By Robert Spencer
In 2002, PBS produced a documentary on the life of Muhammad, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet. I wrote in a National Review article at the time that the documentary presented an “attractively packaged, sanitized version of Islam.” It features Islamic apologist Karen Armstrong; Daisy Khan, the deeply deceitful “moderate” who shot to national prominence in the Ground Zero mosque controversy, and others of that ilk.
But it is also noteworthy for capturing the slain jihad terror mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki, leading Muslim prayers on Capitol Hill. Al-Awlaki was involved in many of the recent jihad mass murder plots in the United States; he was in contact with Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood jihad mass murderer; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas underwear jihadist; and others,
Of course, the New York Times hailed al-Awlaki on October 19, 2001 as one of “a new generation of Muslim leader capable of merging East and West,” and so he was widely reputed to be a “moderate” at the time, but that’s just the point. One of the supposed “gotcha” quotes that Leftists and Islamic supremacists like to use against me is one in which I said that there is “no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists.” The PBS documentary, however, shows that to be absolutely true: no one was getting up and walking out on al-Awlaki, or saying he shouldn’t be preaching or leading the prayers. Many argue that al-Awlaki really was “moderate” then and became “radicalized” later, but even then, there is no record of his former friends and associates repudiating his new “radical” views.
What we do not see is Muslims in the U.S. pronouncing takfir on those who believe in the Islam of al-Awlaki -- that is, declaring them non-Muslim and excluding them from Muslim communities. The reality is that one who holds to the idea that jihad (violent and non-violent) must be waged against Americans in order to impose Sharia upon them is not put out of American mosques, and those who by their actions earn the media title of “extremist” move freely among Muslims in the U.S. until they commit their act of “extremism.”
More evidence of this comes from the same PBS documentary. For also present for al-Awlaki’s sermon was Hamas-linked CAIR’s Nihad Awad, along with (I believe) his henchman Ibrahim “Honest Ibe” Hooper. Awad and Hooper, of course, are routinely cited in the mainstream media as if they were “civil rights leaders.” And also present was another man who had been an employee of Hamas-linked CAIR: Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer, who is now serving a 20-year sentence for jihad terror plotting.
So if there is a distinction in the Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists, it certainly wasn’t evident at this Capitol Hill prayer meeting, where a jihad mass murder mastermind preached the khutba for a group containing a jihad terror plotter, two leading “moderate” Muslim spokesmen, and a congressman’s chief of staff.
Further indication of the lack of distinction between “extremists”
and “moderates” came last week, when Awad teamed with Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi,
among others, to announce
that the production of a whitewashed movie about Muhammad, so as to fool
the ever-credulous kuffar. And why not? As head of Hamas-linked CAIR, Awad has
been fooling the kuffar for years, as has Qaradawi, who has won praise as a
reformist from Saudi-funded pseudo-academic John Esposito and counts former
London Mayor Ken Livingstone among his friends.
Qaradawi is the most popular Islamic preacher in the world. He said on al-Jazeera: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers….”
Qaradawi continued: “I’d like to say that the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom.”
Awad is consistent, at least. He must think that nothing will shake the faith that government, law enforcement and the media have in Hamas-linked CAIR as a “civil rights” organization. And he’s probably right.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Did Muhammad Exist?.