Message from the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center
In name of God, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.
Upon the death of a person, Prophet Muḥammad, SAW, was reported to say,
“Innallilahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon” from God we come and to God is our return.
Today the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center acknowledges the death of a former imām, imām Anwar Al-Awlaki. While employed at Dar Al-Hijrah, imām Al-Awlaki was known for his interfaith outreach, civic engagement and tolerance in the Northern Virginia community.
However, after Mr. Al-Awlaki's departure from the mosque in 2002 he was arrested by Yemeni authorities and allegedly tortured. It was then that Al-Awlaki began preaching violence and has now died violently in an apparent drone strike. In recent years, while in his self imposed exile, Mr. Al-Awlaki encouraged impressionable American Muslims to attack their own country. With his death, Al-Awlaki will no longer be able to spread his hate speech over the Internet to our youth.
We reiterate that as an American faith community we do not accept violence nor extremism and re-commit ourselves to our message living our faith in peace, tolerance and the promotion of the public good.
The Qur'an teaches us:
“We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.” 5:32
We must also add that in previous statements we have rejected the use of extra-judicial assassination of any human being and especially an American citizen which includes Al-Awlaki. We reiterate our commitment to “due process under law” and justice and are concerned that the alleged drone attack sends the wrong message to law abiding people around the world.
Civil Liberties Concerns raised in video from Democracy Now
The United States has confirmed the killing of the radical Yemeni-American cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, in northern Yemen. The Obama administration says Al-Awlaki is one of the most influential al-Qaeda operatives on its 'most wanted' list. In response to news of al-Awlaki's death, constitutional scholar Glenn Greenwald and others argue the assassination of U.S. citizens without due process has now has become a reality. “One of the bizarre aspects of it is that media and government reports try to sell al-Awlaki as some grand terrorist mastermind … describing him as the new bin Laden. The United States government needs a terrorist mastermind to replace Osama bin Laden to justify this type of endless war … For a while, al-Awlaki was going to serve that function,” Greenwald says. “If you are somebody that believes the President of the United States has the power to order your fellow citizens murdered, assassinated, killed without a shred of due process … then you are really declaring yourself to be as pure of an authoritarian as it gets.”