Flashback: Anwar al-Awlaki leading Muslim prayers on Capitol Hill, 2002
In 2002, PBS produced a documentary on the life of Muhammad, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet. I wrote in a National Review article at the time that the documentary presented an "attractively packaged, sanitized version of Islam." It features Islamic apologist Karen Armstrong; Daisy Khan, the deeply deceitful "moderate" who shot to national prominence in the Ground Zero mosque controversy, and others of that ilk.
But now Jihad Watch reader Carolynn has alerted me to the fact that it is also noteworthy for capturing the slain jihad terror mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki, who was in contact with Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood jihad mass murderer; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas underwear jihadist; and others, leading Muslim prayers on Capitol Hill. Screenshots above show the minute mark where you can see him in the video.
Of course, the New York Times hailed al-Awlaki on October 19, 2001 as one of "a new generation of Muslim leader capable of merging East and West," and so he was widely reputed to be a "moderate" at the time, but that's just the point. One of the supposed "gotcha" quotes that Leftists and Islamic supremacists like to use against me is one in which I said that there is "no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists." This video, however, shows that to be absolutely true: no one was getting up and walking out on al-Awlaki, or saying he shouldn't be preaching or leading the prayers. Many argue that al-Awlaki really was "moderate" then and became "radicalized" later, but even then, there is no record of his former friends and associates repudiating his new "radical" views.
What we do not see is Muslims in the U.S. pronouncing takfir on those who believe in the Islam of al-Awlaki -- that is, declaring them non-Muslim and excluding them from Muslim communities. The reality is that one who holds to the idea that jihad (violent and non-violent) must be waged against Americans in order to impose Sharia upon them is not put out of American mosques, and those who by their actions earn the media title of "extremist" move freely among Muslims in the U.S. until they commit their act of "extremism."
More evidence comes from the same PBS documentary. For also present for al-Awlaki's sermon was Hamas-linked CAIR's Nihad Awad, and I believe that the gentleman to Awad's left is his henchman Ibrahim "Honest Ibe" Hooper:
Awad and Hooper, of course, are routinely cited in the mainstream media as if they were "civil rights leaders." And also present was another man who had been an employee of Hamas-linked CAIR: Randall Todd "Ismail" Royer, who is now serving a 20-year sentence for jihad terror plotting. In this screenshot he is on the right:
So if there is a distinction in the Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists, it certainly wasn't evident at this Capitol Hill prayer meeting, where a jihad mass murder mastermind preached the khutba for a group containing a jihad terror plotter, two leading "moderate" Muslim spokesmen, and a congressman's chief of staff.