Update: What’s up with Anwar al-Awlaki?

He says, “Nidal Hassan is a hero. 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.

What? That’s absolute nonsense.

Anwar al-Awlaki explains his comment in the Washington Post: Aulaqi said: “I blessed the act because it was against a military target. And the soldiers who were killed were not normal soldiers, but those who were trained and prepared to go to Afghanistan and Iraq.”

I’ve written about Anwar al-Awlaki here on my blog when he was imprisoned, disagreed with his position praising the Iraqi shoe-thrower in my post Duck Bush, Duck, love some of his lectures, particularly those about history as they are so detailed and he has a very clear and engaging manner of speech. He has a good Ramadan video from the time when he was imam at Dar ul Hijrah in Virginia. I’m an advocate for allowing free speech, which means people have the freedom to make statements we disagree with or find despicable. Unfortunately, others post 9/11 have been grouped together by overzealous and obtuse law enforcement agencies that cannot distinguish between benign and serious threats as in the case of Dr. Ali al-Tamimi, who is serving life in prison for nothing other than First Amendment issues.

I know some Muslims, particularly those that are fans of the old Anwar al-Awlaki that we used to know when he lived in this area will not want to say anything, thinking they are doing good by abstaining from saying anything but I believe those sort of attitudes are harmful. When people make foolish and/or dangerous statements, one should not just sit back quietly and twiddle one’s thumbs. This is how nonsense goes unchecked in many of our communities. If you have a mind, don’t be afraid to use it, if you have critical thinking capabilities, utilize them, and don’t be like sheep docilely being led to the slaughter. It’s true you may have to disagree with people, perhaps even friends and family, but that is far better than allowing nonsense to go unchecked.


  1. Wow, that’s shocking. While I disagreed with Anwar al-Awlaki on the shoe-throwing incident, I was at least able to wrap my mind around it. At the end of the day, that was only a shoe. This quote you posted is disgusting, beyond disgusting. Obviously it was on his blog… would I be completely crazy (conspiracy-theorizing) to question if it is really him writing this garbage?

    At least MuslimMatters is speaking on this topic, and with a very different perspective.

    May Allah guide Anwar al-Awlaki and all of us.

  2. My amateur analysis of Awlaki is he’s a bitter man. Blameshifting his “moral lapses” upon western culture rather than his own weakness. He’s angrily striking out like a wayward child. Definitely not the behavior of a person of knowledge.

    As time goes on I suspect Awlaki will become more extreme in his views and will brought to ruin and I’m sure more “moral lapses” will be exposed. Fortunately though he does live in the US and is a minor figure in worldwide Ummah. He will go the way of Dawood Adib & Abu Hamza…. forgotten people who nobody pays attention to.

    May Allah protect us from Awlaki’s fitnah and guide us to Truth.

  3. “When people make foolish and/or dangerous statements, one should not just sit back quietly and twiddle one’s thumbs. This is how nonsense goes unchecked in many of our communities.”

    Oh, my golly, yes.

  4. I’m still too shocked by the comment–can’t even get it into my head that a sane person would say it–to say anything. There are other ways to deal with the “contradiction” of being Muslim and serving in the military–ways which don’t involve killing.

    And I find it hard to believe that the Major’s actions will do anything but feed hatred among those troops once they find themselves in the thick of war. The “backlash” won’t just be for Muslims in the USA but for Muslims at the hands of the US military as well.

    1. Asalamu alaykum Amy,

      I agree, the comments by Awlaki and the actions of Hasan are both reprehensible but many in our community are too cowardly to say anything.

  5. A Critique of Anwar al-Awlaqi

    Click to access SalafiManhaj_Awlaki.pdf

    It does a fairly good job of sticking to the subject and refuting specific issues (considering the seriousness of Anwar Al-Awalki’s remarks, it’s hard not to lose track or make caustic remarks). The overall benefit I took from this refutation is that in such advanced matters of our religion we should pay attention to the wisdom of ‘ulama who have studied the deen for decades – with proven sincerity – over mere students of knowledge who have lived shorter lives than these great ‘ulama have studied the deen.

    I’d much rather listen to the likes of an-Nawawwi, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Al-Qayyim, Bin Baaz, Ibn Uthaymeen, rahimahumuAllah, when it comes to such weighty matters of jihad and justice. The people of sincerity and true wisdom stand clear from the others like the full moon shines amongst the stars, alhumduliAllah.

  6. Fear Allah. You are charging your brothers something that you don’t even sure whether the did it or not. May be his site was hacked as these Kafirs are capable of doing anything.

    Please don’t please the creation (US) over the creator (Allah). Allah is knower of all things and wiser. Think of your thereafter before any actin. May Allah Guide us all.

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