An Assessment of Extremism within the American Muslim Community

September 11, 2006

Source: Belief Net

On September 11, 2006 Belief Net reported, "Ahmad Musa Jebril had a shady reputation that preceded him, yet he was a still mystery to many in suburban Detroit’s Muslim community. The son of local imam who had been dismissed by his mosque because of his radical views, the younger Jebril had also been barred by some area mosques for his own extremist rhetoric. So when Jebril started coming around to Masjid Umar Bin Khattab in Brownstown Mi. in the summer of 2003, officials at the mosque warned younger congregants to stay away from him, thinking that if they banned him outright without witnessing an actual transgression, his appeal might increase. But unbeknownst to mosque officials, Jebril, now 36, had already attracted a group of five to 10 teens and twentysomethings by delivering passionate, teary-eyed lectures about Islamic spirituality and the earliest Muslims while they sat mesmerized on the floor of a spare prayer room in the mosque’s basement. 'He approached us as someone trying to get more involved with the youth of the [mosque],' said Jawad Khan, a 22-year-old senior at the University of Michigan at Dearborn, who was 19 when Jebril came 'out of nowhere.' Like his peers, Khan was initially impressed with Jebril, and disregarded the warnings. After all, Khan reasoned, the talks were about spirituality and Islamic history. 'He was a very powerful speaker. He could really get your emotions going.' Many Americans worry that it is just such a combination--a radical leader and impressionable youths--that can lead to the creation of homegrown terrorists, like the 24 British Muslims (three of whom were recent converts) arrested in early August as suspects in a plot to blow up several planes with liquid explosives flying from Heathrow Airport to the United States."

See also: Islam, Youth