A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, November 23, 2009

‘Awlaqi the "Infidel"

Anwar al-‘Awlaqi, the Yemeni-American Islamist preacher who has drawn a great deal of attention because of his alleged links and connections with the Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, has already publicly distanced himself from Hasan's actions, but it appears that his radical jihadi credentials may have been questioned previously. Guest posting over at Jihadica, Brian Fishman, former Director of Research at West Point's Center for Combating Terrorism (go ahead, tell me with a straight face that they're apologists for Islamist extremism), notes that ‘Awlaqi himself was once denounced by a radical London Islamist (now also deported), for being insuifficiently strict in his application of takfir (declaring a fellow Muslim an unbeliever), with the result that he was, in effect, himself declared a kafir.

It's an interesting sidelight for those who are seriously interested in following what the jihadi radicals are saying, as opposed to either 1) tarring all Muslims with the jihadi brush or 2) defending the most rabid excesses of the takfiris who have little following among most Muslims.

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