Comment: Anwar al-Awlaki’s killing is unjustified

Barack Obama’s administration and lawmakers may cheer the killing of US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. But this is not how legal scholars, libertarians and millions of Muslims feel.

Al-Awlaki, born in New Mexico on 22 April 1971, was an American Islamic scholar who was an engineer and educator by training. He was killed in a drone attack in a remote Yemeni town on 30 September 2011 by US forces.

To some, he is a Muslim hero, a mujahid (fighter for the sake of Allah) and a great Islamic scholar. His lectures have inspired hundreds of followers. One reason why many people admired him was that he was talented in delivering Islamic lectures in fluent English. This made him famous not only in US and Europe, but also in the Maldives.

There are only few Maldivians who agree with US government officials’ allegations against al-Awlaki. According to US president Obama, he was the leader of external operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a statement which many Maldivians openly deny.

“The death of Awlaki is a major blow to Al-Qaeda’s most active operational affiliate,” said Obama after the drone attack. “He took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans … and he repeatedly called on individuals in the United States and around the globe to kill innocent men, women and children to advance a murderous agenda.”

According to US officials al-Awlaki allegedly preached to a number of al-Qaeda members and affiliates. Among them were three of September 11 hijackers, alleged “Christmas Day bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan.

US government has made a list of allegations against al-Awlaki, but none of these allegations was ever made in court.

Al-Awlaki was an American citizen. The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution explicitly guarantees the right to life of American citizens in the absence of due process of law to determine when to withdraw that right. The Fifth Amendment stipulates that no citizen shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”.

Article 11(a) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence”.

But al-Awlaki was executed without any charges, without a trial or without giving any chance to defend. Even Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was given his constitutional rights before his execution. This raises questions about the legal authority under which the US government can target its own citizens for assassination.

Al-Awlaki’s father Nasser al-Awlaki has publicly announced his son’s innocence.
“I am now afraid of what they will do with my son,” he said speaking to CNN earlier. “He’s not Osama bin Laden, they want to make something out of him that he’s not.”
“He has been wrongly accused, it’s unbelievable. He lived his life in America; he’s an all-American boy”.

US officials have continuously accused al-Awlaki for preaching radical Islam, which gives endorsement for Jihad (struggle) and violence. This inspired new recruits to Islamist militancy, especially though internet (YouTube), according to US officials. His videos were removed from YouTube on 3 November 2010.

This is the only evidence which the US government has presented to the media against al-Awlaki in order to prove he is a radical, an extremist and a terrorist.

If this is the case, the US may label not only al-Awlaki but other Islamic scholars in future for giving “radical” sermons, because sermons are based on the verses from Quran and Hadith of prophet Muhammed (pbuh).

In Quran, there are nearly 41 verses which speak about Jihad, and many more verses against Jews and Christians.

For example, Quran 4:89: “They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not Auliya’ (protectors or friends) from them, till they emigrate in the Way of Allah (to Muhammad pbuh). But if they turn back (from Islam), take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Auliya’ (protectors or friends) nor helpers from them”.

Similarly, Quran 2:191: “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers”.

Al-Awlaki’s story has told the world today that US government is the judge, jury and executor of all Muslims.

Ibrahim Mohamed is a Parliamentary Reporter at the Peoples Majlis of the Maldives.

All comment pieces are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write an opinion piece, please send proposals to [email protected]


73 thoughts on “Comment: Anwar al-Awlaki’s killing is unjustified”

  1. @ Naeembe on Sun, 9th Oct 2011 10:36 AM

    I believe, you need to read your own arguments and reverse it to get the answers for yourself.

    You wrote:"does that means poverty is better than the rich."...
    Do u mean to say only rich is better? and what do u mean my rich? to get rich while the most are poor? any means? greed? please define...

    You wrote: "you see the cancers is growing rapidly today but you can’t say cancer is good thing."
    And do you say the world had progressed so much that cancer has to grow with it?

    btw.. Muslims can flourish and prosper, so as the humanity with equality, tolerance, peace and harmony.. only if they knew their "natural way of life", that is prescribed (in full context) in the Glorious Quran.

    This is my view and I don't intend to convince you , but I totally disagree with your notion and even with those who misquote "Quran" and promote hatred in the name of "Islam".

    May Allah Reward us all accordingly.

  2. DUH!!! u know!!!
    America has been the judge, jury, advocate and even court room for all muslims..somebody had to say it for u to understand?????

  3. We have enough yahoos preaching Jihad, this is not responsible, Minivan please review your editorial policy.

    You are considered anti-islamic by the yahoos anyway, this opinion piece will not change that.

  4. Ah, and the armchair jihadists come in hoards, to defend their bloodstained religion.

    It's funny how most of you try to show that you are somewhat, more intelligent compared to everybody else. You think that your arguments, are the absolute truth, and don't even care to listen to anybody else, raising yourselves to a "special" status, above human morals, laws and whatnot. Plus, it's even funnier how the same people comment using different names against Yameen, just to "prove" that many people hate him. Asking him questions like "who's richer, who's got the most followers".....irrelevant to the subject at hand, and personal attacks, disguised as arguments.

    Here's the thing. When Al Qaeda, Al-Shabab or the LeT slaughter thousands, starve women and children, and obtain millions of bloodstained money, the armchair jihadists won't dare say a word condemning these acts. But when someone from the Al-Qaeda, which is known to be one of the biggest terror organizations in the world, dies, you go on angry rants, hoping that everybody would magically just accept whatever sh*t comes out of your mouths. Be ensured, not everybody in the Maldives, or hell, in the world, are wahhabees, or muslims. You are not above the law, nor are you a "special" people.

  5. We have to kick Hilath, Simon and Yaamyn from this country. GET LOST DUDES.

  6. Of course the idiot brigade is out in force.
    Some are even claiming that a bloke called Yaamyn who posts here is a Kaafir.
    I do not know if he is one or not unless he himself claims to be one. I do not think he has claimed to be one here. Yet it seems that some Maldivians are better than what the Holy Prophet claims to be as they seem to know what may be in another person's mind and as far as I know and Islam knows that is known only to Almighty Allah.

    Re this chap Al- Awlaki, if he is a terrorist it is good that he has been eliminated. It is good that Osama bin Laden has been killed too as for sure he has caused more destruction to this religion than anyone else has as Al Queda has probably killed more Muslims civilians than anyone else.

    Some claim that Awlaki quietly sits in his chair and sun bathing all the time while others claim he is inciting hatred. Frankly none of us know anything for a fact as we read what we see in the news.
    The people who say he incites hatred has a better case as he has been seen on the Tv doing so.
    The man is an American and the US government has eliminated him.
    What has that got to do with us Maldivians? Zilch. If the US government breaks their own laws this has got nothing to do with any Maldivians.
    We did not vote them into power and it is for the American citizens to take any action they seem fit.
    In my own personal opinion anyone who incites hatred and terrorism should be eliminated.

  7. pft pft the mighty comrade of the fleet of Yameen comes to his rescue. How pitiful.
    There is no thing. Like it or not you are apologetic to barbarism, genocides when it comes from the West and the Americans. And they those "armchair jihadists" are apologetic to barbarism, genocides when it comes from Alqaeda and their ilk. You two are the same, your game is the same. You are two sides of the same coin.

  8. Yamyn, stop being a hypocrite. You are not Muslim, you hate Islam. Stop it, will you?

  9. @psst psst the balloon burst

    Haha, and which side of the coin are you on? Surely, on the Al Qaeda side? And it's funny how you can assume such things without backing up it with concrete evidence from me. I may not agree with the american foreign policy, but when they eliminate your holy figures such as bin laden, I will support such actions.

    Also, fyi, I'm an atheist. So, come at me?

  10. psst, I do not know who the heck Yamyyn is at all and do not care as well. Sometimes he talks nonsense, sometimes sensibly I feel. In this case he talks a lot of sense.
    As for him being being a Muslim or not, anyone who accuses him of being a non muslim while he says he is a muslim is committing a sin. Only Allah knows what is in someone's mind.
    As for the American actions no amount of jumping up and down by some people in a small country like The Maldives is going to change anything at all.
    It just shows the idiocy of such people and nothing else.

  11. My Holy Figures? LOL
    See you just made me go LOL. Seriously.
    Bin Laden or Awlaki are not my holy figures. You must be living in a delusion that every one who speak against you must be from them? What are you on to? Smack?
    I am a bystander. I am not fan of Alqaeda. It is they who are making way for the Americans to eat us raw. They do the inside job.
    You see, it is not very good to hit back with a load of questions. Where are your concrete evidence for the "surety" of your doubts regarding my side? Everything is not black and white. Every one is not the sides of a coin. Yes, you are and they are, and you want evidence. Go through these comments, will you? Have you time for a readathon? Go through these comments and tell me yourself.
    Atheist, what 'bout it? No I do not have "come" at you, do I? Are you a perv? Is it some kind of fetish? To come on atheists? Man, you got a very over active imagination.

  12. Ah the Americans. The ones who are the reason for ALL your problems. And if you're a bystander, why don't you just do that. What exactly is your reason to pop your head into matters which don't matter, since you're just a 'bystander'. Haha, and I think you should look at my comment again. Maybe the sarcasm wasn't apparent enough, despite the question mark. Ah, but I don't expect you to understand, you're just a bystander.

    Everyone is not sides of a coin? I didn't come up with the coin hypothesis anyway. It was you who declared that we are all just sides of this...coin. I have to add that differences in opinions, can't always be attributed to your hypothesis anyway. How would you know, that people who commented here against Yameen, want to actually annihilate entire non-muslim populations? And vice versa for your "other side" of the coin? You start off your argument with the assumption that you got it all figured out. And that's where the problem lies. Good try. Better luck next time perhaps?

    Also, maybe you aren't aware of the term "come at me bro". I don't blame you though, your immediate jump to sexual fetishes indicates a rather sick imagination imo. Again, better luck next time, bystander.

  13. When American democracy murders an American in the name of protecting democracy, Al Qaida will have the last laugh!

  14. Oh my that took you a while to write all that, huh? 1:47PM LOL
    I bet you have read my comments, well. Americans, All my problems? Yes, I am a bystander. Unlike you and your ilk, I do not go on gyrating my brain on ways to "annihilate" either Americans or Alqaeda.
    Sarcasm or not it is apparent enough from your comment, "Surely, on the Al Qaeda side?" that you were placing me in the side of Alqaeda, despite the question mark.
    Better luck? Do you think this is a game? The problem is that you cannot stand criticism directed at you. This is what I am getting at, you did not notice this, did you? After all, you were going all huffin' and puffin' on hittin' back at my comment. Btw, that "better luck next time" shows what you are about and what the gist of that comment of your is about..right?
    You accuse me of not getting your try on being sarcastic, look at yourself, "bro." You didn't get the sarcasm and yeah "the question mark" didn't do good, eh?
    pfft pfft pssst psst and the balloon bursts.

  15. Manik, what trickles out is what is in the container. If an Indian says he is a Maldivian till he gets blue in the face he can never be a Maldivian unless he follows the procedure on getting Maldivian citizenship (if there is any procedure for that?!)...

  16. psst no he would not. But becoming a Muslim is not the same. All he need to do is to say the "shaadath" and if in front of Allah he is a Muslim then no amount of someone shouting till he is blue in the face would change that.

  17. Haha you humour me. I'm not gonna drag this argument any longer because really, I'm not interested. Your whole comment again proves my point. You simply come here, full of assumptions, and totally blinded by your arrogance. Also fyi, our locations are probably very distant, hence the late reply. I don't OWE you an argument, just keep that in mind. And again, you place me on one of the "sides of your coin" by stating I probably want to 'annihilate' one of those groups. Really? How do you know this. You should share this with me. The way you have everybody all figured out. And it doesn't seem like you can take criticism at all either, considering you're lashing out right now. LOL YOU MAD? And we can go all day about not getting each others sarcasm....oh wait you can do that. I really have better things to do. You may reply to my probable comments in another article. You seem to be obsessed with proving....whatever you're trying to prove here. So, see you then bro 😛

    Again, good luck with...whatever you're trying to do here.

  18. Manik:
    Erm,not really. Amithab said the Shahada, he is not considered a Muslim, is he? And I do not know what you mean by Shaadath? Well,I'll excuse your ignorance. But I'd say we better not speak about things we have no knowledge of? How 'bout that?

  19. to understand anwar-al-awlaki's have to understand quran....many people today are ignorant of the meaning of the arabic word 'jihad' put it accurately it means struggle...its the struggle against your dark desires..not fighting and killing anwar al awlaki's lectures i get that he had a good understanding of islam...he encouraged muslims to fight against their worldly desires not fight amongst ourselves..i am not taking sides...i just know before judging a person proof is required...what proof do we have that anwar al awlaki was a terrorist?we only have the word of american authorities and press..other details they do not that base enough to justify a killing?from his lectures and works i do not get the impression of a blood thirsty man and neither am i motivated to kill?so listen to his lectures and jusge for yourself and Allah knows best..

  20. Hey Idiots,

    If Islam is bloodstained by Bin Laden's actions or any other Muslim's actions why not Christianity by the actions of Hitler, Yugoslavian Leader, and many more who are Christians?

  21. Yes, some of those terrorists may be Muslims, but for sure they are Human.
    Why don't you idiots call yourselves (as humans) Terrorists, Cannibals, Psychopaths just because mamy of us were & still are.?


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