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WASHINGTON – An associate imam at a large mosque here
attended by two of the 9-11 hijackers says Muslims who
die while fighting unbelievers in the cause of Allah are no different from U.S. Marines fighting and dying for America in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Johari Malik of the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., made the comparison in defending a
sermon given earlier this year by the mosque’s former head cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, who is under FBI
investigation for his ties to the suicidal hijackers and other terrorists.
Al-Awlaki in January exhorted the faithful at the Masjid at-Tawhid mosque in London to become ”shaheeds,” or
martyrs, and ”die in the sake of Allah,” arguing it’s the one sure way to get into Paradise, according to a transcript of
a tape recording of the sermon provided to WorldNetDaily by terrorism expert Steve Emerson. Emerson believes al-Awlaki, as a close spiritual adviser to the hijackers, may have helped them
prepare for martyrdom before they crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon two years ago.
Malik – who remains close to al-Awlaki, now living in Yemen, his place of birth – says there’s nothing wrong with such sermons.
”That’s the same thing as telling Marines in this
country semper fidelis,” Malik told
WorldNetDaily. ”Telling people to give their all for their faith is not an unusual idea.”
Dar al-Hijrah, the largest mosque in the Washington area, if not the country, counts among its flock a
large number of Palestinian refugees who support Hamas, a hatchery for anti-Israeli suicide bombers.
Al-Awlaki’s London sermon was part of a two-day seminar
organized by an Islamic charity in Britain called JIMAS. It ran from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1.
”Don’t think that the ones that die in the sake of Allah are dead. They are alive and Allah is providing
for them,” al-Awlaki said, referring to Muslim martyrs. ”So the shaheed does not die.”
When it comes to salvation, ”you could say that they are head and shoulders above everyone else,” he said,
noting the carnal and material rewards bestowed upon marytrs in Paradise.
He also claimed marytrs ”will not suffer the pain of death, and will not have to go through the horror
and terror of the day of judgment.”
”So this should make everyone of you the more eager to be a shaheed,” al-Awlaki concluded, ”when you see the
great edge that is given to the shaheeds.”