Mamour Fall and family (Photo thanks to LGF)
“I know bin Laden. People want me to insult him and I will not do it. He is a great man, a great strategist, a great Muslim, and that is what interests us and not the fact that he is accused of killing people.” These are statements of Imam Mamour Fall, a Senegalese imam who was deported from Italy last month. (The report is from Reuters, with thanks to nicolei.)
Says Fall: “Me, I am a Muslim who wants to apply all that Allah outlined in the Koran, like the Jihad (holy war), solidarity between the Muslims. What we can do today is defensive Jihad. If an Islamic territory is attacked as America and its allies are doing today, every Muslim has the duty to attack these invaders.”
Fall’s explanation of defensive jihad closely follows precisely delineated elements of Islamic law, as I explain in Onward Muslim Soldiers. They are echoed by radical Muslims around the world, who are exploiting them today to justify their actions and recruit terrorists.
But Reuters, ever on the job, assures us that most Senegalese Muslims reject Fall’s radical Islam: “He’s a minority voice in Senegal, but Imam Mamour Fall is not afraid to speak out for Osama bin Laden. Fall’s support for America’s No. 1 enemy strikes an especially jarring note in Senegal, a relaxed mainly Muslim country on West Africa’s coast where religion is confined to mosques and churches and doesn’t stray into politics.”
How does Reuters know that that Fall’s views are only held by a minority in Senegal? Did they take a poll?
Or maybe they just asked “Muslim preacher” Alioune Sall, who is quoted thusly: “Islam has never called on the faithful to devote oneself to violence. Islam is a religion of peace par excellence. . . . There are Muslims who commit terrorist acts, but this should never be blamed on Islam. Islam rejects all forms of violence. . . . If bin Laden is the author of the attacks he is accused of, he will answer to God. Because this religion that is a religion of peace does not allow anyone to take another person’s life.”
This is, Reuters tells us, a “widespread view.” Great. But I do wonder what Sall would say to fellow Muslims like Maulana Masood Azhar, a radical Muslim leader who has said that in Islam the only legitimate meaning of jihad is killing.
Meanwhile, Reuters says that “the head of a U.N.-backed war crimes court in Sierra Leone has said he had proof al Qaeda operatives were working in Liberia — but their activities seemed limited to diamond trading and money laundering rather than recruiting among battle-hardened youths.”
Oh. Just laundering money, eh? Well, that’s ok, then.
And: “In neighboring Mauritania, fears of extremism run deeper as pro-Western President Maaouya Ould Sid-Ahmed Taya fears foreign-backed zealots are trying to turn his country into a hotbed of Islamic extremism. Taya has won the backing of the United States, which regards Mauritania as a possible breeding ground for Islamic militants. But even here, Islam is traditionally tolerant and there are few signs that more radical preachers are making serious inroads.”
Well, that’s reassuring. Thanks, Reuters! Here’s hoping our luck holds. But until all these anti-terrorist Muslims start convincing radicals on a large scale that their form of Islam is defective, it would be worthwhile to stay alert.