UPDATED: Ali Shehata | Saving Our Youth from the Disease of Radicalism

UPDATE: On American Foreign Policy and Answering the “What Can We Do?” Question

Words cannot describe the sadness and horror so many Muslims felt this weekend – a weekend when they, like other Americans, gathered with their families to give thanks – when they heard the news that a 19 year-old Muslim from Oregon tried to detonate a van filled with explosives among a crowd of innocent Americans celebrating the holidays. This event comes on the heels of another video recording by the extremist terror leader Anwar al-Awlaki encouraging the killing of Americans.

As an American Muslim educator, who has been actively working against violent extremism in the Muslim community for the past 7 years, I am thankful that it was someone from the Muslim community who initially alerted law enforcement to this individual when they saw signs of concern. This follows an excellent pattern of cooperation between Muslim congregations in the US and law enforcement officials wherein at least one-third of potential incidents were averted through active Muslim vigilance and self-patrol.

At the same time, this incident demonstrates that we have more work to do in the Muslim community to root out the attraction to the violent extremist ideology among some Muslims. Although, it would be impossible to root it out 100%, I believe we have to do more both locally and in the online world to destroy the roots of this disease of extremist radicalism. With this audio – and its written transcript – I hope to encourage other Muslim intellectuals, callers and scholars to take a stronger online presence to counteract those whom we have no access to in our local communities.

In this targeted audio, I wish to address those young Muslims out there who are either sympathizers or supporters of radical extremist Muslim figures. Of course, such individuals would disagree with this characterization and instead imagine these people to somehow be freedom fighters or courageous heroes who stand up to the oppressors of today. I fully intend to show you that you are wrong in this belief.

Firstly, Ibn Taymiyyah has correctly said, “One of the fundamental principles of Islam is to bring benefit (maslahah) to society, or at least to increase it if it cannot be complete – and to reduce harm to the greatest degree possible.” Amongst the many evidences for this principle are:

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يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ

Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties.  [2:185]

عن أبي سـعـيـد الخدري رضي الله عنه ، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : لا ضرر ولا ضرار

Narrated Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allah (saas) said, “[In Islam] There should be neither harming nor returning harm.” [Ibn Majah]

And also from the Seerah, we see the Prophet (saas) considering the consequences of his decisions such as in the treaty of al-Hudaybiyyah. Despite being upon the right and despite his capability to fight, some of the Companions asked why they should accept the humiliation of the conditions of the treaty, yet Allah called it a manifest victory (فَتْحًا مُبِينًا).

Yet we can see that the consequences of the extremist plots today are far from bringing any benefit or goodness either to the Muslim society or the general human society as a whole.  Let us consider just some of the consequences of each and every plot since 9-11. They have led to 2 destructive wars, the enactment of several governmental policies that have created both civil and legal hardships upon Muslim and non-Muslim alike, the imprisonment of countless young men and women and a general rise in anti-Islamic sentiment and actions in this country and in other Western nations that has even led to the abuse and burning of the Quran.  Someone even attempted to burn down the Islamic center in Oregon where the alleged young Somali extremist sometimes prayed. Can anyone in their right mind consider this to be for the good of anyone? How many people have left Islam or come to doubt it as a result of these acts?

Next, to characterize the conflicts of today – or the statements of their leaders – as a war against Islam is not a fair accusation. Among the reasons that this is a very unfair accusation are that firstly, though some of their leaders have made statements against the Islamic religion, others have not, and in fact some have gone out of their way to say they are not against Islam. President George Bush may have made several questionable remarks in his time, but he was also the first president to go to a mosque to deliver a speech in which he praised Islam. President Obama has followed suit by speaking to entire Muslim societies when he delivered speeches in Egypt and Indonesia.  Leaders in both the FBI and DHS have worked cooperatively with Muslims in this country to address concerns and sensitivities.

Secondly, these countries that are sometimes characterized as warring against Islam see themselves only as helping one group of Muslims against another group of Muslims, but not fighting all Muslims in total.  For example, how could we characterize the US as fighting Islam when they were the ones that helped to establish a shariah court system in Afghanistan and also  helped to liberate that same country from the clutches of communism?

Thirdly, America has not made religious hardships in the practice of Islam upon Muslims living within its boundaries, nor the Muslims in lands in which they have a dominant military presence. Examples include the acceptance of Islam by large numbers of servicemen in the Iraq wars, the sensitivity courses run by American agencies to educate their personnel on Islam, and that over half of US foreign aid goes to Muslim nations. Many Muslim preachers have rightly said that one can practice Islam more freely in the US than you can in a number of “Muslim” countries.

The real issue here is that America – as other countries and empires have done from time immemorial – is acting internationally upon its strategic interests.

As far as America is concerned, some are confused as to whether or not they are bound by the laws of the land. Yet there is no doubt that the Islamic religion commands believers to obey the laws of the land they live in, even if it be one ruled by non-Muslims.  Muslim scholars consider citizenship, or an entry visa, to be a covenant (‘aqd) held between the citizen, or visa holder, and the state; an agreement which guarantees security (amaan) in exchange for certain obligations such as obeying the laws of the land. We must remember that covenants are considered sacredly binding in Islam.  Allah commands us in the Quran:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ

O you who believe! Fulfill your obligations. [5:1]

Ibn Kathir mentions in his tafsir of this ayah, “Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and others said that `obligations’ here means treaties. Ibn Jarir mentioned that there is a consensus for this view. Ibn Jarir also said that it means treaties, such as the alliances that they used to conduct.”

And later in the same surah Allah states:

وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا ۚ اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

And let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do. [5:8]

Ibn Kathir states the following in regards to this ayah, “… do not be driven by your hatred for some people into abandoning justice, for justice is ordained for everyone, in all situations. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Zayd bin Aslam said, “The Messenger of Allah and his Companions were in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah when the idolators prevented them from visiting the House, and that was especially hard on them. Later on, some idolators passed by them from the east intending to perform `Umrah. So the Companions of the Prophet said, `Let us prevent those (from `Umrah) just as their fellow idolators prevented us.’ Thereafter, Allah sent down this ayah.”

This issue is of critical importance in two predominant circumstances today: 1) where someone considers terrorizing or making war against their fellow citizens, and 2) when an American citizen or legal resident goes overseas to join a foreign army.  This second case has happened in three distinct places in the most recent past; Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan.  Yet some Muslims have been deluded into thinking that they “need” to do this in order to “help” their fellow Muslims. First, let us consider the following hadith:

حَدَّثَنَا حُذَيْفَةُ بْنُ الْيَمَانِ قَالَ

مَا مَنَعَنِي أَنْ أَشْهَدَ بَدْرًا إِلَّا أَنِّي خَرَجْتُ أَنَا وَأَبِي حُسَيْلٌ قَالَ فَأَخَذَنَا كُفَّارُ قُرَيْشٍ قَالُوا إِنَّكُمْ تُرِيدُونَ مُحَمَّدًا فَقُلْنَا مَا نُرِيدُهُ مَا نُرِيدُ إِلَّا الْمَدِينَةَ فَأَخَذُوا مِنَّا عَهْدَ اللَّهِ وَمِيثَاقَهُ لَنَنْصَرِفَنَّ إِلَى الْمَدِينَةِ وَلَا نُقَاتِلُ مَعَهُ فَأَتَيْنَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَأَخْبَرْنَاهُ الْخَبَرَ فَقَالَ انْصَرِفَا نَفِي لَهُمْ بِعَهْدِهِمْ وَنَسْتَعِينُ اللَّهَ عَلَيْهِمْ

It has been reported on the authority of Hudhaifa ibnul-Yaman who said: Nothing prevented me from being present at the Battle of Badr except this incident. I came out with my father Husail (to participate in the Battle), but we were caught by the pagans of Quraish. They said: “(Do) you intend to go to Muhammad?”  We said: “We do not intend to go to him, but we wish to go (back) to Medina.”  So they took from us a covenant in the name of God that we would turn back to Medina and would not fight on the side of Muhammad (saas). So, we came to the Messenger of Allah (saas) and related the incident to him. He said: “Both, of you proceed (to Medina); we will fulfill the covenant made with them and seek God’s help against them.” (Muslim)

Here the Prophet (saas) prevented Hudhaifa and his father from participating with him so that they wouldn’t violate their promise that they gave to the pagans of Quraish. How much more are we then obligated to fulfill our trusts in the convoluted times of today? Secondly, we must also understand that each of these battles today is not a battle to raise up the banner of religion, but a civil war in which the true purpose is unclear – and we are forbidden from entering into civil wars where Muslim kills Muslim which is the overwhelming outcome in each of these three war zones.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ

عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ مَنْ خَرَجَ مِنْ الطَّاعَةِ وَفَارَقَ الْجَمَاعَةَ فَمَاتَ مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً وَمَنْ قَاتَلَ تَحْتَ رَايَةٍ عِمِّيَّةٍ يَغْضَبُ لِعَصَبَةٍ أَوْ يَدْعُو إِلَى عَصَبَةٍ أَوْ يَنْصُرُ عَصَبَةً فَقُتِلَ فَقِتْلَةٌ جَاهِلِيَّةٌ وَمَنْ خَرَجَ عَلَى أُمَّتِي يَضْرِبُ بَرَّهَا وَفَاجِرَهَا وَلَا يَتَحَاشَى مِنْ مُؤْمِنِهَا وَلَا يَفِي لِذِي عَهْدٍ عَهْدَهُ فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي وَلَسْتُ مِنْهُ

On the authority of Abu Hurairah that he heard the Prophet (saas) say, “One who defected from the obedience to the ruler and separated from the main body of the Muslims – if he died in that state – would die the death of one belonging to the days of pre-Islamic ignorance (would not die as a Muslim). One who fights under the banner of a people who are blind to the cause for which they are fighting, or one who gets angered for a sectarian cause, or calls people to a sectarian cause, or fights for a sectarian cause – if he is killed in this manner, he dies as one belonging to the days of pre-Islamic ignorance. Whosoever attacks my community indiscriminately killing the righteous and the wicked among them, not refraining from hurting the believers due to their faith and one who does not fulfill the covenant made with those who have been given a pledge of security – he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him.  (Muslim)

How do we help the oppressed and downtrodden in these times you might then wonder? We help them by calling upon Allah with our sincere du’a remembering the authentic hadith:

عَنْ مُصْعَبِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ

أَنَّهُ ظَنَّ أَنَّ لَهُ فَضْلًا عَلَى مَنْ دُونَهُ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِنَّمَا يَنْصُرُ اللَّهُ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةَ بِضَعِيفِهَا بِدَعْوَتِهِمْ وَصَلَاتِهِمْ وَإِخْلَاصِهِمْ

Narrated Abu Mus’ab ibn Sa’d that he at one time believed he was more honorable than some of the other Companions of the Prophet (saas) whereupon the Prophet (saas) said, “Indeed, Allah aids this community (Ummah) by the supplication, prayer and sincerity of its weak ones.” (Nasaa’i – Saheeh)

How will this happen you might wonder? When we ourselves return to the obedience of our Creator by calling to that which is good.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ

Allah does not change a people’s condition unless they change what is in their hearts. [13:11]

Instead of neglecting Allah’s command and fighting against the rulers, have we not turned to consider our own sins and our own distance from Him? If these people who fought against their rulers and who attack innocent and unaware civilians in such a cowardly manner by sneaking up on them to detonate hidden weapons – if these people were upon the truth then where is the victory? Where is the help of Allah? Instead we only see more difficulties following their actions – and this is nothing but the result of sin and disobedience to the rule of Allah. In the noble hadith we read,

قَالَ حُذَيْفَةُ بْنُ الْيَمَانِ

قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّا كُنَّا بِشَرٍّ فَجَاءَ اللَّهُ بِخَيْرٍ فَنَحْنُ فِيهِ فَهَلْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ هَذَا الْخَيْرِ شَرٌّ قَالَ نَعَمْ قُلْتُ هَلْ وَرَاءَ ذَلِكَ الشَّرِّ خَيْرٌ قَالَ نَعَمْ قُلْتُ فَهَلْ وَرَاءَ ذَلِكَ الْخَيْرِ شَرٌّ قَالَ نَعَمْ قُلْتُ كَيْفَ قَالَ يَكُونُ بَعْدِي أَئِمَّةٌ لَا يَهْتَدُونَ بِهُدَايَ وَلَا يَسْتَنُّونَ بِسُنَّتِي وَسَيَقُومُ فِيهِمْ رِجَالٌ قُلُوبُهُمْ قُلُوبُ الشَّيَاطِينِ فِي جُثْمَانِ إِنْسٍ قَالَ قُلْتُ كَيْفَ أَصْنَعُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنْ أَدْرَكْتُ ذَلِكَ قَالَ تَسْمَعُ وَتُطِيعُ لِلْأَمِيرِ وَإِنْ ضُرِبَ ظَهْرُكَ وَأُخِذَ مَالُكَ فَاسْمَعْ وَأَطِعْ

Narrated Hudhaifa ibnul Yaman, I asked the Messenger of Allah (saas), “no doubt, we had an evil time (the days of Jahiliyya or pre-Islamic ignorance) and God brought us a good time (the Islamic period) through which we are now living. Will there be a bad time after this good time?” He (the Prophet) said: “Yes.”  I said: “Will there be a good time after this bad time?” He said: “Yes.”  I said: “Will there be a bad time after good time?” He said: “Yes.”  I asked: “How?”  Whereupon he said: “There will be leaders who will not be led by my guidance and who will not adopt my ways. There will be among them men who will have the hearts of devils in the bodies of human beings.”  I asked: “What should I do if I should live to see that time O’ Messenger of Allah?”  He replied: “You must listen to the ruler and carry out his orders, even if your back is flogged and your wealth is snatched, you must still listen and obey.” (Muslim)

قال شارح الطحاوية : ” أما لزوم طاعتهم وإن جاروا ، فلأنــه يترتب على الخروج عن طاعتهم من المفاســـد أضعاف ما يحصل من جورهــم ، بل في الصبر على جورهم تكفير السيئات ، ومضاعفة الأجور ، فإن الله تعالى ما سلطهــم علينا إلا لفساد أعمالنا ، والجزاء من جنس العمل

Ibn Abil-‘Izz al-Hanafi states on this issue: “And as for obeying the Rulers, even if they commit oppression, then this is because the evils and harms that arise on account of rebelling against them are numerous times more than that which occurs as a result of the oppression of the Rulers themselves. Rather, in having patience over their oppression there is expiation of sins, and a multiplication of the reward. For Allah did not empower them over us, except due to the corruption in our actions, and the recompense for an action is its like (al-jazaa’u min jins al-‘amal).” Thus if we don’t like our rulers, then we should look into the mirror to see what we don’t like in our own selves!

Hence, it is upon us to strive in seeking forgiveness, repenting and purifying our actions. Indeed, Allah (swt) has said,

وَمَا أَصَابَكُمْ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَنْ كَثِيرٍ

And whatever affliction befalls you, then it is from what your hands have earned, yet He pardons much. [42:30]

And His (swt) statement:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُوَلِّي بَعْضَ الظَّالِمِينَ بَعْضًا بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

And thus do we turn some of the oppressors against others on account of what they used to earn. [6:129]

Ibn Kathir quotes in regards to this ayah, “A poet once said, ‘There is no hand, but Allah’s Hand is above it, and no wrongdoer but will be tested by another wrongdoer’.”

Hence, if the subjects (of a state) wish to save themselves from the oppression of the tyrannical ruler, then let them abandon oppression themselves. And from Malik bin Dinar (who said) that it has come in some of the (previous revealed) Books of Allah:

I am the King of the dominion, the hearts of the kings are in my Hand. So whoever obeyed me, I made them (the kings) a mercy over him, and whoever disobeyed me, I made them a vengeance upon him. So do not occupy yourselves with reviling the kings, but rather repent and I will make them compassionate upon you.

So our condition today as an Ummah is deplorable – we have abandoned tawhid on the greater societal scale, we are politically impotent, morally corrupt, devoid of manners, backward in the fields of science and technology – and this is the fault of each and every one of us. We have no other road to salvation except to turn back in repentance to Allah and strive harder to be on the character of our beloved Messenger (saas). Killing innocent people and espousing extremist ideology is only distancing us further from Our Lord and from His Mercy.

As for Anwar al-Awlaki and those who spread his ideology of terror and extremism, I call them sincerely back to the path of cooperation upon good and piety. I ask you by Allah to remember all the good that you did while you were here in America – your lectures on the Prophets, the Companions and the Hereafter resulted in the repentance and rectification of many people. You met many good people here in America – some who accepted Islam, and others who supported our causes even though they may not have followed our beliefs. How can you justify killing such innocent people who have done no wrong? I implore you by Allah to consider what you had accomplished in the past and compare it to the record of death, destruction, humiliation and misery you have led people to since you have gone on the path you are currently on. We believe that you are a person of intelligence and that if you consider this you will certainly repent for what you have been saying and return to the true path of moderation and righteousness. If not then you shall be guilty on the Day of Judgment for grievous sins and for misleading many by your words. I further warn people from listening to your words and being influenced by you until you repent.

I close by reminding all my brothers and sisters of some words that are worth their weight in diamonds, words that one cannot ignore and ideas that must be considered carefully. I begin with the words of our beloved Messenger (saas):

عَنْ طَرِيفٍ أَبِي تَمِيمَةَ قَالَ

شَهِدْتُ صَفْوَانَ وَجُنْدَبًا وَأَصْحَابَهُ وَهُوَ يُوصِيهِمْ فَقَالُوا هَلْ سَمِعْتَ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ شَيْئًا قَالَ سَمِعْتُهُ يَقُولُ مَنْ سَمَّعَ سَمَّعَ اللَّهُ بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ قَالَ وَمَنْ يُشَاقِقْ يَشْقُقْ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَقَالُوا أَوْصِنَا فَقَالَ إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُنْتِنُ مِنْ الْإِنْسَانِ بَطْنُهُ فَمَنْ اسْتَطَاعَ أَنْ لَا يَأْكُلَ إِلَّا طَيِّبًا فَلْيَفْعَلْ وَمَنْ اسْتَطَاعَ أَنْ لَا يُحَالَ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجَنَّةِ بِمِلْءِ كَفِّهِ مِنْ دَمٍ أَهْرَاقَهُ فَلْيَفْعَلْ

Narrated Tareef Abi Tamima: I saw Safwan and Jundub and his companions when Jundab was advising them. They said, “Did you hear something from Allah’s Messenger (saas)?” He said, “I heard him saying, ‘Whoever does a good deed in order to show off, Allah will expose his intentions on the Day of Resurrection (before the people), and whoever puts the people into difficulties, Allah will put him into difficulties on the Day of Resurrection.” The people said (to Jundab), “Advise us.” He said, “The first part of the human body to rot (after death) is the stomach, so he who can eat nothing but pure food (Halal and earned lawfully) should do so, and he who does as much as he can that nothing intervene between him and Paradise by not shedding even a handful of blood, (murdering) should do so.” (Bukhari)

So ask yourselves – do you really expect that Allah will reward you for creating so many difficulties for so many people? Are you safe from the Hellfire when you have not only attempted to shed a handful of blood, but indeed barrels of blood? Consider the wise words of the great Tabi’ee Mutarrif ibn Abdillah who was asked by the Khawarij why he didn’t join them in their battle and he replied:

لأن يسألني الله تعالى يوم القيامة فيقول: يا مطرف ألا فعلت، أحب إلي من أن يقول لم فعلت

“For Allah to ask me on the Day of Judgment, why didn’t you kill someone is far more beloved to me than for Him to ask me why I killed someone.”

And Allah knows best.

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Credit: I would personally like to thank my dear teacher and friend Sh. Waleed Basyouni for his time, mentoring and assistance in developing much of this post, yet I have no doubt that it could be better. Whatever among these points could have been said better, more concisely or more fluidly is through no fault of anyone but myself and for this I seek Allah’s forgiveness and ask His help to make me better and more useful to His creation.

Request: I encourage and freely give my permission that the text and accompanying audio be used – without modification – by any Islamic school or center to be distributed among their members for the benefit of protecting our young and old, our new Muslims and those who have grown old in Islam, from the threat of violent extremism. To download, please click here.

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216 responses to “UPDATED: Ali Shehata | Saving Our Youth from the Disease of Radicalism”

  1. Kashif says:

    President George Bush may have made several questionable remarks in his time, but he was also the first president to go to a mosque to deliver a speech in which he praised Islam. President Obama has followed suit by speaking to entire Muslim societies when he delivered speeches in Egypt and Indonesia. Leaders in both the FBI and DHS have worked cooperatively with Muslims in this country to address concerns and sensitivities.

    Subhanallah, this comment reminds me of the following passage in the Qur’an:

    “(Pharaoh) said: ‘Did we not cherish thee as a child among us, and didst thou not stay in our midst many years of thy life?’

    [Moses said:] ‘And this is the past favour wherewith thou reproachest me: that thou hast enslaved the Children of Israel.'”
    [Qur’an 26:18/22]

    May Allah lift the veil from your eyes akhee!

    • Whoever wrote this is overtly apologetic without having the backbone to take on those who were the perpetrators – the american intelligence agencies.

      The only radicalism is from the American FBI who trained, supplied and created “An Islamic Terrorist”.

      I blogged on this yesterday.

      For a period of 18 months, the FBI trained and then supplied bomb making equipment to Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the target – a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland Oregon’s Pioneer Courthouse Square.

      What we have are proven facts of FBI agents posing as terrorists, constructing and detonating real explosives whilst using the patsy of a “radicalised Muslim” to shoulder the blame and by default propagating the myth of the “Muslim Bogeyman” that the Neo-Con inspired “Clash of Civilizations” theorised.

      The end result of course is that people will believe that Muslims were behind such a plot, and will physically attack Muslims – The Corvallis Masajid, which was frequented by the FBI asset, was gutted in an arson attack on Sunday.

      It’s proven that the intelligence agencies were behind this false flag terror operation.

      What other recent attacks supposedly committed by Muslims have the intelligence agencies been involved in?

      Akh The Angry Academic Activist

      http://hotterthanapileofcurry.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/the-portland-christmas-tree-bomber-how-the-fbi-created-trained-supplied-an-islamic-terrorist/

      • muslim says:

        well said br kashif

      • Amad says:

        This is what I have to say about Osman:

        The way I see it, the guy wanted to “do something”. That wasn’t enough to put him behind bars forever. So, the feds helped him “do something”. This made them look good, probably a few promotions and also put a potential dangerous soul out of public reach.

        Instead, if we had a REAL partnership, where this chap was taken to people of knowledge/understanding, people who could get into his psyche and talk to his concerns, replacing the need for terrorism with the need for engagement, I truly believe he and others like him could have been checked.

        There is plenty of blame to go around, but until we create an opening for such kids to channel negative energy into positive outcomes, we’ll continue to have the feds lead them to the gallows (even if we accept that the desire was originally there… but desire isn’t a crime).

        • ahlam says:

          What I am confused about is why is nobody mentioning the fact that this guy had issues with drinking and drugs? I heard the Somali community in his area admit on the news in the BBC Somali service and were basically saying that he was just a part-time Muslim who had haram issues and who would visit their Masjid sometimes.

          So Im not surprised someone with his issues would think of sticking a **fake bomb** somewhere for ”fun”. How does his apparent behaviours fit in with his ‘righteous’ radicalism ? Its nonsense.

    • Umme Omar says:

      Very well said Br. Kashif.
      FBI first provoked this young man, then trained him and supplied him with explosive material material. He is just 19 year old stupid man. FBI planted him so they can bring bad name to Islam and Muslims

  2. AnonyMouse says:

    Disclaimer: I am completely and utterly against all forms of terrorism and extremism, so don’t jump me as an anti-American naive youthful radical-in-training when you see my comment.

    Ahem. Has everyone conveniently overlooked the parts in the news articles where they specifically mention that the brother in question was approached, encouraged, AND supplied with the materials for his ‘plot’ by members of the FBI? Has anyone considered the fact that the so-called ‘plot’ would never have existed if it were not for the FBI preying on the young brother in the first place?

    Come on, people! There have already been a million and one examples of where so-called ‘terror plots’ that were ‘caught’ in Canada, America, and the UK were DIRECTLY INSTIGATED by the secret services of those very countries.
    Does anyone remember Sh. Ali at-Tamimi? Or brother Tariq Mehanna? The recent arrest of Dr. Ibrahim Dremali? How many more innocent brothers and sisters need to be set up, betrayed, and thrown into jail for the rest of their lives? How much longer are we required to pretend that it’s all “our” faults as Muslims for not educating our youth, rather than openly realizing and acknowledging that there is a serious problem with the secret/ security services who are just as openly going after the Muslim communities in the West?

    This is honestly driving me up the wall when I see our students of knowledge turning into simpering apologists (no offence to our students of knowledge, may Allah guide them and increase them in knowledge and understanding of the Deen, ameen).

    Listen – I have experienced, on a very very personal level (those who know who I am/ who my father is will know what I mean), what the government security/ secret forces are doing to Muslim leaders and community members in the West. I have witnessed them trying to set up an Imam; setting spies amongst the congregation; trying to get someone to entrap said Imam by telling him “send me to Jihad, I have the weapons and I’m willing!”; monitoring phone lines; trying to alternatively intimidate and bribe community members to spy on, entrap, and just plain old lie about fellow Muslims.
    I’m not the only one. A significant number of other Muslims in the West have experienced the same.

    Are we still going to pretend that nobody’s out to get us?!

    • Amad says:

      Two wrongs don’t make a right. And Sh. Dremali’s case is a bit more complicated, and dissimilar to Dr. Ali Timimi. As for Mehanna, that’s also a different set of circumstances. Just because they are all Muslims doesn’t make all their situations alike.

      I don’t doubt that the Feds are working actively to find and on more than one occasion, create terrorists who were only terrorists in intention but far from any legitimate action. But the fact remains that there are Muslims who are intending harm due to internal and external factors, as Sh Yasir’s article stated. We saw this with Faisal Shazad for instance.

      Let’s put it this way. We can’t fix the Feds but we can fix our youth because even one more case of Muslim-committed terrorism may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back as far as Muslims in America.

      Finally, just like you don’t appreciate your father being disrespected, you should have similar tact towards other students of knowledge, like Dr. Ali. You don’t have to agree with him or Yasir or any of the shayookh, but you don’t have the right to question their intentions. Only Allah knows what Dr. Ali has done for the ummah (within America and in his trips to Pakistan Kashmir for earthquake relief), and let’s be careful of our pronunciations.

      • AnonyMouse says:

        No one is saying that two wrongs make a right. As I said in my disclaimer, I do not in any way, shape, or form support or justify terrorism, extremism, or radicalism.

        What we are saying is that when we use cases such as that of Muhammad Osman Muhammad (the 19-year-old arrested) to warn about the dangers of radicalism in our community, it hurts rather than helps the cause – because you’re not using a ‘legitimate’ radical, you’re using a very dodgy, suspicious, and flimsy case made by the FBI.
        As this article (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/11/28/fbi/index.html) points out, the FBI successfully thwarted its own plot.
        Yes, Muslim youth do need to be educated – mostly about how not to be manipulated by the feds.

        Ah, the details always differ, but isn’t it obvious that the end result is always the same? Again, there have been more than a few cases where the FBI/CIA attempt to catch ‘radical Muslim leaders’ under charges or allegations of radicalism/ espousing terrorism, etc. but failing that, resort to issues of immigration, fraud, and other technicalities to get what they want.

        Finally, I do not question the intentions or make judgements of the author or other students of knowledge about their work (may Allah reward them for it), but when I see articles and lectures like this, it sorely grieves me that those whom we look up to for leadership and knowledge begin talking like representatives of the White House.

        • Ali Shehata says:

          Salaam alaikum

          I knew that I was going to get abused for this post subhanAllah. A simpering apologist? Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon.

          Where there have been concerns about entrapment, the issue here is that this person was already reaching out for international assistance. Do we not question why a Somali American wanted to hook up with Pakistani terror groups? Do we not wish to look deeper to understand what mental process is happening to drive people to these thoughts and the desire to kill???

          If this had been some quiet teen enjoying his life and the FBI turned him to extremist thought that would be different. Yet the fact is that he was already treading that path and they decided to control his environment rather than watch and see what happens.

          In this country, we do have freedom of speech yet when someone starts visiting extremist websites, verbally promoting their ideas and then taking physical steps to get into contact with them – then you have a disaster in the making.

          So the issue that we should be concerning ourselves with is not the legality of this technique – I leave that to lawyers to debate the entrapment – we need to understand why some of our Muslim youth are being swayed by these ideas to begin with. At the end of day, I know that if someone came and offered me the chance to kill people that no matter what, I would refuse and my first call would be to law enforcement.

          And Allah knows best.

          • Mansoor Ansari says:

            This issue is of critical importance in two predominant circumstances today: 1) where someone considers terrorizing or making war against their fellow citizens, and 2) when an American citizen or legal resident goes overseas to join a foreign army. This second case has happened in three distinct places in the most recent past; Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan. Yet some Muslims have been deluded into thinking that they “need” to do this in order to “help” their fellow Muslims.

            Dr. Ali

            Regarding the 2nd point, you gave many evidences to proof what the youth are dong is wrong but in the Afghan war in the 70s, many muslims from Uzbekistan, Tajikstan & Turkmenistan (part of USSR at the time) joined the Afghan mujahideen and were infact encouraged to do so. How did the ruling change when the occupiers were Russians to now that the occupiers are Americans or Israelis?

            Till we don’t understand this, it’s quite hard to see the ruling not following the tune of US. We need to know why the fatawas have changed?

            And regarding not rebelling against the ruler, these fatawas come from Saudi Arabia where most of these shuyookh studied, but come these fatawas didn’t apply to the Saudi royal family when they fought against the Khalifa or other Muslim rulers to gain power, infact the scholars from the area supported them!

            What changed?

          • AnonyMouse says:

            Do we not question why a Somali American wanted to hook up with Pakistani terror groups?

            Actually, according to the FBI files, there was no known or concrete link between the bro and any Pakistani terror groups. The FBI began monitoring his emails on the basis that he was in contact *with* someone in Pakistan… no mention of who it was. (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/11/28/fbi/index.html)

      • passerby says:

        Br. Amad,

        What do you mean when you say internal and external factors ? How does one know the intention of a terrorist ? Terrorizing others is unnatural way to think about one’s place in any community. Muslims who independently break laws don’t carryout violence simply because they intend to do harm. I don’t believe the so-called Muslim terrorists actually intend terror, rather they intend security, and justice for their brothers and Muslims. While these actors try to implement justice through questionable means, their intention is clearly anything but terrorism. Their true intention is Justice, and Security and nothing less.

        I also feel however, the same is not true for another group that meets the definition of terrorism: statesmen of your nation. Perhaps someone should write an article on specific politicians who are responsible for specific wording of American foreign policies directly leading to terrorism in parts of Musim world.

    • Umm Reem says:

      isten – I have experienced, on a very very personal level (those who know who I am/ who my father is will know what I mean), what the government security/ secret forces are doing to Muslim leaders and community members in the West. I have witnessed them trying to set up an Imam; setting spies amongst the congregation; trying to get someone to entrap said Imam by telling him “send me to Jihad, I have the weapons and I’m willing!”; monitoring phone lines; trying to alternatively intimidate and bribe community members to spy on, entrap, and just plain old lie about fellow Muslims.

      One way or the other, directly or indirectly we all have experienced this “setting up to entrap” work of the govt. BUT if it wasn’t the weakness of our own people, it would not have been possible for “others” to break us apart like this…Ali Timimi, our own Muslim brothers testified against him…whether they were bribed by FBI or not…if ,we, Muslims were STRONG in thier imaan, “they” would not have been able to get people from within our community to spy or betray their own brethern…wAllahu ta’ala ‘alam

      In the case of Mohammad Osman, wAllahu ‘alam if he knew his duties and role as a Muslim, no FBI or CIA could have bribed or corrupted him into any terrorist act…in fact the minute they approached him, he woudl have reported it to the authorities instead of giving in to the trap…that is where WE are lacking our role…that we are not doing enough in educating our youth, in speaking out against radicilasim/terrorism, and giving our youth an alternative…wAllahu ta’ala ‘alam

      may Allah protect us from this fitan and guide me, my family and all Muslims to the siraat ul mustaqeem

      • Aasiyah says:

        I agree with you Umm reem.

        If one knows his/her religion you can not be set up. Hold on to your faith firmly and apply your knowledge. I know my religion, I know my boundaries and I will not fall for any person who is trying to set me up for such a thing as terrorism.

        Again, this comes down to knowledge. We need to educate ourselves from a reliable source, and stop acting on our emotions. That goes for all the brothers and sisters who are trying to dismiss this article. It is truly a shame how blind some of our brothers and sister are these days.

        We need to turn back to the Quran, and Hadiths.

        May Allah protect us from extremism…ameen

      • UmmZayn says:

        “In the case of Mohammad Osman, wAllahu ‘alam if he knew his duties and role as a Muslim, no FBI or CIA could have bribed or corrupted him into any terrorist act…in fact the minute they approached him, he woudl have reported it to the authorities instead of giving in to the trap…that is where WE are lacking our role…that we are not doing enough in educating our youth, in speaking out against radicilasim/terrorism, and giving our youth an alternative…wAllahu ta’ala ‘alam”

        Agree 100%. Regardless of what the FBI did to entrap him, he had his own moral responsibility as a human being and as a Muslim who will one day stand before his Lord

      • ummousama says:

        Assalamu alaikum,

        Didn’t it occur to anybody here that, in our Ummah, there is a faction called “Hypocrites”? How are we going to “fix” all Hypocrites? If the Hypocrites were present at the time of Rasulullah (salla Allah alayhi wa sallam), do you think that we will be free of them? If the Hypocrites were helping the kuffaar against the Muslims back then, do you think we will be able to eliminate them nowadays?

        I am not saying that the boy is a hypocrite, I am saying that many people work to destroy the Ummah, from outside and from within.

        The FBI set him up and he answered. What does it prove? Nothing. The FBI have studied and are professional in that kind of tactic. The poor guy had a penchant where he saw the injustice and wanted to do something. He had some people encouraging to do so. Why doesn’t the FBI employ people to calm those people down? Simple. They don’t want it. I am sure that, would the same tactics be used to calm him down and reason with him that this is not acceptable, then there was a great chance that he would never have acted upon it. What did the FBI achieved by setting him up? Did they destroy a network? They proved that “some Muslims” are ready to detonate a bomb. “Some non-Muslims Americans” are ready too.

        Another thing is that it transpired in this case that the FBI was actually behind it. I wonder if, one day, Wikileaks will reveal to us how many other attempts were actually controlled by it or the MI5 or other secret services.

        I am also wondering why there is so much fuss and so much fear put into people. I lived in London at the time of the IRA. In fact, at least twice my windows shaked because of an explosion nearby. Yet, I cannot remember so much debate and so much fear instilled in people. Speaking of IRA, the French also set them up in Paris and, if you speak French, you can goggle “Les Irlandais de Vincennes”. Maybe it will give you a page on Wikipedia which you can then read in English.

        So, it is completely normal for any Secret Services to set up people. Actually, when MI5 tried to recruit people speaking Arabic, they had so much more people asking for it than the number of positions available. Do you think all those people were calling themselves non-Muslims?

        The FBI wants to divide the Muslims. Don’t fall in the trap. They also want us to “clean” our own people. Again don’t fall in the trap. If Rasulullah (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) didn’t “fix” the Ummah (hypocrites), how are we, in an age where ignorance prevails, going to “fix” the Ummah?

    • UmmZayn says:

      Even IF the FBI made the bomb and strapped it to his body and then sent him off with a pat on his back, the fact remains that as a Muslim he didnt have the sense to stand up and say, wait a minute, I am going off to KILL innocent men, women and children and I will have no part in this.” I was myself so upset when I read about the involvement of the FBI in this whole “investigation”, but we cannot for a second pretend that its all their fault and they are just out to get us. Whether we are ready to admit it or not, we have a problem of radicalization in some of our youth and we need more and more of our shuyukh to boldly speak out on these issues to help correct this horrible problem

  3. AnonyMouse says:

    Re: Sh. Anwar al-Awlaki
    Uhhhh, does anyone remember that the only reason he left America in the first place was ‘cuz the CIA/ FBI was after him? And that he was later arrested in Yemen on America’s say-so?
    So if anyone’s gonna talk about the cause of radicalism… well, I guess we should start with the American government and its policies, shouldn’t we?

    • Amad says:

      I believe you should read YQ’s article in which he clearly points to the American government policies as being a large contributor to radicalism. So, pls brush up on MM’s past articles, I know you have been away from the net :)

      Secondly, the age-old axiom– two wrongs don’t make a right. I think most of us agree that Awlaki was mistreated, probably tortured in jail. And it is quite possible that it is therein that his hatred of America grew a million fold, tough to blame anyone for hating believed torturers. But that doesn’t mean that he can now express (indirectly) that my American family is halal for him to kill! Nor my American Muslim or non-Muslim neighbors. Their life and blood is sacred. Like we believe the life of all innocent human beings around the world is sacred. And let’s please quit the excuses that we continue to make for this man who has no doubt moved over to the dark side of khawarij mentality.

    • Aasiyah says:

      So what you’re saying is that the Muslims should lower themselves to the level others are on? I thought we needed to be above all that and JUST. I guess that skipped some people’s mind.

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Salaam alaikum

      Was not the Prophet (saas) and his noble Companions tortured by Quraysh? Not for one or two years mind you, but for over ten years. Did they not kill and mutilate Hamzah (ra)? Did they not drive him away from his beloved home of Makkah? Yet what was his response?

      As they were entering Makkah in the Conquest – Sa‘d bin ‘Ubadah carried the flag of the Ansar. When he passed by Abu Sufyan, he said “Today will witness the great battle, you cannot seek sanctuary at the Ka‘bah. Today will witness the humiliation of Quraish.” Abu Sufyan complained about this to the Prophet [saas] who got angry and said “No, today the Ka‘bah will be sanctified, and Quraish will be honored,” and quickly ordered that Sa‘d should be stripped off the flag.

      And when he (saas) addressed Quraysh what did he say to them?

      “O people of Quraysh! What do you think of the treatment that I am about to accord to you?”

      They replied:

      “O noble brother and son of noble brother! We expect nothing but goodness from you.”

      Upon this he said:

      “I speak to you in the same words as (Prophet) Yusuf spoke unto his brothers: He said: “No reproach on you this day,” [12:92] go your way, for you are free.”

      So why then should we say that someone who had started the path to seeking knowledge has some sort of excuse to turn to this path of evil? Should not our scholars and students of knowledge be the closest to following the tolerance and mannerisms of the Prophet (saas) and his Companions?

  4. Aftab Saeed says:

    U write well and your intentions r also good. But listen to the brothrs and sisters who have commented on your article. The war against Terror is a fraud and most of the failed “blowing up” activities r traps to get the Muslims or at least put terror in the minds of the Americans against Muslims so that the American govt can invade and wrest the resources found in Muslim countries. Never was there a more satanic govt than the US since its very inception.

    • Amad says:

      Really? No more satanic government? What about the British and their imperialism? What were your thoughts about America when it helped drive the Serbs out of Bosnia? Your history is as short-sighted as your comment.

      I don’t disagree, as I have stated before, that the government has severe foreign policy incompetence, mostly because it is driven by the Israel Lobby. But for the vast majority of Muslims in America, there is no better place to live in than here. Foreign actions cannot be the reason for anyone here to try to take out some innocent civilians. Whether we like it or not, there are enough keyboard jihadists who would like nothing better than going out “in style”. Jihad-cool is not imagination. It’s real.

      • AnonyMouse says:

        What were your thoughts about America when it helped drive the Serbs out of Bosnia?

        Sorry Amad, but this kind of just makes me gape in disbelief. Are we going to start pretending that American foreign policies are driven by the need for true justice, as opposed to national interests?!
        Please let’s not start praising America’s “rescue” of Muslim Bosnians from the Serbs when we all know that it was done out of fear of what Communist Russia was/ would be capable of doing to them.

        • Amad says:

          The problem with this attitude is not that atypical of the “we are not extremists but let’s not talk about them either”… everything good that America does is because of this and that. Half conspiracy, half innuendo, and a bit of truth. As if America or any other nation works outside its own self-interests. But when the interest coincides with something good for Muslims, it is okay, Zainab, to acknowledge it. I am sure the Bosnians are thankful. Give credit where its due.

          • nida says:

            Majority of Bosnians are not thankful nor happy – the people of Kosova definitely are. America never intervened during the Bosnian Genocide, just to be clear. They in fact, supported the embargo on the Muslims through out the years of conflict. It was only when Serbia’s ambitions shifted to Kosovo in ’98 and ’99 that NATO bombed Belgrade. Bosnia never benefited from anything. America carved our country up just like Palestine with the Dayton Peace Agreement. They gave the RS to Serbs, just like they aided in preserving Israel’s Occupation of Palestine to this day. And today, American ambassadors to Bosnia are supporting the autonomy of RS and it’s future independence from our country.

            200,000 Muslims were killed before anyone cared to put a halt on that war – and today they are prosecuting ‘war time Muslim terrorists’ who were defending their unarmed people during time of conflict (six of which were held at Guantanamo Bay). We are still the bad guys – so I don’t see how this example should prove America’s benevolence toward Muslims.

            It is not about trying to find fault with everything America does – you don’t even have to look hard to see how messed up its foreign policy is, and I don’t think anyone here is denying that.

            It’s about acknowledging the fact that that these very realistic problems are one of the root causes in the radicalization process of our youth. INJUSTICE. Sure the response of ‘terrorism’ or equal injustice may not be appropriate; however we have to keep addressing the bigger picture.

            We cannot put band-aids on wounds which require major surgical assistance. This entire system has created the conditions under which our youth is becoming more radical. And I don’t see anything wrong with radicalism as long as it is peaceful in nature. All radicalisms are not violent. Radical simply means fundamentally different.

            What is most important of all is that we have to present peaceful alternatives to solving these big issues. Encourage young Muslims to participate in the political process, and strive to attain the desired changes in the society they live in and are a part of. No one is going to do it for us, unless we as Muslim Americans do it ourselves.

          • Amad says:

            Nida, we can keep going round and round on what Bosnians think… unless you have a statistical poll?
            I have said it over and over again, on many occasions and in many posts (I have the most posts on America’s foreign policies and internal injustices– check the history), but that’s something we cannot control. But we agree on the last paragraph. Let’s focus on what we can do. Change from within for within and for outside.

      • Ibn Mikdad says:

        “Majority of Bosnians are not thankful nor happy… ”

        This is quite true. We are aware that Americans decided to intervene only when the ravaging done by the Serbs became an embarrassment for the international community and because they didn’t want Russia to gain too much influence through the Serbs and feared that Iranians and Saudis would use Bosniaks to further their own interests. They let the bloodiest massacres like Srebrenica pass by, and when we went on a counter – offensive regaining much of the territory, they threatened to bomb us if we tried to conquer Banja Luka (and thereby effectively end Serbian separatism in Bosnia). To this day, they have been very reluctant to do anything significant about the changes in the Bosnian constitution (a.k.a. Dayton Peace Accords, which is a brain bastard child of Richard Holbrooke, current US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and the assistant secretary for European and Canadian Affairs under Clinton) that keep us in a deadlock, preventing us to make any serious progress as a country and keeps the option of the country’s disintegration open by allowing Serbs to operate an ethnically cleansed territorial unit within the country and refusing to pressure them to accept changes in the constitution that would make the country more functional. When former (again, Clinton – nominated) US ambassador to Croatia William Montgomery recently said that the only solution for Bosnia was to peacefully partition it, it just added to the doubts that an allegedly friendly Clinton administration had more sinister intentions with the help it provided.

  5. Kashif says:

    Also regarding the point you raise with respect to obedience to the rulers where you quote Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, “You must listen to the ruler and carry out his orders, even if your back is flogged…”.

    Do you think that Rasulullah intended in these words for us to follow leaders the likes of the Yemeni president who, it was recently revealed (via wikileaks), was inviting the US to bomb areas of Yemen and then sought to “cover up” this crime by claiming that it was the work of his own Yemeni forces?

    “We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours,” Saleh said in January talks with General David Petraeus, then commander of US forces in the Middle East, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable published by the New York Times.

    The daily said the remarks prompted Yemen’s deputy prime minister to “joke that he had just ‘lied’ by telling parliament” that Yemeni forces had staged the strikes against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni arm.

    Don’t you fear Allah?

    I’m sorry to say this, but i am in no way surprised that youth fed up with apologist drivel (like this article) are ending up in the hands of extremists!*

    * That is not to say that i believe that the youth you refer to is guilty as charged.

    • Amad says:

      If you cannot be respectful in your comments, and cannot address the issues raised in the article except for broad-brush emotional statements, then pls don’t be surprised if your comments are removed.

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Sadly, it often appears to me that some people only skim through what is written and then jump to insult – often with the worst of manners. I really wonder Kashif if you read the article at all. You question the words of the Prophet (saas) when they are quite clear. You ignore the words of Ibn Abil-‘Izz al-Hanafi and Malik ibn Deenar. So if you would ignore all of that, what then could I possibly say?

  6. Musa says:

    Amazing! MuslimMatters sees the act of bending over as ‘benefit’ and the higher moral path.

    Stop using Qur’an and Sunnah to justify your own fears and desires.

  7. n says:

    im a practicing muslim .. not an extremist at all.. but this series of articles lately that are supposed to show us the middle way arent really ending up like that.

    They sound like : The US is doing so much for us, so let’s be thankful and forget about all the backhanded cunning tactics they are using to go after muslims and their leaders in so many ways.

    Perhaps the brothers who gave this talk has no idea of the kind of injustice that is being metted out to muslims in the US? because i cant imagine anyone intelligent writing an article like THIS after knowing the details of ali tamimi’s case, ahmed abu ali’s case, the 3rd grade teacher from darussalam who is jailed, the shuyookh they have arrested/deported on various charges.. i mean WOW im really surprised.

    i think y’all mean good and while u may want to ‘talk about this hot topic’, i feel that in the end, you can’t really speak THE TRUTH on muslimmatters perhaps. Allah knows best. Perhaps if the truth cannot be spoken, perhaps it is better to not speak :-/

    Im sorry but any president simply ‘stating’ that islam is great bla bla DOES not have any weight with a muslim like myself while we know their CLEAR ACTIONS.

    Allah knows best.

    • Amad says:

      Perhaps the brothers who gave this talk has no idea of the kind of injustice that is being metted out to muslims in the US?

      Perhaps you should stop being presumptuous?

    • Amad says:

      Can you address any of the points raised in the article, or are you here for negative cheer-leading?

    • Aasiyah says:

      sadly even a practicing Muslim thinks that condemning a person who wants to blow up innocent people is wrong. If you practice I hope you are practicing the right way and know the truth about Islam, and if you do, you should know going out and killing people – for what reason I still do not know- is plain wrong. If someone doesn’t like the “climate” here in the USA, the borders are open, and LEAVE, and lets see how much tolerance other countries will have for your extremism.

  8. n says:

    im also not suprised that after reading this kind of ‘balanced commentary’ on today’s situation, many youth would go the route of the extremists.

    • Amad says:

      And what are YOU doing to help the situation other than lamenting about our “sad situation”?

      • AnonyMouse says:

        Well, I know for sure that there are many who have tried and continue to try helping the situation… in fact, some of those who were/ are being pursued and investigated by the Feds for ‘radicalism’ and ‘terrorism’ are actually those who went forward to them in the first place to educate them about the Muslim community and how to properly work against true extremism and radicalism.
        Of course, those same people were thanked for their services by being harassed and having charges laid against them by the self-same Feds.

  9. Ify Okoye says:

    I watched the trials in my local area including the paintball ones, Ali Timimi, Ali Asad, Ahmed Abu Ali with keen interest. Each case was different but definitely the government used some dubious tactics and the controversial terrorism enhancements to secure convictions and long sentences. The use of informants and instigators in these sting operations reeks of entrapment and/or playing on the emotions of the susceptible, we’ll have to see how the trial plays out.

    It’s good to see people of knowledge speaking up more directly and forcefully in recent times about extremism and using proofs from the religion to refute those who take an opposing path. For whatever reasons, discussions such as these were not as high profile and the space was largely ceded to those trying to justify extreme acts in the name of the religion until recently.

    I’d really like to see AlMaghrib release the IlmFest 2010 lectures that revolved around these topics because there is a great need for academic information to help clarify some of these issues and to counter the opposing message.

  10. AnonyMouse says:

    For example, how could we characterize the US as fighting Islam when they were the ones that helped to establish a shariah court system in Afghanistan and also helped to liberate that same country from the clutches of communism?

    This sentence just knocked the wind out of me.
    Dr. Ali, I ask you in all seriousness without an ounce of disrespect or mocking: ARE YOU SERIOUS? One need not be a political scientist or historian to know that the U.S. wasn’t going to Afghanistan’s aid out of love for Islam and Muslims, or even out of a sense of justice. It was done out of political interest, pure and simple. They did not help liberate anyone or anything from the clutches of communism; it was the blood, sweat, tears, and the du’a of Muslims around the world that did the real work.

    One may say that the Americans gave the money that enabled the mujahideen to fight; well, look at Afghanistan and Iraq today, when the government is throwing literally millions of dollars into equipping their soldiers better than the mujahideen ever were, and look at how they continue to fight and die, for longer than it ever took the true mujahideen to defeat the communists!

    • Mansoor Ansari says:

      When did US help establish shariah in Afghanistan? Please educate me?

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Salaam alaikum Sister

      Please read the article well before accusing me. I am rather saddened by the sharp and classless words that have been thrown at me thus far in these comments. It is possible that you may have missed where I wrote:

      The real issue here is that America – as other countries and empires have done from time immemorial – is acting internationally upon its strategic interests.

      America doesn’t care about setting up a Sharia court anymore than it cares about setting up a monkey court; it cares about how that system will impact its own people and its own interests. America is not doing anything different than what any empire has ever done since the beginning of time, and that is to preserve its own interests. At the present moment in history, it is beneficial for America to at times be in conflict with Muslims and it is beneficial at times for them to support Islamic initiatives in some countries. This is the norm.

      I am not a lawyer here for American foreign or domestic policy. I never once said that I agree with every one of their policies, nor that they are upon the truth that Allah has sent down. I only said that what they are doing is irrelevant to how we practice and implement our deen.

      And while we are on the issue, don’t think for one moment that I haven’t experienced their heavy hand in my own personal life. I have spent many a sleepless night because of various American agency actions in my life. Just because I don’t blog about it doesn’t mean I am unaffected. I complain of that to Allah and I reflect upon my own deficiencies as a Muslim as I have advised people to do in this post.

      We cannot influence American, European, Asian or Middle Eastern foreign policy – but we can influence our own community actions. We can keep crying about injustices in the system until we are blue in the face, but that is a waste of time and makes us only forget the role that we do have to play in bettering ourselves. I remind you with the authentic hadith of Khabbab ibnal-Arrat:

      ‘I approached the Prophet when he was reclining in the shade of the Ka‘bah one day. This was in the days when we had received some harm from the pagans (tortured by them). I said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allah, will you not ask God to help us? Will you not pray for our relief from this persecution?” He sat up red in the face and said: “Among the followers of God before you were those who were thrown in a ditch and then sawed in half. Yet this did not make them turn away from the worship of God. And others had their skin combed with iron combs to the point that the flesh was lifted from the bones yet they too were not swayed from the worship of God. For there is no doubt that God will cause Islam to spread until a person can ride from San’a to Hadramaut (two distant cities in Yemen) and he will not fear anything except God and the wolf regarding his sheep. Yet you are a people who are too hasty!” (Ahmad)

      Here he also complained of heavy handed and unjust tactics, and the Prophet (saas) got angry with him for that! We have not experienced so much harm compared to what others did before us and THEY were more patient than us. I ask you not to consider me, for I know that I am insignificant, but how can you disregard the words of the Prophet and our noble scholars that I have continued to resort to?

      • Asif says:

        Salam,

        I am currently doing my dissertation on U.S Foreign Relations concentrating on the Friedmanite discernment and its aggrandizement in the post-modern capitalist era. So as a student of U.S foreign policy, I would really love to know how the U.S helped establish a sharia court in Afghanistan. Please provide evidence from suitable legitimate thinkers in this field. I only ask because this is the first time I ever heard this claim.

        • Ali Shehata says:

          Can you tell me what is the court system in Afghanistan right now? The US occupied that land and instituted a regime change. In that process did they not have a say in what kind of justice system would be put into place?

          • Asif says:

            So wait your saying that the current court system in Afghanistan is a legitimate sharia?

            Really?

            The judicial body of the Afghan government is pegged on standards of its constitution, tribal acquiescence and its countless articles, and in some instances hanafi fiqh. So is this your definition of a sharia court?

            A like minded individual can also argue that the ones whom you claimed assisted in establishing a sharia court, destroyed a sharia state. Overall your argument is intellectually vacuous. Marx defined this as ‘selective amnesia’ you ignore the fact that a sharia was destroyed (according to some) in addition to the death of thousands, concurrently placing a volatile leadership which according to the U.N as well CIA figures show controls 97% of the heroin trade. But wait they established a “sharia court” and that is your argument to articulate the altruistic nature of the U.S?

      • Adnan says:

        “At the present moment in history, it is beneficial for America to at times be in conflict with Muslims and it is beneficial at times for them to support Islamic initiatives in some countries. This is the norm.”

        Can you name those benefits for me, please?

        Also, what exactly are the interests of the U.S.?

        Thanks

        • Kashif says:

          I also don’t think that America’s policies are solely driven by strategic (worldly) interests, because if such were the case, the Americans would support the Arab states in the way they support the Jewish state now.

          The Arab population is many, many times the size of the Jewish population. It represents a bigger market for the US, and due to the huge natural resources the Arab states control, its a no-brainer that strategically America should pay more attention to keeping the Arab states happy than the Jewish state. In fact, America’s blind support for Israel is counter to its own interests because of the loss of credibility it suffers around the world on this count.

          Since the few million Jews of Israel get America’s full backing as opposed to the near hundred million Arabs, it can only point to the fact that American policies are driven not only by strategic interests, but also ideological and religious interests. And the religious (Christian-Zionist) beliefs of US Presidents going back generations and generations is well-documented.

  11. ahmed says:

    I’m shocked to read this article – seems like another “student of knowledge” trying to join the bandwagon of moderate islam, with amad cheerleading for them by responding to every single comment.

    We need to, instead, educate our youth about the tactics of these intel agencies & how to stay away from them. Those tips would be very useful. I hope one of these knowledge of students can post something on that topic.

    • Amad says:

      I think if you followed MM regularly or did some basic research, we have provided advice on how to deal with the intelligence agencies, if approached for “fishing”. However, our community leaders have been and should continue to actively engage with the FBI so that next time a sincere agent finds a troubled youth (like all agencies, there are good and bad apples in it), he will direct a community leader to him, instead of taking him to the gallows!

  12. Yahya Ibrahim says:

    Bismillah,

    I pray that Allah give us strength in this dunya to speak the truth and receive its reward in the akhira.

    Dr. Ali I am pleased to see you writing and speaking on this urgently needed topic. I pray for your continued success Akhi.

    It disturbs me to see a variety of comments in blind support of what is CLEAR ERROR. Please keep these things in mind:

    1- My brothers and sisters know that the moment a person calls to the killing of another without just proceedings and governing state sponsor and mandate, THAT YOU ARE TO ABANDON THEM and rally against them.

    2- My brothers and sisters, know that a person who has done righteous deeds in the past and has been upon the truth before, DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE TO BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY when they err or call to what is clear Moral and religious misguidance. Love of the truth must overcome our love for an individual. What Al-Awlaki calls to is not the Truth, it is falsehood.

    3- Do not listen, download, or view any recordings past or present or future for Al-Awlaki. What benefit you can get from him you can get from others insha Allah.

    I do not know Al-Awlaki, but I know that if he was upon the Truth before, he is not upon it now. That is not just a personal determination. That is what our elders in faith and knowledge proclaim, that is enough for me and for you.

    If the case against al-Awlaki is not clear to you yet and you deem him innocent you have done your religious duty by staying away from what is doubtful at the least!

    I pray that Allah return al-Awlaki to the path of moderation and Truth. I pray to Allah for guidance!

    I ask Allah to protect us where ever we may be and in whatever land we call home.

    If I have erred it is me and Allah and His Messenger are free of error.

    Yahya Adel Ibrahim
    as I depart Canada, home to Australia – I pray that Allah protects us, both from crime and terrorism

    • Amad says:

      Jazakallahkhair ya Shaykh. We can see more and more that the shayookh upon Sunnah are coalescing around a common position. Recognition of America’s failings, recognition of over-zealous feds, but not as excuses. No more excuses. We should continue to lead a 2-prong effort. One working on the injustices of America (external and internal) and the other on our youth– to highlight positive role models for them and guide their negative energy to positive consequences.

    • UmmZayn says:

      Jazakallahu Khayrane Shaykh. Ameen to your du’as

    • Mansoor Ansari says:

      1- My brothers and sisters know that the moment a person calls to the killing of another without just proceedings and governing state sponsor and mandate, THAT YOU ARE TO ABANDON THEM and rally against them.

      Are you advocating us to rally against US & their allies through out the world?

      • Amad says:

        Sure, you should rally against US foreign policies like many of us did WITHIN USA.

        But instead of worrying about others, how about focusing on our youth. How many do you want to see destroy their own lives, their families and their communities?

        • Mansoor Ansari says:

          What happened to those who became Muslims in Makkah? From a worldly perspective, their lives were destroyed by Quraish, their families were tortured and let’s not forget the sanctions levied on Nabi’s (saw) tribe.

          It’s quite right to condemn acts that are against Islam but don’t simply condemn actions because they will bring u hardships. If that was the attitude of the early Muslims, then Islam would not have spread like it did.

          And regarding ‘others’, the Ummah is like one body from my perspective and hundred of thousands if Muslims killed due to invasions of Muslim lands & innocent Muslims being killed daily by unmanned drones is far worse than being imprisoned on trumped up charges.

          • Amad says:

            And is this really abt targeting civilians?

            Yes, this post is about targeting civilians in the West. That’s where most of us live and this is what the blog’s focus is mostly– Muslims in the West.

        • Amad says:

          It’s quite right to condemn acts that are against Islam but don’t simply condemn actions because they will bring u hardships.

          Are you serious? Bringing hardships upon yourself because you want to blow up some innocent human beings is similar to the Muslims of Makkah?? There are ENOUGH hardships in being truthful and honest to your deen, raising children in an Islamic manner, doing dawah to your neighbor…

          Muslims don’t invite hardships because we enjoy them. The issue is not about condemning simply because the consequences are hard, because if that was the case, then not practicing Islam would be a better proposal. The condemnation is for haraam actions, which ultimately not only NOT benefit the individual’s akhirah but also destroy his life and the life of his family members, who may have had no knowledge of it. This is the highest form of injustice.

          • Mansoor Ansari says:

            Br. Amad I was not referring to those who are blowing up innocent bystanders and I stated that to begin with. I was referring to even condemning those who target the military forces of the occupiers.

          • Amad says:

            akhi Mansoor, I am sorry but this article isn’t about them, is it? We are dealing with Muslims in the West, and those youth that are getting a radical message, leading them to contemplate horrible things. This is what we are talking about.

          • Mansoor Ansari says:

            br. Amad

            But we condemn the youth who go overseas to fight the forces that occupying Muslim lands. As I had mentioned in an earlier post, Russian Muslims were praised & encouraged to fight along side Afghans against Russia. It was not considered haraam or an act of extremism to do so.. but now that the occupier is America. Hence it’s related to this post!

            And is this really abt targeting civilians? Would MM or any the shuyookh not call it extremism if ppl from countries that America is attacking, retaliate back by attacking military installations on American soil. Muslims orgs in America would condemn it & call it terrorism, the slogan is ‘America is going around attacking Muslims countries but they can’t retaliate back even against American military’. Can we really get thru to the youth with attitude?

  13. Hassan says:

    Brother/Sheikh Dr. Ali, its very noble and good to fight extremism and educate our youth not to follow the path. But it seems not working, whatever tactics and methods being used apparently are not enough or perhaps wrongly pursued.

    Perhaps there should be good brainstorming what would be good ways to do that. And I say this, because if you look at Sh Yasir Qadhi article and this article, 99% of people who are against extremism, do not seem to be happy and convinced by these articles, so how would these articles and methods be good for people with extremist tendencies?

    • AnonyMouse says:

      because if you look at Sh Yasir Qadhi article and this article, 99% of people who are against extremism, do not seem to be happy and convinced by these articles, so how would these articles and methods be good for people with extremist tendencies?

      JazakAllahu khairan, Hassan. This, I believe, is the crux of the matter – the vast majority of us, even those of us who strongly disagree with Dr. Shehata and Sh. YQ’s take on the issue of radicalism – are completely against extremism and terrorism.

      How do we approach the problem of radicalism in our communities from a balanced and independent stance, without sounding like federal mouthpieces? There has got to be a better way of tackling the issue and educating our youth than what is currently being attempted here.

      • deej says:

        I agree with this comment 100%

      • Amad says:

        How do we approach the problem of radicalism in our communities from a balanced and independent stance, without sounding like federal mouthpieces?

        I shudder to think what you would find balanced and independent, if this sounds like “federal mouthpieces”.

        Everyone’s circumstances colors they way they perceive events. As you have mentioned before, your father’s experiences haven’t been good in dealing with the government. There could have been two reasons: the wrong agents (malicious, hateful, etc.) or the wrong attitude from your dad’s side or a combination. I don’t know which one it was, but I can understand how you would be extremely distrustful and pessimistic about dealing with them.

        But clearly some Muslim leaders have had success in working with the government. AlMaghrib had a public round-table with the FBI where a very useful flow of information took place.

        Alhamdulilah, our own Br. Mohamed Elibiary was recently was sworn in as a homeland security adviser, the only Muslim to achieve such a position. In his position, he can directly influence those in power to recognize our communities’ legitimate concerns and also to better understand Muslim communities, as his testimony on “working with communities to disrupt terrorist plots” shows“.

        In other words, there is still hope. We can’t just pack our bags and sit at home, fearful of the feds next move. We have to engage them and work with them in whatever capacity to first prevent radicalism, and secondly if such happens, prevent harm from it.

    • Amad says:

      And I say this, because if you look at Sh Yasir Qadhi article and this article, 99% of people who are against extremism, do not seem to be happy and convinced by these articles

      And this is based on what analysis? Trolls are usually sent by some sites who hate MM with a passion, yet cannot sleep without browsing our site. These trolls, working out of their parent’s basements, the typical keyboard jihadists, have much more time than the average working Muslim professional or student in the West. So, just because there are many negative comments all at once, doesn’t highlight any statistical conclusion. I would say the majority of Muslims who are against extremism are very happy to see such articles. They just don’t have time to argue with the web addicts.

      • Hassan says:

        Perhaps this mentality would not work either, Amad bhai, that those comment are by trolls (meaning those who do not agree with you are trolls?). How calling them trolls would help them get away from extremism?

        And again focusing on people that do agree with the ulema and students of knowledge about dangers of extremism and our duty to curb it/ fight it. I know many such people who agree in principle but disagree on methods, yet they did not comment because of lack of time. Similarly you have so many of your contributors that are disagreeing.

        So instead of just all out rejecting concerns, (like mentioned by anonymouse), think about them (ofcourse you can still end up disagreeing, that is fine).

        • Amad says:

          I am not saying all are trolls of course… for a fact I know you and Zainab aren’t. I am just saying that you can’t get away with saying 99% are on your side :) That’s all.

        • Umar says:

          I think there is a little misunderstanding.

          Trolls or trolling is a word used to describe people jumping from site to site spamming and posting inflammatory messages.

          Amad was not literally describing them as green ugly monsters!

      • Ahmed says:

        “So, just because there are many negative comments all at once, doesn’t highlight any statistical conclusion. I would say the majority of Muslims who are against extremism are very happy to see such articles. They just don’t have time to argue with the web addicts.”

        Sorry Bro, but seems like you cannot swallow the fact that a lot of people DONT agree with these articles, whatever the reason. Be careful about your choice of words since you cannot label all of them as trolls and maybe you should provide some statistics.

        We can go back and forth but it’s only a waste of our precious time. We all have some sort of responsibility in dealing with the ‘radicalization’ of our youth or adults alike. Let’s agree that we all woke up late and missed the bus. The leaders of our communities are the last ones to speak against anything whether its about fixing our youth or protesting against our government…and when they do, they all sound the same. Times have changed and fiqh changes with time (not completely) but seems like both sides – the Radicals vs the Guided ones (aka American muslims) seem to use the same tactics against each other. You ignore their fiqh and they ignore yours…..but somehow they are very effective in their ‘dawah’ while we keep getting knocked down over and over. And articles like these dont help much….it’s the same rhetoric under a different title. I dont know Dr Ali and with all due respect, this article is one sided and apologetic….and our youth are not looking forward to this. They need answers to questions and reasons to why all of this is happening to Muslims abroad and here in the US. Why don’t you rebuke the government than going after our youth??? Why don’t you really sit down with youth (not just a few but a lot of them) and get their honest opinions and hear their concerns. The youth have no outlet to voice their concern, they have feelings and emotions for fellow muslims in other countries and feel the pain. They may have been victim to abuse right here in the US. It can be a million other reasons but hear them and address them accordingly.

        The strong bond of brotherhood/sisterhood in Islam will ensure that we will feel pain for ANY innocent Muslim adult or child that gets killed injustly OR when we hear about a sister/mother/wife getting raped OR a family losing their home. The pain you feel maybe short lived since it was someone’s father/brother/son who was executed OR someone else’s sister/mother/wife who got raped repeatedly and you feel safe and secure in your house while someone else lost theirs. But there are many out there who are torn apart when they hear news like this and we have not provided enough for them to cope with these situations wisely……on the other hand (Radikals) seem to have mastered the exploitation of these situations.

        We are nothing but a bunch of cowards…..all talk and no play….we all are to be blamed and must share the burden. May ALLAH s.w.t guide me and all other Muslims on the straight path and protect us from the fitnah of our times…Ameen

        • Mansoor Ansari says:

          Br. Ahmed Jazak’Allah khair for ur comment. The camp of ‘moderate’ American Muslims is failing to give any meaningful solution & their rhetoric is falling on deaf ears.

          • Amad says:

            Mashallah. The camp of moderate Muslims is not giving any solutions, and who is then? The people who spent day and night bemoaning American policies? The people who think it is haram to vote and participate? The people who think it is haram to integrate in our communities? The people who defend every terrorist plotter by saying that either (a) its a false-flag operation or (b)entrapment forgetting the fact that to cause the latter you need a willing participant?

            The issue is that many of the guys who oppose the “moderate” camp are devoid of any logical and principled solutions. They would rather complain and fret about everything but not raise a limb to do anything positive. Pls guide us to the positive actions of this other camp. I would like to see clear solutions and results (if available) provided.

            Until you can provide anything concrete, you and those who hate America with a passion, those who believe they have blood on their hands, those who believe our taxes make us accomplices to murder, PLEASE do us a favor. Leave. Do your hijrah to a Muslim land. This way you are not a hypocrite for taking advantage of a nation that you cannot stand. And at the same time, you can spare us this hopeless drivel.

          • Mansoor Ansari says:

            br. Amad,

            I see these two camps, the one u r in & the one awlaki is as two extremes.

            One doesn’t support any jihad (attacks on military of occupying countries & not innocent bystanders) & the other camp doesn’t support any dialog. If they do, I have yet to any article from either camp stating so and the articles published & videos released do give the picture I have.

            The ‘moderate’ shuyookh need to answer question like these (see link), as the radical one are and if we ignore it then more youth will be pushed to extremism.

            http://muslimmatters.org/2010/12/01/saving-our-youth-from-the-disease-of-radicalism/#comment-81899

            I m wrong in stating that MM or any the shuyookh would call it extremism/terrorism if ppl from countries that America is attacking, retaliate back by attacking military installations on American soil. Muslims orgs in America would condemn it & call it terrorism, the slogan is ‘America is going around attacking Muslims countries but they can’t retaliate back even against American military’. Can we really get thru to the youth with attitude?

            Br. Amad

            I hate America for it’s actions in the Muslim world, but I do love many things abt America at the same time. There are many things I believe the Ummah can learn from them, tolerance & equality for begin with.

            btw, I despise AQ more than America coz as Muslims they should they should know they can’t intentionally target innocent bystanders.

  14. Ameera Khan says:

    I’m not American so I would probably be called out as ignorant for saying certain things but, as a Pakistani, my life is influenced by whatever’s happening on the international scene so I still have a right to an opinion… and I’d have to go with AnonyMouse here. More than ever, today, we find how there’s no “good guy” and “bad guy” but it’s about strategic interests and profits, so feeling burdened by some American “favor” upon Muslims is just weird. It’s practically common knowledge!

    The Muslim world is all messed up, yes, and we *do* have problems with youth being violent and turning toward acts of terrorism, but does that necessitate going over-board in attempts to sound “normal” (hence trying to make American invasions look like heroic acts)? It may instead make people perceive “moderate” scholars and speakers in a negative light, which would work against the cause!

    Just wanted to let readers know opinions may vary on this website, while remaining within MM policies.

  15. Zayna says:

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink

    People, like horses, will only do what they have a mind to do and favorable circumstances won’t force one to do something one doesn’t want to. Masha’Allah, great article. Brother Ali.

  16. Mansoor Ansari says:

    Reading this article gives me the impression that not only are Muslim Matters fully behind American foreign policy in general, but they support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular.

    • Yasir Qadhi says:

      It would be wiser for you to control your tongue than to make such statements that you will be accountable for in the next life.

      Be angry at what is happening, but don’t let your anger blind you.

      Yasir

      • Mansoor Ansari says:

        This issue is of critical importance in two predominant circumstances today: 1) where someone considers terrorizing or making war against their fellow citizens, and 2) when an American citizen or legal resident goes overseas to join a foreign army. This second case has happened in three distinct places in the most recent past; Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan. Yet some Muslims have been deluded into thinking that they “need” to do this in order to “help” their fellow Muslims.

        Shaykh Yasir,

        Regarding the 2nd point Dr. Ali gives many evidences to proof what the youth are dong is wrong but in the Afghan war in the 70s, many muslims from Uzbekistan, Tajikstan & Turkmenistan (part of USSR at the time) joined the Afghan mujahideen and were infact encouraged to do so. How did the ruling change when the occupiers were Russians to now that the occupiers are Americans?

        Till we don’t understand this, it’s quite hard to see the ruling not following the tune of US. We need to know why the fatawas have changed?

        And Jazak’Allah khair for the reminder shaykh, I meant no disrespect but that’s how these articles are coming across as. I truly hope I m wrong as I have said it previously I have learned a lot from u & Dr. Ali and even MM.

        • Ahmed says:

          Ustaz Yasir or Dr Ali

          Can any one of you, or better, both of you respond to Mansoor’s question regarding the fatwa being changed? I think he has asked this like 2 or 3 times already and I haven’t seen any response.

          JazakALLAH khair

  17. Yasir Qadhi says:

    Salaam Alaikum

    The root of the problem, as I see it and discussed in my previous article, is that most of the youth who are sympathetic to radical views are viewing the world in a two-camp state (and reading specific hadith that might apply at specific times as if they are applying to our times and situation). ‘You are either with us or against us’ is the philosophy.

    And one ‘us’ is America with all of its foreign policy, and the other ‘us’ is Awlaki and Bin Laden.
    Herein, of course, lies the problem. As I said in my previous article, if those are the only two options, we are in serious trouble. I don’t view myself as being on either side in such a simplistic equation.

    Yes, it does appear from what we know at this stage that the FBI entrapped this kid, manipulated him, brainwashed him, paid him (after depriving him of a legitimate job), set him up, arrested him and then used him as a ‘trophy’ in their ‘War on (of?) Terror’. All of this seems (as of yet) patently obvious. But in the end of the day (if we are to believe this report), the kid was actually brainwashed and did believe that he would kill these people in the name of his religion.

    So, on the one hand, while I am furious at the FBI for their dirty and filthy underhanded tactics, I am also furious at this kid and his lack of Islamic knowledge and his misplaced zeal for actually wanting to kill people, thinking that this will benefit the religion. I wish I could sue the FBI for their tactics, but I also realize that the kid will most likely go to jail for pushing a button that he truly thought would kill civilians.

    What side does that make me on then? The answer is: neither.

    Most of these youth have a misplaced anger. They become so blind with rage against specific American politics that anyone who possibly criticizes our own youth for legitimate reasons is automatically labelled as being in agreement with those politics. Again, its the ‘two-camp’ view of the world.

    I have said it again and again, and repeat it here: the root cause of radicalization is foreign policy. Period. There are not ifs, ands or buts about it. If we can solve the foreign policy issue, we would have solved radicalization.

    Does this justify that radicalization? Of course not. When a young, zealous mind feels that rage growing and growing, and finds people to nurture that rage in an unhealthy direction (in this case, the FBI!), it will eventually turn to militancy.

    We keep on saying ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’. Excellent. So we need to change foreign policy, and we also need to work on our youth to express their anger in legitimate ways instead of illegitimate ones.

    Let some of us work on foreign policy and affecting it in a positive manner. Our youth really are naive about this issue and believe that no change can ever come about. They are woefully ignorant of the American political process. This is America, and when you have quantity and money, effective lobbying and public education does indeed have an impact (and its all a part of American politics). If a group of people originally from a foreign country could recently effect Congress in such a manner as to pass a resolution declaring a certain act that occurred almost a hundred years ago to be a genocide, believe me, it is possible to do other things as well (and for the record, I know that the ‘Armenian issue’ is one that is highly emotional amongst many groups of people and I have witnessed many outbursts from both sides, so I am not taking sides myself on whether it was a genocide or not as I have not researched it).

    But I myself am not in the business of politics. I cannot change foreign policy as effectively as I can influence the Muslim community. So for me, I see it more relevant and pertinent to try to direct this anger in our youth to more conducive and responsible good. That does not mean that I am siding with our government in its foreign policies or domestic entrapments. It merely means that I view the actions of these youths to be in violation of our Islamic laws. And I also view their actions to cause more HARM than good – what good will it do if Faisal Shehzad blew a car up in Times Square, or if this kid killed a few hundred people, or if al-Qaeda launched another attack on US soil killing innocent civilians? Forget the religion issue (even though I can’t believe someone thinks killing non-combatants and women and children is allowed?), what is the benefit gained?

    As everyone living in America knows, if we continue to allow these youth to be influenced (by the FBI’s false entrapments, or by Awlaki) it will only make foreign policy worse (as people’s attentions will be directed to other matters rather than addressing the issue at hand), and it will also make domestic policies more restrictive.

    Therefore, I will continue (and I know our scholars that we all look up to and associate with in this land will continue) to concentrate on what we are more effective at: educating the Muslims about how best to respond, and how best to channel their concerns and anger.

    We are all devastated when we see the effects of US drones on Afghani children, or the expulsion of Palestinians from their lands, or the imprisonment of our youth and women and scholars. But killing every American you see on the street won’t benefit anyone in the short or long run, and even more blood will be shed.

    And by the way, that ‘American’ that you wish to target, might just be the guy who prays next to me at the Masjid, or the hijabi mother I see attending my classes, or the neighborhood friends my own children play with, or even my own son or daughter.

    So do you think that I can remain quiet when the stake are so high?

    I’m afraid this won’t be the last time you see articles targeting radicalization amongst our youth, either from MM or from myself.

    Yasir

  18. Tariq Ahmed says:

    May Allah preserve and protect our shuyukh, teachers, and students of knowledge who use what they have learned from the knowledge that Allah subhanahu wata ala sent us and which the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam left us, those who remember their Lord much, who contemplate His ayaat, and who are humble as they walk upon the earth.

    I have had the good fortune, tawfiq, to attend a course taught by Dr. Shehata on the Arbaeen collection of Imam an Nawawi, and from what I saw and heard he is just such an asset to the ummah. And I know nothing about him except good.

    If I disagreed with what he wrote here, I would not disagree with his intentions nor would I compare him to those who have been tyrants on the earth.

    My own studies in Islam are much more limited than his, but from I have studied and from what I have observed, those who commit violence wantonly, like donkeys lashing out, would be fewer in number if they were more appreciative of what they have. Do they want to save the world, or at least Islam? Have they established good relations with their parents? With their kin? With their neighbors — with all of their close neighbors?

    It is easy to be self-righteous. It is not so easy to be humble, and it is humility that Islam demands from each of us. May Allah count each of us among those who are humble before we find ourselves among the braying donkeys.

    • Amad says:

      jazakallahkhair Tariq for the personal bit on Dr. Ali’s classes. Some may be wondering why I am commenting so much. For one, of course I am passionate about the subject and the need to openly talk about the issues. Secondly, I know from personal experience, Dr. Ali’s deep and unwavering efforts for the community– how he engages with the youth, how he spent time in Pakistan for earthquake relief (a country with which he has no ties to except for Islam), how he is passionate about the deen. And don’t think he hasn’t been troubled by the feds… but he doesn’t allow personal dealings to affect his outlook on how Muslims should behave regardless of how the other party is unfair.

      Just thought to add this about the author before I see more comments questioning his intentions or knowledge about the issue.

  19. Just going to copy and paste my comment from YQ’s earlier article, because I feel it applies here as well. The question to ask is WHY was his brain ripe for washing by the federal agents? Islamic knowledge may be one aspect, as Shaykh Saab was saying, but…I think it may be something else:

    I feel that the article misses a big aspect of the internal factor – I’d like to see a case study on the Underwear Bomber’s personal life: how his family life was, whether or not he was picked on or bullied, whether he was successful in endeavors or felt pressure to succeed according to other’s goals and aspirations for him.

    I feel that a lot of “radical” youth – and I don’t mean California radical – are products of a lack of unconditional affection and love from those who are important to them. In my experience, the radical youth that I hear of or even speak to are broken-down emotionally, and that leads to spiritual voids which are filled by a “shaykh” telling them to do this or that and they will be considered a hero by the Ummah like Salahuddin, they will be loved by all of the oppressed brothers and sisters, and they will instantly get jannah.

    I feel like these “scholars” prey on emotionally battered individuals who come from broken homes (maybe not a physical split-up, but the family life is torn apart) or they feel unreasonable pressures from their parents or culture, and they are just searching for a cause to join so they can achieve that acceptance that they’ve been yearning for since childhood.

  20. Muwwahhid says:

    This article is the essence of the apologists today. All it’s saying is that Muslims should support America and its allies no matter what they do against the Muslims.

    1) The author uses ahaadeeth to show that we cannot fight. The Prophet (sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam) who spoke those words also spent the majority of his life in Madinah in Jihaad Fisabeelillaah and so did the Sahaabah and their followers. They didn’t refuse to fight because it would be ‘harming’ someone.

    2) Then the author says the actions of the youth today are causing no benefit to the Muslims. Firstly, let me make it clear that I do not support random killings but if the author is saying that the Muslims can’t fight back against America because it might cause hardship to the Muslims then he should be asked in what situation can honour and izzah be restored to the Ummah without some hardships happening? Is the author living in a fantasy world where the Khilafah will be restored and the Muslims will be victorious and their lands set free and the law of Allaah established without any hardships coming to the Muslims? Without any sacrifice? It’s a silly idea.

    3) The author says that America is not at war with Islaam and that Bush and Obama are friendly to the Muslims? Please wake up. Those same people who have invaded the Muslim lands, butcher, murder, rape innocent Muslims, steal their wealth, falsely imprison the Muslims, oppose the Shari’ah and Khilafah among a few of their crimes. How foolish is the author? Obviously they’re not going to come out in the open and say we are fighting Islaam but their actions have more than proven that.

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Once again, a comment long on criticism and un-Islamic manners, and completely devoid of any Qur’an and Sunnah. It reminds me of the many times that I have entered into a conversation with a Christian and they find they have nothing to refute my arguments about the validity of Islam, so they turn to insulting me instead. This would be a far more productive effort if someone would actually provide something from our deen to support what they say.

      • Muwwahhid says:

        How about the ijmaa that when the disbelievers invade the Muslims lands then jihaad becomes fardh ayn? The ahaadeeth you have given can not be used to justify abandoning jihaad or for allying with America against the Muslims. And FYI America was oppressing the Muslims long before 9/11 and there is doubt that 9/11 was done by Muslims at all. Your article can be seen as aiding the American government un their battle of hearts and minds

        • Ali Shehata says:

          Salaam alaikum

          Firstly, there is no ijmaa on this point. I encourage you to study this point better.

          Secondly, I never said once that anyone should abandon Jihaad but blowing up civilians in a Christmas parade, or people sitting drinking coffee or children in schools is WALLAHI not jihad. It is terrorism and I am certain that there is in fact Ijmaa on this point.

          Thirdly, you are slandering me and you should FEAR ALLAH and guard your tongue for I have not allied with anyone against Muslims. I have been critical of American foreign and domestic policy in the past.

          Fourth, you need to read better before commenting and learn the manners of Islam if you wish to be counted among them.

          • Muwwahhid says:

            Wa’alaykum salaam,

            Yes there is ijmaa on this point from the ulama of the salaf and the khalaf and if you want I’ll give you the references.

            Your article is condemning any form of military resistance which is wrong and I never said the blowing people up in a coffee shop is jihaad.

            What ever your intention is it is between you and Allaah. Ahlul Sunnah judge upon what is apparent and I’m just calling it as I see it. So it’s not slander.

        • Mansoor Ansari says:

          br. Muwaahhid

          Dr Ali is right that jihad does not becomes fardh ayn for all Muslims. And from what i heard most Imams is that it’s only fardh ayn for those frm the neighboring countries if they can’t handle it themselves.

          But at the same time these Imams didn’t label Muslims from the west taking part as haraam either.

    • slave of allah says:

      If you believe that the definition of “Jihad” or “fight back” is to blow up families and people on the streets, then you have certainly fabricated your understanding of Quran and Islam.

      Can you reread what you wrote, because it seems that you are contradicting yourself. Sheikh Yasir Qhadi was referring to the Oregon bomber.

      • Muwwahhid says:

        When did I say that it means those things? I said that the article is condemning ANY form of resistance which is wrong.

  21. Tariq Ahmed says:

    And as for the FBI, I encourage every person who actually knows about a crime or plot to report it. But do not be deluded ever that the FBI is bound by ethics or decency in its work. If they feel the need they will abuse you, or anyone you know, and plenty of people you have never met, and they will feel perfectly justified in it — truly the FBI and American law enforcement generally act on the premise that the ends justify the means.

  22. deej says:

    Why must we take names and label our Muslim brother Anwar Awlaki “extremist terror leader” ??

    Someone on this article said watch your words because on the DAy of Judgement you will answer for them?? What happened to watching our words when we labeled Awalaki with such nasty titles??

    Where is the proof that Awlaki is an extremist terror leader?? And I am not talking internet articles or websites falsely attributed to him, I am talking about DIRECT proof such as a CLEAR video of him or unmodified audio??

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    LEt us say you can come up with enough evidence to accurately coin the slander against Awlaki, in this case, what happened to application of the hadith “Help your brother whether he is the oppressor or the oppressed?”

    Instead our leaders are calling to boycott and denounce Awlaki???

    Please provide evidence that he is extreme before throwing him in the trash as the American media would love and applaud you for.

    • Amad says:

      Here’s your evidence, from Al Jazeera (the news channel bombed by America in Iraq, so hopefully they are not biased much for you):

      AJ: Does describing him as a “mujahid” mean you support what he did?

      Awlaki: Yes, I support what Umar Farouk has done…

      AJ: You have supported Nidal Malik Hasan and justified his act by saying that his target was a military not a civilian one. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s plane was a civilian one, which means the target was the US public?

      Awlaki: It would have been better if the plane was a military one or if it was a US military target. Al-Qaeda organisation has its options, and the American people live [in] a democratic system and that is why they are held responsible for their policies.

      [Source]

      What a sick mind. It would have been better to hit a military plane, but civilians are okay as all Americans, including my Muslim American family, are responsible for America’s policies.

      I doubt this is enough for you… the proof’s in the pudding if you are sincere.

      • deej says:

        I see your point of view but I don’t think you see th epoint of view of people who do not live in America who with their children and families are being blown to bits by machine guns and war weaponry FUNDED BY OUR TAXES.

        We are not innocent, and we claim that our country is carrying out our will, by our definition of a democracy. It is the “will of the people” we claim. Well we need to either reject the claim or own up to our actions as Americans.

        I absolutely do not agree with death of any innocent civilians ANYWHERE, but at the same time I think we should acknowledge and accept that we are part of a DEADLY war machine, and we are funding the war machine, and thus funding the death of hundreds of THOUSANDS of innocent lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as anywhere else America decides to spread our tax money.

        Is that sick for you? Or do you think we are justified in funding murderers?? Do you think we are innocent? No blood on our hands?

        LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING BECAUSE OF OUR TAX DOLLARS, WE CANNOT IGNORE THE REALITY THAT WE ARE IN FACT FUNDING THE KILLING OF THOUSANDS OF MUSLIMS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN. You think people want to see us dead for no reason? MAybe its because we are enjoying our meals at home and filinf for taxes every year, nonchalent to where our money goes and who it kills…even though it is killing our very own brothers and sisters.

        • JO says:

          You begin by denying that Awlaki is a terror leader, and when provided proof to the contrary (thanks Amad), you shift your argument to an issue of “perspective” of people outside the US.

          You clearly indicate that you “do not agree with death of any innocent civilians anywhere”, but then go one to state that Americans are responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians and insinuate that the inhabitants of this country are responsible as such & have blood on their hands (as the country is carrying out of will.) So on one hand you don’t agree with killing innocent people, and then on the other hand you present the exact flawed arguments used to justifying the killing of innocent civilians.

          Not sure I understand what your motivation is, are you trying to justify Awlaki’s position, or simply trying to provide some insight into his psyche. If the latter, his personal outlook on the situation doesn’t out govern the teachings of our Prophet (SAW)

          Furthermore, If you firmly believe your own words, aren’t you obliged to leave this country and stop funding the so called “war machine”?

          I can state that as an American currently working in Saudi Arabia, I sadly have more freedom to practice my deen in the US (I don’t even have the freedom to research my deen independently here, one example would be that Islamic sites like Islam-QA are blocked due to government web filtering, only approved government sources can disseminate religious content.)

        • Amad says:

          Interesting switch of topic. I didn’t express any “point of view”, I gave you facts, statements from the horse’s mouth.

          Do you accept then that Awlakis is an extremist who is okay with terrorism?

          I am not going to argue with the same ad nauseum points about American policies, I have written more against it than you anyone else on these pages. So, pls don’t patronize me.

          P.S. Thanks Jo, just saw your comment.

          • Mansoor Ansari says:

            The taxes argument is not valid as it’s mandatory for one to pay taxes.

            But what abt the argument that we r not innocent as we claim America is a democracy & democracy is the by ppl, for the ppl, of the ppl. If our govt comprises of ppl whom we want in govt & they enact on policies we want then how can we claim innocence.

            If u r going to say the action of our leaders r not what we want or approved by us then why r they in power? Why W. Bush reelected? If our claim is that democracy doesn’t work then why are even Muslims trying to bring to the other Muslim countries. With monarchies & dictatorships, atleast we know who’s responsible.

            Democracy seems like cloak to pass around blame in the end, stop promoting it if it doesn’t work!

        • Abdullah says:

          Assalam Alaykum,

          I have to say that Dr. Ali has been very clear in expressing his views. He clearly mentioned that he does not support the foreign policy of the United States. He has also clearly mentioned that he is against any act of violence towards innocent civilians whatsoever. The fact that he lives here and pays tax dollars does not necessarily mean that he is supporting US foreign policy. The situation is a lot more complicated than it seems. In fact the easy way out of the situation is to call for this “jihaad.” What it seems to me is that we as Muslims have lost the true essence of our Islam and have become a bunch of (fill in the blank). A man who has spent time to write an article with the intention of benefitting the ummah (and please dont ask me how i know his intention; its called husn-Adhan), should be respected and understood. This same man traveled to Pakistan and helped in the relief efforts after the earthquake. We should not respond with emotion. That is exactly how the US public responded after 9/11 and which created the climate for what we face today. I myself am highly skeptical of the media-fed 9/11 story as well as other “plots.” But the fact remains that we as Muslims are responding with emotion over logic. If we indeed are believers in Allah, we should know that victory is from Allah. We were created to worship Allah. What has happened is that people have forgotten this main purpose and have strayed. They have had so many problems in their lives. The result of which caused them to look for a solution; the only solution is to turn to Allah. Instead they have turned to religion as a means of solving their problems. They don’t realize that they are not to worship religion, but worship Allah. This is why you have terrorists that want to establish their “shariah,” not because they want to establish the laws of Allah, but rather to “solve their problems” after being so distraught and witnessing horrible things in prison etc. They want the quick fix, that is, by whatever means possible establish the shariah and then feel good about it afterwards. This may even include people resorting to unjustified acts of terrorism being weakly justified by this idea of “establishing Sharia.” They do not realize that the ends do not justify the means. In fact, they are opposing shariah in order to establish Shariah which is an inherent contradiction. This is obviously never bound to work. Islam came to spread peace and the purpose of the Shariah is to spread peace, therefore it must be done peacefully. This idea of going against the government and creating anarchy is typical of distraught people with hopeless lives who want to be heard and want others to feel the same way they do. They do not realize that everybody is placed in different facets of life and society by Allah and that not all people think in the same manner that they do. Wallahu Tala Alam.

          • Mansoor Ansari says:

            This is why you have terrorists that want to establish their “shariah,” not because they want to establish the laws of Allah, but rather to “solve their problems” after being so distraught and witnessing horrible things in prison etc. They want the quick fix, that is, by whatever means possible establish the shariah and then feel good about it afterwards.

            bro what happened to husn-Adhan?

  23. Yasmine says:

    this might come off a bit out of context and outside of the conversation at hand… but why would anyone writing for MUSLIM MATTERS (especially-being “conservative and all”) expose himself that he TOO celebrated a holiday that originated from christianity and is a christian “holiday???”

    it lead me to think that the reason our youth is falling into radicalism the lack of zeal to gain knowledge of their deen and be sincere about it. Allahu Alam

    and whats up with always trying to call ourselves americans… yeah we are and what does that even signfiy? that non-americans are not worthy of respect. this is getting old and redudant.

  24. Atif says:

    Assalamu’alaykum
    Jazaak Allah Khayr to Dr. Ali and all the shuyookh that responded, this was a much-needed article.
    Although I agree with everything thing said in the article, let me play Devil’s Advocate for a couple of points (for the sake of verification).

    We know that the US and the West are trying their best to prevent any muslim country from forming an Islamic theocracy (they do this with their foreign policy by keeping the muslims disunited as well as supporting spineless dictators, etc.). Since forming a fully theocratic state is part of Islam, isn’t this like attacking a limb of Islam? And when you attack a limb of the body, you are in effect attacking the body. Therefore, if they are warring against the establishment of an Islamic theocracy, is this not a war against Islam?

    It is definitely necessary for people to return to the obedience of Allah and purify their own souls, and improve socially. However, what is the larger plan of action? Is there a quantitative milestone where we can decide to move on to the next point? We could be praying, fasting like never before and filling the masaajid consistently, but this by itself won’t remove the killing and injustice that happens all around the world. Do we believe that we will remove these injustices by wholly non-violent means, and there won’t eventually be a sort of physical conflict needed?

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Salaam alaikum Br. Atif,

      I remind you with the words of Malik bin Dinar who said that it has come in some of the (previous revealed) Books of Allah:

      I am the King of the dominion, the hearts of the kings are in my Hand. So whoever obeyed me, I made them (the kings) a mercy over him, and whoever disobeyed me, I made them a vengeance upon him. So do not occupy yourselves with reviling the kings, but rather repent and I will make them compassionate upon you.

      We can solve the problem indeed by returning to Allah. It is then that we will have righteous leadership and the other points you are making will then become practical for discussion. At this point, we are far from the needed repentance, du’a and implementation of Islam in our own homes to actually imagine that we will deserve anything of establishment.

      And let us also reflect upon Allah’s statement (which means):

      Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient. [24:55]

      • Hassan says:

        I am the King of the dominion, the hearts of the kings are in my Hand. So whoever obeyed me, I made them (the kings) a mercy over him, and whoever disobeyed me, I made them a vengeance upon him. So do not occupy yourselves with reviling the kings, but rather repent and I will make them compassionate upon you.

        Beautiful statement

  25. MTYazdanie says:

    First, I like to say to Ali Shehata that your article was very informative. It touches up on alot of issues that everyone needs to know about.

    I want to reply by quoting one verse that is mentioned numerous times in the Qur’an: “Enjoin what is GOOD and forbid what BAD.” It is a crude translation of a wonderful verse, but it is a simple solution for a complicated world. Allah (SWT) is not saying to OUTWEIGH the good and the bad, but to accept what is right and forbid what is wrong. I think we can all agree with that. So at least accept whatever is TRUE. While accepting what is happening that does not mean you CONDONE any of it. Don’t rationalize! Just admit what is right in front of you.

    Let it be now and till the end of time, humankind will have to deal with the evils of society. Let it be tyranny,oppression,injustice,infidelity, and so on. It’s the bitter truth we must accept. If everyone on this planet did the “right thing”, then honestly we wouldn’t be having this conversation today.

    After 9/11, we know that atleast 5,000 Americans converted to Islam. After such a tragedy, Islam spread. Now I know what people might be thinking. That Yazdanie is condoning the acts of that day. Not at ALL! A horrible act was done which is not even tolerated in Islam. But admit the truth, after such tragedies, people are learning and understanding more about what happening with the World.

    The same scholars who talk radicalism don’t mention how muslims have become negligent. Iraq and Afghanistan are surrounded by muslim countries, or atleast the well devoloped Persian Gulf. But I laugh how outside forces flew over all those countries and still manage to “attack” muslim lands. Aren’t we obligated to defend ourselves against intruders. So if radicalism exist because of american foreign policies, it is also here because most of the Ummah is sleeping! Desperate times calls for drastic measures, and people who don’t think before they act are most of the time provoked. Muslims have lost so much in the past 10 years. But yes, even in such times the Muslims are not allowed to transgress the limits set by our Creator.

    I have said all this to prove a point. Our job is not to compare or undermine what is happening, but we are told to accept the truth. Yes, most of us will disagree with America’s foreign policies. But even if America is wrong 99%, why don’t you accept the one 1% of good that is happening because of it. Condemn the act of terrorism, but please don’t trivialize what horrible things are being done with the Muslims. We are all victims here (Muslims & Non-Muslims), but we are not innocent either.

    I know it’s an “cut & dry” response. My apologies if it is not properly put together.

    May Allah give us the strength to accept the TRUTH. Ameen…

  26. I’ll drop my two cents. This is not specifically about extremism, but it about its roots.

    Recently, I’ve been in a situation where I was wronged, deeply wronged. It hit me pretty hard, shook (but did not break) my Emaan. Had it been a situation where I had some way to rectify the situation, I would have spent all of my time and energy fixing the problem. But, the reality was there was NOTHING I could do. I have a profound sense of loss, that the situation is NOT fair, that I’ve been wronged. I still feel this.

    This caused me to get angry more easily (I’m known for my calm collected nature), be lazy in prayers, and blame everything on Allah, get angry with him. I would randomly wake up throughout the night in anger, and be unable to sleep.

    When I hit this wall, a part of me wanted to see bad happen to the person who wronged me, I wanted this person to have all future efforts fail and see them fail. I was advised to make Du’a for this person. FOR this person???!! I was tempted to make Du’a AGAINST this person!

    Now lets compare this to the Prophet SAAWS. His lowest point was the year of sadness, when his uncle Abu Talib (physical support) and wife Khadijah (RA) (emotional Support) died in one year. He went to Ta’if to see if they would accept, but they rejected him, insulted him, and told the children and lowly people to throw stones at him. At this moment, the Angel of Wrath came to him and said if he wanted, he could have destroyed Ta’if between the two mountains it rested between.

    In other words, he could have vented the pain and anger against those who harmed him. And it would be completely legitimate. But he didn’t do that. Instead, he made Du’a for them that from their offspring would come believers.

    The fact is, venting one’s anger might feel good, but it doesn’t heal the pain. And atop that, you’ll want this person to feel pain until you feel better, which is never.

    In my opinion, this is part of the psych of extremists. They have been unjustly harmed, wronged. And the reality is, they have no way to retaliate even defend themselves. In this situation, they can either fight themselves from within by trusting in the wisdom behind what is happening, accept the Qadr, and even making Du’a for their oppressors (Du’a for them), or seek revenge (destroy Ta’if).

    The extremists don’t choose the path of patience. They choose the path of revenge.

    I understand, its difficult and painful. A part of me still wants to cause pain to the ones who harmed me. The hardest thing I did was make Du’a for them. It took me a week from when I made the intention to when I actually did it. The Prophet SAAWS, a man infinitely better than me, was able to do it immediately. But the extremists can’t do it. Revenge might feel good for a while, but it does not heal the pain. The extremists must learn and be taught this approach.

    And of course, our horrible foreign policy drives this.

    • deej says:

      You speak of what happened in Taif, what about when the Prophet sws went back to Mekkah and conquered the city?

      What about when he sent armies to other countries and conquered those due to the injustice that was occurring within them?

      The Taif incident was when Muslims were VERY few in number. Today we are not few in number.

    • deej says:

      Forgiveness might be the answer in your personal affair, but I am not sure forgiveness is the answer to the murder of over 200,000 (and counting) of our innocent brothers and sisters in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the world.

      The way you felt upset about the incident that occurred with you, is NOT the way we feel upset about what is happening to our bros and sisters around the world.

      We neither cry or weep for them daily, we do not pray for them every day and after every prayer, rather we eat our meals, enjoy our lives, enjoy our beds, and then, at the end of every year, we file for taxes to continue our support of the murder of our brothers and sisters around the world. 50% of tax goes to military spending, and much of the rest also goes to other places we should not approve.

      • Ali Shehata says:

        You keep going on and on about your taxes – what keeps you here then? Did not Allah say in the Quran, “Was not the land of Allah spacious enough for you that you could migrate therein.”

        • deej says:

          Are you not concerned about your taxes? Do you think it’s “not a big deal” ? Do you not acknowledge that ur payment of taxes is aiding in the murder of thousands of Muslims? Do you not acknowledge that the radicals you address in your article are disgusted by Americans for the payment of taxes? Why not include that in the article?

          The fact that you completely ignored the true motive of these “radicals” makes your article very PC and in many ways, apologetic. Because the biggest flaw in the American media is the same as the flaw in this article, they refuse to mention the true motive behind radicals due to the fear of backlash. They fear people will take the side of the radicals.

          I am a dependent. I do not have a choice but to stay here. I am not a head of the household and don’t know the next thing about moving to a new country. Also, I am not sure what the solution is, to leave the country, or to get a band of people together to speak out against the use of tax money. I wish the Muslim leaders gave us some clarity in these matters.

          Just wondering why Muslims don’t speak out against the radicals killing our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Afghanistan? What about those radicals? Why don’t you write an article about those radicals? Guess what, our country is paying for their radical behavior, and guess where they are getting it? From your and my pocket.

      • as-salaam ‘alaykum Br Deej,

        I have a couple comments on that.

        When the Prophet SAAWS conquered Makkah, he had within his power and moral authority to severely punish those who had harmed him. But instead he chose to grant general amnesty.

        I agree with you that our tax dollars fund evil. And I agree with you that a personal matter is not the same as 200,000 innocent souls being slaughtered. But, I don’t agree with your conclusion. I was drawing a parallel between my personal experience, that of the Prophet SAAWS, and what is going on in our lands. The scale is different, but the concepts remain.

        A) A person or people are wronged
        B) Those people are powerless to defend themselves

        At this point, we can either break the laws of Allah in the name of Islam, or focus on dealing with the situation with Sabr and TRUST in the Qadr that this was done for a reason- this is incredibly incredibly difficult. Anger has a nasty habit of clouding our judgement and not allowing us to see this reality. If we break the laws of Allah and become extremists, we are in essence rejecting the Qadr of Allah while growing our beards and praying 5 times a day.

        Again, our foreign policy creates much evil and should be changed. Maybe us Muslims here in the US can consolidate our political/social/economic powers to drive that change?

  27. amiame says:

    We should be thinking which cause more damage. If exploding that van, it would trouble more muslims around USA and innocent people. Allah would not want that. Check the holy Koran.

    May Allah eases the path of the believers and make the unbelievers join to the right path! Amin.

  28. Amanullah says:

    Assalamu’alaykum

    I have read this below hadeeth by Ibn Katheer; in the end it differs from what shaykh have quoted, which one is authentic?
    Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman said, “People used to ask the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) about good things, but I used to ask him about bad things because I was afraid that they might overtake me. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, we were lost in ignorance (Jahiliyyah) and evil, then Allaah brought this good (i.e. Islaam). Will some evil come after this good thing?’ He said, ‘Yes’ I asked, ‘And will some good come after that evil?’ He said, ‘Yes, but it will be tainted with some evil’ I asked, ‘How will it be tainted?’ He said, ‘There will be some people who will lead others on a path different from mine. You will see good and bad in them.” I asked, ‘Will some evil come after that good?’ He said, ‘Some people will be standing and calling at the gates of Hell; whoever responds to their call, they will throw him into the Fire.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, describe them for us.’ He said, ‘They will be from our own people, and will speak our language.’ I asked, ‘What do you advise me to do if I should live to see that?’ He said, ‘Stick to the main body (jamaa’ah) of the Muslims and their leader (Imaam). I asked, What if there isno main body and no leader?’ He said ‘Isolate yourself from all of these sects, even if you have to eat the roots of trees until death overcomes you while you are in that state.’ [1]” ‘Abd Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: “The Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said, ‘Islaam began as something strange, and it will revert to being strange as it was in the beginning, so good tidings for the strangers.’ Someone asked, ‘Who are the strangers?’ He said, ‘The ones who break away from their people (literally, ‘tribes’) for the sake of Islaam.'” This Hadeeth was narrated by Ibn Majah on the authority of Anas and Abu Hurairah. [2]
    Footnotes [1] Bukhaaree, Kitaab al-Fitan, 9/65.
    [2] Muslim, Kitaab al-Eemaan, 1/90: Ibn Majah, Kitaab al-Fitan (Hadeeth 3988), 2/1320.

    Jazakallahu Khayrane Shaykh.

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Salaam alaikum Amanullah

      Thank you for your question. The hadith I presented in the post is an authentic narration of the hadith of Hudhaifah as it is found in Sahih Muslim and the one that you are mentioning is the narration of that hadith in Bukhari – as such both of them are of the highest degrees of authenticity. The second hadith you quoted is also authentic alhamdulillah.

      The reasons that sometimes a narration will differ slightly from another one, with both being authentic, is that the Prophet (saas) didn’t just say these words once, but on numerous occasions. He may have said it more than one way to one Companion or to various Companions, so we gather up all of the narrations of a particular hadith to benefit from the overall meanings insha’Allah.

      Hope this clarifies it for you insha’Allah.

  29. […] Saving Our Youth From The Disease Of Radicalism (Muslim Matters) […]

  30. Ibn al Yemeni says:

    First of all, I’d like to say that I don’t know anybody that loathes and despises the killing of innocent civillians, muslim or non-muslim, as much as myself. Secondly I hold men of knowledge in the highest regard.

    That said, I beleive, being a youth myself, that the reason the youth aren’t buying this argument is the fact that it just doesn’t make sense.

    The author says For example,” how could we characterize the US as fighting Islam when they were the ones that helped to establish a shariah court system in Afghanistan and also helped to liberate that same country from the clutches of communism?”

    When a youth is angered by all the indiscriminate killing in Palestine and the raping of women in Aghanistan, they don’t want someone to falsely emphasise that America is helping Islam. It isn’t.

    A more feasible argument would be , yes America and the west in general ( their governments) are completely to blame, but the killing or harming of innocent civillians is completely unacceptable. It’s simply not an option. Our youth should be taught why all this is going on, and the fact that it is completely wrong.

    Personally, I was born in Canada, and am now residing in the gulf. I was one oft he youth that felt angry and misunderstood, I still do.

    P.S. Afghanistan was rescued “from the clutches of communism” by men who fought in the cause of Allah and triumphed, not America, as good as that sounds. Why is it so hard to beleive that for muslims in some parts of the world, the only reality is to take up arms and defend your family and the little that you have? I identify with such muslims, men and women that fight an invading army with no fear, for their honor and dignity.

    Again I say that I post this comment with the highest respect for the author and others that have commented, I am only stating what is evident.

    Al Yemeni

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Salaam alaikum Dear Brother

      Jazak Allahu khayr for your comment and for your manners. I believe that you may not have understood my point exactly and I value the chance to correct that misunderstanding.

      My point in giving credit to some American actions is to demonstrate that it is not just to paint them as making war on Islam. It is to show that some of their actions do benefit Muslims and do support their causes. This doesn’t mean that some of their actions are quite the opposite too. The reason for this distinction is because some radicals have made a point to say that America is at war with Islam and this necessitates all Muslims to make war with America. So what I was aiming at was defusing this argument and not at saying that America is Islam’s savior. We understand that they are doing things that benefit them – but this doesn’t mean that they don’t benefit Muslims as well in some of what they do. I hope this clarifies that issue.

      Now as regards to focusing on women being raped and children being killed, this is in fact a very dangerous thing to do because it amps people up without giving them a solution. What ALWAYS happens is extremism of one form or another. Either people lose faith in Islam and say that it must be false because Allah isn’t helping us, or they turn to violent extremism and start killing. My point, and that of numerous other Muslims of knowledge, is that we need to instead focus on what we can do and how we can make a difference – AND TOO MANY PEOPLE FORGET THE ROLE THEIR OWN SINS AND MORAL DEFICIENCIES PLAY IN THIS MATTER.

      May Allah continue to keep you upon good manners and protect you.

      • Umme Omar says:

        Ibn Al_yemeni has a a very strong point. Whatever good that American is doing to Islam/muslim is no match for whatever bad it is doing for Islam/muslim. There is no question about it. The only problem is that two wrongs don’t make it right. They hurt our citizens in Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere, does not mean we should go ahead and hurt their innocent citizens. What we need to do is give our youth deep knowledge of Quran, Sunnah and Seerah and only then will they be able to understand that it is time of trial for the whole Ummah. Instead of taking it out on the innocent American citizens, we need to learn to seek help from Allah with patience and prayers. We are in the first phase of Makkah when Muslims were asked to stop themselves from retaliation because it would aggravate the situation. Secondly they need to increase Iman and make connection with Allah like the first believers of islam. Thirdly they should try to handle things diplomatically without acting like an apologetic. Our youth need to have a voice in this country. They should be able to bring these concerns (war in iraq and Afghanistan, American support of israek) in light so the Americans know why they are so anxious. There are Americans who are ready to listen to us. Our youth need to write in newspapers, raise their voice in media and in every possible way bring awareness in American public. There is big difference between the American Empire and the American citizens. The American Empire has always abused Muslims but the American people don’t know anything at all. But now there are anti war groups who have been educating Americans about the brutalities of American war on Afghanistan and iraq. We should support such groups and actually we should educate them about the virtues of Islam. Our main job is to make dawah and face these turmoils both at the same time but we have to do it in a non violence way. Just like the first phase of Islam in Makkah. Is anybody ready to take this road. This road is longer and full of hardships. But Jannah is covered with hardships. We have to increase our iman and Tuqwah to rise to this level where we can endure these hardships and make dawah to Islam in a non violence way.

  31. Ahmed says:

    Great article. I am an Oregon Muslim who is deeply saddened by the recent events in Portland and Corvallis equally. With each event, regardless if it was entrapment or not, we are taking several steps backwards. Yes, there are injustices being done, but as a recent video by some leaders, including Sh. Qadhi, Sh. Webb and Sh. Shakir, these injustices cannot be undone or given a response that is itself an injustice. This issue of radicalized youth and that of premarital relationships are two things that I hope our leaders both locally and nationally can find a workable solution to in the near future.

  32. Omar says:

    Killing civilians, or planning to do so, cannot be excused.

    However, it is absurd to see Muslims bombed in Iraq and Afghanistan by coalition forces, and blockaded, occupied and starved in Palestine, with far far more casualties than any of these stupid terror attacks, and yet not expect some overzealous youth to plan something stupid.

    The majority of Muslim terror against the West is a but a reaction to far greater Western terror against Muslims. Except the latter has fancy tanks, army uniforms, bomber drones, and an intelligence service to hide it all (unless Wikileaks is involved).

    Fight extremism, but don’t be apologetic giving credibility to the ridiculous claim that the root cause is within us. The root cause is foreign policy.

    • Ibn al Yemeni says:

      Thank you. Honestly bro you deserve a medal. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Salaam alaikum

      I challenge you to support your statement that the root cause is not within us with an ayah or hadith that is specific to this. Otherwise, be cautious of calling something that I supported with Qur’an and Sunnah as ridiculous.

      • Omar says:

        wa Alaykum assalamu warahamtullahi wabarkatuh Dr Shehata,

        Sheikh Yasir basically said the same thing I did in his comment above:

        “I have said it again and again, and repeat it here: the root cause of radicalization is foreign policy. Period. There are not ifs, ands or buts about it. If we can solve the foreign policy issue, we would have solved radicalization.”

        The radicals are not attacking Portugal, Luxembourg, or Switzerland. They are, for the most part, attacking countries invading, or supporting the invasion of Muslims.

        Being apologetic will only alienate youth further, driving them into the arms of radical preachers who “are not afraid to proclaim truth”.

        • Omar says:

          Again, I do not mean any disrespect. But it really weakens your message of fighting radicalism when you never blame Western foreign policy once, when it is clear it is the main cause. The terrorists actually committing these crimes repeatedly say it is. Many Western political analysts are saying the same thing.

          Potential radicals will not even listen to this apologetic tone. If anything, this article will push them further into misguidance.

          • deej says:

            Agree with you Br Omar. How could this article not acknowledge the root cause of these “terror attacks”, which is foreign policies and the invasion and brutal killing of thousands of Muslims ??? How can we not address this issue…?? How can you not explain the true thoughts of these “radicals” when they repeat over and over, they fight because we claim we as Americans have a government that follows the “will of the people” —and thus these radicals find us all guilty?? We do indeed pay the murderers with our taxes.

            Everyday I ask myself…what am I supposed to do? I live in America, my tax is killing my brothers and sisters across the world. 50% of my tax money goes to killing my own brothers and sisters, including men, women, and children…what am I supposed to do as a Muslim? Continue to pay these taxes? I don’t know, and don’t understand and it haunts me. It brings me to tears when I think of how they are being killed brutally, and we turn a blind eye to them. La ilaha ilallah.

            I wish someone could explain to me how I am supposed to live with myself in this country…knowing where my money is going. Not knowing to what extent I am responsible for this support of murder in the eyes of Allah.

          • Ali Shehata says:

            Salaam alaikum

            I didn’t discuss it because Sh. Yasir already hit on the issue and it doesn’t serve any purpose to keep repeating that point because it is not something we can change in the near future. I discussed things that we can change and things that we never discuss in our circles today, yet it was what the Prophet (saas) discussed with his Companions and what the scholars for 1000 years discussed. You can’t change the decisions of government but you can effect a change in Allah’s Mercy by turning to Him – was this message not presented clearly?

    • Nadine says:

      The root cause is most defnitenly NOT foreign policy. Yes, there are a plethora of unjust actions happening everyday, all over the world, but a piece of paper is not to blame. If the Muslim countries were to actually ally amongst themselves as opposed to agreeing to be stepped on by foreign policy, occupation, and injustice then we wouldn’t be in this situation. Muslim leaders are consumed with their own agendas that do not include helping the welfare of their own people. That’s the root cause right there.

      • deej says:

        MOST DEFINITELY sis?

        If you think all foreign policy is, is a simple piece of paper my dear sister. You are very very wrong.

        It is the source of the killing of thousands of Muslims around the world, and it is where our tax dollars are being dished to fund.

        And FYI Americans also are being stepped on by taxes which are being directly used by the government to fund murder of Muslims, and we DO NOT DO ANYTHING either.

        So before we blame Muslim leaders, and question why THEY don’t stand up against foreign policy, let question ourselves as well.

  33. agajuice says:

    JazakAllahu khayran for the informative article and the healthy discussion above. I feel the issue and blame is on our youth as opposed to the FBI/CIA. I agree that the FBI and other agencies are involved in entrapment but that is NO EXCUSE for our youth to fall prey to this. After all, hasn’t shaytaan sworn to use entrapment and all these techniques to try and decieve the muslims? If we make an effort to not fall for his techiques then why can’t we be vigilant against others. Aren’t the wrongdoers going to say on the day of judegement that: “Ya Allah, shaytaan used entrapment against me so it’s his fault not mine.” We know what will be Allah’s response so similarly the blame is entirely on our youth who fall frey to these techniques.

    Two excellent points that I’ve heard on this topic:

    1. Br. Nouman said that there are 3 kinds of violence: self-defense, retaliation and pre-emptive. At an individual level, a muslim can decide to engage in self defense ONLY. Whereas the goverment (or state) can take the decision to partcipate in all 3. Retaliation and pre-emptive violence is totally off limits for an individual or group. This is what is internationally accepted as well. If this was allowed, then there would ALWAYS be choas even in a muslim country.

    2. A Saudi scholar while denoucing Anwar Al Awlaki made a VERY apt point and analogy. The story of Musa (as.) when he killed a person by mistake who was persecuting the children of Israel. (i.e. he took part in retaliation on his own.) As soon as he did this, Musa realized that this was the work of Shaytaan and asked Allah to forgive him and Allah forgave him. Musa took action at a personal level to retaliate against someone who was persecuting someone else and EVEN then he realized what he did was wrong.

    And he went into the city at a time of unvigilance on the part of its people, so he found therein two men fighting, one being of his party and the other of his foes, and he who was of his party cried out to him for help against him who was of his enemies, so Musa struck him with his fist and killed him. He said: This is on account of the Shaitan’s doing; surely he is an enemy, openly leading astray. (28:15)

    He said: My Lord! surely I have done harm to myself, so do Thou protect me. So He protected him; surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. (28:16)

    Based on this, no one can justify that harming civilians is justified!

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Masha’Allah

      Barak Allahu feek for adding something with substance to this discussion. I never considered the issue of Musa (as) but that was really beautiful. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your comment.

  34. Sadaqah says:

    As sallaamu alaikum,

    So much written in one day from so many. May Allah guide all of us to the straight path. ameen.

    I won’t say that I read every word, because I definitly did not. I have a question though. I thought that the true mujaheedeen fought jihad and implemented jihad according to Quran and sunnah for one purpose and one purpose only – for the sake of Allah. To defend Islam. Is that truly what we see today?

    I believe that some in the world are in such a pitiful sake with no real help from any of their muslim brothers and sisters around the world, that they are fighting even just to survive. I cannot judge or blame them. I only call into question things when something is done that is clearly against Quran or sunnah. Taking children hostage in a school and executing them. Blowing up another masjid and killing children inside of it. Didn’t the prophet(SAWS) himself lament and repeat again and again about children killed on one battle? It’s not the fact that these things are happening, or questioning why they are happening.

    It is not a question of whether muslims have sufficient reason to fight to defend Islam today. Clearly the reason exists in great measure.The question is, what are the motives and methods of those claiming to fight jihad? The question is whether those fighting jihad are really doing it for the sake of Allah alone to defend Islam, or blindly following the whims and esires of hypocrites who are only interested in becoming wealthy or famous. Are the methods being used gaining the pleasure or hatred of Allah(SWT)? Are the acts a noble example of Islam in practice, or are they slanders against the deen and the prophet Muhammed(SAWS) himself? None of us could possibly claim to be more noble, entitled, or knowledgable about jihad than our prophet Muhammed(SAWS) who we claim to follow and obey in all matters.

    If it is the youth we are concerned about in this matter, then why not start by teaching them what jihad truly is? Teach them how jihad is supposed to be implemented. Teach them what is allowed and what is forbidden. For that matter teach every member of the ummah. Islam is under attack brothers and sisters. From within and without the muslim community. As muslims, we ourselves are doing alot of the damage without help from anyone else at all. We hate each other almost as much as some non muslims hate us. We kill each other. We cannot play victim and blame those who hate Islam for misleading our youth, while refusing to acknowledge that we have abandoned our youth ourselves.

    Everywhere around the world, the muslim ummah, which is supposed to be an example to the world of what is best, has fallen into decay, disease, dispair, and worse. Divorce, homosexuality, drug addiction, alcoholism, domestic violence, and worse are spreading through our ummah. Do we forget that what touches even one muslim, will affect the entire ummah? Let us remember Allah, that He will remember us. Let us change the condition of our people, so that Allah will strengthen us and change our condition in the world. I do not say that we wait until we have solved all our own problems before we fight, but I wonder how we can fight with such a sick heart.

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Masha’Allah Sister – may Allah reward you greatly for your beautiful words and for what you have expressed. The issue of the intention was something I tried to touch on briefly in my audio and hoped to delve into deeper in a later post but you have said it eloquently enough alhamdulillah.

  35. Tahmid says:

    We need to stop acting childish and judging other people’s intentions, I don’t know the shaykh who wrote this article but I am sure he wrote this article for the benefit of the muslims and not because he is an agent of the west or some other foolish conspiracy theories people will come up with. I really don’t know what my stance is on this issue, I am a muslim living in America but I can clearly understand why some people are so frustrated that they choose to give precedence to their emotions and act foolishly but they need to understand that by killing innocent Americans they will be doing much more harm than good to the muslims and as far as american foreign policy goes I obviously don’t agree with most of it but again the American government doesn’t represent all Americans. Please forgive me if I made any mistakes in this comment and also for my poor English.

  36. Mansoor Ansari says:

    An important question to be asked is:

    would there be need for random Saud, Abdullah, Muhammed or AlQaeda or any random to org to fight against these occupation forces if Muslim countries came to their defense?

    It’s the lack of action frm Muslim leaders that forces individuals to take actions…

    If u read wikicables… then one would wonder if we can trust our leaders at all. Yemeni president claiming American attacks on their soil as their own, Khaleeji leaders encouraging attacks on another Muslim country, Khaleeji leaders have more love for Israel than for Iran or resistance fighters from Palestine. Saudi king telling keep their hands off Palestinian issue, when the Iranian diplomat says that they are Muslims, King Abdullah rebukes him by saying ‘No, they are Arabs.’

    With this kind of Muslim leadership, sadly there will be more radicalization not less.

    • Mansoor Ansari says:

      More shocking news, not really!

      In a cable sent in August 2008, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan at the time, Anne Patterson, recounted a meeting with Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. It coincided with a military operation in one of the restive frontier territories.
      Patterson wrote, “Malik suggested we hold off alleged Predator attacks until after the Bajaur operation. The PM brushed aside Rehman’s remarks and said, ‘I don’t care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We’ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it.’ “

  37. Amad says:

    Appropriate words of wisdom:

    Anger begins with madness and ends with regret. (Ali RA)

    • deej says:

      And yet the Prophet sws did get angry when he saw injustice occurring. Reference the sunnah to see what made him angry. The saying of Ali is too broad.

    • Ahmed says:

      Akhi Amad,

      Wise words indeed but rather inappropriate for the situation. It is sort of being used as a blanket statement but khair.

      The monster on the loose took years to nurture into what it has become now and we NEED to understand that there is no ‘halal’ way to quickly put it down….It will take us a few years to do damage control. Reality is that our youth are not lined up, waiting at the masjid eagerly to listen to Dr Ali or YQ or any other scholar out there trying to find a solution and fix the situation. This journey is rather long and painful, and we all will get hit one day or the other (May ALLAH s.w.t protect myself and all the Muslims..Ameen). You defending the article, comment by comment, will only cost you your time – which we don’t have.

      I think a lot of us who are arguing are on the same page but feel let down by our leaders……as the leaders only reprimand us but not the other party…they openly condemn us but haven’t addressed to major issues on time (one such example is 9/11 – who investigated it? who is pressuring the gov to release the video tapes from cameras around pentagon?? who??). They give the best examples of our beloved prophet s.a.w.s when they ask us to refrain from retaliating but they forget to realize that we are not Sahaba(r.a)….our Iman is nothing compared to them and we just simply don’t ‘hear and obey’. The trust has not been built but the results are eagerly anticipated. We lack all kinds of resources to tackle this issue…..we are still in the theory phase. The youth want to see justice being done, they WILL listen IF we balance our actions by talking against government policies/actions openly and at the same time teach them the discipline they lack. And we MUST stop sounding apologetic……It just shows weakness of our leaders to go head on with the government while leaders of other groups stand firm for their cause. The situation requires our leaders to be a bit diplomatic but they should not bend their back to proclaim their allergy to extremism to which we all disagree. They also need to calculate the impact of what they write and post.

      Better now than never…..

      I love you for the sake of ALLAH as my brother in Islam. I have no ill feeling towards you ALHAMDOLILLAH.

  38. Ibn Abid says:

    I hope that the Muslim youth who consider radicalization carefully ponder over the following verses of the Quran:

    O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. (Quran 5:8)

    And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. (Quran 5:2)

    Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. (Quran 60:8)

  39. Abu Salahudeen says:

    Assalamu Alaykom,

    I dont support being apologetic. I do support making sure that proper Islam is clarified. I’m not sure that the article does that latter. So I’m a bit disappointed.

    Many people just brush past this point, but did anyone sit and think to themselves whether the commonly used tactic of “entrapment” is even permissible from a Shar’i perspective??

    Catching someone in the act is one thing. But edging them into something is completely against the concept of “Calling for good and forbidding evil”. Many people are tempted to do haram and constantly battle their nafs and are not sure. Our responsibility is to help them, not detect this and make use of this! This is ridiculous.

    I watched many shows on TV that show police leaving an unlocked car in a middle of a shady neighbourhood… or having an undercover prostitute solicit people. This is haraam. If someone is confused or is tempted, our goal is to help them not push them do fall into haram.

    In fact, the fuqahaa past, have discussed the matter of cutting the hand of someone who steals something valuable that was not properly secured (the examples given were: someone leaving money bag in an open place without securing it). They have ruled that in that case, the person does *not* get his hand cut, because the owner of the property did not do his duty to protect his property and did not do his duty to society to prevent people with weak nafs to not get tempted. So instead another punishment is issued rather than cutting of the hand.

    Someone should have helped this kid who was being brainwashed. Just saying: “well in the end he got brainwashed and it’s his fault” is absolutely wrong as well.

    I’m disappointed.

    Wassalam,
    Abu Salahudeen

  40. Haytham says:

    I will not go in details about the evidences that prohibits us Muslims from doing what the people of Anwar AlAwlaqi are promoting, this is clear and apparent to those who are really seeking the truth, for it is clear that we must hold tidily to understanding of our companions and scholars of the Quran and Sunnah/

    If you really want to help yourself and other Muslims throughout the world, then learning and understanding what the companions and the sahabah said and in what circumstances is mandatory

    Brother, look in the history for any “emotional” movement… tell me when and where did they ever succeed?

    Use your rational, invest into your intellect, and examine whatever is being taught to you and then make your decision….I have no doubt that Allah will guide you to the right path, for Allah certainly response to those who are seeking the truth

    The prophet said:

    ومن لم يهتم بأمر المسلمين فليس منهم

    Who so ever does not care about the affairs of Muslims is not considered amongst them

    Think about your community brother
    Think about those who dont even pray
    Think about those brothers and sisters who are falling in the haram
    Think about the social issues facing us Muslims in your locality….
    ….and much more

    Those are much worthy causes that you will be asked about before you will be asked about those abroad. I ask Allah to help us and them and all the Muslims. Ameen.

    Very interesting article. Jazakum Allahu khayran for sharing Dr. Ali.

    • abdullah says:

      I just wanted to point out that, while the concept of caring about your brothers worldwide is important, but the hadith you mentioned is actually a da’eef hadeeth (actually da’eef jiddan according to Sh. Al-Albani and many others due to the presence of Zayd Ibn Rabee’ah in the chain of narrators)

      salam,
      abdullah

      • Ali Shehata says:

        Salaam alaikum ya Abdullah

        Jazak Allahu khayr for your comment and thank you for adding an educated comment as many of the ones here have strayed from substance. Yes, Sh. al-Albani classed the hadith as weak and so we should not relate it without stating that but the meaning is nonetheless valid as has been shown in numerous other ahadith. It is for this reason that Sh. ibn Uthaimeen stated:

        هذا من الأحاديث المشهورة بين الناس، ولفظه لا أعرف هل صح عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أم لم يصح؟! ولكن معناه صحيح

        This hadith is commonly mentioned among the people, but as for its text, I am not sure that it is authentically reported from the prophet (saas), but its meaning is indeed correct.

        And Allah knows best.

        • abdullah says:

          Jazana Wa Iyyakum.

        • Mosa Masoud says:

          Dr. Shehata,

          May Allah reward you and answer your du’aas for having the patience with so many misguided and misinformed minds.
          I just wish to sincerely Thank you for your notes and commentary, and Insha’Allah, it will do its intention.
          Those who understand the advice Dr. Shehata is relaying us wouldn’t be wasting their time with posting strong, yet pointless opinions. It is to take time to reflect on yourself, your actions, with utmost humbleness and modesty.

          There is no greater example than that of our Prophet (saas) and no one else. If one does not see that, your heart is closed.

          Salaam

  41. Farahs75 says:

    The non muslims are asking where are the voices of the “MODERATES” standing up against terrorism and radicalism, well this is a start. Jazakallah Khair Dr Ali for this article and we need more of it by other renown sheikhs. May you continue to spread this message and let it reach our youth in numbers Insha`Allah.

  42. agajuice says:

    Brothers and Sisters,

    What’s the fuss and disagreement about? Reading the above comments, it seems like we’re all saying and agreeing to the same things:

    1. Terrorism/killing innocents is against the teachings of islam.
    2. Government agencies are wrong in enticing and entraping muslims.

    The only debatable topic is who is more wrong. Does it really matter? Based on the above two points, both are wrong and share the blame.

    I also think we all agree on the solution for the problem:
    1. Educate our youth.
    2. Educate the American people

  43. Asmaa says:

    Okay, time for me to add my two fils (Kuwaiti cents!)

    As I went away from my laptop and thought over the article and the critical comments it received, I reflected upon myself as to where I stand in my community with regards to this issue. We all need to ask ourselves this question sincerely, and without pointing fingers at anyone else, what have We done for this Ummah?

    The author of the article isn’t asking us to abandon the Islamic teachings, he’s reinforcing them, did anyone else notice that..?

    How many of us have spent extensive hours in our communities and helped the people, Muslims or non-Muslims in any way?

    The author of this article comes from a different background as compared to many of the readers, and mostly people here view the reality in a different light than the author. The question arises, is the author wrong..? No. Are the readers misinterpreting the article and have not looked at it closely? Perhaps that’s that case.

    I would very much like to remain silent on this matter because I frankly cannot say who’s right and who’s wrong, because both the sides are essentially speaking in different terms, and they are both right. I am not here to judge, but rather to learn and educate myself like everyone else. This could have been a time for reflection and contemplation at our current situation and what WE can do to make it better.

    Dr. Ali Shehata, you have served the community and the more I look into your profile the more I realize how much I am lagging behind. I know you care about us all and so does Sh. Yasir Qadhi and Sh. Yahya Ibrahim, and only want the good for us, and I really respect that. Perhaps it is because you people have families and are more integrated into the societies than the rest of us are, and when a person has his own family and kids, he certainly looks at things in a broader and gentler terms.

    Sometimes all we need is a bit more experience in life to teach us some issues, practically speaking.

    Quick to pass judgement and labeling people, slow to give them benefit of doubt..

    Forgive us if we have been blind to it. It’s just that when people on MM talk about other issues then people complain about them ignoring the sufferings of the Muslims, and when MM does talk about any sensitive matter than people are quick to jump to conclusions. What’s the point? The least I know as a Muslim is that if I really care about someone, then I will tell them and notify them of their error, and not grumble about it to the whole world in different places. Because whatever it is, you have still contributed much more and are older in age and experience compared to someone like me.

    So all in all, it looks like no one here is disagreeing, just voicing what they see.

    Dr. Ali Shehata, jazaak Allaahu kul khair for this article as it opened my eyes to many issues in the community and our Ummah.

    One last and essential thing that I’d say.. Adab before ‘ilm.

    Walaikumasalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

  44. […] his first post, Saving Our Youth from the Disease of Radicalism, available on MuslimMatters.org today, he directly challenges the ideas of those like al-Awlaki, in […]

  45. Umme Omar says:

    Assalaamu Alaikum respected Shaikh Shehata and everybody who might be reading my comments now. I not only read the article, i also went through all these responses and I just want to share my thought on this issue. First of all I must tell you that I am a student of Quran, Sunnah and Seerah and I also teach Quran and hadeeth to my friends and family members in my free time. Our main problem is that our Ummah in general and our youth in particular has no understanding of basic themes of Quran and Sunnah. We as an Ummah are going through hardships and trials. Some of them are because of Anti Islam elements but most of them are because of our own mistakes and errors. The reason behind these mistakes is that we do not practice islam with its real spirit of Taqwah and Iman billaah. And the reason behind not practicing Islam with its real spirit is that we don’t read Quran. Quran is the book of Guidance for us. In almost every passage of 2nd Surah (Al-Baqarah) of Quran, Allah Zul Jallah commands us to seek His help with Patience and Prayers.
    This young man Osman was provoked, trained and framed by FBI but still we need to agree that if he had sound understanding of Islam, he wouldnt have listened to them in the first place. As believers our main job is to stop people from evil and enjoin them to do good and call them to Islam but for this we need to use the non violence means of Dawah. If he knew that islam does not teach us violence against citizens (including elderly, women and children) he would have not tried to blow the tree. Rather he would have gone to that tree to make dawah to Islam.
    Everyday I recieve pictures of USA brutalities in Iraq and Afghanistan through emails. The Face book is usually full of videos of USA war crimes. When our youth see these videos and pictures, they get angry and anxious. With this state of mind, I can tell you most our youth can easily fall in the hands of FBI. We can’t limot their access to these pictures and videos but we can listen to our children what they are feeling and then try to address these anxieties in their heads. Also in an effective manner tell them about the virtues of Patience in the face of these hardships. Take them to Al-mughrib institute or Al-Bayyanah for instance and let them talk to scholars like Yasir Qadhi and yourself. Our youth need guidance and councilling. Address their concerns and also teach them Islam. I don’t know if you understood me or not, but learning and practicing Quran and Sunnah is the only way to deal with anger and violence in our Ummah and especially our youth.

    • Ameera Khan says:

      Jazaakillah khayr, I love your comment. :)

    • HKC says:

      MashaAllah tabarakAllah..JazakAllahu khairan Sister for your apt explanation:)

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Salaam alaikum Umme Omar

      I understood you very well and I believe that you said so much good in a very short space masha’Allah,. May Allah reward you for your kind words and your wisdom.

      • Safia says:

        alsalam alikom Dr. Ali

        I writing here not in response to the article. I just need to contact you and couldn’t find any quick way to that, so I decided to reply here. I hope you can see my comment asap.

        I have a college research about Women Rights in Islam , Christianity and Judaism. I was searching about this topic in the net and I found your great book ” Demystifying Islam”. However, I couldn’t find a copy of the book in any local stores or library around my area. I’m going to order the book online but my research is due tomorrow! I really want to use your book in my research, but I’ll not get the book before tomorrow. I was wondering if you can help me in that. Can you send me the part of your book that discussed women topic to my email? It would be great if you can that. I’ll promise I’ll not share it with anyone else, and will delete it after my copy of the book arrives.
        my email is: sabutouk@gmail.com

        Jazak Allah Kayran

  46. Student says:

    Assalaamu Alaikum. May Allah reward you Dr. Ali for this post and all your efforts.

    As a young man living in the United States, I am happy to see someone of your caliber posting an article using evidences from the Qur’an and Sunnah regarding the radicalization of youth. i found the the article to be clear, concise and full of benefit.

    After reading the comments above, its important that we remember to have manners and treat each other with respect…

    I ask Allah to let the truth be beloved to us and guide us to that which pleases Him. Ameen

  47. deej says:

    I agree with the above post by Student, and I apologize sincerely to anyone I may have spoken to without due respect.

    I am very frustrated about our current situation. I suppose this video summarizes my frustration quite well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1MazfmZYxw

  48. Assalamu’Alaikum:

    While I may not agree with the views of Ali Shehata, fact of the matter is that he has researched and supported his arguments. I do not believe that things are as black & white as many people make it out to be. But it’s not all gray either!

    As an outsider to this whole scenario (having left the USA a few months before 9/11), I do not know what the situation is like anymore. On my my last visit in 2005, I noticed many changes in the attitudes and manners of people I knew during my college years and this has convinced me that I can maybe never understand the new ground realities that Muslims in America face today.

    The FBI by nurturing, accessorizing, and goading a misled individual went against what their motto of “Fidelity Bravery Integrity” and this was not the first time this has happened (or the last time it will happen). I agree with a lot of commenters that being apologetic and having a “Uncle Tom” mentality is not what we should have, but at the same time I agree with Amad and others that such misled individuals need to be guided towards the right path and this is the task that the community has to fulfill. We have to gather these stray sheep and make them part of the herd. For the wolves feed on the stray sheep and not the herd.

    May Allah protect us all from extremism, from terrorism, and from deviation from His path.

    -Aly

    http://discomaulvi.wordpress.com/
    http://www.twitter.com/DiscoMaulvi

  49. deej says:

    To summarize all of my above comments, I basically wanted to say that to truly understand “radicals” we need to first truthfully look at the situation.

    And to truthfully look at it, we need to take an honest look at the motives and what it is that REALLY attracts these youth. Then and only then can we reach out and address their concerns.

    I don’t agree with the actions of ANY person/government who chooses to kill and murder innocent people. Authubillah…how can we think Allah swt will overlook such a thing?

    As the Quran itself says:

    “To kill one [innocent] life is like killing all of mankind, and to save one life is like saving all of mankind.”

    In the future, I hope the issue can be openly discussed, taking account ALL perspectives.

  50. HKC says:

    Assalamualaikum wrt wbt,
    JazakAllahu khairan to the author for giving us a well-versed and enlightening article on the above issue.
    I will not comment directly on the issue as i donot possess much knowledge on the above news about the 19 year old .

    However,Like many people said, i strongly believe that there are alot of issues, internal issues within the Ummah which need to be tackled and are much more important than killing innocent people….
    But i have my reservations because i honestly donot believe what the media potrays of Muslims…because everytime the reality is far different, i have friends from Kashmir, palestine and Afghanistan..theyve always told me of their own personal experiences and how most of the time its the Kuffar who plot and then blame it on the muslims.
    From the Prophet’s time there have been Hypocrites who pretend to be supporting the Muslims, but actually plot against them and then point it to the Muslims.
    Anyways Allahu A’lam..Allah knows best. There will always be some issues which will remain a mystery like 9/11,and the true judgement will be on Yaum al Qiyamah.

    im just curious and confused..and i dont want to suspect or disrespect anyone on either of the two sides..So

    Does anyone know someone who has been personally told by Anwar Al Awlaqi to be a terrorist or to kill innocent people?…

    and if someone can give me links to the Sheikh claiming that we must kill Innocent civilians, etc…

    He is one of the Sheikhs who has helped me become a better muslim by Allah’s grace…I would love to get a reliable source to clarify…
    JazakAllahu Khairan….

    • UmmZayn says:

      ^ The video was apparently released on Arabic on various websites that support Al Qaeda, earlier this month. If you go on the Al-Jazeera English website and search his name, you will find the article with what he said

  51. MR says:

    People keep blaming the FBI, but in reality that Muslim kid is stupid. Seriously if anyone comes up to you at any mosque or anywhere and invites you to go do Jihad, the answer is simple: “Salaam, I have to go.” Like the other guy who took pictures of the DC subway (Metro) for FBI. Come on now. Use your brain. They are asking you to take pictures of a subway system. You think Muslims are that organized? (that was a joke)

    If we want to save our youth from radicalism, we need to put some sense into idiots. Send them to there mothers so they can give them a good whooping. Dr. Ali’s article is probably much better advice then mine. I think we should just beat them all up to knock some sense into these “naql”-heads.

    • Zuhayr says:

      it is likely that he expressed extremist views openly which attracted attention of law enforcement. all a law enforcement guy has to do is pretend he has the same views to form a bond with him

    • Ahmed says:

      Akhi MR, Do you seriously think that this kind of talk will be appreciated by “Stupid” “Naql head” “Idiots” aka youth???? You cannot change people with this kind of attitude.

  52. Banda says:

    Not that I condone individual or state terrorism nor am I justifying what Osman has done, but would the killing of unarmed innocent Afghan civilians by US army be contributing to “extremist” views? The US army invades that country to then hunt villagers for game. “Terrorist” “Extremist” are all very subjective terms, manipulated by mass media, and only apply to muslims ( sarcasm intended)

    ….”At least two of the five are alleged to have collected severed fingers and other human remains as war trophies in Afghanistan and taking photos with corpses….”

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/12/201012253539228197.html

  53. Do it Matta? says:

    1 Question for Mr. Ali S,

    “Is fighting the Kuffar in Afghanistan & Iraq a Jihad?”

    We all are repeating the same “killing innocents is not jihad”. pls answer the question.

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Salaam

      Please ask this question to the people who know the situation there. I have never been there and don’t know anyone there so I can’t really comment.

      • Mansoor Ansari says:

        But Dr. Ali, u said in ur articles not to listen to those who r in those lands as they r extremists!

        And does one really have to be there to know what’s happening in those lands? Aren’t many things that are happening there common knowledge. And you know all the good USA is doing there but not the evil, murder & mayham?

        can such statements build trust between the youth & the shuyookh?

  54. Abdullah says:

    I remember many years ago, quite a few Scholars/Callers of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah were openly speaking against the Manhaj of Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaki. Back then I used to remember the “more balanced people” calling us and our teachers “extremists” for “unfairly criticizing scholars”. And now after 8-10 years we see the result…the same people who were blind for him are now striving hard to flee from his talks as far away as possible.
    Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaki didn’t develop this ideology over night, the signs were always there but a lot of students of knowledge and their students did not want to listen to others who were more knowledgeable and older (and therefore had more experience) than them.

    This should be a lesson for all of us, that we do not become blind towards any one da’ee because at the end of the day even they are human and they are bound to make mistakes…some mistakes are more severe than others. We must always concentrate on focusing to understand the Ayaat & Ahaadeeth as understood by the best of Muslims (i.e. Sahaabah).
    We shouldn’t also let go of the Scholars who even though they may not live here, have more experience (many aged in their 70s and 80s) and far more knowledge than da’ees in their late 20s and early 30s here.

    This is a disease that plagues our society now a days. We rush to a da’ee who is raised among us and talks our lingo and don’t even realize when he is turning us into extremists (in both ways…extreme in leniency and extreme in harshness).
    The ‘Ulemah are the inheritors of the Prophets and are there to protect us with their teachings and wisdom bi idhnillah…the moment we leave them for others who are not at their level…well we risk loosing out in this dunya and Allah forbid even in the aakhirah.

    May Allah rectify all our affairs and give more strength and patience to our Scholars and Tullaabul ‘ilm to do that which is in complete accordance with the Deen preached by Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

  55. NY says:

    As Salamu Alykum, and i mean that =)

    I make Dua that the result of these comments doesn’t escalate for us to have negativity towards each other.

    Isn’t back bitting Anwar haram? Dispite his views. He probably suffered in Jail. Allahu Allim. But i thought the first paragraph towards the end should have been dealt in a different matter.
    P

    • NY says:

      what i’m trying to say he probably needs psychological help 101. He needs treatment. May Allah guide us ALL! Ameen

      • Ali Shehata says:

        Salaam alaikum (and I mean that too alhamdulillah)

        It is not back-biting someone who makes a public remark to correct him in that remark. Furthermore, I imagine he does need help but we cannot allow him to mislead others. I tried my best to be polite and if I could have said it better I would have for sure. May Allah forgive me if I had poor etiquette. Ameen

  56. abdur says:

    Why are people that engage in jihad in order to fight of invasion, oppression, and occupation considered to be “extremist”? Fighting people that attack you is not extremism; it is called being a TRUE MUSLIM.

  57. Abdur Rahman says:

    “Next, to characterize the conflicts of today – or the statements of their leaders – as a war against Islam is not a fair accusation. Among the reasons that this is a very unfair accusation are that firstly, though some of their leaders have made statements against the Islamic religion, others have not, and in fact some have gone out of their way to say they are not against Islam. President George Bush may have made several questionable remarks in his time, but he was also the first president to go to a mosque to deliver a speech in which he praised Islam. President Obama has followed suit by speaking to entire Muslim societies when he delivered speeches in Egypt and Indonesia. Leaders in both the FBI and DHS have worked cooperatively with Muslims in this country to address concerns and sensitivities.”

    This is absolutely disgusting. There’s no war on Islam? America isn’t killing Muslims in Iraq? America isn’t killing Muslims in Afghanistan? America isn’t supporting the pirate state of Israel in their genocide of the Palestinians? America isn’t unfairly imprisoning Muslims in Guantanamo Bay? Are you oblivious to what is happening to our Muslims brothers and sisters all over the world? Are you oblivious of the RAND report in which those kuffar specifically state they are pushing for a civil and democratic Islam? Subhanallah I never expected to see such ignorance.

    Qur’an (3:118) – “O you who believe! do not take for intimate friends from among others than your own people, they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is far worse

    It doesn’t matter if these filthy kuffar praise Islam, for their actions prove otherwise.

    • ahlam says:

      Brother, you have the most off-putting website I have ever seen. Black in Black? Islam is Noor and Rahma.

      • HadithCheck says:

        you have the most off-putting website I have ever seen

        Alhamdulillah, that is something good! I hope that every person is put off by that website and doesn’t bother reading the none-sense being stated there. The deviant ideology that he is propagating on his website is that of the khawaarij. Darkness upon darkness would be a suitable description, may Allah protect us and the rest of the Muslims from such deviated beliefs that have nothing to do with the sunnah.

    • Ali Shehata says:

      Salaam

      I’m not sure if you realize this or not, but you provided the evidence against your own words in your comment. If RAND tells them to establish a civil Islam, this is still Islam. They did the same to Christianity before Islam by creating separation of Church and State. They don’t really care what you practice, just stay out of the way of their interests. The Muslims they killed in whatever land stood in their way. In fact, some of the du’aat here in the West who also seem a threat to their interests are also punished. This still means that they are pursuing interests and not a religion. You would need to remember the Crusades and Communism to see fighting a religion at its core. You would also need to have some manners to actually benefit from what I am saying, so I guess this will have to benefit someone else then.

  58. Ibn Zawaar says:

    Most of the visitor’s here clearly understand that events such as these do not merely affect the person in question, but their families, friends, and communities as well. If we still consider this brother’s family and community as part of the American society, it would be a meaningful exercise in social activism for any of the Qaba’il or Al-Maghrib students in and around the area to make an active attempt to get in touch with the brother’s family and masjid in order offer them any form of support they need. Just hearing the voice of another muslim can make a world of difference for some of these families.

    لا تحقرن من المعروف شيئا ولو أن تلقى أخاك بوجه طلق
    صحيح مسلم

    “Don’t consider anything insignificant out of good things even if it is that you meet your brother with a cheerful countenance.” (Sahih Muslim)

  59. Safia Farole says:

    I want to comment on what effect events like the would-be-Christmas tree bomber have on the Muslim community – at the ground level. This is a personal account. I live in Washington state, which borders Oregon (where this incident occured). The day after this sting operation happened my mom and siblings went shopping at the local mall (taking advantage of the sale). Subhanallah there were about 5 security guards that appeared out of no where, literally tracking their moves. I’m sure this is happening in different communities, to different Muslims around the country. And its so unfortunate that many of us have to suffer security issues as a result of something we and our religion have nothing to do with. Just wanted to put this out there.

  60. la says:

    aawrwb brs & srs,

    it’s wonderful to have the discussion… i submit for your consideration that to capture the imaginations and attention and intentions of our youth, we have to come like the sahabah (mabpwt). they spoke truth to power unflinchingly. many are the examples and my personal favorite is one of when the sr was kidnapped, cried out, and word got back to the kalifah who sent word to the kidnappers to send her back unharmed or he’d send an army and when the beginning of their forces got to them, the tail would still be coming.. they sent her back with body guards to ensure nothing happened to her. subhannallah!

    who’s representing muslims today? forgive me if this sounds unkind, but son-of-sissy. there’s no vobrado or strength in the voices calling our youth to the right way–perhaps it’s just too few voices, and that’s the problem. they’re hurting. confused. torn between here and there. wanting desperately to fit in, and know that everything’s alright at home… wanting a leader–a real leader. one who’ll call it like it is. give them absolutes of the deen. and make them want to check themselves–and serve allah swt.

    i love this article (even though it was loooooooooooooong) ;o) it needed to be said. as i read it, i was thinking ‘i’m a reader and am enjoying this, but i wonder how many of our youth would sit through the lecture or even make the time to read it?’ b/c it didn’t jump off the page… the audio was good, but we live in the age of hdtv–some folks only get a message visually and they were left out.

    we live in a time of microwaves and video games where life’s meaning is lost but for unplugging.

    what our youth need to hear on the regular are things like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ2p3bgRJDs
    –we all do. it’s inspiring. encouraging. uplifting. fortifying.

    and frankly, people need to wake up and realize that it’s not someone else’s teenager getting sucked into this foolishness, it could very well be my own. just like we need to talk w/our kids about sex and drugs, we need to talk w/them about politics and extremism, and stay in their ears. so when mr alphabet soup from whichever government or mr terrorist-recruiter comes calling, our kids hear us clearly in their minds guiding them to the right.

    us = parents, imams, aunts & uncles, neighbors and friends, youtube or halaltube lecturers, etc. and we need to be in the ears of our kids’ friends too. b/c peer pressure can only be abated by parental respect and open communications engendered with love, trust, and islamic tradition.

    let’s keep talking. much is at stake, so leave the fly poo in the pepper and focus on the steak and not the peas. the steak, is our kids and our quality of life here in america. [at least for this discussion, america’s foreign and domestic policy we can’t readily change–but suggestions and developing ways to address, support, and shore-up our youth we can].

    may allah strengthen our voices and make them sweet like honey to the ears of our youth. ameen.

    la

  61. Amad says:

    Comments closed. Pls see Dr. Ali’s new post to add any new comments based on the new information in the post.

    http://muslimmatters.org/2010/12/03/ali-shehata-on-american-foreign-policy-and-answering-the-%e2%80%9cwhat-can-we-do%e2%80%9d-question/

  62. […] and rather sadly, Muslim organisations in America, lacking a backbone or cowering in fear have failed to understand the propaganda warfare that is […]

  63. […] you read the two most recent posts on MM(here and here), and pay special attention to the comments posted by Amad and Mujahideen Ryder, I […]

  64. […] his first post, Saving Our Youth from the Disease of Radicalism, available on MuslimMatters.org today, he directly challenges the ideas of those like al-Awlaki, in […]

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