Abu Abdissalam and “War On Islam”

These are the speakers at tomorrow’s event at the East London Mosque’s London Muslim Centre (LMC):

– Abdurraheem Green
– Hamza Andreas Tzortzis
– Abu Abdissalam
– Jalal ibn Saeed
– Adnan Rashid
– Yusuf Chambers

It is a list that is typical for iERA, the event organiser, and the LMC too. iERA has a whole set of extremists for advisors, including two men who have been banned from the UK (Bilal Philips and Zakir Naik), while the LMC has welcomed hate preachers for years on end.

Several names on the list will be familiar to readers of this blog. Abu Abdissalam, a Saudi-trained British preacher, may not be.

His divisive and spiteful message was on stark display last year in a dispute with Tawfique Chowdhury, another preacher. Chowdhury had addressed a Muslim Council of Wales meeting which included “some of the nation’s top anti-terrorism chiefs and prevention of extremism experts”. He argued that mainstream Islamic scholars have an important role to play in countering extremism, including working with the authorities.

In Abu Abdissalam’s book, this was a very big mistake. He tore into Chowdhury and “the West”, accusing the US and the UK of “genocide”:

I don’t think it is at all possible for any sincere Muslim to be an ally of the ‘West’, natural or otherwise, in its war against extremism and terrorism:

What is the definition of terrorism? What is the definition of extremism? There is no international agreed-upon definition of “terrorism” and this is because if it were defined it would only expose the mass terrorism and genocide of the US and UK governments. Therefore, the last people on earth to use this term should be the Muslims as we are the ones that this term was invented for to attack.

You see, police and security officers are waging war on Islam:

Anybody who works with the Muslim communities knows that these same anti-terrorism personnel that you addressed are abusing our religion and brutalising our youth. Look how they assaulted people like Babar Ahmad, the Forest Gate brothers, among others. Therefore, the perception is that this is not a war against terrorism but a war against Islam itself. We can never work with people who are at war with Islam.

Scholars should beware, for stoning and mutilation are at stake:

Tony Blair himself said that he wanted to widen the definition of what he called ‘Reactionary Islam’ – i.e. that ‘version’ of Islam that he is at war with! When you see the attributes of this Reactionary Islam, you find that it includes beliefs such as the stoning to death of the adulterer, cutting the hand of the thief, obligation of hijab, and so on. This is the definition of extremism in the West and this is precisely what their war is against! It is absurd to suggest that we can be allies with them in this!

Allah did warn about “them”, he continues:

They will never be pleased with you until you follow their way. Allah has told us this in His Book and we should not think otherwise. We need to stop trying to be accepted by them just so that our lives become easier. I believe that your intention was very noble: your goal was to ask them to stop harassing Muslim preachers as they are the ones imparting the correct Islamic teachings which are against extremism. However, this in itself is also untrue because the very definitions of extremism are completely different as mentioned above. We are NOT against the same ‘extremism’ that they are against.

Why even Ali al Timimi is persecuted:

They have defined extremism as Islam and therefore they harm the preachers of this true Islam. Again, I would refer you to the many cases that are going on in the US and the UK which illustrate this point. I know you don’t believe that Sh. Ali Timimi was an extremist. They do and that is why they harmed him. There are countless cases like this and aiding them and allying with them in this war on terror is aiding them against more and more Ali Timimis.

What did Timimi do? He’s no extremist. He only recruited (pdf) young men for jihad against America in the aftermath of September 11:

Within five days of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Al-Timimi believed that an American invasion of Afghanistan was imminent because the Taliban refused the demands of the United States to turn over Usama Bin Laden. The indictment alleged that, under that belief, Al-Timimi told Kwon, Royer, Khan, Aatique, and Hasan, at a meeting at Kwon’s house in Fairfax, Virginia, that the time had come for them to go abroad to join the mujahideen engaged in violent jihad in Afghanistan, and that American troops likely to arrive in Afghanistan would be legitimate targets of the violent jihad in which his listeners had a duty to engage.

Timimi also told the truth about Shias and Jews:

For example, when asked, by an audience member during a lecture he gave whether it is permissible for a Sunni to pray with a Shiite, Al-Timimi responded: “Ok, you cannot pray behind any of these people. In fact if we were in an Islamic state these people their, their heads should be, you know, lopped off, that’s what, you know, should be done to these people. They deserve nothing better than to just cut their necks, if we were in an Islamic country. To be [UI word] to make the chance to make repentance and if they do not repent to cut their necks, that’s what these people deserve.

They seek to morally corrupt the region, as is the way with the Jews whenever they enter into a land.

We must understand this animosity that the Jews harbour and hold towards this ummah. It began from the time of the prophet and will continue until the appearance of their king and false god, the dajjal (devil), the Antichrist.

On its website, the East London Mosque still claims to be a force for good:

The East London Mosque works actively to promote tolerance and understanding.

Our Imams and community workers encourage constructive engagement in society and a rejection of extremism in all its forms. We unequivocally reject all terrorism.

Sadly it seems some key civil servants still don’t get this joke.