City of Brass

City of Brass


refuting the self-promoting coward, Anwar al-Awlaki

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Anwar al-Awlaki is a radicalized imam who was born in the US but who is now living in Yemen and who has made a name for himself as a sympathizer to Al Qaeda and violent extremism. He was one of the staff imams at the Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center in Virginia back in 2001, and it seems that three of the 9-11 hijackers attended his services. It seems now that Major Nidal Malik Hasan was also a fan of al-Awlaki‘s teachings and attended some of his sermons – and al-Awlaki has now seized upon the actions of Hasan to pay homage to and glorify the Fort Hood attacks. This comes on the heels of news that Hasan reportedly tried to contact Al Qaeda.

What is there to say about al Awlaki? Though once a mainstream, moderate Imam, today he’s a radical extremist islamist. On his website, he calls all muslims who have condemned Hasan’s attack at Fort Hood “traitors to Islam” – I guess he’s talking about me, and frankly I am proud to be labeled a traitor by the likes of scum such as he.

Al Awlaki is far outside the mainstream of the muslim American community. The Dar al Hijrah center has completely repudiated al Awlaki’s statements and disavowed any relationship to him – here is their statement:

VA. MOSQUE REPUDIATES PRAISE FOR FORT HOOD KILLINGS – TOP

(FALLS CHURCH, VA., 11/9/09) – Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., today repudiated hate-filled statements made by a former imam who praised the recent killings at Fort Hood in Texas.

In its statement, the mosque said:

“As we understand the teaching of the scriptures, our mission and method as Americans of faith is to enrich our society with service, wisdom and beautiful preaching of God’s love and mercy to all of mankind.

“We openly denounce the statement of Mr. Al-Awlaki as posted on his website. During Mr. Al-Awlaki’s short employment at our center, his public speech was consistent with the values of tolerance and cooperation. After returning to Yemen, Mr. Awlaki now claims that the American Muslims who have condemned the violent acts of Major Hasan have ‘committed treason against the Muslim Umaah [community] and have fallen into hypocrisy.’

“With this reversal, Mr. Al-Awlaki has clearly set himself apart from Muslims in America. We continue to send our condolences and prayers for recovery of all the victims of this godless act.”

Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is one the largest and diverse Islamic Centers in the nation. We are committed to service the community as a place of worship, education and social service. Learn more at www.hijrah.org.

CONTACT: Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, Director of Outreach, (202) 345-5233

Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center
3159 Row Street NW
Falls Church, VA 22044
Tel: (703) 536-1030
Fax: (202) 536-1035
URL: http://www.hijrah.org
Email: dardirector@hijrah.org

Al Awlaki’s ideology is well beyond the bounds of even the most conservative muslim groups – for example, here is a two-part video refutation of al Awlaki’s ideologies by salafi muslims:

Part 1 -

Part 2 -

Lots more information about Anwar al-Awlaki and Nidal Malik Hasan at Talk Islam, in addition to the ongoing Fort Hood attacks coverage.



  • Davis Morley

    this man is still of Islamic faith whether extreme or not, who can trust any person who belongs to such faith, they continually teach hate and death, and flee to Christian founded counties to do more death and create more terror, Who knows when any one of them are going to go out and do more of what they are doing throughout the world.
    I agree with the Chinese and there policies, that they should be monitored continually and made to change their ideas and ways.
    They say they love Jesus, then why don’t they practice the virtues he taught and not the things of the unsuccessful hate related teachings of the Qua ran?
    If you live in Christian founded counties then Christian founded teachings should be adopted and supported, that is what has made these counties GREAT. And if it is to difficult for them to convert then they should live in a country that is founded upon and their faith and practices their beliefs

  • Dan

    A letter to Mr. Anwar Al-Awlaki:
    It’s tough to actually give an intelligent response or feedback to such moronic, idiotic and savage beliefs from your latest statement specific to the brutal killings in Texas. Let me first start by saying I am a liberal democrat, voted for President Obama and want nothing more than freedom for all cultures, ethnicity and personal choice. This CAN be accomplished through dialog, hope, time, understanding, acceptance and some luck. But I am pretty sure a logical starting point would not be to praise murder. What do you think?
    Where to begin…
    “He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people.”
    Guess what – deal with it. Everyone has hardships within their life. I’m sorry, but we all have our problems – and can be resolved without killing people!! (unless you are a coward of the worst possible kind). I have a thought; DON’T SERVE if your only way out is a deadly, vicious attack – a true disgrace to the human race and goodness of what we should and could stand for! Killing people to make a point? Sounds good to you I bet? If he really could not live with it nor himself, do you actually believe taking 13 innocent lives is acceptable or proves anything other than blind ignorance and continues us down that path of hate – and not a path of true change? You sir (Anwar Al-Awlaki) are an absolute horrific human being and you are a coward. Praising the killing of innocent lives not in the battle of war? Is that making a point? You should be ashamed of your beliefs…beliefs that continue to perpetuate hatred and war. I would personally like to challenge you to a discussion so the world can see that a normal/average guy like me can capture the true sprit of what peace can look like… but I suppose killing me might make a better point for you… right? After all – you believe and praise killing anyone who opposes what you believe in … correct?! You are a waste of atoms and oxygen.
    And the war is not a war against Islam! How uninformed are you? Do you really believe that? Are you that misguided? Did you break 500 on your SAT’s? (total score) – or break 10 on your ACT’s?
    To continue on…
    “Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done?”
    Virtue? You are sick and if you believe you are a religious and good man … you better re-evaluate and look into the mirror. You are a coward. You are weak and you cannot see beyond the lenses of hate and anger. There IS a war going on. Nobody likes that fact, but do you believe your tactics and beliefs or the act of murder actually make things better? Do you think he is a martyr? Do you believe his actions actually heal and work towards peace? Shame on you. I wonder if you even have a soul… and if you do … i fear it for your sake.
    You keep using the word ‘Honor’. If you believe there is honor in innocent murder, you are a fool. It is ‘possible’ you may be intelligent, but quite possibly the most misguided, stupid-“intelligent” person I have ever heard speak. I have one very simple question for you to ponder. Is your mission peace? If it is – I suggest you quit your job. If your mission is killin’ and prasin’ (sounds like a new song I will write for you) – then I guess you are on your way to be CEO.
    And by the way, he will not be forgiven…. except by the likes of you…
    If you want my cell phone or want to have a 1-1 discussion with me, please let me know. I am a peaceful man – and I challenge you to this request.

  • Mahmoud

    I would just like to say that in defense of TRUE ISLAAM that terrorist acts are not condoned and are looked at as a very grave sin. with regards to the gentlemen saying “this man is still of Islamic faith whether extreme or not, who can trust any person who belongs to such faith” your point may be valid but take a look at all these things when you consider your statement. should he same be applied to the catholics, because of the adverse cases of molestation? should the same be said for christianity because of the likes of timothy mc veigh and terry nichols. the answer is no, we should not condemn everyone who adheres to the Islaamic faith by the actions of one. the problem that arises is that people do not have a true understanding of Islaam and therefore the likes of fort hood occur. the same can be said about catholicism when instead of a man being allowed to marry he follows his desires because he has an innate nature for sexual fulfillment and thus molest children. this act does not condemn the parishoners of the church or the religion, but the action and the person who has done the action. the reality is that Islaam is perfect the people are not.

  • Fuad Kamal

    I have to wonder how much money you get paid to write this crap. Did you speak to Anwar yourself? What evidence do you have to support that he even made any of these statements?

  • Alicia

    Following up Dan’s comment, there is no contradiction between being a Muslim and serving in the U.S. Military. However, it seems to me that there is a contradiction between being an Islamist and serving in the U.S. Military (or any other military, for that matter). Freedom of conscience is recognized, but there is also an oath that involves swearing to “uphold the Constitution and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic without mental reservation.” (Paraphrasing this last.)
    As it says in the Bible, “no one can serve two masters.”

  • Dave

    Murder is murder. No matter how you put it. To kill in the name of any God is insanity at it’s finest. No good God condones murder. There are NO passages in either the Christan bible or the Holy Koran that says to murder people in God’s or Allah’s name. These are not God or Allah or whatever God’s name you want to use fearing people they must have some hidden personal agenda. Why and how else could ANY good person condone murder???????????

  • ali

    Dan, you seem to chase a fantastic illusion. An over simplistic attempt in coping with feud between U.S. and the Muslim world. to be soothe, you seem to be out of touch with the reality of what the U.S. is doing round the world. I suggest you don’t get involved in setting that does not suite you. I am bit intrigued at you inquiry toward Awlaki: “You should be ashamed of your beliefs…beliefs that continue to perpetuate hatred and war.” Really beliefs that PERPETUATE hatred and war? Really its the terrorist (which I wholeheartedly disagree btw)are instigating the war and hatred? Let me also guess your of the hundred million Americans that believe the clash between American and the Muslim began at 9/11. My dear friend, you heart seem to aim towards peace (which is a good thing), but the attainment of peace/serenity cannot (as sad as it is) be attained as long as America change their foreign policy. My friend if you truly new the heart of the conundrum you would be bit reserved in branding anyone as the impediment “towards peace.” Because the impediment of peace is the West and its cronies. BTW, so put my two cents in on the case: I can’t abandone my brother, Nidal, but he did break his covenant as a member of the U.S. army and that’s not Islamic.
    As for raising money for the victims family, I perfer raising money for the hundreds and millions of Muslim round the world that are in dire situation.

  • Moe

    Alicia, you are completely wrong. There is a substantial contradiction between being a Muslim and serving in the U.S Military. A Muslim in the U.S military is very likely to kill another Muslim, whether he is fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq. There is a narration that states the following about the killing of another Muslim:
    Narrated ‘Abdullah: The Prophet said, “Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (an evil doing) and killing him is Kufr (disbelief).”
    As you can see, there is a big contradiction with a Muslim being in the U.S military.

  • Alicia

    As someone pointed out recently, Moe, Muslims have been killing each other (often in battle) since there have been Muslims. Somehow, in spite of the teachings of the Prophet.
    The issue is whether the person who is serving in the military can in good conscience take an oath to serve (as I said) without mental reservations. That means that people must be both self-aware enough to ask themselves in advance whether they can fulfill their oath, and that the military itself must be aware that the potential for divided loyalties may exist.
    There are certain beliefs that would preclude a Muslim from serving – for instance, if they believe that America is at war with Islam, or, if their understanding of their faith suggests that they owe higher allegiance to an imam than they do to a commanding officer. In cases such as these, perhaps there should be a conscientious objector status.
    There are plenty of people, Muslim and otherwise, who take oaths of U.S. Citizenship, without entirely giving up their ethnic, religious, or cultural identity.

  • http://muslimbuddhist.blogspot.com Teed Rockwell

    I am so grateful that Aziz is publicizing these denunciations of the Fort Hood killings by Muslims. So many people continue to chant the mantra “Where is the Muslim Outrage?” because the mainstream media would rather write about bombs and killings than public pronouncement. I’m putting a link to this page on my blog, and sending it out to my political mailing list.

  • Ben

    I am very glad that I am not the author of this article. It’s one thing to disagree with a sweeping statement that another Muslim might make in public. But, it is a huge injustice to call another Muslim a “self-promoting coward”, a “scum”, and a “radical extremist islamist”. Doing so is called slander and it is transgressing the limits set by Allah.
    I thought you followed the Salaf? Why is your picture displayed openly then? I thought Allah has cursed the picture maker? Did you hire a Hindu to take your picture? You seem no different than a Christian propaganda lover in this article. Islamist….come on….what does that even mean, really?
    Islam + ist= One who practices Islam. Get a dictionary! You are using the propaganda of the western media against Muslims. This isn’t the first time Muslims have been mislabeled either. Christian missionaries used to call us “Mohammadans” as well.
    I suppose God’s love is found in the bullet hole covered bodies of Iraqi and Afghan women and children for the past 10 years? When will it be Halal to fight back in defense? How many Muslims must die before the Ummah cannot sit down and just pretend to smile about it?
    Why can people not defend their homes, wives, children, and neighbors, from aggressive murdering rapists?
    I have a neighbor with a mentally retarded son, and even this child knows that it is wrong to hurt others….but I guess Muslims with your methodology know less than a retarded child.

  • Justin

    Salaam Alaykum,
    It is hurtful and disturbing that so many Muslims jump to defend Anwar Awlaki even though he has himself became an oppressor. In Islam, we do not have ultimate allegiance to one tribe or another, rather our ultimate allegience is to the principles of Justice.
    Anwar Awlaki supports al-Qaeda, who in turn support killing civilian non-combatants, support suicide bombings, and support hateful rhetoric which has only brought more misery upon the Muslims. If they really care about helping oppressed Muslims, they would use the non-violent, legal means of protesting injustice. Bombings beget bombings, and every suicide bombing is followed by an air strike. We need Wisdom; the Wisdom to break the cycle of violence and to promote a peaceful world; the Wisdom to understand that not every American is our enemy and, in fact, many Americans share the same values as Muslims. We can come together on these values and marginilize the extremists on both sides of the ocean.
    Anwar Awlaki offers the world a message of hate, killing, and violence. He promotes war and revenge instead of peace and reconciliation. He demonizes the United States just as Islamophobes demonize Muslims.
    Dear Muslims, support the Amman Message and A Common Word. We need these initiatives now more than ever.

  • Your Name

    If you can not serve due to your phony religion and its ideas then dont join. The US would be way better off had they never led the middle eastern people immigrate in the first placed.
    Islam as well as all other religions is a sham and only simple minded people would truly believe in the Koran.

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  • imran

    did nadal killed innocents, as its alwayz a big up-roar from media and mouth piece of kufaar……we don’t see any statements when millions are killed in iraq,afghanistan,palestine,kashmir but alwayz see the statement when even a dog of enemy of Allah dies. where is concept of one Ummah, Al wala wal bara.
    sold for dollars and don’t want to loose luxuries of west.
    from a brother
    Jazak Allah

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  • Mikail Husayn

    This is a shame, that everyone jumps to condemn Sheikh Anwar al Awlaki just because the United States Government decides to call Him a TERRORIST. I challenge you to LISTEN to any lecture that Sheikh Anwar al Awlaki has given. Listen to them, and DECIDE FOR YOURSELF if he promotes terrorism. Instead of believing everything you are told by a media funded by the Corporations that have you enslaved already, how about you dig deeper? Or you can condemn this righteous man without a second thought, just because someone told you that he is a Terrorist.
    Make your choice. But be honest, with your SELF at least.

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  • http://sliceoflemon.com Sabrina

    ASAK. How do you know that was Imam Awlaki who said those things? I don’t know, I feel like I don’t trust what anyone says, until I hear it myself in context. And I’m saying this as a journalist who has worked in the American news media myself. Only God knows the truth, but I will say that people who commit acts of terror (be it Muslims, or non-)often use others as a scape goat for their own actions. Like, okay, these people (Ft. Hood shooter and others) might have attended an Awlaki lecture, but that doesn’t mean they learned to do wrong from him. If you’re not afraid to take a human life, you obviously have deeply-rooted problems that stem from somewhere other than attending one session with one imam. My take on it is this: If a Muslim woman asked me for $5, I’d give it to her. Now if she took that $5 to go to CVS, and buy a razor to shave her legs so she could go meet her boyfriend and have premarital sex with him, whose fault is that? According to CNN, that would be MY fault because Good GOD! How dare you give her $5?!?!?? But isn’t the reality that each of us are responsible for our own actions? Why should I be held accountable for the actions of another person. What if she took that $5 and bought a pack of Twizzlers, and then didn’t brush her teeth for two weeks, and then got a cavity? Would the cavity be my fault too? Islam teaches us that each action will be judged by its intention, and that one of the most important, fundamental concepts of Islam is that of accountability. We have to claim responsibility for our own actions, not blame imams, or our parents, or our childhoods, or our circumstance…or the girl that gave you $5. Only God knows the truth about imam Awlaki and others. I just hope that the Muslim leaders of today get educated, and stand up for the truth. Until Muslims start living the example, no one will ever take this religion seriously.

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  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/cityofbrass/2009/11/refuting-the-self-promoting-co.html Saiffullah

    Im really surprised to hear a Muslim taking about Anwar al awlaki like this..perhaps your an imposter looking to defame anwar and islam in general but all in vain of course. In my opinion, anwar alawlaki is one of the few muslims today able to stand up against the west and not suck up to them. and as sad as that sounds its the truth. It is despicable to see some Muslims trying to camouflage in the west trying so hard to be accepted by them and be like them when it is they who should try to emulate us! I think many Muslims would agree to me saying that Imam Anwar and others like him are the dignity of our nation at this point.
    All praise to Allah(swt) that his success does not depend on what you or the kufar think and want! The reality is that even if the entire world goes against him, kufars and the so called muslims, they cant stop him or do anything to harm him in the least bit and i think he knows it! why? because to Allah return all decisions and nothing happens except by His Will.
    May Allah guide us all and I pray I have the honour one day of serving imam Anwar or fighting alongside him in jihad in order to re estabilish the khilafah.Amin
    wa salaam.

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    What is there to say about al Awlaki? Though once a mainstream, moderate Imam, today he’s a radical extremist islamist. On his website, he calls all muslims who have condemned Hasan’s attack at Fort Hood “traitors to Islam” – I guess he’s talking about me, and frankly I am proud to be labeled a traitor by the likes of scum such as he.

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    What is there to say about al Awlaki? Though once a mainstream, moderate Imam, today he’s a radical extremist islamist. On his website, he calls all muslims who have condemned Hasan’s attack at Fort Hood “traitors to Islam” – I guess he’s talking about me, and frankly I am proud to be labeled a traitor by the likes of scum such as he.
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  • Anti-Islam

    Why are you Muslims so blind to the hatred you bring upon yourselves? you invade countries, destroy cultures that had been there years before your prophet, you arrogantly decide that you are the best of mankind, when you have nothing to offer the world. And you dare to complain when we, the true Humans, fight back?
    I, through experience, have learnt that Muslims are the most evil degenerate human beings ever.
    As much it saddens me to say it, the world would be better off, if every Muslim was exterminated. you’ll never live in peace with us, you’ll always cause discord and strife.
    So sorry but all Muslims must be exterminated for the good of Mankind

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