Civilization Jihad

Muslim Leaders Opposed by ISIS Still Have Questions to Answer

A glowing profile of some American Muslim leaders targeted by ISIS doesn't ask enough questions.

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | May 11, 2016

The New York Times ran a news story on Islamic State (ISIS) death threats against some American Muslim leaders.  It names two in particular, Suhaib Webb and Hamza Yusuf.  ISIS has declared them to be apostates in its latest issue of its propaganda magazine, Dabiq.  Being declared an apostate from Islam makes you deserve the death penalty, but ISIS went further and referred to these men as “obligatory targets” for any devout follower of the caliphate who has the opportunity.  The FBI takes the threat seriously enough that it has sent agents to consult with them about their personal security.

“It’s an honor to be denounced by ISIS,” said Imam Webb, and he is right.  On the other hand, ISIS frequently deploys accusations of apostasy against its opponents in its struggle to lead the Islamic world, a quality which makes them called takfiri.  Al Qaeda and ISIS sometimes declare each others’ members to be guilty of apostasy.  It is not enough to find that a Muslim leader has been denounced by ISIS as an apostate.  Some inquiry into the content of their beliefs is necessary as well.

For example, Imam Webb seems willing to proclaim that the Koran curses ‘men who act as women, or vice versa.’  It is good that he is opposed to ISIS, but is he also opposed to America’s tradition of tolerance for sexual minorities?

Webb has also spoken out against America’s secularist tradition, calling it “lunacy.”  He has been a “resident scholar” at the Boston Mosque that has produced a dozen terrorist attackers in America.  He has also been under FBI surveillance for suspected ties to radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki through the Muslim American Society, itself an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Awlaki represented such a threat to the United States that the Obama administration had him killed by drone strike without due process, even though he was a U.S. citizen.  Many of those with whom he had ties ended up carrying out terrorist acts as a direct result of his influence on them.

As for Hamza Yusuf, he was being sought by the FBI in the days after September 11th to address his remarks that America had been “condemned.”  Even then his ties to the highest levels of American power were evident.

On September 20, 2001 — just nine days after the deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon — Shaykh Hamza Yusuf was the Muslim representative in a small ecumenical gathering held in the Oval Office. At the same time, FBI agents were trying to interview him at his house in California since he had declared two days before the attack: “This country is facing a terrible fate….This country stands condemned. It stands condemned like Europe stood condemned because of what it did — and lest people forget that Europe suffered two world wars after conquering the Muslim lands.” His wife told the incredulous agents Yusuf wasn’t home, he was with the President.

Insofar as ISIS comes after any American we should stand in their defense.  However, being condemned by ISIS — while indeed an honor — is not sufficient.  We need to know that you embrace America’s values, such as secularism and tolerance for minorities, even where they conflict with Islam.


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