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The Extremist takfiris and jihadis Who Influenced Michael Adebolajo in the Woolwich Killing
Before we mention a few brief words about each of these extremists, a little background would help to place matters into context and will also make it easier for Muslims who may be sympathetic towards or attached to these figures to understand the nature of their misguidance and extremism and deviation away from the foundations and principles of Islam and the Sunnah.
First, the ideas of these extremists are founded on the ideologies of four thinkers from the early 20th century and they are Sayyid Qutb, Taqi al-Din al-Nabahani, Hasan al-Banna and Abu A'laa Mawdudi. These men operated largely upon the assumption that there is no legitimate Islamic government in existence today (all Muslim nations are apostate nations) and as part of their so-called methodologies of reform they borrowed wholesale from the Marxists and Communists and incorporated revolutionary ideologies and methodologies and began weaving them into their works. This led to the distortion of many sound Islamic principles that relate to issues such as takfir (excommunication), jihad (a just conventional war to protect the interests of a state), walaa and baraa (loyalty and disownment). Part and parcel of these ideologies is to turn the masses away from the bona-fide orthodox Sunni Scholars and direct them instead to the works and writings of non-scholars, pseudo-scholars and thinkers. Severing Muslims from their scholars is the easiest way to amass followers in order to lead them into Marxist, Communist type revolutions, which is the aim of these parties and groups. These ideas unfortunately spread to most Muslim nations through the activities of al-Ikhwan al-Muslimoon and Hizb al-Tahrir. When these ideas spread to certain lands such as Saudi Arabia, some of those who were apparently upon orthodox Sunni Islam (Salafiyyah) became poisoned by these teachings through the books of Qutb, Mawdudi and the activities of Mohammad Qutb and his likes. As a result, these people in turn began to distort the foundations of Islaam and the Sunnah in order to incorporate the extremist and revolutionary ideas of those thinkers (Qutb, al-Banna, al-Nabahani, Mawdudi) into methodologies of reform. It is unfortunate that the people of this ideology are referred to by the media and also by ignorant and naive journalists as "Salafis." These people are the greatest of disputants and enemies to the Salafis and their scholars. These are in fact neo-Kharijites, Qutbists and are far removed from the way of the Salaf. As a result of the activities of these individuals and their organizations, there has arisen mass confusion amongst the Muslims in general since they are largely uneducated about the foundational principles of orthodox Islam that relate to these grave and serious matters, leaving them vulnerable and at the mercy of these extremists, who have worked hard to undermine the trust of the general Muslims masses in the orthodox senior Scholars of the Sunnah. These extremists use the plight of Muslims who are being oppressed in certain parts of the world as a means to misguide Muslims in their religion by drawing them into their web of extremism - since creating ideological revolutions, amassing followers and then mobilizing them into physical revolutions is the true and real goal of these people - this is what they wish and hope for, and they are inspired by the recent revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. To mobilize people in this direction, they start off using the powerfully emotive aspects of non-Muslim conquests in Muslim lands (an easy way to win sentiments of Muslim masses), they make judgements of takfir (of rulers, scholars and government institutions) and pass incorrect verdicts of jihad, often in deceptive ways (see notes on Shakeel Begg below).
A Crucial Point to Understand: This is very crucial point for you to understand whether you are a Muslim or a non-Muslim and it is related to the argument used to explain the actions of terrorists that they do what they do because of the foreign policy of non-Muslim nations in Muslim lands. We will address this argument in more detail in other articles, it is connected to the point we are going to make now, which is: You should know and understand that these misguided extremists are grieved that Western nations are meddling in Muslim lands because this stands in the way of their own goals and designs which are to topple "apostate" governments in the Muslim lands and snatch the authority from them so as to "establish the Shariah" as they claim. They are sat in the heart of London actively promoting extremism and terrorism in the Muslim lands, and some of them were doing this well before 9/11 and 7/7. Even if there had not been a single American, British or European soldier in any of the Muslim lands today, these people would be behind the encouragement of killing and murder of "apostates" in the Muslim lands, because this ideology was present a long time before terrorist activitites in the Western lands (take Algeria in the early 1990s for example). You see these extremists have declared the rulers and the scholars (by and large), and all government institutions and those working for such institutions in the various Muslim lands as apostates whose lives must be taken. The greatest jihad in their eyes, with the greatest priority, is to fight and kill these "apostates" and overturn their rule. But what has happened is that Western geo-political objectives in these lands have derailed the train of these extremist Kharijites and so they have simply had to alter and adapt their goals slightly. Their greatest resentment is against those Muslims they deem "apostates," they consider them a greater enemy, and as for non-Muslim nations meddling in other nations (whom these takfiris consider apostate states to begin with) they have just gotten in the way of a more loftier goal (in the eyes of those takfiris).
So the point to be taken from this is do not be deceived by the rhetoric of these people regarding the injustice in the foreign policy of Western nations. If none of that existed, it would actually be the doctrines, ideas and policies espoused by these extremists that would be behind the killing of innocent men, women (and children) in the Muslim lands. Abu Qatadah, the barbaric four-legged beast (see here), gave verdicts for the killing of the families (wives and children) of Egyptian police and similar verdicts in Algeria on the basis that they are apostates and hence, their wives and children are legitimate targets. This was well before the West started seeing terrorism (done oppressively in the name of Islam). This mindset is the one being preached by these extremists and though some of them (named below) will not explicitly state this, it is the final logical outcome of the types of extremist ideas they espouse regarding takfir and jihad in general.
We could write a lot more, but it would detract from the purpose of this article. What is above is sufficient to help put into context the remarks that will be made about each of these individuals in what follows.
The Extremist takfiris
Shakeel Begg: Shakeel Begg is an Imaam in Lewisham where other drowning fanatical Qutbis can be found such as Abu Zubair Saleem Begg al-Azzami who prefer licking the cheeks of Raafidees such as Sayyid Qutb over and above standing in defence of the noblest of Companions such as Mu'awiyah (radiallaahu anhu) and his father and mother whom Qutb reviled and expelled from Islam - (see SayyidQutb.Com and this article and this article) - not due to a slip of the tongue or error of judgement but as a firm unwavering ideological conviction which he never recanted from right until his death.
As has come to light recently, Michael Adebolajo was infuenced by Shakeel Begg in the latter's verdicts of jihad in Syria, and is part of what led him to believe that unless you participate in jihad today you are sinful, and that jihad is fard al-ayn (an individual obligation). This is certainly the idea that is presented by extremists like Shakeel Begg and the stink of their hypocrisy almost hammers you when you see them preaching these ideas to the masses, yet they do not embark to their own claimed jihad which they are so keen to propagate to naive and ignorant Muslims. With all that bravado and so called concern for oppressed Muslims all over the world, when have you ever seen these extremists leave the comfort of living in Britain with its benefits and securities in order to "lead by example"? This is just a side point about the hypocrisy and fake piety exemplified by these people.
To understand Shakeel Begg we have to understand a trait of the takfiris and jihadis in general, because Shakeel Begg is an exception to the norm amongst the Kharijites. When you look at the majority of takfiris and jihadis they hold great resentment towards the Salafi scholars such as Shaykh Ibn Baz, Shaykh Ibn al-Uthaymeen, Shaykh al-Albani and others. Some of them declare these scholars to be apostates and others claim that these scholars were misguided or were paid by the government and were silenced, and they actively denigrate these scholars in the eyes of the common people whilst raising ignorant non-scholars such as Osama Bin Laden, Abu Qatadah and others. Shakeel Begg however takes a more deceptive approach and what he does is rather than take a position against these Scholars, he actually utilizes some of their past stances in relation to jihad as a means of praising them and then using this to propagate to his audience that contrary to what the "Salafis" claim (all jihadi takfiris are self-declared enemies of the Salafis) these scholars were in favor of Jihaad. This rhetoric is used to castigate the Salafis (referring to them as "neo-Salafis") who are vocal in exposing their extremism, lies and deception and to make it appear that they (the jihadis, Takfiris) have a legitimate orientation in light of the statements of certain Shaykhs such as Shaykh Ibn Baz.
Jihad is from the greatest foundations of Islam and whilst jihad simply to means "to struggle" from a linguistic point of view, and can refer to any effort or struggle made (spiritual or otherwise), its peak refers to a physical conventional war aimed at protecting the interests of the state, to repel harm from a warring, transgressing enemy. All nations have a clear policy of national security and waging a just war and in Islam this is exemplified in the institution of jihad. In any nation, serving to defend the nation is seen as the highest honor. For a Muslim to wage jihad (in a just conventional war behind a clear leadership) is from the peak of Islam - and of course no sane person has an issue with the concept of a person defending his nation from aggression. Having said this, jihad in Islam is not "blind" and "absolute" and has principles, conditions and requirements and it is only for the Scholars and Rulers to make decisions in grave and serious matters affecting the state and its subjects. From such conditions are: a) that this jihad is against a warring, transgressing enemy with whom there is no previous peace treaty, covenant, guarantee and the likes b) that fighting has to be behind the ruler or military leader and requires his permission except in the case of sudden attack where subjects must defend themselves as a matter of emergency, though they are subsequently required to consult immediately with the ruler and refer affairs back to those in authority c) there must be sufficient military strength to participate in the war, d) there must be a clear, distinct military leadership behind whom the war is made and not mass confusion with lots of separate factions. These are just some of the numerous requirements for jihad and it is not for any common person or preacher to start announcing jihad to the people at large as this is chaos and confusion and corruption. However, this is what is done by these extremist preachers. They blur everything and do not make rulings upon actual ground realities and are driven by raw emotion and what they see of injustice and oppression to fall into another type of oppression - which is oppressing themselves and others by faking scholarship and pretending to be fit and capable of giving verdicts in grave and serious matters that can affect the security and welfare of whole nations of Muslims.
Returning to Shakeel Begg. This deceptive individual has a calculated method of misguiding his audience so what he will do is mention how the Scholars like Shaykh Ibn Baz and Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen supported jihad - and this is certainly true - for they supported the jihad in Afghanistan and likewise in Bosnia - and this is really where the deception lies, which is that the Scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah, when they announce the legitimacy of a jihad, it is upon the principles and conditions we have mentioned, since the Scholars are the furthest away from spreading chaos, confusion and corruption on the land and hence the jihad in Afghanistan was in line with the conditions we mentioned earlier, it was one nation (Afghanistan) fighting another transgression nation (Russia) and there was a clear presence of military leadership with the Muslims and likewise with Bosnia. In all these cases it is true that some of the Scholars expressed support and this is on the basis that the required conditions mentioned previously were largely present and the scholars believed these conditions to be present on account of information brought to them.
However, from here, the intent of Shakeel Begg is to hoodwink his audience into thinking that what he and his likes promote of the idea of Jihaad in other situations (which are unlike Afghanistan in the 80s and Bosnia in the 90s and which do not fulfil many of the required conditions) is legitimate and sanctioned. And further, that jihad is a worldwide, individual obligation upon every Muslim (something none of those Salafi scholars hold). It is for this reason you will not see Shakeel Begg referring back to Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan or Shaykh Abdul-Azeez Aal al-Shaykh and other contemporary Salafi scholars, despite making a pretence of following Shaykh Ibn Baz in issues which are past and bygone. The past positions of those scholars who passed away (Shaykh Ibn Baz) in issues which are passed and bygone are used by cunning deceivers like Shakeel Begg to promote the idea of a constant framework of Jihaad in the minds of ignorant charged up Muslims. And no doubt this influenced the mind of Michael Adebolajo who explicitly stated only nine days before his act of murder that Shakeel Begg is his reference point for the particular idea of jihad he was espousing (which by the way justifies killing of Muslims too).
Abu Hamza al-Misree: Abu Hamza al-Misree is another takfiri upon the thought of Sayyid Qutb. He holds the doctrine of takfir (excommunication) of contemporary Muslim nation states and their governments and he has been involved in the organization and facilitation of subversive activities in these Muslim lands - all from the comfort of London. He set up an organization in the 1990s called "Supporters of the Shariah" following the general trend in the thought of Sayyid Qutb, al-Nabahani, al-Mawdudi. The goal of all of these takfiri Kharijites is to establish the Shariah as they claim upon a corrupted understanding of jihad into which they have fused the methodologies of Socialist Communists such as Marx and Lenin which are the real foundation of their activities: the concept of revolution to establish social justice (see more details here). All of their subversive activities which they try to justify using Islamic texts (and the notion of Jihad) fall generally within the umbrella of that Marxist, Communist, Leninist methodology (see this article) and their primary focus is upon Muslim governments, in line with this ideology they have taken from the works of thinkers like Qutb, al-Nabahani and Mawdudi. It is primarily for that reason they are based in non-Muslim countries out of the reach of Muslim authorities. Abu Hamza has many remarks glorifying acts of terrorism where innocent men, women and children have been killed and he states that these actions are respectable and that their perpetrators are "martyrs" even though he "does not condone them". We believe that these qualifications made by some of these extremist preachers "we do not condone this act", "we do not support such actions" are merely a veil by which they aim to protect themselves from a legal point of view, since by glorifying the perpetrators of these actions, you are stating that you agree wholeheartedly with the legitimacy of these actions, otherwise it is a contradiction to say that you do not condone these actions and then praise and glorify the ones who did the actions. Further, it is here that their hypocrisy also becomes manifest and their fake veneration of the Shariah becomes known because if they were honest and truthful, they would have been explicitly vocal in expressing the actual Shariah ruling on terrorist activities and exonerating the Islamic Shariah from such barbaric acts. And this is a proof that they do not actually venerate the Islamic Shariah in reality, but it is just a slogan used as part and parcel of a wider heresy, which is the claim that toppling states, governments and regimes through revolutions in order to snatch power is what the call of the Prophets and Messengers was centered around.
Abu Qatadah: This is truly the worst of creatures, and we have spoken about him in a separate article (here). Abu Qatadah is a bloodthirsty takfiri who has passed verdicts allowing the killing of the wives and children of Muslims working for the police in countries such as Egypt and Algeria. This is the same takfiri doctrine that came out of Egyptian prisons on account of the writings of the Rafidee Kharijite, Sayyid Qutb - the ideological father of contemporary takfiri groups. These people have a characterization of jihad as the toppling of "apostate" rulers and Abu Qatadah's activities are focused by and large upon this objective. For this reason he has been a very major influence upon extremists in Muslim land such as Saudi Arabia where many of the terrorist acts and bombings have been traced back to his influence. We made the point earlier and we will make it again, had there not been a single American, British or European soldier in any of the Muslim lands, and had there not been any meddling of any Western nation in the economy or politics of any Muslim land, we would have seen atrocities coming from the hands of these bloodthirsty takfiris. So we should not be deceived by this rhetoric that terrorists are motivated by the foreign policy of Western nations. Rather terrorists are motivated by a certain sick and corrupt ideology, otherwise, if their argument was true then the millions of Muslims found in non-Muslim lands would all have been involved in actions of terrorism, but that is clearly not the case despite these millions of Muslims opposing and disagreeing with such foreign policies. To learn more about Abu Qatadah refer to this article and refer to the book "Clearing the Servants From The Barbarity of Abu Qatada Who Calls For the Killing of Women and Children," a detailed refutation of this sick and diseased beast to whom the lives of Muslim women and children in Muslim lands are worth nothing.
Omar Bakri: In order to understand Omar Bakri and Anjem Choudary (see below) we have to really understand the man upon whose books these deviant extremists have been nurtured. This man is Taqi al-Din al-Nabahani. He was a Ba'thist Communist in the late 1940s and was involved in nationalist movements in Palestine. The political party he later set up in the early 1950s was founded upon the organizational structure of those Ba'thist underground movements and it followed the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary discourse as its program, and imposed this discourse onto a new (futile) reading of the seerah (biography) of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The Tahriris distorted and fabricated a great lie against the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) by claiming that a) he came and preached underground with a few followers, then b) he took this preaching out in the open in the ideological stage to the masses and c) which finally paved the way for the revolution and setting up the state. In this way, they lied and fabricated against the Prophetic seerah and used it as a propaganda tool to dupe Muslims into working wihin their party whose methodology is taken from Marx, Lenin and the Socialist Communists and not from the Prophets and Messengers. So this is what al-Nabahani brought and his ideological works are used to indoctrinate people through a careful selection process. You can learn more about al-Nabahani in this article. Omar Bakri was responsible for bringing this ideology into the British universities during the 1990s and Omar Bakri himself is a fake scholar who lied about his scholarly credentials. He actually has none. He worked as an engineer in Saudi Arabia where he tried his subversive ideology and then fled and came to Britain where he faked being a scholar and then commenced his bid to amass a following. The author of the book "Hizb al-Tahrir" (in Arabic) has exposed this miscreant sufficiently and aptly and established him as a calculated liar with evidences from all of his video and audio recordings. During the 1990s intense debates would take place between Salafis and these extremists (Omar Bakri and followers) who were (and still are) upon a Communist, Marxist, Leninist methodology clothed in the garb of Islaam. However, over the past 10 years, given that many Muslims have woken up to their reality, they started operating under different labels and names, "al-Muhajiroun", "Islam4Uk", "the Saved Sect", "Ahl al-Sunnah" and more recently under the deceptive label "Salafi Media." From the tail-ends of Omar Bakri is Anjem Choudary. During his stay in Britain, Omar Bakri provided the media with everything they needed to demonize Muslims at large and to help polarize sentiments against them through his outrageous remarks and comments during interviews. Far from being the so called "eyes" and "ears" of the Muslims (a popular Hizb al-Tahrir slogan from the 90s) he (and his followers) were in fact a festering boil.
Anjem Choudary: This individual is a by-product of the festering boil that is Omar Bakri, he is a Tahriri upon the Communist, Marxist methodology of Taqi al-Din al-Nabahani and he is responsible for the victimization of innocent Muslims around Britain and for the hardships faced by average everyday Muslims on account of the xenophobia, racism and religious hatred coming from non-Muslims who are outraged, enraged and mobilized by the foolishness coming from this man's mouth. There are many good reasons to cast doubt upon this man his intentions and integrity and the explanation of this is as follows: A person like Anjem Choudary is not foolish enough not to realize that his publicity-hungry, provocative attitude does nothing but instill further hatred into the hearts of millions of non-Muslims against Islam and the Muslims in these Western lands which in turn puts their lives and well-being at risk. A person simply cannot be so dumb so as not to realize that these are the clear consequences from his actions. Assuming this, Choudary's actions are very suspect, since they do not serve any useful cause (not even his own). Either we have a completely dumb beast or we have a very shady character, so we leave his intentions and his affair with Allaah.
What is the Mindset Created By the Teachings of These Deviants?
These deviants promote the idea of a worldwide jihad, whose priority lies in the "apostate" leaders who preside over Muslim lands. Removing them and replacing them is the greatest goal of these people and they see this as the most desired goal of Jihaad. This methodology is opposed to that which the Prophets and Messengers came with as means of rectification. The perception of these people with respect to tyranny and social justice is a Marxist Communist one, one that is to be treated with revolutions. Accepting this as the only framework of reform, they then distort Islamic foundations and principles in order to justify this methodology, and here lies their distorted understanding of jihaad and other aspects of Islam. After all, this is what Sayyid Qutb, Mawdudi and al-Nabahani founded their methodologies upon (see here and also here). The Shariah (legislative) explanation of the reasons and causes of tyranny and injustice clashes with that Marxist, Communist, Leninist perception. But, this is the primary base ideology of these people - revolution to establish social justice - they have simply made it appear Islamic and hijacked aspects of the religion for this end.
As for non-Muslim conquests in Muslim lands, then they have come in the way of the primary goal of the takfiris and have bolstered the argument used by these people to convince others of their extremist methodology. The rhetoric used by these people in relation to these wars of conquest broadens the scope of that worldwide jihad to include innocent people in non-Muslim lands. In other words, if non-Muslim governments are waging wars in the streets of the lands of the Muslims, then they can wage war in the streets of these non-Muslim lands. Whilst these preachers will not and do not explicitly state this, it is a natural, logical consequence of the doctrines and teachings they espouse leading to the kind of mindset we see in misguided, deluded fools such as Michael Adebolajo. Mix this ideology with a couple of bad experiences (as happened to Adebolajo) and you've got a volatile, ready to explode individual from whom you can expect almost anything, even the unthinkable.
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