Do you think this sympathetic article would have been written this way about a Christian church whose pastor was killed in a gun battle with the FBI? “Slain mosque leader mourned,” by Charlie LeDuff for The Detroit News, October 31 (thanks to James):
Detroit — The brotherhood of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque gathered for Friday prayers on the city’s west side, the first time they had convened since their spiritual leader was shot dead in a gunbattle with the FBI.
The leader, Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, was killed Wednesday at a Dearborn warehouse as he was being arrested in connection with a host of charges, including conspiracy, receipt of stolen goods and firearm offenses.
The federal authorities claim Abdullah was the head of a radical jihadist organization intent on carving out an Islamic state within the United States through violent means.
Eleven men face charges. The complaint said many of the men were ex-convicts who were introduced to Islam in prison.
“That’s true that 90 percent of the brothers here have been locked up or had contact with the criminal justice system,” said Jamil Ibn Rafael smoking a cigarette out front before 2 p.m. prayers began. “But there’s so much confusion in the ghetto. They snatch a man up, put him away and dump him back in the ghetto. He feels hopeless. He needs something to organize his life. We want our own life. But we ain’t no jihadist overthrow organization.”
Rafael did two separate stints in prison. It was at Jackson State Penitentiary where Rafael said he was first introduced to Islam and eventually the mosque.
Abdullah, too, was an ex-convict known as Christopher Thomas until he found Islam in prison and became an acolyte of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, better known as H. Rap Brown, a former leader of the Black Panthers who is serving live a life sentence for the killing of two police officers….
“Are there some people in this mosque involved in criminal activity?” Rafael asked. “Yeah, probably. There are criminals in every organization. That don’t make you public enemy No. 1. I’ll tell you what, there’s a lot of paranoia around here. I still think there’s one or two snitches in here.”
The Masjid Al-Haqq mosque has 120 members, exposed walls and electrical boxes with no switches.
Omar Regan, one of Abdullah’s 12 children, returned from South Central Los Angeles, where he leads a mosque, on Friday to wash his father’s body and anoint his feet with oil in preparation for burial today.
“How can you be what they say you are when you don’t got nothing,” Regan told the weeping congregants. “They forgot about the ‘hood. The suburbs are OK, but they forgot about the ‘hood. They forgot about you and so we all, my Muslim brothers, have to take care of each other.”
“They call us radicals. They call us terrorists. We don’t care what they say about us because they don’t care about what’s good.”
And with that, two people stood to accept conversion to Islam.