Awlaki Unlucky

Let me start by saying “good riddance…”.

The BBC has the rest.

Lucy Lips adds

I wonder if CagePrisoners knew, yesterday, that Awlaki was dead.

Yesterday, Asim Qureshi – an outspoken supporter of jihad against British soldiers – posted a long elegy contemplating the life of  CagePrisoners’ Sheikh.

In it, he peddles the myth that Awlaki was a peaceful religious man, turned to terrorism following his arrest in Yemen. Here’s a taster:

The current US administration should reflect on the opportunity that it missed in Anwar al-Awlaki to understand the needs of the Muslim community and engage with it in order to reach a wider audience.

Over the last year, Anwar al-Awlaki has been a figure of interest to the world due to various incidents that he is alleged to have been involved in. The media has attempted to portray al-Awlaki as everything from a radical preacher to Al-Qaeda’s spiritual guide in Yemen. The reality is that for the first time, the media is facing a Muslim figure who, at one point, had extremely wide appeal particularly with Muslims who have grown up with English as their first language. This of course provides a conundrum for all those who engage with his message/s – for there is a clear disparity between the Anwar al-Awlaki pre-detention in Yemen to the one that we see today. The issue is even more confusing for those who still listen to his lectures of the past and find them to be of great value in their lives.

Cageprisoners campaigned for Anwar al-Awlaki when he was detained without charge in line with the remit of our work. Since his release we have been opposed to a number of positions he has taken, particularly in relation to the killing of civilians, however we cannot agree with the order by President Obama to have him targeted for assassination. We will always work towards due process, and as long as we do so, we will defend his right not to be extra-judicially killed.

Too late!

Asim Qureshi’s piece is filled with lies and misdirection. Awlaki is painted as a man who condemned 9/11. The reality is that he had close contact with two of the 9/11 hijackers, and did a bunk from the USA.

He ended up in the United Kingdom where he was a star turn at the East London Mosque, and was involved in the founding of the group which ultimately became CagePrisoners.

I recommend that you read Alex Hitchens‘ serious academic study on Awlaki and his associations. He says:

Although there is a clear shift towards violence in his later work, a close analysis of the corpus of Awlaki’s sermons and articles shows a surprising level of consistency throughout. Little has changed from his earlier years in both his discourse and ideological worldview

Indeed, even before 9/11, Awlaki was recruiting for jihad:

A senior member of the Denver Islamic Society, who preferred to remain anonymous, has since told journalists that he clashed with Awlaki after discovering that the young imam was preaching jihad and encouraging members to join the Chechen jihad against Russia. One young Saudi who studied at the nearby University of Denver told the elder that, based on Awlaki’s encouragement, he was to travel and join the Chechen jihadi rebels. The young man is thought to have died in battle in 1999. ‘He had a beautiful tongue’, the elder told The New York Times, ‘But I told him: Don’t talk to my people about jihad.’ Awlaki left Denver within weeks of the confrontation

Awlaki spent most of his life sending young men to their deaths, and encouraging them to kill others.

CagePrisoners knows this very well.

They are funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

And Amnesty International continues to promote them.

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