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William Rodriguez: From 9/11 to Islam

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If you haven’t heard it, it isn’t surprising. A quick google search doesn’t help much either. Seems the media doesn’t find much interest in stories that spin Islam in a way that contradicts the ‘official spin’. In any case, William Rodriguez was the last person to be pulled out of the rubble on 9/11 (interesting video here). He announced his conversion at the 2006 Texas Dawah. Another example of the power of Islam’s message.

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  1. Avatar

    Mujahideen Ryder

    March 23, 2007 at 1:13 AM

    Allah hu Akbar!!!!!!!


  2. Avatar

    abu abdillah

    March 23, 2007 at 1:16 AM

    one of our great scholars from ahl us sunnah passed away. may Allah (SWT) have mercy on him and forgive him his sins. Indeed the passing of our scholars is very sad

    It is with great sadness that I announce the passing away of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghaffar Hasan this morning in Islamabad, Pakistan.

    The Shaykh has been ill for some time now. You will probably know of the Shaykh in that he was the father of our beloved teacher Shaykh Suhaib Hasan and thus the grandfather of Imam Usama Hasan of Leyton, East London.

    This is incredibly sad news for many of us who benefitted from him and not just for the obvious news of the loss of more of our senior scholars as we slip further into times of ignorance.

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.

    Please take some time out to ask Allah ‘azza wa jall to shower His Mercy upon him.

    The Janazah prayer will be held tomorrow in Islamabad after the Jumu’ah prayer insha’Allah, almost certainly at King Faisal Masjid for those fortunate enough to be there to pray over him.

    Rahimahullah rahmatan wasi’ah.

  3. Avatar

    Reem Shaikh

    March 23, 2007 at 2:03 PM

    Oh yeah, I remember meeting him, William Rodreguez! I even shook hands with him!

    (Sorry for showing off ): , but I have no other comments to give)

  4. Avatar

    Ibn Ajibah

    March 25, 2007 at 1:40 PM

    By the way, Brother William also reported hearing explosions inside of the tower as he was in the lower levels. He believes that 9/11 was carried out by inside elements of the U.S. government. You can see him featured in 9/11 loose change (I think), and also in one or two of Alex Jones’ films.

  5. Avatar


    March 25, 2007 at 7:38 PM

    I can’t stand all these idiotic conspiracy theories floating around about 9/11. I can’t believe people even give credence to such stupidity

    Yes, It was an inside job perpetrated by the US government and Mossad. THat’s why all the Jews didn’t show up to work that day. Give me a break

  6. Amad


    March 25, 2007 at 9:56 PM

    Anon: I am not much for conspiracy theories either.
    Just an important clarification though: Br. Rodriguez became a Muslim only recently. His views on 9/11, which many may consider ‘unconventional’, predate his conversion by years. Just so that no one thinks that his conversion to Islam had any bearing on this issue.

  7. Avatar

    Ibn Ajibah

    March 26, 2007 at 6:54 AM

    True indeed. He has held those views for some time now-before his Islam.

    To anonymous, I truly have no interest in debating the issue, but surely you dont think that the official report on 9/11 is any better than many of the conspiracy theories out there? There are many theories out there, some are far out, and some make alot of sense. The 9/11 truth movement is gaining alot of ground these days and becoming more mainstream-so there are those who have an interest in painting them with one weirdo brush.

    As for the jews not showing up for work on that day, im not sure about the numbers, but there was a company that managed SMS text messages in Israel that did send an SMS to the Israelis working there. There was even a news report about this some time ago. You can do a search and find the relevant articles.

    Either way, I do not believe the official story of what happened whatsoever.

  8. Avatar

    abu h

    March 26, 2007 at 7:07 AM

    Don’t know… may be they not involved in it, but they know about it.

    Can’t deny some pre-knowledge:
    Link to Washington Post story, Newsbytes story, and Haaretz (anti-semitic Israeli newspaper as Br. Amad said) story.

  9. Avatar

    Ibn Ajibah

    March 26, 2007 at 2:40 PM

    Here is a link to an article in the Washington post about the 2 Israelis that recieved text messages before the attacks. Thats alot less than the 4,000 that was initially mentioned in the urban legend.

    here is the link for more articles on the same topic.

  10. Avatar

    Yasir Qadhi

    March 26, 2007 at 5:31 PM

    I had the great honor of accompanying William Rodriguez for a few hours in Nov of 2006 when we both attended the Global Peace and Unity Event in London. I sat next to him in the bus, and to my right was Sh. Yusuf Estess. We began talking and his fascinating story kept us spell-bound for the entire trip! But then, to make matters even sweeter, Sh. Yusuf began telling him about Islam and invited him to become a Muslim. A few days later, he did. As soon as I heard the news, I called him up, congratulated him, and asked him if he’d be willing to come down to Texas Dawah in a few weeks.

    Really nice guy….I did till him that he should write his memoirs ASAP, and may Allah protect him.

  11. Avatar


    March 26, 2007 at 6:56 PM

    Umm, kind of minor point to make, but Haaretz is not anti-semetic. Its a jewish newspaper, run by jews. Being liberal and critical of Israeli policy does not make one an antisemite/self-hater and I doubt the jews of all people could be called antisemites. I would think we would all recognize this distinction by now.

    Anyways, thanks for the clarification Amad. As I said I don’t buy into all of these theories (what I consider to be nonsense) No offense to any of you :)

  12. Amad


    March 26, 2007 at 7:10 PM

    Anon, I believe Abu H meant the Haaretz=anti-semitic slant in a sarcastic light. He refers to my article on the “Israeli lobby losing steam”, which contained a lot of satire.
    P.S. JazakAllahkhair Sh. Yasir for the inside-track on Br. Rodriguez’s conversion, Sh. Yusuf Estes ROCKS! I believe he will be at Texas Dawah this year, and just that one fact makes makes it all worth it!

  13. Avatar


    March 27, 2007 at 8:53 AM

    Subhanallah Allah guided another

  14. Avatar


    April 13, 2007 at 8:04 AM

    Wow! How embarassing it should be to the Bushes and their cohorts to see things going quite contrary to what they planned. I have no doubt that 911 is an inside job. But, what is amazing is the ever-increasing number of people waking up to this fact. Well, the criminals who planned and perpetrated 911 are surely feeling that things are getting out of control now. The fight against islam, against the american people and against freedom itself seems to be heading towards the exact opposite of what they expected the outcome to be.

  15. Avatar


    June 10, 2007 at 9:17 PM

    This really hurts Islam’s image, don’t you think that?

  16. Amad


    June 10, 2007 at 10:46 PM

    What really hurts Islam’s image?

  17. Avatar


    June 15, 2007 at 4:26 AM

    William Rodriguez is NOT a Muslim. How do i know? Because i asked him.

    Please retract this because Wikipedia are claiming William converted to Islam based on your false claim

  18. Amad


    June 15, 2007 at 8:52 AM

    Gareth, are you kidding me? Probably 1000 Muslims, including MYSELF, were witness to his testimony at the Texas Dawah Convention in Dec. 06. He did not convert at the Convention, he had done so months prior at the hands of Sh. Yusuf Estes. You really think we made up the whole story?

    Alhamdulillah, we have ENOUGH people converting to Islam EVERYDAY, that we do NOT need to make up fictitious claims.

    Unless he retracted his Islam, we are sticking with the story. However, we will try to contact him. If anything changed, may Allah keep him firm on his faith, then we will definitely add the new information.

  19. Avatar


    June 15, 2007 at 9:10 AM

    I’m afraid you are incorrect. He isn’t a muslim.

    And yes i really think you made up the whole story.

    You seem to be the sole source for this information on the internet.

    I suggest you retract it. Like i said, i asked him last night, and he says he has NOT converted to Islam.

    Why should HE retract it? He never said he was a muslim in the first place.

    If you cannot support your claim remove it.

  20. Amad


    June 15, 2007 at 9:23 AM

    And you want me to believe an anonymous commentator like yourself over the thousand witnesses in a grand event. I blogged about the event here: Event.

    Oh I made up this whole commentary as well. I am a good dreamer. All other names were fictitious as well. And my 9-year old (Reem’s comments above) also was part of the grand hoax when she claimed to have shaken William’s hand.

    Would any other people, who attended the particular event, please add your voices?

  21. Avatar


    June 15, 2007 at 9:32 AM

    I am fully aware you blogged the event because as i have mentioned before you are the only source for this false claim.

    Your 9-year old part of a hoax? Thats what is called a non sequitur.

    Either support your claim or remove it.

    • Avatar


      December 15, 2015 at 5:10 PM

      He IS a Muslim. I was there at the event.

  22. Amad


    June 15, 2007 at 9:57 AM

    You haven’t answered yet, what would motivate me to make such a claim and an elaborate hoax such as this? I mean Rodriguez isn’t a huge celebrity or even a minor one at that…

    Why would I even care? Why would I risk my credibility esp. since anyone who attended this huge event (covered in Houston Chronicle) could easily counter me? What am I am gaining through this?

    THINK with the little brain that God has endowed you with (hopefully). Why don’t YOU support your anonymous one-man claim? Right now, you are the one who needs to prove his credibility.

    As I already stated to you, we will contact him inshallah to ask him if he has retracted. So, be PATIENT.

    Until then, and unless you add any meaningful support to YOUR claim, your whining and accusations will be summarily discarded.

  23. Avatar

    Abu Bakr

    June 15, 2007 at 11:03 AM

    I was present at the event. He mentioned that he took shahada while at the global peace and unity event. He was a guest speaker, and backstage, he was sitting with Yasir Qadhi and Yusuf Estes. Yusuf Estes told him about Islam and he took shahada.

  24. Avatar


    June 15, 2007 at 11:06 AM

    I haven’t answered yet? You haven’t asked me to comment on your motivations until just now. I’m not however interested in your motivations.

    Rodriguez isn’t even a minor celebrity? Ha ha. Clueless.

    – Decorated at the White House 5 times
    – Was in Loose Change (viewed over 100 million times on the internet
    – Has met with the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, the Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Members of British Parliament etc
    – Has appeared on radio and television around the world

    William’s visit was in the Houston Chronicle? And. Another non sequitur.

    Why don’t i support my claim? You made your unsupported claim first. The onus is on you, clearly.

    Why don’t you get your story straight?

    On this page:

    You said ‘William joined us at Texas Dawah, and announced that he had converted to Islam a few weeks ago!’

    Yet a few comments above on this page you said: ‘ He did not convert at the Convention, he had done so months prior’

    What is it Amad? A few weeks prior or a few months prior?

  25. Amad


    June 15, 2007 at 11:18 AM

    As Abu Bakr stated, William was a guest at the Global P&J Conference, November 25-26 in London. See here. He converted there, so that is about 4 weeks and just over a month. Your last comment shows your desperation in making petty semantics arguments.

    Yusuf Estes was also there.

    What a co-incidence… Abu Bakr probably made up this story as well.

    And you are not concerned about my motivations because you don’t have anything to say on it. And I did NOT say that Chronicle reported on William’s visit. I stated that Texas Dawah, the event, was in the Chronicle. The implication is that it was a significant event, attended by many, which would easily allow people to belie me. Do you GET it?

    This argument is going no where. I am trying to find out if we can get a video or audio recording of the event. If there is, it will be duly posted and in your face. If there isn’t, there are enough witnesses to attest to my credibility, and I don’t really care what you think about it. Because, for starters, you are just another anonymous voice, which basically equates to zero credibility.

  26. Avatar

    Abu Omayr

    June 15, 2007 at 11:35 AM

    I was there when he announced it that he IS a Muslim. We do make Dua’ for his steadfastness and acceptance from Allah (SWT). That’s all one can do.

  27. Avatar


    June 15, 2007 at 11:52 AM

    I missed the session. But even before the conference, the director of conference Waleed Basyouni announced after Friday prayer in full masjid that we would have William Rodriguez as guest in our conference and he has converted to Islam recently.

    Gareth, why are you so offended if he has converted? And if you think he has not, why you have to make us believe that? How does it hurt you?

  28. Avatar


    June 15, 2007 at 12:14 PM

    I’m not offended or hurt in the slightest. I pointed out to a friend last night that according to Williams wikipedia page he converted to Islam in fall 2006. My friend put this to William and was told this wasn’t true. I’m checking this out again with my people, if i find out i’m wrong i’ll be the first to tell you.

  29. Amad


    June 15, 2007 at 12:41 PM

    Ok gareth, thank you for at least leaving the possibility in your mind that your info. could be wrong.

  30. Amad


    June 15, 2007 at 4:26 PM

    Gareth, just saw the email you sent us where you state:
    “I spoke to William last night and while he has the utmost respect for Islam, he has never claimed to have converted to Islam.”

    And you stated above, “William Rodriguez is NOT a Muslim. How do i know? Because i asked him.”

    However, your last comment contradicts both statements above, “My friend put this to William and was told this wasn’t true.”

    These represent two very different stories. While you have accused me of lying based on second-hand reports, you yourself have been caught doing the same right here on this website. Sorry friend, you need to do a lot more now to mend your credibility. Though I am glad that you have admitted to the the hearsay, for the sake of my brother William’s faith. Thanks.

  31. Avatar


    June 15, 2007 at 5:56 PM

    I was at TDC and saw/heard brother William R.

  32. Avatar


    June 16, 2007 at 4:54 AM

    I have had it confirmed (again) that William definitely has not converted to Islam.

    Someone will be in touch.

  33. Avatar


    June 16, 2007 at 8:23 AM

    I met William Rodriguez when he came to Scotland to give a talk, he came up to a few of us sisters, asked if we were coming to the talk then told us he had converted to Islam. There was a cameraman recording it too!

  34. Amad


    June 16, 2007 at 10:59 AM

    Gareth, no need to do too much effort… I have located the original audio CD for the session. Within a week or two, as time permits, inshallah, I’ll try to upload it (the guy who has it doesn’t have time to do the converting/uploading, so he’ll send it to me physically). That will be the end of the story.

  35. Avatar


    June 28, 2007 at 7:45 AM

    Hi everyone
    Asalaamu wa Alikum

    Okay… well William Rodriguez did not really want to announce it for a long time. However he explained himself at the East London Mosque/London Muslim Centre.

    He said he took his Shahada at last years Global Peace and Unity event in London with Yusuf Estes. He kept it to himself all this time for obvious reasons.

    The real STORY here everyone, is not about him just becoming Muslim. Let us not forget everything else this man is about.

    He did not want his personal conviction and conversion to have an impact upon his purpose as a spokesperson for the 911 Family Victim Groups and the overall 911 Truth movement. You see, he has had enough attacks upon him as it is. Thankfully, he also met Yvonne Ridley at GPU and kept contact with her also. She was accused of suffering from symptoms of some sort of sympathy for her captors trauma or something.

    William would have been defaced for taking on the religion of the terrorists and his image as NATIONAL HERO of 9/11, would be tarnished also. He represents a lot of people who are from many different backgrounds not just Islam.

    Let me remind you, that the Christian Ruler of Abysinnia, the Negus, became Muslim. However, by the wisdom of Prophet Muhammad(p.&b.u.h), he kept it secret. You see, he was the greatest Leader of Abysinnia and its Christians. To lose him would do more harm than good, so it was better to let him stay Leader as he was and keep his faith to himself. Hence why Prophet Muhammad did funeral prayers for him, as soon as the Angels told him of his passing.

    Now William was also unsure obviously. Its quite a BIG change, to go from atheist/agnostic, to theist, to Muslim. He wanted to learn himself more he wanted more time, before being sure enough to let others know.

    So he is Muslim. However, if MUSLIMS want to support their Muslim Brother William Rodriguez. They should SUPPORT what he stands for first, and let him tell others about his faith himself. Muslims should support this brother of ours, by propogating 9/11 Truth, but supporting William by getting people to visit his website, but buying his DVD from his online store on his website and by sending donations.

    Gareth I am sorry. I just… did not want to say anything until William was comfortable with it. You see, … many of us. Including I myself. I was athiest for many years. Then when I embraced Islam, no fault of my own really, I lost most of all my old friends. I had not even stopped clubbing or dating girls, just started praying and stopped drinking. I was still young in my faith. Yet people just left me. I used to be the most popular guy on Campus, everywhere, until I became Muslim.

    Now William… its no lie, that there are people that will start to feel differently about him, now that hes talking about conversion also. Everyone is free to their opinion. We just have to remember, when someone changes faith, does not mean that the essence of the person has changed. They are still the same person. I wish my old friends knew that, but they don’t.

    I apologise again Gareth. I meant not to mislead, I just did not want to mention it unless William himself was going to openly announce it himself at the East London Mosque talk.

    Thats all..

    Warm Regards, and Peace


  36. Avatar


    June 28, 2007 at 8:40 AM

    No worries at all Zu. Glad to get to the bottom of it is all. See you soon friend.

    Amad and all, allow me to apologise for my idiocy. I’ve left you little to believe me with but, though i jumped into this thread without thinking and getting my facts right, i did so with the very best of intentions.



  37. ibnabeeomar


    June 28, 2007 at 9:09 AM worries.. i must admit i do admire your posting that and taking the truth when it comes to you – thats a quality that i wish a lot more people had.

  38. Avatar


    June 28, 2007 at 10:02 AM

    You are a big man Gareth.

  39. Avatar


    June 28, 2007 at 2:37 PM

    Gareth btw- is a very active and valued member of the London Truth Group. He has done and continues to do a lot of work for us.

    I hope everyone here can hopefully come round and join us in doing the same.

    “Loose Change The Final Cut” is to come out in Cinema’s Worlwide this September. Help us make sure that as many cinema’s around the world and in our locality screen it for as long as possible and as much as possible!

    Keep up to date with News of the International 9/11 Campaign at

    Also check out David Ray Griffin’s “Debunking 9/11 Debunking”, this is an exemplary answer to all the critics of the 9/11 Truth Campaign. It answers and refutes all Debunkers of the more credible 9/11 Conspiracy Theory and debunks all defenders of the Official Government Conspiracy Theory.

  40. Amad


    June 28, 2007 at 3:18 PM

    It’s all cool… I am still trying to get that audio though…

  41. Avatar


    July 26, 2007 at 2:28 AM

    salaam..i came across this article as i was googling for the more details on the story of our brother william rodriguez..he is expected to come to malaysia to give a talk and share his experience this 31st of july. so i am very very excited tho i have to admit i am a bit sad as syeikh yusuf estes is the one who is supposed to come. i was really looking forward to meeting him! Allahu a’lam.. :) all the same, it is always inspiring to meet people who is from afar coming all the way to malaysia and hear their perspective and life experiences..

    and btw, this is my first time here in muslimmatters. looking good! :)

  42. Avatar


    July 31, 2007 at 12:34 PM


    I would just like to add (as I had also come to this post when searching for William Rodriguez+Muslim) that I have just come back from a talk by Brother William Rodriguez (31st July 2007) and ALHAMDULILLAAH he mentioned that he has indeed embraced Islaam and was supposed to ‘publicize’ it with Sheikh Yusuf Estes announcing it here in Malaysia (although unfortunately Sheikh Yusuf did not make it to Malaysia).

    What an amazing description of what he went through – detailed and thorough… and shocking.

    Alhamdulillaah… he actually mentioned that he said the syahadah in the taxi and they had stopped halfway whereby he was ‘welcomed’ by hugs by the other brothers who were there when they were on their way to the Global Peace and Unity event!

    May Allaah give him strength to continue and guide him and us all to His Straight Path, Ameen. May Allaah protect us, Ameen.

  43. Avatar

    Sis Najah

    August 1, 2007 at 10:04 AM

    Salam. I went to the talk by brother William R too last night. However, i went back early (i am a college student and supposed to be in hostel before 11 pm). I really wanted to know what made him embrace Islam (surely Allah’s will but just want to know how it happened). Well, alhamdulillah, i found my answer here…

    May Allah protect our faith in Islam. Ameen.

  44. Avatar

    Yanti Faisal

    August 3, 2007 at 6:06 AM

    Salams all. i had attended bro William’s talk as well with my husband in Malaysia on 31.7.2007 which went all almost till midnite. He’s account of what happened on 9/11 on that day was beautiful as he kept mentioning how Allah had planned it all for him and given him the courage to go thru it. My heart swell like a proud mother everytime he uttered the kalimah “alhamdulillah” on how he was saved and given the hidayah by Allah…

    Interesting to note for people who embracing Islam by Hidayah of Allah are more appreciative of greatness of Islam than the by birth rights Muslims..i am for one, guilty as charged.

  45. Avatar

    Ahmad AlFarsi

    December 4, 2007 at 6:04 PM

    Assalaamu alaykum,

    FINALLY, I found a Wikipedia-approved source that Br. William converted to Islam.

    I changed his Wiki site, and now they can’t undo our changes, inshaAllah, as we have a valid source (from the Malaysian government’s own website, mind you!).

    Muslims: 1
    Irritating Wikipedia moderators: 0

    Alhamdulillah :)

  46. ibnabeeomar


    December 4, 2007 at 11:33 PM

    mashallah nice job!

  47. Avatar


    December 6, 2007 at 4:42 PM

    Masha Allah Ahmad – good to establish official authenticity… Haddathana Malaysian Govt!

    Congratulations to Brs. William and Zabooka (belatedly) and ask that they include us in their prayers.. I was deeply affected by a video lecture by Willam Rodriguez – this was before I knew he was Muslim. I felt his sincerity and passion for truth.

    Gareth – keep up your own passion for truth. Know that Muslims are people of truth and you have friends here.

    Anon[ymous] – I respect your doubt but not the rank disregard for opinions. There is a lot more than just emotion in the truth movement. I’m skeptical about the reptilian Illuminati theory (unless they’re Jinn) but all is never as it seems

    w’Allahu `Alam. And God Knows the Truth.

  48. Avatar


    November 4, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Asalaamu wa Alikum fellow Brothers and Sisters.

    I felt like returning here after soo long. I managed to bump into our Brother William once again at this year’s GPU. Alhumdullillah he is looking much better. The last time I saw him, he was very ill from the effects of all the poisoning in New York after the attacks, from the toxic debri in the water and in the air. Before, he struggled to climb stairs and his weight kept ballooning, and he had a very strict diet as his digestion was weak.
    However, he has now lost some weight and looks much better. I asked him and he said hes been much much better. Though of course, some of the effects of the poisoning will remain unknown till much later. The US, even after Michael Moore’s “SICKO” covering the 9/11 First Responders and how they had suffered from this, still denies a proven link between what they are all suffering and dieing from, and what happened on 9/11, and also, lets not forget it was the US GOvt who said that the air is safe to breath and the water safe to drink.

    He has recently completed his Docu-Movie, which he has been selling and producing very slowly on DVD. Its called “Last Man Out”, which a lot of footage and new interviews of people that I had not seen before, and I had almost seen all footages 9/11 related till then.

    Hopefully he starts selling it on his website, or has it in production like Loose Change so perhaps we can all just simply get it on Amazon.

    I didn’t get a chance to see how his talk went at the GPU this year. Anyone have any updates?

    Warm regards with Salaams

  49. Avatar

    True Truther

    December 21, 2008 at 9:01 PM

    Gentlemen, I suggest you consider the following facts:

    On 9/11 William told CNN that he heard a rumble, and then a burned man came in. He said nothing about explosions then or the following year when he was CNN again. When he began traveling around the rumble become a “BOOM! An explosion so hard that it push us upward!” and the ceiling fell down and the sprinklers sprayed and the burned man came in saying “Explosion! Explosion!”

    For years William claimed that he “single-handedly rescued 15 persons.” Recently he has removed that claim from his website, in effect admitting that he lied about it for years.

    He has claimed that he saved hundreds by opening locked fire exits, but not one person will come forward to thank him for saving their lives
    in this way. If his “Key of Hope” was so important to saving lives, why was he allowed to take it with him when he was ordered to leave the building?

    William has done enormous damage to the credibility of the 9/11 Truth movement, and his impossible and highly self-serving tales of his own heroism are an insult to the dead heroes of 9/11.

  50. Avatar


    February 6, 2010 at 5:57 PM


    Truly and amazing man, and one we should all emulate. I’m so happy for him and may the struggle against injustice continue. For those who haven’t seen his narration of what he went through on 9/11 here’s the link:

  51. Pingback: Young Whites say 9/11 irrelevant, video: Scott Roberts and 9/11 - Page 50 - Stormfront

  52. Avatar


    March 9, 2011 at 8:54 AM

  53. Avatar


    March 10, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    ha! two negative comments from 2 deranged people. Truetruthers is nobody else but Brian Good.
    Google “Brian Good sex stalker” and foind out about his background against Muslim Brothers.

    Also the above link: from a recognized “infiltrator” named Phil Jayhan, who claims that there were not stairwells in the Towers, That the Towers were holoow, that the vicitms were PAID ACTORS, that the plane had explosive pods and a bunch of nonsense that makes you question his sanity. Now he has a beef with Br. ROdriguez, as Muslims we should expose those like JAyhan and Brian Good. Google also: Brian Good Greatest hits, screwloosechange. Salam

  54. Avatar


    August 21, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    There is no information about Br. William reverting to Islam on his wikipedia article, someone has edited it out.

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#Current Affairs

A Letter From The Executive Director

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AssalamuAlaikum Dear MM Fam,

Alhamdulillah in 2007, I was fortunate to be a part of the team that started up a little website called It’s hard to believe it’s been over a decade. In that time MM has grown from a group blog into a full-blown media entity giving an independent and authentic Islamic voice to contemporary spiritual, social, and political issues that we face.

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The Creation Of The Stereotypical Arab

stereotype Arabs
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Robert Entman, professor of media and public affairs, published an excellent study in  1993 in which he explained the inner workings of framing. Framing is a well-known concept within communication sciences and the study of mass communication, and concerns according to Entman both selection and promotion. He describes it as:

“The selection of some aspects of a perceived reality to make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and/or treatment recommendation for the item described”. (Entman 1993)

A typical frame consists therefore of four qualities. It selects a specific problem by considering and checking the related actors, with which resources they act and observed from their own cultural framework. Then, the greater forces behind the problem are identified, i.e. the broader context. Subsequently, ethical questions are raised that interpret and evaluate the effects and actions of what is taking place. Eventually, solutions and treatments are offered.

Entman illustrates this by giving the example of the Cold War. According to him, American media made during that time frame extensive use of the so-called “Cold War frame”. This frame selected for example the Vietnamese Civil War as a specific problem. It then identified the actors and greater forces behind that war, usually Communist rebels supported by the Soviet-Union and China. Subsequently, these media ethically appraised the whole situation, interpreting the war as instances of severe Atheist agression. This frame could then eventually lead to the promotion of specific solutions being presented to the common man, among which support of the United Stated to the opponents of Communism, and military intervention.

The caption of the Looney Tunes show Ali-Baba Bound reads: “Ali Baba, the mad dog of the desert.”

Framing is a means used by mass media to transmit specific messages to the audience. This is accomplished by using the classic transmission model, i.e. the sender who sends a message to the receiver through a channel/medium. However, Entman adds culture as an additional element for the transmission of a frame. Professor mass communication, writer and expert on racial and ethnical stereotypes in the media, Jack Shaheen, expands on this theory. After all, the framing phenomenon can not be completely understood when detached from the social and cultural context in which the message is transmitted to the audience. The era of Communism and the “Cold War frame” may be over, traditional mass media keep using frames to promote specific images among their audience.

Images that would certainly have a hard time to take root where it not for it adaption to existing and established cultural convictions. Convictions that were built up and developed through decades-long illustrations and representations within cultural productions, most notably in the movie industry.


Shaheen did some extensive research on the cultural depiction of Arabs in the Hollywood society. The results of his observations were brought together in the documentary Reel Bad Arabs (2006), one I’d recommend everyone interested in this subject. “Arabs are the most malign group in the history of Hollywood. They’re portrayed basically as sub-humans,” says Jack Shaheen to open his argument. “These images have been with us for more than a century.”

During no less than thirty years he watched thousands of movies, from the oldest ones to modern blockbusters, to observe and analyse the depiction of Arabs en Muslims in Western cinema. He subsequently discerns a dangerous and systematic pattern of hateful and racist stereotypes that strip a whole people of its humanity and depicts them as the embodiment of evil, fanaticism, and ignorance. According to Shaheen, this is an established fact from which filmmakers rarely deviate.

The land of the Arabs! An image Hollywood eagerly adopted from long-lost British and French explorers and writers that depicted the Arabs based on their own biased imagination of the Orient, the strange and exotic land that seemingly emanated stories like “One Thousand and One Nights”. The land with its eternal deserts, its threatening roughness, and ominous music. The desolate wilderness littered with palaces of rich and decadent pashas and their harem. The mysterious melodies that guide the movements of voluptuous belly dancers and snake charmers, watched by the all-seeing eyes of the scimitar wearing guards in movies like Invitation to the Dance from 1956.

Even today, such stereotypes are being used, even in children’s movies. Disney’s Alladin (1992) has been watched by millions of children all over the world but recycles nearly every stereotype that had been already used by the silent black-and-white Hollywood past to depict the so-called Arabland. A rough, unfriendly desert landscape where “they cut off your ear when they don’t like your face”, as stated in the opening song of the movie.

In the Looney Tunes animated cartoon Ali-Baba Bound (1940), we see the fairy tale character depicted as a cunning, insidiously grinning Arab with a beard, big nose and evil eye-brows who calls his companions by literally barking at them like a dog. The caption of the show reads: “Ali Baba, the mad dog of the desert.

Not only children, but adults as well see Arabs depicted in movies as hot-headed and impulsive simpletons who deliver some cheap and funny laughs. Take for example the India Jones movie Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), in which Indiana ends up face-to-face with a threatening and completely random armed Arab. The man tries to impress the American hero with his evil smile and some sword tricks, to which Indiana simply shoots him dead and runs off to continue his adventure.

The same Arab that prefers dogs over women. Indeed, an Arab states in The Happy Hooker goes to Washington from 1977 that “dogs are better than sheep. They’re cleaner, I know, I’ve tried dogs.” And if it isn’t dogs or sheep (think of the popular nickname “goatf*#ker” used by Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh to publicly denote Moroccans), than it is blond, American women.

The stereotype of the obtrusive Arab obsessed with white women appears so many times that it becomes ridiculous.Click To Tweet
Two Lebanese terrorists from “The Delta Force” (Cannon Film) – 1986


In the Bond movie Never Say Never Again (1983), Kim Bassinger is being undressed by a filthy  Arab businessman to be sold, with an unintelligible gurgling and crackling (Hollywood Arabic), to a bunch of miserable Bedouins. Arabs are being depicted as primitive and aggressive desert dwellers obsessed with American women as a welcome change to their usual covered and invisible womenfolk hidden in their palaces.

Those Arabs, on the other hand, that do effectively have access to modern society, technology and progress are being imagined as a faceless nuisance to Western society or death and destruction craving terrorists anxious to ruin the West.

Two businessmen in The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) jokingly state that Arabs “don’t go anywhere without their animals.” Note that they were talking about a recent trip by plane!

How was London?” the main character of the movie Chapter Two (1979) is being asked. “Full of Arabs,” he replies. Movies that are in no way related to Arabs or Muslims and aren’t connected to the Middle-East in any way still can’t resist to the urge of making racist and humiliating comments on screen.

Back To The Future

Even in the hugely popular Back to the Future from 1985, the above statement is sadly the case. The movie is a plain, American Sci-Fi picture for teenagers in which stereotypes about Arabs are nevertheless again introduced. Emmett Brown, scientist and the inventor of the time-traveling car is minding his own business when he suddenly gets shot at, without any motive or reason, by a bunch of Libyan terrorists. They shoot him and then focus on the main character Marty McFly. The shooter curses violently when his weapon jams and fails to kill McFly. When he finally resolves the issue with his machine gun, their car breaks down so they again fail in an almost cartoonish way to continue.

The reason for this sudden and random occurrence is completely unknown, and all throughout the rest of the story no reference is made to it. But the fact remains established, a group of inept Arabs killed the beloved professor.

Foreign Policy

Just like the above-mentioned Cold War frame, this frame on Arabs and Muslims is a perfectly suited tool of the mass media and the political establishment to help shape American foreign policy in the Middle-East and North Africa in the minds of the American citizens. Four different events caused Hollywood to radically increase its use of Arab and Muslim stereotypes. Before anything else, the creation and establishment of Israel in 1948 en the subsequent Arab-Israeli wars resulted in a clear positioning of the United States and Hollywood on the side of their Israeli ally. The Arab embargo that hit Europe and the USA during the 1970’s and the Iranian Revolution further contributed to the role of Arabs as thugs and greedy businessmen. The notorious War on Terror could count as the fourth reason for the establishment and representation of the Arab and Muslim as enemy of progress and freedom.

Take for example the plans of a rich Arab oil sheikh to buy his way up through the United States, conquering it in the process. In the movie Network from 1976, it’s insinuated that a group of Arab businessmen threat to almost run over the Unites States financially by buying up several companies and building plots. The character of Howard Beal than calls live on television to rise against these Arabs, that are planning to buy his TV network. A memorable and frightening scene than follows in which the audience can see a mob of angry citizens take to the streets to express their rage, an image of social hatred against a common enemy, the Arab.

The Ultimate Demon

If it’s not an evil, perverse, and decadent Arab businessman, the Arab gets the role of dangerous and hostile terrorist assigned. Reserved for Russians and Cubans during the days of the Cold War, Palestinians would later figure as the antagonists of the hero in American action movies. The terrorist antagonist stripped from any bit of motive and humanity, serving as fleshly embodiment of the ultimate evil.

This image is already used as early as 1960 in the movie Exodus, where the Palestinians are depicted as invisible enemies hiding in the desert who perform appalling acts against the innocent Jewish colonists because of their radical antisemitism. It’s no wonder that this movie was considered a major promotion for Zionist thought and a support for the Israeli cause.

Theologian and writer Roland Boer writes in his 2009 work on Biblical themes that the depiction of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in American cinema still influences American citizens to this day with regard to their opinion on the conflict.

Palestinian terrorists in “True Lies” – 1994

Over a decade later, we find the same old story in the movie Black Sunday (1977). A Palestinian female terrorist wished to detonate a blimp over a typical American sports stadium during the Super Bowl, with about 80.000 ordinary Americans present. The caption of the movie on its release poster reads: “It could be tomorrow!” Again, a decade later, Arnold Schwarzenegger faces a group of Palestinian terrorists that wishes to destroy American cities with nuclear missiles in True Lies from 1994. Again and again, Arabs and Muslims are being identified with hatred, terror and the ultimate failure of their plans due to the American action hero.

An image that, not unimportantly, was fed extensively by two Israeli producers, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who created The Cannon Group company. For over twenty years, The Cannon Group produced at least thirty movies in which everything Arab is being mocked and demonized. Yes, the political relationship between the USA and Israel does indeed trickle in the world of cinema. What could be a more effective weapon than a seemingly unending source of full-length movies in which enmity and distrust against a certain people is promoted? A cultural alliance to dismiss these Arabs, “sand n#^*rs”, “goat f*^#rs” and “ragheads”, fed by a billion dollar business.

The most striking example of this would be the movie Rules of Engagement from 2000. The film leads the audience to Yemen, where a mob of dusty Yemenis are protesting loudly in front of the American embassy. American marines are being asked to evacuate the present staff, when they suddenly open fire and mow down every single protester, including women and children. As a result of this event, an investigation is started to examine the decision of the marines to open fire. Towards the end of the movie, however, the audience is revealed a whole other story than initially portrayed. Plot twist, the Arab protesters were armed themselves and they opened fire on the American soldiers.

“Rules of Engagement” (Paramount Pictures) – 2000

Men and woman wildly brandishing guns and even a little girl that aims her pistol on an American soldier. A little, Arab girl that wasn’t nearly as innocent as she looked. A whole bunch of Arabs that weren’t as innocent as initially thought. They deserved to die! It was their own fault they attacked the mighty American army of the free! The marines had the right to kill them, to protect themselves! Sure, it was a massacre, but a legitimate one against the enemies of the USA. Against faceless, unknown human beings killed like animals.

Debunking Cultural Practices

Such movies present complicated and nuanced conflicts as a caricatural fight between Good and Evil. They polarize the wars in the Middle-East and North Africa by presenting the American cause as the necessary and just fight against demonized and inhuman enemy, an intrinsic evil. A propaganda weapon arises on a massive scale because of popular cultural injections.

Entman also describes culture as the “stock of commonly invoked frames“. In fact, he defines culture as “the empirically demonstrable set of common frames exhibited in the discourse and thinking of most people in a social grouping.” The fact that framing is then used extensively in the mass media, which includes movies, soaps and news reporting, could be explained from this point of view.

Because of the prolonged cultural impact of Hollywood, the frame of the Arab and Muslim is undoubtedly established within those societies that lie within its sphere of influence. The frame is developed as a cultural element within that society and determines how people look at messages and images that fit within that frame. The Arab that appears in the news is usually no individual. He’s a terrorist, a religious extremist, a zealot, a Muslim, a Palestinian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Syrian or Iranian. These are all frames that evoke certain connotations among the traditional receiving audience, developed within a shared consciousness.

It’s a dangerous trend, but the best solution is the simplest one of all: look beyond the message alone. Don’t let popular culture or traditional news reporting decide how you see the world, because there’ll always be agendas being followed to guide and manipulate you. Common sense, an open mind, and sufficient dialogue can debunk the most stubborn cultural prejudices.

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