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Man charged with spreading extremist propaganda

by Breonnah Colon - Campus Talk Editor
Wed, Sep 13th 2017 12:00 am

The word “Islam” has, sadly, become somewhat of a profane term within the United States and the rest of the western world. Many people have come to associate Islam and those who practice the religion with vulgar and often horrific acts which are commonly depicted through western media. While such actions are not actually in line with the correct practice of Islam, they are the actions most frequently highlighted and as a result tend to have the most attention paid to them. While most Muslims find acts of extremism just as abhorring as anyone else, there are some individuals who identify as Muslim who agree with extremist dogma. Abdullah el-Faisal is one such individual.

According to an article published on thenewyorktimes.com titled, “A Long-Pursued ISIS Preacher Is Finally Charged in New York,” el-Faisal is an extremist preacher who advocated for Muslims to participate in a holy war against members of the Jewish, Catholic and Hindu faiths. The article said that, “his influence has turned up repeatedly in major terrorism cases.”

The article went on to explain el-Faisal, a Muslim convert, traveled to several countries including both the United Kingdom where he was imprisoned and Kenya, where he was deported back to his home in the Jamaican capital of Kingston. However, being in trouble with the law across countries did not stifle his advocating for the Islamic State. Along with preaching in person, el-Faisal began to spread extremist ideology over the internet.

An article on  thetelegraph.co.uk, titled “Radical July 7 preacher arrested in undercover sting trying to recruit jihadis,” explained that he was “arrested after a month long sting carried out by an undercover New York Police Department officer who communicated with him by email, text and video chat.”

The article went on to explain that el-Faisal was first prosecuted in the United Kingdom under the country’s 1860 public order act and was the first to be in over 100 years. The act serves to “abolish the common law offences of riot, rout, unlawful assembly and affray and certain statutory offences relating to public order,” according to the previously mentioned article. 

The act also served as a way to combat and diminish “the stirring up of racial hatred.” The aforementioned article explained that el-Faisal was recorded on tape advocating for the murder of non-Muslims as well as encouraging practicing Muslims to “learn to fly planes, drive tanks ... load your guns and to use missiles” in order to participate in a holy war.

This entire situation is an unfortunate one, however, it is one we must learn to acknowledge as a society. Ei-Faisal is a person with very twisted views and was definitely a menace to society who needed to be stopped as quickly as possible. His ideologies were a threat to many non-Muslims, but also to many Muslims who may have been feeling singled out or targeted by western culture.

It is our responsibility, not just as members of the western world, but as people living on this planet in general, to know and understand that people like el-Faisal are not the true representation of what is means to follow Islam or be a Muslim. In a world where too many people are afraid of each other we need, now more than ever, to begin getting to know others and learning about their differences so that we may accept them rather than run from them because we do not understand their culture.

A society of fear is what gives people like el-Faisal the leverage needed to manipulate and indoctrinate others with the goal of carrying out their own personal vendettas. 

 

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