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Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, for example, condemned 9/11 in the national media and was hailed as a moderate Muslim while [he was] at the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque of Northern Virginia in 2001. Most, however, refused to look with any critique at his theo-political ideas — a political Islam with high risk of radicalization. Today, he is one of the greatest threats to America, creating such violent traitors as Nidal Hasan. His sermons and teachings are a clinic on homegrown radicalization and yet they still fill some Islamic bookstores with no hint of any counter-ideological movement from leading American Muslim organizations. Since so many leading, well-financed American Muslim groups are sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideas, they are certainly not going to lead a movement against political Islam and for the separation of mosque and state.
In our conversation at Drake University this week, I hope we focus on the fact that at the center of the growing threat to our national security is this battle within the House of Islam. American Muslims need to accept and spread the meme that it is time to get shariah (Islamic law) out of government and bring the ideas of modernity and Enlightenment to the Islamic faith we love.
We need to take the offense in ending the ideas of jihad, the “ummah” as nation, and the “salafi” dream of returning everything to the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Until we Muslims take on the responsibility of separating history from religion and mosque from state, the threat will not dissipate.
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