Rafiq Abdus Sabir believes that it is his religious responsibility to wage armed jihad. In response, no shortage of Muslim spokesmen can be found who will say, no, he has gotten it all wrong, jihad is an interior spiritual struggle. That’s great, but it’s time that mainstream media types started asking a couple of follow-up questions: if Islam really teaches peace, how did Rafiq Abdus Sabir and so many others get it all so terribly wrong? And what are you peaceful types doing to make sure there are no more Rafiq Abdus Sabirs?
“Terror suspect admits support for armed jihad,” from AP, with thanks to all who sent this in:
NEW YORK – When he began testifying at his own trial this week, a Florida doctor accused of pledging to support al-Qaida hoped to convince a jury that the FBI had it all wrong: He was a man of peace.
If that was the plan, then Rafiq Abdus Sabir had a disastrous day on the witness stand Friday.
Under cross examination, the Columbia University-trained physician was forced to acknowledge a history of family violence, a fascination with weapons and a belief that good Muslims should engage in armed jihad, or holy war.
U.S. Attorney Victor Hou asked Sabir about an audio tape, found at his house, in which a religious lecturer said God would “destroy the disbelievers.”
“That’s God’s word. I have to believe in it,” Sabir said.
They also discussed passages from religious books. One said Jews should be expelled from the Arabian peninsula. Another said Muslims are obligated to obey an imam who declares war against nonbelievers. Hou asked Sabir whether he agreed with both passages, and he said yes “” but added that Muslims are only required to follow such instructions from a legitimate religious authority.
Hou pressed him further: “You believe that you must participate in armed jihad, if you get a chance to?”
“Yes,” Sabir answered, but said only in a legitimate conflict.
Allegedly wanted to treat al-Qaida fighters
Sabir was arrested in 2005 after an FBI agent posing as an al-Qaida recruiter recorded him taking an oath of allegiance to Osama bin Laden. Prosecutors said the doctor also agreed to treat al-Qaida fighters wounded in Saudi Arabia, where Sabir then worked at a hospital.
Sabir has said he thought the oath, given in Arabic, was a routine declaration of religious faith, and missed the references to al-Qaida and Islamic fighters because he didn’t really know the language.