Abdullah El Faisal, Revolution Muslim, and Islamic Thinkers Society - updated 6/22/2012

Abdullal El Faisal, Revolution Muslim, and Islamic Thinkers Society

by Sheila Musaji

The Jamaica Observer reports that Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal has been arrested in Kenya for allegedly violating his Kenyan visitor’s visa by preaching in a local mosque. 

Sheikh Abdullah El-Faisal (aka Trevor William Forest), was born in Jamaica and trained in Islamic studies in Saudi Arabia for seven years.  He went to Britain where he served at the Brixton Mosque where he was ousted in 1993.  He served four years in a British prison for urging his followers to kill non-Muslims, including Americans, Hindus and Jews and was deported from Britain to Jamaica in 2007.  He is the “spiritual advisor” of the Revolution Muslim group in New York.  One of the accused 7/7 bombers was a follower of El-Faisal.  This is the fellow that Yusuf Smith warned about back in 2005. 

His followers in the U.S. at Revolution Muslim have posted a “Free Shaykh Abdullah al-Faisal” article.  They also posted a video on their site with the note “Revolutionmuslim were present to protest at the shia rally in NYC on December 2009. Three brothers of revolutionmuslim were arrested by NYPD for few hours for protesting under the charge of disorderly conduct.”  They are actually proud of this terrible action.  It looks from watching the video that there were only three to five of them present in total, so most were arrested.

Yousef al-Khattab (a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen) created Revolution Muslim in 2007.  He is an American born convert from Judaism, who is also an Israeli citizen.  He converted to Islam in 2000 after living in Israel and attending an orthodox rabbinical school there, then returned to New York.  He and another Muslim from Connecticut named Mohammed Ghounem also started a Web site that aims to convert Jews to Islam, called Jews for Allah (JFA).  ADL He is the leader of the Revolution Muslim group.

According to the ADL

Al-Khattab cofounded RM in 2007 with Younes Abdullah Muhammad, the group’s current leader. Al-Khattab served as RM’s amir (Arabic for “leader”) and “chief executive officer” until December 2009 when he announced that he was moving to Tetouan, Morocco.  ...  In Morocco, al-Khattab became more and more critical of RM. In a June 2009 posting to his personal Web site, which he titled “Why I Left Revolution Muslim,” al-Khattab referred to the “many differences and variables between Younes/RM and myself, the biggest being my belief that we should use the democratic process as a way of furthering the Islamic Movement.” In the same posting, al-Khattab stated that he “respectfully disagree[s] with” Al Qaeda, but also that “I still love Osama bin Laden more than I love myself.”

Al-Khattab continued to denounce RM in online postings and interviews with the press, calling the RM Web site he helped launch a “bug light for Muslim misfits,” and stating: “I regret anybody that would hurt an American civilian.” In an audio message he posted to his Web site on December 1, 2010, he even expressed support for FBI efforts to apprehend “whoever [intends to] blowup civilians in the United States.”

However, in a later posting to another online forum, al-Khattab explained that he would still support actions such as the Fort Hood shooting and that he still supports the notion of a “Mushroom Cloud Over Israel.” He also continues to support replacing the U.S. Constitution with Sharia law and promotes the extremist ideologies of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Hamas and Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden’s spiritual mentor.

The Revolution Muslim website says they follow Sheikh Abdullah Al-Faisal.  Their site also says they have participated in protests in front of mosques in NY that they think are too moderate, and at the 2007,  2008, and 2009 Muslim Day Parades.  I had written about another such group in New York, the Islamic Thinkers Society who had disrupted the Muslim day parade, but did not at the time know that Revolution Muslim was also part of this disruption.  Haroon Moghul also wrote about the disruption of the 2008 parade and was confused as to whether the protestors were from ITS or RM or both.  And an interesting post was filed on Talk Islam “The extremist types at ‘Revolution Muslim’ – which I think is the same thing as the ‘Islamic Thinkers Society’ discovered a few weeks ago that their website has been blocked in Saudi Arabia. The RM people produced one long message in response spread over several Youtube clips (here and here). I only listened to the first one, but I think I heard them ‘takfir’ King Abdullah at the end.  One has to appreciate the irony of Saudi Arabia taking action to protect itself from extremists located in America.”

In a video posted on the RM site about a protest at Masjid Taqwa in Brooklyn this past September they are heard shouting “America is the Shaitan” and saying anyone who doesn’t live under Sharia is Kafiroon - capitalism is kufr - obviously the people at the mosque were upset with them.  They also protested outside of the 96th Street Mosque.  The Imam of ths mosque, Shamsi Ali called the police on them.  Good for him for calling the police. 

RM also posted on their site approval for Maj. Hasan, the Fort Hood murderer.  It says in part:  “Major Nidal Hasan M.D., An officer and a gentleman was injured while partaking in a preemptive* attack., Get Well Soon Major Nidal, We Love You.”  The Revolution Muslim folks listed on their site are:  Yousef Al-Khattab, Amir and Chief Executive Officer; Younus Abdullah Muhammad, Executive Officer for Media and Marketing; Sipa Salar, Executive Officer for Research and Development;  Shaikh Abdullah El-Faisal, Imam and Spiritual Advisor.  The ITS group doesn’t list any names on their site so it is difficult to compare and see if these are the same people or two different groups.  In fact, the ITS group doesn’t even list its scholars, only scholars to be avoided.

They have recently been featured in the press and on a CNN television report.

It is to be hoped that the arrest of el-Faisal, and of most of the Revolution Muslim brothers will cause them to rethink their positions.  It certainly should have put them on the radar screens of law enforcement.  In the meantime, however, the Muslim community needs to remain alert and aware of any such individuals or groups in our midst.

As I have previously noted in an article about Revolution Muslim and their mirror group the Islamic Thinkers Society,  Muslim Day Parade Hijacked by Islamic Thinkers Society Extremists:

“The vast majority of American Muslims are caught between the Islamophobes and the Muslim extremists.  Both of these groups shout their message, and the traditional, moderate Muslims are unable to get their message out no matter how hard they try.  ... 

However, because the Islamic Thinkers Society nut jobs are Muslim and making such un-Islamic claims and defaming all of the thousands of Muslims present at the parade as well as the millions of American Muslims we need to speak out loudly and clearly against their extremist views.  Although few in number their extremist statements and misrepresentation of Islam is seriously endangering all the Muslims in America.  We need to be clear that in the words of the Pakistani song denouncing terrorism - Yeh Hum Nahin - This Is Not Us!!!

These are Khawarij (extremists) and what they promote is a perverted version of Islam.  Even if they are few in number, they are dangerous.  If they are truly against democracy and Western values then they should not be in this country.  If they (falsely) believe that the world is divided into dar al harb and dar al Islam and do not recognize dar al ahd (house of treaty) then they should not be in this country.  If they are Muslims and are in this country on a visa or with a green card then they have an obligation under Sharia to honor the laws of this country as they have entered into a binding agreement by accepting the visa or green card. 

Since, we have no authority to force them to leave, the least we can do as Muslims is to speak out loudly and clearly and denounce them and their perverted interpretation of Islam.  We need to make it clear to them and to all the Muslims that this will not be tolerated. 

I hope that the leadership of all the organizations that were involved in sponsoring this Muslim Day Parade will speak out on this issue and that they make it clear that the Islamic Thinkers Society was not an official part of the parade and that their views are not acceptable.  I also hope that in the future more care is taken to control such a public event so that there are not opportunities for those just looking for some “problem” with Muslims to find such an easy target.  At the very least there should be a committee set up wih individuals ready and able to issue immediate press releases and respond to such events. 

If our leadership is not willing to speak up, then ordinary Muslims are going to have to do so more loudly than ever.  It makes no sense for us to allow a handful of extremists to become the focus of those wishing to demonize all Muslims.  How can a handful of extremists gain more publicity than thousands of Muslims at this event?”

These people have the right of free speech, but so do we.  The least we can do is counter such hateful speech with more speech.  If those whose message is negative and hateful have a right to speak their “minds”, then the rest of us also have the right to let them know what we think of their speech.


UPDATE April 19, 2010

CNN reported today that Revolution Muslim has posted a statement on their website http://www.revolutionmuslim.com about the recent South Park episode that included an image of the Prophet Muhammad in disguise.  The statement said “We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.”

The CNN article further notes

“The entry on Revolutionmuslim.com goes on to advise readers:

“You can contact them [the makers of South Park], or pay Comedy Central or their own company a visit at these addresses …” before listing Comedy Central’s New York address, and the Los Angeles, California, address of Parker and Sloane’s production company.

Contacted by CNN, the author of the post, Abu Talhah al Amrikee, said that providing the addresses was not intended as a threat to the creators of South Park but to give people the opportunity to protest.

Over still photographs of Parker, Stone, van Gogh and others, the Web site runs audio of a sermon by the radical U.S.-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who is now in hiding in Yemen. The sermon, recorded some time ago, talks about assassinating those who have “defamed” the Prophet Mohammed – citing one religious authority as saying “Harming Allah and his messenger is a reason to encourage Muslims to kill whoever does that.” U.S. officials say al-Awlaki is on a list of al Qaeda leaders targeted for capture or assassination.

The clip ends with a warning on a graphic directed at Parker and Stone, saying “The Dust Will Never Settle Down.”

Al Amrikee said the purpose of including the al-Awlaki sermon in his posting was to remind Muslims that insulting the prophet is a severe offense for which the punishment in Islam is death. He said RevolutionMuslim may hold protests about the show.

Revolution Muslim also posted this video on you tube.  The you tube video has an Anwar al Awlaki lecture (giving one interpretation of a hadith that he is using to justify violence against any individual who insults the Prophet) in the background. 

I have attempted many times to access the RM website today, but get an internal server error message each time. 

This RM group may be only a handful of individuals, but they certainly cause a great deal of trouble and misrepresent Muslims and Islam.  As a Muslim, I can’t comprehend why individuals who so obviously are opposed to everything this country stands for are living here.  The world is certainly big enough for them to find somewhere else to migrate to. 


UPDATE 10/2010

Dina Temple-Raston of NPR reports that ‘Revolution Muslim’ A Gateway For Would-Be Jihadis

Revolution Muslim has its own gossamer connections to terrorism. A list of its recent members reads like a who’s who of American homegrown terrorism suspects. One has been arrested for wanting to launch an attack on the Long Island Rail Road for al-Qaida; three others were intercepted getting on flights to join a terrorist group in Somalia. An editor believed to be behind an online magazine for al-Qaida’s arm in Yemen was a regular in Revolution Muslim chat rooms, as was Jihad Jane, the Philadelphia woman arrested last year for plotting to kill a Danish cartoonist.

Of the two-dozen homegrown plots in the United States in the past year, Revolution Muslim was linked to one-third of them. Khattab says the group isn’t to blame.

“Certainly, I never told anybody to go overseas — never told anybody to break any laws,” Khattab says. (Younes Abdullah Mohammed ignored numerous requests by NPR for an interview.)

Khattab and Mohammed have managed to stay on the right side of the law. They are careful to stay on the correct side of the First Amendment.

“I don’t glorify any acts of terrorism,” Khattab explains. That’s one reason why authorities haven’t shut them down.


UPDATE 10/2010

The revolutionmuslim.com site has been shut down.  This is good news, but they have put up a blog at revolutionmuslimdaily.blogspot.com/  and say on that blog that they are in the process of reorganizing and that they will be opening a new site at IslamPolicy.com where they say they plan to release their new policies and organizational guidelines.  The lengthy statement discussing this reorganization plan is signed by Younus Abdullah Muhammad.  At the bottom of the blogspot page it says Domain revolutionmuslim.com has been placed on freeze due to the illegal efforts of authorities to suppress this dawa. Please visit ISLAMPOLICY.COM or REVOLUTIONMUSLIM.INFO  So, it would appear that they still believe that they are being unfairly judged.


Update 2/25/2011

This week Zachary Chesser of Revolution Muslim who encouraged attacks on the South Park creators has been given 25 years in prison for using the internet to incite violence.  This is a good thing.  Perhaps he will use that time in prison to study Islam, and come to repent and seek forgiveness for his crimes.  See South Park Cartoon and the Muslim Lunatic Fringe for more on this.

This doesn’t seem to have discouraged these folks from continuing their insanity however.  It has has been reported that they plan to bring Anjem Choudary to D.C. to lead a demonstration rallying Muslims to establish Sharia law across the United States.  Choudary is the British nutcase from Al-Muhajirun and Muslims4UK that many Muslims have warned about Mehdi Hassan, Inayat Bunglawala, Eboo Patel, etc.  And the al Muhajirun group has also been warned about by Muslims.  For example, Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti’s issued a Fatwa against their teachings. You can find many more responses to them here

I don’t know what can be done within the law to stop Anjem Choudary or the Islamic Thinkers or Revolution Muslim from engaging in such a demonstration, but I do hope that (if this is more than just empty words) that there is a huge counter-demonstration.  What most puzzles me is how such a person could be allowed entry into the U.S.  the Muslims4UK group has been banned in Britain, and Choudary has been open in his statements.  Adam Serwer has noted that much of the press given to Choudary is simply sensationalism:  The airtime Fox gives to Anjem Choudary, a British citizen who draws attention to himself by loudly praising terrorists, is a perfect example. Yesterday Fox News brought Choudary on to promote his planned rally for sharia law in front of the White House, which, like, five people in the U.S. would have heard of otherwise.    Choudary is, of course, perfect Fox News fodder, because he’s a cartoonish buffoon who can be counted on to confirm every stereotype about Islam and Muslims, and who provides the hosts with an opportunity to lecture him about how great America is and how his scheme will never succeed. Sean Hannity brought him on during the uprising in Egypt, presumably as some sort of “expert,” promoting the segment with this warning that Choudary “thinks the extremist group known as the Muslim brotherhood will likely rise to power in Cairo.” Hannity then proceeded to lecture Choudary on the greatness of freedom and America, while Choudary insisted that the world would someday be governed by Sharia law.


UPDATE 5/12/2011

Someone just sent me a note that Revolution Muslim’s Islam Policy site has posted a video on their main page titled “Abu Mansur al Amriki on martyrdom of Shaykh Osama”.  Without even listening to the video, the title makes it clear what the point of view will be. 

It is interesting that on this new site they do not list any of their leadership or members. 


UPDATE 2/9/2012

Jesse Curtis Morton, aka Younus Abdullah Mohammad, a co-founder of Revolution Muslim is expected to plead guilty today in a Virginia federal court.  Paul Cruikshank reports many more details about the Revolution Muslim group.  They seem to have had many links to other extremists in the U.S. and abroad.  The RM site was connected online to several others who have admitted or been charged in connection with terrorist offenses.  According to Cruikshank “Morton’s group Revolution Muslim was a spinoff of the American wing of Al Muhajiroun. The British group is still active in the U.K., operating under different names.”  Al Muhajiroun is another extremist group we have written about here.

RM seems to have had a lot of influence in radicalizing fringe elements of the Muslim community.  I only hope that they are not able to continue such efforts from behind bars.


UPDATE 3/25/2012

It seems that Abdullah El Faisal is no longer in jail in Kenya.  He is back in his native Jamaica and broadcasting his extremist message 6 nights a week.  What a shame.


UPDATE 6/22/2012

Politico reports that Jesse Morton (aka Younus Abdullah Mohammad), was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in prison Friday for issuing threats against the creators of the “South Park” television show and a Seattle cartoonist. 

The Huffington Post reports that he apologized for what he had done.  He said that “he contributed to a clash of civilizations” by espousing a violent ideology.  I justified atrocities by Muslims simply because they were carried out by the weak against the powerful.”

I hope that his apology is sincere, but it changes nothing, unless any other young people with such deviant interpretations of their faith might learn a lesson from him and avoid becoming involved in criminal activity.

 

 


SEE ALSO[Note:  Many of these articles were published over the previous cartoon controversy and other incidents, but are equally relevant to this current incident.]

A Call to Conscience and a Reminder to the Muslims, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/a_call_to_conscience_and_a_reminder_to_the_muslims/

An Idiot’s Guide to Offensive Cartoons, Qadeeb al-Ban Harris http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/an_idiots_guide_to_offensive_cartoons/
 
An Open Letter from a Muslim to Muslims:  “Pray And Forgive.”, T.O.Shanavas http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/an_open_letter_from_a_muslim_to_muslims_pray_and_forgive/ 

The Best Defense, Ahson Azmat http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_best_defense/

a Boing Boing youtube video interview with the South Park creators about this episode http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp9bYLa5gaA&feature=player_embedded

Anti Muslim Rhetoric Reaching a Dangerous Level, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/anti_muslim_rhetoric_reaching_a_dangerous_level/ 

Cartoon Awakening: Toward A Positive Media Strategy, Ramzy Baroud http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/cartoon_awakening_toward_a_positive_media_strategy/ 

Cartoon Wars: The Challenge for Muslims in the West, Jeremy Henzell-Thomas http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/cartoon_wars_the_challenge_for_muslims_in_the_west/

Cartoons and Bombs, John Chuckman http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/cartoons_and_bombs/

Crazy over Cartoons, Hasan Zillur Rahim http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/crazy_over_cartoons/

Danish Cartoons: Enough Is Enough, Zafarul-Islam Khan http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/danish_cartoons_enough_is_enough/

Danish Cartoons: Free Press or Hate Speech?, Louay Safi http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/danish_cartoons_free_press_or_hate_speech/

The Danish Cartoons: Emotional Torture, Untamed Violence and Intellectual Terrorism, Dr. Aslam Abdullah http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_danish_cartoons_emotional_torture_untamed_violence_and_intellectual_ter/

Danish Cartoons: From many Muslims, cartoonish excess, Mona Eltahawy http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/from_many_muslims_cartoonish_excess/

Do Muslim Outcries Against Defamation Serve God?, Anisa Abd el Fattah http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/do_muslim_outcries_against_defamation_serve_god

Free Speech and Civic Responsibility Tariq Ramadan http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/free_speech_and_civic_responsibility/

Freedoms of Expression and Belief, Istiaq Ahmed http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/freedoms_of_expression_and_belief/

Hate rhetoric is escalating into violence, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/hate_rhetoric_is_escalating_into_violence/

Ibn Taymiyyah and His Fatwa on Terrorism, Asghar Ali Engineer http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/ibn_taymiyyah_and_his_fatwa_on_terrorism/0018034
 
Imam Feisal and former Archbishop Lord Carey Call for Calm after Offensive Danish Cartoons, ASMA Society http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/imam_feisal_and_former_archbishop_lord_carey_call_for_calm_after_offensive/

Muslims Deserve the Same Respect as Christians or Jews, Edgar M. Bronfman http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslims_deserve_the_same_respect_as_christians_or_jews/

Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism - Part I - Fatwas (TAM article collection) http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_against_extremism_and_terrorism_part_i_fatwas/
Muslim Voices Against Extremism & Terrorism - Part II - Statements by Organizations (TAM article collection)  http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_against_extremism_terrorism_part_ii_statements_by_organizatio/
Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism - Part III - Statements & Articles by Individuals   (TAM article collection) http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_against_extremism_and_terrorism_part_iii_statements_articles/
Muslim Voices Promoting Islamic Non Violent Solutions (TAM article collection)  http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/promoting_islamic_non_violent_solutions/

North American Muslims Determined to Counter Extremism, Violence, and Terrorism, Sheila Musaji http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/north_american_muslims_determined_to_counter_violence_and_terrorism/0017836

The Not So Funny Cartoon Capers, Abdul Cader Asmal http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_not_so_funny_cartoon_capers/

Open Society in a Closed Circle, Shakeel Syed http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/open_society_in_a_closed_circle/ 

Press Misses Point in Cartoon Controversy, Dr. James Zogby http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/press_misses_point_in_cartoon_controversy/

The Rage Game, Putting On The brakes, Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_rage_game_putting_on_the_brakes/

‘Revolution Muslim’ A Gateway For Would-Be Jihadis, by Dina Temple-Raston http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130519592

The Right to Slander God?, Ann Kathrin Gässlein http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_right_to_slander_god/

Self-Censorship, Dr. Robert D. Crane http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_silent_treatment/ 

South Park celebrates 200th episode with another attempt to show us… Mohammed!  (including link to video with clips from the South Park episode) http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/douglasmurray/100035408/south-park-celebrates-200th-episode-with-another-attempt-to-show-us-mohammed/

The special pair of spectacles, Shahzad Aziz http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_special_pair_of_spectacles/

Sticks and Stones May Provoke Others to Break My Bones, James Zogby http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/sticks_and_stones_may_provoke_others_to_break_my_bones/

Thank God Someone Is Listening to Us - Terrorism Is Not Jihad, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/thank_god_someone_is_listening_to_us_terrorism_is_not_jihad/

Those Danish Muhammad Cartoons, Gary Leupp http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/those_danish_muhammad_cartoons/

Through the Looking Glass:  The Danish Cartoons, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/through_the_looking_glass_the_danish_cartoons_dumb_and_dumber/

Time to Install Circuit-Breakers in the System, Farish A. Noor http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/time_to_install_circuit_breakers_in_the_system/

‘War on Terror’ Rhetoric Sounds Like War on Islam, Parvez Ahmed http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/war_on_terror_rhetoric_sounds_like_war_on_islam/

What is the Cartoon controversy?, Chandra Muzaffar http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/what_is_the_cartoon_controversy/

What Would Muhammad Do (WWMD), Dr. Hesham Hassaballa http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/what_would_muhammad_do_wwmd/

Where Art Meets Ignorance, Ibrahim Mansour http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/where_art_meets_ignorance/
 

 

 

 


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