AlMaghrib Institute Is Not Jihad U

AlMaghrib Institute is not Jihad U as claimed by yellow journalism’s standard bearer FrontPage magazine’s Patrick Poole. Poole’s article is full of inaccuracies, half-truths, and claims that are often intentionally misleading or woefully misinformed.

From the East Coast through the American Heartland to the West Coast, a rapidly growing and extremely popular Islamic studies program is bringing Wahhabi extremism and Muslim Brotherhood activism into mosques and Muslim student groups throughout North America.

AlMaghrib Institute does not teach Wahhabi extremism nor is it affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. If “Muslim Brotherhood activism” is supposed to mean high quality, intensely focused and targeted, and grass roots efforts then AlMaghrib has certainly set the standard and continues to raise the bar in Islamic publishing and marketing, condensed Islamic learning seminars, volunteer group efforts, and high quality instructors.

In the past AlMaghrib Institute was affiliated with American Open University and Al Azhar University but these ties were severed a couple years ago and now AlMaghrib is focused on developing a curriculum leading to its own Islamic studies diploma program.

While AlMaghrib Institute began in the Dar us Salaam community in College Park and did have some early classes in local masajid most of the seminars are now held at various colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada.

The organization’s Wahhabi-influenced extremism, rabid anti-Semitism and Holocaust denials, and militaristic preaching of jihad even have other Muslims expressing concern about the radicalizing effect of Al-Maghrib’s preaching and programs.

This is complete and utter claptrap. AlMaghrib neither promotes nor teaches extremism, anti-Semitism, nor Holocaust denial. I’m not sure what “militaristic preaching of jihad” is supposed to mean but jihad can be internal or external, it has rules and stipulations regarding the use of force and combat and it can also refer to self-struggle.

One thing, I’ve noticed about the instructors at AlMaghrib is that they do not shy away from answering questions about the “j word” and do not try to water down or cover up Islamic practices and teachings to suit the ill-informed racist Islamophobes like Poole and his ilk. Some people may have an issue with my use of the word racist but indeed a common thread among the Islamophobes is that they see Muslims as one homogeneous group, a race, and the only acceptable Muslims are those that are subservient lackeys to neo-conservative, anti-Islamic, and western ideology. The supposed heroes heralding the future of Islam for the Islamophobes are Ayaan Hersi Ali, Salman Rushdie, Irshad Manji none of which adhere tot he pillars of Islam and the first two consider themselves as atheists.

Al-Maghrib instructors have come under severe public criticism by other Muslims for attacking and declaring heretic other mainstream Sunni scholars who do not hold to the Wahhabi version of Islam preached by the organization’s speakers. In fact, in 2006 a boycott of Al-Maghrib’s when Yasir Qadhi declared a recently-deceased and universally revered Islamic scholar, Sheikh Alawi al-Maliki, a polytheist on one of Al-Maghrib’s online forums”

AlMaghrib has a stated policy of not even mentioning much less attacking other Muslim personalities. The supposed call for boycott was primarily directed by a couple of online bloggers that are Alawi supporters and was ultimately abandoned after consultation with the people of knowledge.

To say that Alawi al-Maliki was universally revered is a massive overstatement. He was and still is revered in certain circles particularly among some Ashari and sufi adherents that often love to call themselves followers of traditional Sunni Islam and followers of the four major schools of Islamic thought.

This claim of theirs is soundly refuted by the followers of ahlus sunnah wal jama’ah in that in some matters they put the use of logic and the interpretation of later scholars above the words of Allah mentioned in the Quran and by the Messenger peace and blessings of Allah be upon him in his sunnah, and of the earliest and best generations, and have introduced newly invented practices into the religion that were not practiced by those closest to the blessed sources of our religion.

Anti-Semitic diatribes and Holocaust denials are regular themes preached by Al-Maghrib’s instructors.

This is a lie. The views in the article referenced by Poole were specifically addressed in the Breach of Covenant: Tafseer of Suratul Baqarah seminar by Muhammad Alshareef. He stated that his earlier views had changed or been moderated as he increased in knowledge.

Allah in the Quran when referring to Jews is very specific and often uses phrases along the lines of “a group among them” or “some of them” but many Muslims miss this key delineation and incorrectly and wrongly attempt to generalize about the Jewish people as a whole using the ayat that are very specific and are referring to only a small group among them in that historical time frame.

In the Islam Invulnerable seminar, the instructor Dr. Ashraf Ismail specifically spoke about the massive amounts of evidence to support the proof of the Holocaust and refuted Holocaust denial as foolishness and poor history.

In addition, according to an announcement issued by the Al-Maghrib Institute’s staff, instructor Yaser Birjas was arrested and detained by US authorities in 2005 due to problems with his immigration visa.

When the trumped up immigration document charges were dismissed and Shaykh Yaser Birjas was released, the judge heaped criticism on the government’s prosecuting officials and apologized to Shaykh Yaser for the inconvenience and difficulty this matter had caused him.

Al-Maghrib’s rapid rise should cause concern, however, as its Wahhabi and Muslim Brotherhood-inspired messages of religious extremism, racial bigotry and advocacy of jihad and militancy are being spread like cancer in Muslim communities throughout the US and Canada. And this ideological cancer spread by the Al-Maghrib Institute potentially threatens Muslims and non-Muslims alike as its popularity and radicalism continues to increase.

The real cancer is FrontPage magazine and other new media similar to it and the Islamophobic yellow journalists like Poole and those similar to him that seek to dehumanize Muslims.

First Seen on Seeker’s Digest.


  1. Bismillah.

    SubhanAllah, I woke up this morning and read this article about AlMaghrib, and it made my day!

    Within an hour I read your post…subhanAllah.

    May Allah give us all strength, protect us from falsehood and increase us in goodness. Ameen.

  2. Even though I disagree with many beliefs Al Maghrib holds now, it is none of their business what they believe in regards to any of this, especially the holocaust. Gosh, these same people are the ones who talk about freedom of speech and when you decide to hold an opinion, it gets attacked from all angles.

    These kuffar seriously just want to make headlines but they need to grow up and stop being so ridiculously backwards.

  3. its not about making headlines for the kuffar. they just want to close down every centre of true Islaamic learning!

  4. Excellent article. Just loved the way you present it to the reader. May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala bless you sister.

  5. Asalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

    ImanDevelops: I often feel that if we are tried with lies and falsehood against us and that we are patient and continue to be steadfast on the truth, that our dunya and akhira will be made easier for us.

    Umm Layth: I think many of these right wing neo-con commentators are out to dehumanize Muslims just as we have seen with other groups in the past and if this dehumanization campaign is not actively combated and checked it may end with terrible consequences.

    Uthmaan: Indeed, it is rare to find authentic Islamic voices in the media or in the larger public sphere. We are often inundated with pseudo-Islamic intellectuals but rarely are Muslims with a good standing in the community given a platform to voice a true Islamic platform that recognizes our sources of religion rather than just parroting western ideology.

    Mbmba: And may Allah azza wa jal bless you as well.

  6. Bismillah’

    Your post just made my whole night and this is the last thing i’m doing on my p.c saving the best for last? i don’t know why reporters- or no, kafirs are so petty and hypocritical.
    They tell you about your rights but once you’re a muslim you can’t exercise some of those rights anymore.
    There is freeddom of speech but there are just somethings they don’t wan’t to hear. Wallahi! they have no sincere love for us, they are totally against us in all ramifications.
    May Allah have mercy on we muslims and make us understand His words full of wisdom.

    PS- muslim apple do you know anything about Nigeria? i mean where your parents are from? i just feel like talking with someone from my end on the internet. i hope you don’t mind? and can i have your email or maybe you send me a mail? i might need to ask a few things from you.

  7. As-Salaamu Alaykum,

    There are some problems in your article.

    First, you support al-Maghrib policy not to attack other Muslim personalities, but then you proceed to attack Shaykh Alawi and cast him outside the fold of al-Islam (Ahl Sunnah), despite his extensive knowledge and piety. You dismiss the Ashari madhab though you surely know of it only superficially, and you do not appreciate the historical role of Asharism in defending the Sunnah from the philosophers. This is sectarianism on your part.

    Second, Muhammad Shareef is on record praising al-Qaeda leader Abdullah Azzam (mentor of Osama bin Laden). Since he has not publicly recanted this statement, why should Patrick Poole believe he has had a change of heart? These are the questions about Jihad which al-Maghrib instructors will not answer (because I have asked them).

    Third, you are right about how Muslims are prejudiced against Jews. However, al-Maghrib does little to fix the problem and in fact, they make it worse by tacitly approving it. Muhammad Shareef has not publicly recanted this article he wrote in which he repeated anti-Jewish themes:

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not defending Patrick Poole, and in fact, I really don’t like him. However, I am critical of al-Maghrib because they have not publicly recanted their previous misguided statements. Al-Maghrib is a liability to the Muslim community because they have given the public no good reason to believe they are not “Wahhabi extremists.”

    Bottom line; Al-Maghrib instructors are on record praising “specially designated terrorists,” disparaging other Sunnis, and cursing Jews. Without publicly taking these statements back, the public has no choice but to believe these statements reflect al-Maghrib policy. And this is the crux of Patrick Poole’s article.

    Wa Salaam.

    1. Wa alaykum salaam Muslim,

      I have not cast Shaykh Alawi outside the fold of Islam, nor do I consider it my place to do so, nor do I dismiss the Asharis, although on certain matters our beliefs are mutually exclusive.

      Update your facts, Muhammad Alshareef did disavow his previous comments about the Jews, years ago, while teaching his Tafseer Suratul Baqarah seminar and AlMaghrib released a statement against terrorism in all forms.

      I would challenge you to find a single Muslim institution in North America that has done more to spread the knowledge of Islam than AlMaghrib Institute. Is it your contention that this institution and movement which has educated over 24,000 students in the US, Canada, and the UK has as its main policy a hatred of Jews, praise for Al-Qaeda, and disparagement other Muslims?

      Everyone has mistakes, statements from more than 10 years ago from a single instructor who has recanted those statements, is simply grasping at straws to rationalize one’s own dislike.

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