From the Times:
“One of [Muktar Said-Ibrahim’s] family’s neighbours said that she had seen him recently and he spoke of a wish to die as a martyr. Sarah Scott, 23, who has known Ibrahim for 12 years, said that in November he handed her a copy of a pamphlet called Understanding Islam, written by an Islamic scholar.
She said: “He asked me if I was Catholic because I have Irish family and I said I didn’t believe in anything. He said I should. He told me he was going to have all these virgins when he got to Heaven if he praises Allah. He said if you pray to Allah and if you have been loyal to Allah you would get 80 virgins, or something like that.
“He gave me a book and told me to read it. He said it would change my views. He said people were afraid of religion and people should not be afraid.”
One paragraph in the book, by Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, highlighted by Ibrahim, said: “Anyone who says ‘there is no God (worthy of worship) except Allah’ and dies holding to that (belief) will enter Paradise.” “
From the Telegraph:
“He talked about evil spirits,” she said. ”He said there were a lot of evil spirits around because everyone was evil around here.”
Here is a hint for the future. If a childhood friend starts babbling about evil spirits and then tells you that they would like to die as a martyr, don’t keep it to yourself.
Incidentally, if you’re interested Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, a Jamaican ex-Communist convert to Islam who teaches at the American University in Dubai and Ajman University in the UAE, you can find his website is here. From a skim-reading of his biography and this “Reply to Critics“, it appears that he started off in the theological space occupied by the Muslim Brotherhood, but later recanted and became a “sheikhist” salafist. But I’m only an amateur in discerning this sort of stuff.