not. We are obligated to follow the opinion that is closest and most sound in relationship to the Sunnah of our beloved Rasul salallahu ‘alayhi wa salaam, be that opinion held by one ‘alim or all. Allahu ‘alam.

        Wa-salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah

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        • Astaghfirullah, I’ve erred in the closing of my previous statement. It was intended to have read: “We are obligated to follow the opinion that is closest and most sound in relationship to the Sunnah of our beloved Rasul salallahu ‘alayhi wa salaam, be that opinion held by one ‘alim or all BUT ONE.”

          Wa’alaikum as-salaamu wa rahmatullah

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    • BismiLlah,

      Assalamu ‘Alaykum Ustaadh Yasir,

      Jazak Allahu khayr for your comment. I have a few questions to ask.

      Ya Ustaadh, I do not understand how can speak about all the morality or issues of constitution when it would be against our Deen to let a kafir kill our brother whether we agree with him or not. How can we let them deal with someone who could be right or wrong. Is this is not against basic al-Walaa’ wal-Baraa’?

      Why do we call our brothers and sisters terrorists if the kuffar called them? Why do we not refute (if needed) the Shaykh by being polite or even if harsh. Why not address him and speak to him directly?

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  3. Asalaamu Alaikum Wa RahmatAllahe Wa Barakatu,

    Unfortunately our administration is falling into that same trap of “kill every terrorist” and the world will be ok. What they dont understand is that every time they act in this manner, they are contributing to the message of extremists and, in fact, radicalizing thousands of Muslim youth.

    I have to admit that the most heartbreaking aspect of this all is watching Anwar Awlakis father plead with the government not to kill his son while also pleading to his son not to preach violence. I cant imagine how hard this must be for him. May Allah make it easy for him and guide Anwar Awlaki back to the proper manhaj. May Allah protect us in these times of trial and tribulation. ameen

    wa salaam,
    Omar Suleiman
    Masjid Abu Bakr Al Siddique, New Orleans, LA

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    • BismiLlah,

      Assalamu ‘Alaykum Ustaadh Omar,

      Jazak Allahu khayr for your comment.

      Ustaadh Omar, do we need to think that the American Government/Administration is our own if we reside/are citizen of it? Even if such a government is a non-Muslim on top of that, it is killing our own brothers and sisters?

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  4. Anonymous Brother

    So what exactly would you have the government do? Would you have them stand idly by while this man terrorizes the US and plots against this country, never mind the fact that people like him are the reason Muslims live in fear of getting sent to Guantanamo if they visit the wrong website.

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    • I agree wholeheartedly brother. People like anwar awlaki are the reason why we good peace loving Muslims have to live in fear because we came across the wrong website. Or that somebody brings up his name etc. He doesn’t deserve to be called Imam if all he does is cause rifts and division between the Ummah. We are supposed to be one yet he calls for unnecessary jihad against people who’ve done nothing to us. An Imam is supposed to guide not confuse. Forgive my harsh attitude.

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      • hahaah LOL “peace loving muslims”

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      • ‘Peace loving muslims’- Self praising will not help you on the Day of Judgment brother. If he des not deserve to be called Imam, do we truly deserve to be called muslims. I mean who are we musliming to these days

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        • I cannot love peace? So that means I cannot say that I love the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessing be upon him? I love you as my brother/sister but I do not see any logic in that. Again forgive me if I came at people with a harsh attitude.

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    • I would want the US to apply the full extent of the law again Sheikh Anwar. Which is to say afford him free speech as a citizen. You can have people on FOX stay dumb stuff about the president but when some guy says something and he’s a Muslim… all hell has to break loose? Why don’t you go apply your energy on the Michigan militia who is real, local, deadly, militarized, and poised to attack… yet they are sitting in court with lawyers arguing their first amendment rights.

      If you know anything about being an American, it’s that you have to stand up for your rights. Seems like you’re not even ready to open your mouth or move your pen for them. Grow some.

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    • We are asking for due process only, to establish his guilt for some crime, you can not just assissinate people without trial.

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      • Due process doesn’t exist anymore under the “Patriot Act.” Habeas Corpus is no longer a right.
        ——————————————-
        After reading all of the above (and other posts and years of social interaction with muslims) and, most of all, looking into myself I have to come to this simple realization;
        We do not understand nor do we live ‘Bismillar-Rahmanir-Raheem’

        We say it but don’t understand it. We don’t live it, therefore we suffer. We are in rough shape as an ummah. We must go back to the beginning and start from there. I realize this sounds too simplistic but I do think this the root cause of the fitnah we experience in our lives.

        If we truly understood and realized ‘Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim’ we would be able to transform ourselves and this world instantaneously, bi’ithnillah.

        Shall we stay to true form and argue about it? To prove who’s wrong and who’s right, and be active participants in the kuffar strategy of ‘divide and conquer.’? :)

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  5. Ron Paul
    Febuary 25th 2010
    Ron Paul to Obama on the floor of congress

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  6. Assalamu Alaikum,

    After reading this heart-breaking and unjust intention to murder Sh. Anwar Al-Awlaki (may Allah preserve him and guide him back to the truth) by Obama and his barking hounds, let me ask a simple question: where are all those who overtly and enthusiastically endorsed Obama for President, singing his praises, sporting the “Yes we can” logo on this blog, sipping the honey-coated poison he was handing out to the masses, swaying to his every move, deeming him to be better than Bush and Company? Where are those who said “we should take the good from Obama and leave the bad”??? Where are those who parroted Obama’s empty rhetoric about confronting “violent extremism”, a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black?!

    As this article shows more clearly than ever, Bush never authorized the extrajudicial murder of an American citizen, yet Obama has. The illegal drone strikes (that constitute ethnic cleansing and war crimes as per international law) on Pakistan were limited during Bush’s time, yet Obama has exponentially increased them, wreaking havoc and destruction on Pakistan and unleashed a vicious civil war there.

    This man Obama reminds me of the Dajjal in the future. Remember, the Dajjal will also have a way with words and be able to hypnotize and cajole many ignorant people into following his army of evil. Similarly, Obama also is able to influence the masses with his eloquence, yet at heart he is immeasurably more evil, tyrannical and brutish than Bush could ever have been. May Allaah give Obama what He (swtj) gave every tyrant in history: a swift and befitting punishment in this life and the next.

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    • “Yes we can” assissinate people without trial…

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    • Very nice and wise words, AR

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    • The silence is deafening

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    • If the support of Obama by “absolute” supporters, or by those who believed him to be the lesser of the two evils (as I did), is to be shaken by a few incidents in the big picture of a million things that go on, then that support was not well founded in the first place.

      Awlaki said some plain reckless things, but to put a death penalty on him for it, is plain reckless as well. Americans, from the left to the right (yes, even the NRO had a piece against this permission to murder), are taking Obama to task for it. This is how the American system works. Unlike the right-wing, there is actually hope that Obama could be convinced otherwise as he has a brain in his head compared to Bush, for instance.

      Obama has done some good things as well. The medical bill was relevant to Muslims in America (remember he is America’s president, not Muslims’), a bill of compassion that is an Islamic value. He has inducted two practicing Muslims in his circle of influence, something that would never happen before or with McCain. He has ordered removal of references to Islam and Muslim in terrorism-related documents. There is more pressure on Israel than one can remember historically .In other words, the Muslim American’s entire framing of the issue is not related to just one or two of his policies, it is broader than that.

      Yes, I agree that his rhetoric has far outweighed his actions. Many of us are disappointed by this, but we will continue to push for “real change” and will give him TIME for that change. At the same time, we will not become fatalistic and resort to emotionally charged name-calling. Only Allah knows who is Dajjal and who is not. I have heard the same thing even before he had a chance to enter the White House. I am not sure who such statements is intended to help.

      If we were interested in positive change, we would stop bemoaning the “pharoah America”, the “dajjal Obama” and take time to write to the White House, to the Congressmen, to the newspapers, to the magazines, and express our logical arguments against bad foreign policies. And of course make dua’ to the Lord who controls all hearts and minds. I think if you were to ask Awlaki’s father, he would probably appreciate real action more than emotionally-charged words.

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      • Amad,

        You are still insisting that Obama is the lesser of two evils. I couldn’t disagree more with this unfounded assertion.

        Obama may have done some things that made health care for ordinary Americans more accessible. That is wholly besides the point. I’m sure Pharaoh also handed out subsidies to his people while carrying out his genocide against the people of Musa (as) at the same time

        My main beef with Obama is the way he has been treating Muslims since he became president. I think he is a very cunning fellow, which makes him all the more dangerous for Muslims, much more so than the blithering idiot that Bush was. As for him adding “practicing” Muslims to his close circle, that is as meaningless as you telling me that Hitler might have had a few Jewish advisers who were part of his close circle. What matters is how Obama is treating Muslims as a whole, not a few Uncle Toms on his payroll, to be frank.

        Please tell me know why any Muslim should have an ounce of support for Obama after the following:

        1. Obama is responsible directly for the wholesale destruction and murder of thousands of innocent people in the tribal areas of Pakistan. By all international norms, these are war crimes and extrajudicial murders. Obama, by ordering these drone attacks and justifying them repeatedly, has innocent Muslim blood (of thousands) on his hands. Last I heard, you were supposedly very much against “violent extremism”. I’m sure you’d agree that Obama’s terrorism and slaughter of innocents in Pakistan fully qualifies as violent extremism.

        2. Obama’s administration has done nothing to end the unjust detentions of countless falsely imprisoned Muslims, including Sh. Ali Al-Timimi and Sister Aafia Siddiqui. Rather, he has continued to allow kangaroo trials to take place where any concept of justice and rule of law is blown to smithereens. Now, don’t tell me that the executive branch and judicial branch are separate so we can’t pin this on Obama; ultimately, he is the commander-in-chief and is responsible for any and all war crimes carried out under his presidency.

        3. Obama has drastically expanded his war on Islam (Yemen being the latest Muslim land he wants to pillage), but in order to lessen Muslim outrage, he dropped the term “war on terror” in favor of “war on violent extremism”. Yet, I don’t see any action being taken against the warmongering, violent extremist terrorist Jewish thugs in occupied Palestine, I don’t see any action against the violent thugs that trample their populations in Muslim lands. No, we just see more handouts being given to these criminals for them to carry on in their crimes and tyranny. A few empty words of warning to Israel does NOT constitute opposition.

        4. Obama continues to escalate the Crusade in Afghanistan, a war that is both unjust and illegal. If he says that he is justified because he wants to defeat terrorism, then other countries should be allowed to invade the US as well, since the number of terrorists in the US (including far-right Christian militias, Timothy McVeigh-style terrorists, CIA, FBI, etc) far exceeds their number anywhere else.

        Ultimately, as Muslims, our point of reference is the Quran and the Sunnah according to the understanding of the pious predecessors. And we know without a shadow of doubt that the Jews and Christians will never be our well-wishers; we Muslims have to look after ourselves.

        Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allâh (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism) that is the (only) Guidance. And if you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’ân), then you would have against Allâh neither any Walî (protector or guardian) nor any helper. [Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 120]

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        • It’s interesting, and a bit sad that even when we agree with the premise of a specific post, that putting a death sentence on Awlaki is unjust and illegal, we still have to argue about the politics of the situation to death.

          As for your points, it seems like a case of deja vu every time we have a post that mentions the name “Obama”. Same song and dance :)

          I will not go round and round with you on this issue, except to say a few basic points:

          -Our framing of the issue and the entire positioning of how we see America’s President’s role is quite different in this context. While I agree with you that Obama can do, indeed has to do, much better in foreign policies in Muslim lands, I am not surprised at his actions, based on his clear pre-election promises and stated agenda. He inherited the war on terror, and unfortunately didn’t remove the terror that America is causing, esp. in extrajudicial killings (such as drone attacks). But, foreign policy is not the only thing that Muslims in America care about. There are other things that affect the daily lives of the American Muslims. Removing passengers from Muslim countries from special screening, and removing Islamic references from documents, as examples, are indeed important, and we will continue to claw our way into the political landscape and increase our influence. Having Muslims in the circle of influence is critical and may Allah help them use their influence wisely. Shutting ourselves out because everyone is too evil will only hurt our own communities. That covers most of your points.

          -It is easy to throw in a verse to try to “seal the argument”, but I am sure that you take the help of Jews and/or Christians everyday in your life, whether directly or indirectly. The verse is more specific to the following in religion, not in everyday life. And it is another standard part of the fatalistic approach that we can never work with Jews & Christians, so there is no point in trying.

          -As for Muslim prisoners, if you understand the political system of America, then you will know that the commander-in-chief cannot arbitrarily release prisoners. There is a system of checks and balances. Pardon may be an option at the end of his term, but I am not holding my breath on it. You only have Bush and his crazy admin to blame for the laws that they put into place and then used in a draconian sense.

          Finally, you ignored an important part of my comment. What would Awlaki’s father or children like from us? To sit and fret? Or to become active in promoting the illegality and unconstitutionality of this extrajudicial death warrant in the media and political circles, such that Obama’s admin has to take a step back on it? I think we all know the answer. So, let’s stop with the circular arguments and do something about it! And yes, this tangential discussion is also over.

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        • Excellent points Abu Rayyan.

          Unfortunately many people are unable to distinguish between being Muslim as part of one body, and being an American, and so are not able to see things through under the shade of Islam. Time will reveal the true US agenda at hand, then there will be a lot of regret and hopefully repentance.

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      • is to be shaken by a few incidents in the big picture of a million things that go on, then that support was not well founded in the first place.

        On the contrary (for me), I am not to be impressed by “very few” good incidents in the big picture of a million things that go on, I (personally) disliked Obama on every issue, except for very rare few (and half of those few he is changing as well, so there was definitely change in some thing). But compared that to Mccain his few were slightly more. Its good thing I can not vote yet.

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      • The medical bill was relevant to Muslims in America (remember he is America’s president, not Muslims’), a bill of compassion that is an Islamic value

        What? I am shocked, perhaps we live in different islamic (and economic) realities. There is nothing good in that bill, kindly read it.

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        • what exactly is not good about it? could you kindly spell it out, and state why? with evidence?

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          • Sure, depends on which angle you are looking at it.

            1. Insurance being haram (in general sense, scholars agree, and ofcourse scholars have allowed in specific fatwas). I know many brothers who have volunteered to abstain from taking health insurance (and some of them can afford it, infact the company would be paying most of the premium). And now they are forced to be involved in it due to the mandate thing

            2. From ethical aspect. You should not force anyone to purchase a product without their will, be it government provider or private.

            3. Worse yet (related to 2), you have to buy a product from private companies, and make them rich.

            4. From economic aspect, be ready to premium hikes, many insurance providers are adjusting to new law, and just seeing how they can still rip people of.

            5. Being a muslim we should be charitable, and I want to be charitible the way I want, and to where I want to donate. This would infringe my ability to be independent. Any goverment intervention seems slipperly slope for more things to come.

            6. Although there would have been good advantage of having cheap medication imported from Canada, ofcourse insurance companies (who were lobbying for this law) made sure there would remain ban on that.

            7. Unconstitional executive order, for which Bush was always criticised.

            As far as evidence, I think what I mentioned is common knowledge, otherwise you can read the bill.

            http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i9xePVcCb-63lXYhosvNsNyPV1XAD9EO55O80

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/4/1/853166/-How-Insurers-Can-Game-the-New-System

            http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=33943

            http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=33740

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  7. I’m sorry but I think if AA is directly involved with attacks on the US then its fair for them to target AA. AA gave up his citizenship when he said he cannot bear to stay in the land whose government attacks Muslims.

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    • Assalamu ‘alaikum,

      Already obama administration has shown blatant disregard of life by invading Afghanistan, Iraq, bombing Pakistan and Yemen. It has hidden the murder of our brothers in guantanamao, imprisoned brothers and sisters. The shocking thing is that muslims still think that they can trust USA govt to have any humanity and respect for muslims and mankind.

      The Prophet(saw) said,”One drop of a Muslim blood is worth more than the Ka’bah and it’s surroundings”(Bukhari and Muslim)

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      • We could say similar things about the Saudi’s, Pakistani’s, Somali’s, etc.

        Who has killed more Muslims than Muslim countries?

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    • if AA is directly involved with attacks

      An “if” that is to be determined by court of law.

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      • Well, the “Patriot Act” essentially transformed America into a Neo-Feudal system. Just wait, things will much, much worse.

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  8. How ungratefull we Muslims are.

    We come to a country which gives us freedom and opportunities which Muslims in “Muslims Countries” can only dream about. Then we spend all time and energy complaining and whining.

    How would you expect any country to respond to a citizen who is traitor and has betrayed the trust of his birth country?

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    • Typical fox news argument, America gave you freedom of speech, so you do not have freedom to say anything against a country that gave you freedom of speech.

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      • It may seems that the only right Muslims have is the right to critisize, we also have the right to show gratitude and be thankfull.

        I am asking for a balanced approach.

        Are Muslims unable to find any good in this Country?

        I am gratefull to Allah that he has allowed me live in a country where I can earn a living and practise my faith without harm or persecution.

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        • So should we be thankful while commenting on a post about government illegally trying to assissinate people?

          I am grateful too for the things you mentioned, should not make you and me blind and not to criticise in a specific thread.

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        • “practise my faith without harm or persecution.”
          Well u can go to jail if u practice ur faith correctly in that country. Can u say and preach that it is obligatory upon Muslims to kill American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. If not, you are as free to practice your “deen” almost anywhere. Infact Allama Iqbal, the grاat subcontinenal poet (died 1939) had said:
          ملّا کو ہو ہے ہند میں ازاں کی اجازت
          ناداں یہ سمجھا ہے کہ اسلام ہے آزاد

          Just because he is allowed to say the azaan in India, the foolish cleric thinks that Islam is free (to be practiced)

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    • How would you expect any country to respond to a citizen who is traitor and has betrayed the trust of his birth country?

      By taking him to courts at least. Assassination is not an option

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    • Oh really.. You will sell the blood of your brother for your freedom?

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  9. If you can’t beat them in debate, kill them! This is essentially what the “freedom loving” yanks are saying.

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    • Are you a freedom loving yank?

      Or just another Muslim choosing to live in America, WHY?

      Because, the reality is that there is no better place for you to go to. If there was, you would be there.

      Every place and person has positives and negatives. If you are only going to focus on the negatives, that is your choice.

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      • Excuse me… but how do you know she lives in America?

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      • ‘the reality is that there is no better place for you to go to….’

        You speak with so much certainty as if you have ALL knowledge. Hmmm. Smacks of the typical american muslim arrogance. Be careful not to practise the takabbur of shaytaan and his similitudes

        For the true believer, the dunya is a prison ..do not forget that. For the sell outs, well…

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        • Can you please explain what is takabbur?

          If there is a better place to go, you would be there.
          Does it hurt you to admit that America is a great place to live and worship Allah?

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          • SK, if you love something then you want it to be the best that it can be. We criticize some American policies that do not live up to the backbone of this country, the constitution, out of a desire for this country to live up to its slogan “liberty and JUSTICE for ALL”

            Criticism leads to more progress, it doesn’t mean we hate America and do not look for the good in it. I love America and think that it is the best country to live in the world in many ways, but it is flawed, and I will give constructive criticism and point out those flaws out of my love for it to be better.

            Bottom line, Anwar Al-Awlaki did not order for those attacks to take place. Supporting them through rhetoric does not constitute justification for an assassination. He is an American citizen that has the right to freedom of speech. However, as we know, in this environment, that isn’t really the case anymore (especially with Muslims).

            I feel bad for him because, as you all can read on another article on this website, he wasn’t always like this. He was tortured in Egypt and wrongfully imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. Only after those instances did his rhetoric begin to change. None of us know what we would say or do or feel had we been under those same circumstances.

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          • Mr./Ms. SK. Your comments are very premature in accusing your fellow Muslim brothers and sister that anytime they badmouth American policies, they’re automatically anti-American. No. That is not the case. In fact, it is far from reality. America is a great country to live in. Is it the best? Maybe. Democracy has its ups and downs. Nevertheless to assume such things like that is not only shameful but an attack on all Muslims. As much as I disagree with anwar awlaki, I still believe that he should be given a fair trial. You are acting in a very thuggish manner and MM should act accordingly regarding your statements.

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          • Asalalam a lacum

            I want to thank everyone for their comments.

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  10. I don’t expect good from them or from the democratic system or from Obama for that matter. I have husn ud dhan with Allah and husn ud dhan with my muslims brothers and sisters. So not much disappointed over what Obama or any other democratic system would do.

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  11. BismiLlah,

    Assalamu ‘Alaykum,

    I do not understand how can the shuyukh trust the lies in the media about any muslim and specifically Imam Anwar ‘Awlaki حفظه الله and believe in it. Whatever happened to the ayah, “O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done.” [49:6]?

    WAllahu Ta’ala A’lam

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    • barakallah fik

      For a large number of muslims, esp the sell outs, this ayah has been impeached or buried
      its a classical example of abandoning the quran And more importantly hte talbees iblis that is ongoing in the ummah. Sadly there are those who will blindly follow those you described as shuyuukh. its ghuruur – deception- on a massive scale. These days people prefer to follow these shuyuukh than quran and sunnah even when the truth is, as it is said in arabic, as clear as the difference between night and day

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  12. My Allegiance will always be with the Muslims. No evidence has even been presented showing the Shaykh involved directly with planning attacks. He has become a target for his ‘speech’. Ya Muslims speak the Haq and do not fear the blame of the blamers.

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  13. Isn’t Obama the same guy who was given a Noble Peace Prize? Peace my foot!

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  14. Hasbi Allahu wa ni’mul waqeel.

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  15. salaam bro/sis,

    you frighten me with your assertions and i plead you not to ever put the prophet p.b.u.h under the same banner, with a guy, we clearly hardly know very little about.

    anybody, can do the same thing that you did. if you have enough passion for anyone, without even vetting him objectively.

    unlike AAA, the prophet p.b.u.h. was approved and chosen by Allah s.a.w. Who are you to put this AAA guy, under the same kind of status as the prophet? What kind of knowledge do you have of him?

    And please tell me which Muslim country in this world is free of injustice and corruption? As far as I know, Muslim or non Muslim no country is. Not even Saudi Arabia.

    Salaam,

    forgive me if I sound harsh. I just feel that people have to be careful before they make statements in the world wide web. And think about the impact it has on impressionable people.

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    • typo error Allah s.w.t
      may god forgive me!

      (bashful face)

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      • you are not harsh but you believe american propoganda..

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        • we’re all believers of some form of propaganda. trust me on that one.

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        • and if I am, so what?

          Is it not the truth, what I said about Muslim nations?

          look I’m a Muslim, but I’m not going to support my fellow Muslims, if they partake in idiotic activities. A muslim is not immune from sin, or idiocy. A muslim is simply a believer in Islam. And how he or she interprets Islam. That’s subjective. If I disagree with a Muslim brother or a sister. I’ll say so. And I think I am not wrong at all for chastising those who talk about a guy, they hardly even know as if he is some kind of beloved savior. And putting him up there with the prophet, is downright insulting.

          You guys are looking at the forest for the trees. No wonder, our ummah is weak. Constantly bickering over nonsense.

          I think Ali said it best…

          Do not seek to know the Truth (al-Haqq) according to other people. Rather first come to know the Truth—and only then will you recognize Its people.

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  16. Yemen not going after radical US-born cleric

    Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said Saturday that al-Awlaki is not a terrorist and is not on Yemen’s own wanted list. Yemeni security officials believe he is hiding in an area of the mountainous country that has become a refuge for Islamic militants.

    “Anwar al-Awlaki has to us been always looked at as a preacher rather than a terrorist and shouldn’t be looked at as a terrorist unless the Americans have evidence that he has been involved in terrorism,” al-Qirbi said.

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  17. Congratulation to all the Muslims who have put this man ( Obama) in office. Muslims will never be Americans regardless of the place you were born. No Muslim country will help him and sooner or later they will catch him and kill him ( may Allah protect him) and that’s what i at least think. Muslims are getting too comfortable in this country. Religion consists of more than praying your daily prayers, fasting and praying sakat. You have to migrate from the land of kufr to the land of Islam. But many of us think we won’t be accepted or will have a hard life or our children wont have education and health care.

    Put your trust in Allah and plan your future carefully. Things will change in America ‘cuz anyone one of us could be next.

    Salaam

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  18. Asalamualikum. I read all the comments one by one and the most beautiful and profound comment was by sister muslimah. I love Yemen but i dunno why i wasn’t born in Yemen:/. No wonder why is called darul tawheed. I guess land of tawheed belongs to tawheedists like AA hafiduallah. ( By no means do i support terrorism in its any way shape or form).
    A message to Sheikhuna Yasir Qadhi- ” ……wa ma khairul ma’akireen”
    Wa salam

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  19. Assalamualaikum wr wb,

    We have to respect the person from whom we have gained knowledge.

    May Allah swt bless the Muslim ummah with unity, Ameen

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