Monday, 22 June 2009

A letter to the "Amir" of Revolution Muslim in New York

Below is the letter I sent to Yousef Al-Khattab, the self-proclaimed Amir (or Prince) of the Radical Fundamentalist "Revolution Muslim" group, based in New York. Let us hope for a response, though I am doubting it.
Asalam alaikum,

Yousef Al-Khattab, I appose you and your belief structure. The greatest enemy to humanity is radical fundamentalism, particularly in religion. Be it Christian Evangelism, Hindu-Chauvinism or radical militant Islamism, all is in my understanding, haram.

I have over 28 years since embracing Islam (humdulillah!), travelled the world as a western diplomat and a specialist in international security, I now work in the field of identifying and thwarting the financing of known terrorist organizations. I now live in Marrakech, Morocco a country that supports those whom wish to live a halal life - be it with liberal modernist views or as a strong conservative, as long as it does not impose or force on others. That point which is what is important here.

Your beliefs and those of your outlawed would-be-Caliph are a minority and for good reason. Embracing conflict, radical response, forcing of your views upon others and worse - claiming them to be the only truth, that of the spirit of Islam whilst ignoring that basic fact which is your not supported by the overwhelming vast majority, be they simple people or educated experts. A sign of this is the simple reality, that you and your beliefs are not welcome amongst most Muslim nations and you are border-line legal in the country you chose to live in. This point of choice of country is another important point.

Choosing to live in a country that you do not support, in fact attack, is a hypocrisy of the largest order, and I remember one Ramadan watching a speech by the Grand Mufti in Cairo telling us how above all, Islam hates the hypocrite. I am not an American and much of what has spread from that country's previous government was for me a great damage to the relationship between that nation and the Muslim World. But at the same time, my eyes are not shut to the realities of that nation, a country proud of its heritage based on freedom from oppression, which its people from varying backgrounds created through democracy a great and powerful nation. That from this, regardless of the efforts of the far-right and its own radical Evangelical menace can produce a president that is himself from a minority background and appreciates that there is more than one world out there. It is therefore the simple human and dignified responsibility, which the Holy Qur'an tells us, to participate in life - not fight it. Certainly not in this fight to then usurp your faith to support that.

When President Obama showed us that perhaps the his country has grasped that there is more than one world and one view on this small planet of us, most of us Muslims cheered and sighed 'at last', and that the image of the Ugly American may be soon ready to depart, insha’allah.

But he was right, the pendulum swings both ways, and the Muslim World must also eliminate the Ugly Muslim. That Ugly Muslim is the epitome of that image the West in general gathers up each time when the world Muslim is raised. Violent, Jihadi and Oppressive.

We Muslims are quick to say that we are the Religion of Peace and it is true, but regardless we must prove it. We Muslims know that the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) told it clearly that Jihad al Kabir is the great struggle. We also should all know that the last sanctioned and acceptable Jihad al Sghrir was in the 11th century AD. We know from the Message from Allah as given to us in the Holy Qur'an tells us that "Allah loveth not the oppressors". It goes without saying that the Muslim World has an image problem.

Yousef Al-Khattab - the Revolution Muslim organization that you represent is a shining example of why the Muslim World has an image problem.

In my prayers, I ask that you and your members seek forgiveness from Allah.


(Solkhar is the pen-name for a retired western diplomat, a liberal-Sunni Muslim since the age of 17 and an expert on terrorism-financing. He has settled in the Moroccan city of Marrakech).

"Solkhar's World - A view from the Atlas" (