Detroit Muslim Cleric Hate
Detroit imam urged use of force to start a new society
BY NIRAJ WARIKOO AND ROBIN ERB
Detroit FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
October 29, 2009
A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday in Detroit provides unprecedented detail into a world where, authorities say, a group of radical Sunni Muslims were urged to take over the U.S. government and establish Islamic law.
The complaint says that the imam or leader of the group, Luqman Ameen Abdullah, repeatedly used rhetoric that urged Muslims to seize power with violence and establish a society where Muslims would rule over non-Muslims.
"America must fall," Abdullah said, according to the complaint. At another point, he "told followers that they need to be with the Taliban, Hizballah, and with Sheikh Bin Laden."
"We should be figuring out how to fight the Kuffar," Abdullah said at another point, the indictment states. Kuffar "is a highly derogatory term" used to describe non-Mulisms, the document states.
"You see, we need to figure out how to be a bullet," Abdullah said, according to the government.
In chilling detail, the 43-page indictment portrays a mosque where hateful rhetoric was repeatedly used by Abdullah, including during Friday sermons, traditionally the most popular gathering time in mosques.
Abdullah also used violence to enforce control, the indictment said, often beating children.
"We got to take out the U.S. government," Abdullah said at another point. "The U.S. government is nothing but Kuffars."
In a two-year undercover investigation, federal agents reported that Abdullah's followers were repeatedly told that criminal actions were OK if they were for the good of Islam.
Abdullah said that the Quran, the holy book for Muslims, "justified stealing, robbing and other illegal acts, as long as they profit Islam."
Authorities said that Abdullah had had a criminal past and run-ins with the law, including a 1981 conviction for felonious assault and carrying a concealed weapon.
But Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he has a completely different knowledge of Abdullah from his 10 years of association.
Walid said that Abdullah, who is married and has children, let homeless people sleep in the group's mosque and fed people who were hungry.
"I know him as a respected imam in the Muslim community," Walid said.
Walid said he and other imams from the local Muslim community plan to sit down today with Andrew Arena, the head of the Detroit FBI office, to talk to him about their concerns about linking the weapons and smuggling charges to the Muslim faith.
The indictment repeatedly states that Abdullah cited Islam as a way to justify his calls to violence.
Walid criticized any links between the allegations of violence to Islam, saying that the faiths of other defendants in other cases are not relevant.
The incident, he said, may inflame already tense relations between federal agencies and those who feel Muslims have been unfairly targeted within their own mosques.
"As much as our president says nice, flowery things about Muslims and Islam in Cairo or Istanbul, these types of stories just erode that," Walid said.