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02 January 2010

Al-Aulaqi's extremism is nothing new

“Prominent British Muslims cannot claim that Anwar al-Aulaqi's violent jihadism has only emerged since the Iraq war”

Analysis of readers comments on the above Guardian Cif post by Faisal Gazi 17 November 2009 - See full post here

His argument is also summarised by this extract: “It is now clear US army major Nidal Hasan had a series of connections to the Islamist cleric, Anwar al-Aulaqi. For those of us who have studied, with increasing concern, the extreme teachings of this cleric, this tragedy is the inevitable consequence of unchecked Islamist radicalisation.

.... Many .... supporters were vocally defending Aulaqi until last week, and defaming those concerned about this man as Muslim-haters or self-loathing Muslims. Some are now arguing that Aulaqi only recently became a jihadist. This is simply not correct.

Although I believe the leadership of the Aulaqi-supporting organisations cannot have mistaken him for a moderate, the same does not necessarily hold true for their rank and file. Ordinary Muslims, turning up at events at which Aulaqi was promoted, may well have taken on trust the assertion that he is a religious authority with prodigious qualifications and a sincere and important message. …. They have been betrayed by their leadership.”

118 people made comments on this post. The comments can be categorised as (1) in support of Mr Gazi’s argument, (2) critical of Islamism, without any direct reference to Mr Gazi’s post, (3) neutral or unclassifiable, and (3) against Mr Gazi’s argument.

The comments in support of Mr Gazi got 62% of readers’ votes. Those against a miniscule 2%.

Votes for Comments
Support for Mr Gazi102062.4
Critical of Islamism35321.6
Neutral or Unclassified22914.0
Against Mr Gazi321.9

Extracts from top scoring comments are given below.

Brilliant and timely piece Faisal. Awlaki has been a nutter for a long time and he has been supported and endorsed by nutters in this country for a long time, including SNPs Osama Saeed and our own civil servant Azad Ali. Now they are stumbling to cover their tracks. Just like Bungawala ….

The lesson to be learnt from such cases is that extremism should be rejected before the kettle boils over. There is no point denouncing and playing dumb after a terrorist attack. Rejection of the ideology is key, not just denouncement of terror tactics.

I am seriously running out of patience with this stuff. …. Someone in government needs to stop pandering and tell it like it is. The extremists are in the minority, but its a much bigger minority than the government and "community leaders" would have us believe.

"Prominent British Muslims cannot claim that Anwar al-Aulaqi's violent jihadism has only emerged since the Iraq war"

But they will........

There is no doubt that Western foreign policy does give succour to Muslim extremists.

But let's be under no illusions that these reactionary …. freaks would still be spewing their bile …. even if the Western powers were perfectly benovolent.

A solid and timely article. I think that some in the acronym soup of muslim organisations in Britain feel that they can fool some of the people all of the time and indeed all of us some of the time. ….

Bunglawala tells us again that an Islamic Fascist is really moderate. He really is Grimmer Wormtongue made real.

And when we start to see those Islamic scholars and people like Inayat Bunglawala taking significant action against the Islamic 'preachers of hate' then, and only then, will we begin to believe their sincerity and that they are sincerely 'walking the walk' rather than just 'talking the talk'.

[muhammadamin said] [There was some concern that some of his views that he started to express were not consistent with what IFE stood for - ie the Jihadi 'tone']

As late as 2008, Azad Ali, a senior member of your organisation, wrote on the IFE blog:

"I really do love [Awlaki] for the sake of Allah, he has an uncanny way of explaining things to people which is endearing"

In that post, Azad Ali refers specifically to a piece on Awlaki's blog which claimed America is at war with Islam “and not just against the so called extremists”; insists that Muslims have a duty “to strive through Jihad to establish the Islamic Khilafah [caliphate]; and compares American Muslims who particpated in the presidential election to abused dogs that remain loyal to their “owners” only because they are given a bone once in a while.

…. The supporters of organisations like the IFE need to think long and hard about how their leadership came to champion Awlaki. We must also give serious consideration to the question on whether the leadership of the organisations I have mentioned in the article should be trusted in the future.


…. what is moderate Islam? Who is a moderate? Are bin-Laden and all the hate preachers true Muslims because they are defending Islam in their own way? If so can Islam ever live alongside any other faith system or will it always demand subservience (as described in the Koran) of other faith systems?

[berchmans said][ I would explain that they are wrong and the many Muslims I meet everyday...the gentle ones.. who represent the overwhelming majority ...not the tiny percent so adored by Islamophobes on CIF ...they are the real ones.]

But that is exactly the judgement which the Koran says neither YOU nor anyone else is entitled to make, any more than they are! So you really shouldn't go around claiming that the violent Muslims aren't proper Muslims,, duh ....

What's more, given the "islamic scholarship" claimed by and so often ascribed to people like al-Aulaqi, who quite happily cite verses in the Koran to justify their sociopathic actions, why on earth should anyone think that your cuddly-wuddly thinking is correct rather than theirs? ….

And why do you judge Islam by the relatively tiny number of Muslims you personally happen to meet? It's an ideology and should be judged on its ideology.

Bungalawala's disclaimers remind me of the tortoise who tried to cover his footprints in the sand by wiping them out with his tail. He only made a bigger mess.

…. Even our politicians dare not speak out. Remember Jacqui Smith and her pathetic attempts to re-brand 'Islamic terrorism' as anti-Islamic activity'? It is not only the extremists that have betrayed the majority Muslim community. It is the hand-wringing politically correct liberal establishment, and their pusillanimous shock troops at the Guardian.


…. Anwar [Awlaki] didn't just produce neo-conservative Wahabbi interpretations of Islam, he was already a nut-bar of the first order way back before his arrest.

For instance, his Constants in the Path of Jihad (circa 2004) contains gems like:

"Does it make sense that the Lord of the Universes’ Deen needs power through the kuffar by them giving it a green light? The religion of Allah will only gain power when it humiliates the kuffar. That’s how Allah wants His Deen to win.

Allah says, “He it is who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the true Deen, that He may make it victorious over all other systems, even though the mushrikoon hate it."

Allah also says, “They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths but Allah will perfect His light, even though the kafiroon hate it." Whether the kuffar like it or not, this Deen is going to dominate. We don’t need their approval of having Allah’s Deen dominate; and as Muslims, we shouldn’t worry about that.

Allah says, "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

The likes of Azad Ali or Osama Saeed, who were praising Anwar long after he'd Jihadist tripe like this will have to:

a) explain why they used to think these views were acceptable
b) explain why they were ignorant of these views, yet praised their promoter
c) get used to being politically radioactive

I marvel that Bunglawala is taken at all seriously but not surprised that you mention him here.

May I respectfully remind you that this is the "21st century" advocate of peace and interfaith understanding, but what sort of "moderate" Muslim somehow can't quite bring himself to condemn stoning for adultery in the era in which he lives? See here