Radical Exiled American Imam Assassinated in Drone Attack

Upon the death of a person the Qur’an teaches us to say,

“innallilahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon” translated “from God we come and to God is our return.”

Today, the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center acknowledges the death of a former Imam, Anwar Al-Awlaki.  While employed at Dar Al-Hijrah, he was known for his interfaith outreach, civic engagement, and tolerance in the Northern Virginia community.

However, after Mr. Al-Awlaki’s departure in 2002, he was arrested by Yemeni authorities and allegedly tortured.  It was then that Al-Awlaki began preaching violence.  He was killed violently in an apparent drone strike today. In recent years, while in his self-imposed exile, Mr. Al-Awlaki encouraged impressionable American-Muslims to attack their own country.  Al-Awlaki will no longer spread his hate speech over the internet to Muslim youth provoking them to engage in violence against their fellow Americans.

We reiterate that in Islam, as an American faith community, we do not accept violence nor extremism and recommit ourselves to our message living our faith in peace, tolerance, and the promotion of the public good.

The Qur’an teaches us:

“…. if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.” 5:32

We must also add that in previous statements we have rejected the use of extra-judicial assassination of any human being and especially an American citizen which includes Al-Awlaki.  We reiterate our commitment to “due process under law” and justice and are concerned that the alleged drone attack sends the wrong message to law abiding people around the world.

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*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.daralhijrah.net

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Contact: 202-345-5233   Imam Johari Abdul-Malik; Director of Outreach

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