WaPo Baghdadi obit not the only jihad-covering doozy from mainstream media
Speaking of the deaths of austere religious scholars, the Detroit Free Press published a ten-year anniversary tribute to the late Imam Luqman Abdullah, an outspoken jihadist who died a violent death during an FBI raid in Dearborn on October 28, 2009. According to the FBI, and the independent investigations of the incident, Abdullah was shot resisting arrest after he refused repeated law enforcement commands to show his hands, then fired his Glock at a police dog while nearby agents were in his line of his fire, who then shot him in self-defense. According to CAIR Michigan, it was an FBI murder. According to the Freep's Niraj Warikoo, Abdullah "is the first mainstream religious leader to die in the U.S. at the hands of federal law enforcement in recent memory." He makes it sound as if there's an ongoing pattern of religious leaders getting murdered by cops, but since it's been ten years since the last one, it's not much of a trend.
Abdullah was imam of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit, part of the Dar-ul-Islam "national community," a mostly black American radical Sunni Muslim group headed by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, the former Black Panther H. Rap Brown. Al-Amin, a darling of CAIR and praised recently by one fellow Muslim as a "soft-spoken, bookish Imam," is currently serving a life stretch for murdering (post his conversion to the Religion of Peace) a Georgia sheriff's deputy and wounding his partner. In the years before that, Imam Al-Amin was getting arrested for theft, impersonating an officer, shooting a drug-dealer, and carrying concealed weapons, and investigated in more than a dozen homicides linked to "revenge, business rivalries and eliminating people who 'knew too much.'" Imam Luqman was also a convicted felon, a small-time and not very successful crook, with a record for armed violence and concealed weapons. When he died, he had charges against him for arson-related insurance fraud, trafficking in stolen merchandise, various firearms violations, and tampering with vehicle VINs. At the time of the FBI raid, he and his associates were unloading what they believed to be stolen TV sets.
Abdullah hated all non-Muslim Kuffars ("the worst Muslim is better than the best Kafir"; "... Obama is a Kafir. McCain, all the rest of them are Kuffars"), he considered himself and his followers soldiers at war with the United States, and he taught them, "we should be trying to figure out how to fight the Kuffar ... figure out how to be a bullet." Abdullah said, "Muslims need to cut the ties with Christians, Jews, and Kuffars" and talked incessantly about his determination to shoot cops and never be captured alive. But in spite of Imam Luqman's criminality, and his dreams of imposing a sharia government inside the United States, Warikoo isn't exaggerating when he calls the late imam "mainstream." Almost every mainstream imam in the Detroit area — and some from out of town — turned out for his funeral, calling him a humanitarian and asking "Allah to reward him with the promised reward of those who are martyred." They all thought this violent Jew-Christian-cop-hating jihadist was mainstream. They all thought he was a shaheed.
In fact, the only people who tried to deny he was a mainstream Muslim were the Kuffars at the FBI. "Any Muslim who took a look at what these people believe in," squeaked then–FBI special agent in Charge Andrew Arena, "would not recognize this as the Muslim faith." But the mainstream Muslim groups recognized it just fine, as they still do. Otherwise, as I asked at the time, "why would Detroit/Dearborn's mainstream' Muslim community pour out to honor the renegade member of a breakaway ideology?"
But that's how the FBI sounded back in 2009, after years of Robert Mueller having CAIR sanitize the bureau's counterterrorism training of anything negative about Islam and permitting that Muslim Brotherhood front, as Andrew McCarthy put it, "to indoctrinate our agents during compulsory 'sensitivity training' lectures."
Now, near simultaneously with the Washington Post's description of the savage Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an ascetic scholar of Islam "with wire-frame glasses and no known aptitude for fighting and killing," we get the Detroit Free Press fondly lamenting the late Imam Luqman Abdullah as "a man of the people," who "loved to see the unity amongst people, to bring people together." Local CAIR director Dawud Walid doesn't seem to remember the imam for hating Kuffars, only for feeding indigent people and poor children — your basic Motor City Mother Teresa in a bulletproof vest.
There's lots of the outrage at WaPo's headline is its apparently ridiculous characterization of the terrorist, rapist, and serial beheader al-Baghdadi as an earnest and learned religious man. But I'll defend the WaPo editor, at least for being accidentally right, while, most likely, stupidly attempting to rob Donald Trump of credit for al-Baghdadi's demise. Why is it ridiculous for a devout and bookish religious scholar to be a violent and lawless murderer at the same time? Doesn't that all depend on which religion he's been studying, and what that religion considers the supreme act of obedience? If mainstream Muslims can recognize the Muslim faith in Abdullah's and Al-Amin's brand of extremism, then why can't we recognize it in al-Baghdadi's?
T.R. Clancy looks at the world from Dearborn, Michigan. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.