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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > MN Lutheran Social Services Publishes "Fantasy Islam" Booklet On Muslim 'Refugees' Endorsed By Pro Terror Imam (Part II)

MN Lutheran Social Services Publishes "Fantasy Islam" Booklet On Muslim 'Refugees' Endorsed By Pro Terror Imam (Part II)

March 12, 2016

Fantasy Islam (Kafir Edition): Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Part II

Who is "reforming" who?

March 10, 2016

Dr. Stephen M. Kirby

[See Part I Here]

Fantasy Islam (Kafir Edition): A game in which an audience of non-Muslims wish with all their hearts that Islam was a "Religion of Peace," and a Kafir (non-Muslim) strives to fulfill that wish by presenting a version of Islam that has little foundation in Islamic Doctrine.

In 2015 the Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota produced a 61 page booklet titled My Neighbor is Muslim, Exploring the Muslim Faith. The purpose of the booklet was to enable Lutherans to learn about Islam in order to better understand their "new neighbors" who were arriving as refugees. The booklet includes discussion questions after each chapter.

In my first article about this booklet, I looked at the interesting background of the imam who endorsed the booklet. The focus of this article is on how the booklet presents Islam.

Statements Supported by Vague Terms

There was only one footnote in this booklet; it was on p. 48 and simply pointed out other names for the jihadist group ISIS. Throughout the booklet assertions about Islam and Islamic Doctrine were made, with only the occasional use of vague terms such as "mainstream Islamic tradition," "most Muslims," or "many scholars" to support these assertions. The booklet does have a suggested reading list of ten books by modern authors, but there is no indication where among those ten books one could go for further reading about any particular statement made about Islam.

Islam's Jesus – the Rest of the Story

The booklet has a chapter titled "What Does the Qur'an Say about Jesus?" This chapter pointed out similarities and differences "between the Qur'an's presentation of Jesus and traditional Christian understandings of Jesus." There were three differences the booklet found worth of considering: 1) Jesus Is Not the Son of God; 2) Jesus Is Not a Savior; and 3) Jesus Was Not Crucified. On p. 17 we find that these differences are not "insurmountable":

While the differences between the Muslim and Christian Jesus are significant, they are not insurmountable hurdles for interfaith dialogue. The reverence and respect Muslims have for Jesus is considerable. If Christians can develop an appreciation for the prominent role that Jesus has in Islam, they may discover Jesus is more of an opportunity than an obstacle for developing interfaith relationships with their Muslim sisters and brothers.

But to really understand "the prominent role that Jesus has in Islam," we must turn to the teachings of Muhammad (the hadiths). Here is what Muhammad said would happen when Jesus returned to earth:

He [Jesus] will descend…He will break the cross, kill the pig, and banish the Jizyah and will call the people to Islam. During his time, Allah will destroy all religions except Islam…[i]

And, according to Muhammad, Jesus would also be judging mankind by the laws of the Koran:

Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah's Messenger said, "How will you be when the son of Maryam (Mary) ['Isa (Jesus)] descends amongst you, and he will judge people by the law of the Qur'an and not by the law of the Gospel."[ii]

So Islam teaches that Jesus will return to earth to destroy Christianity, call the people to Islam, and judge mankind by the Koran. In terms of "interfaith dialogue," these three issues should be priorities for discussion. But the Islamic message of these three issues raises interesting questions about the "opportunity" they create for "interfaith relationships" between Muslims and those who are to be destroyed by Islam's Jesus.

No Compulsion Under Islam

On p. 24 we find:

The first point to note is that the general policy in Islamic empires in premodern history was not to force Jews and Christians to convert. The source of this policy is the Qur'an.

Let there be no compulsion in religion. Surely, Truth stands out clearly from error. Whoever rejects evil and believes in God has held the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And God is All‐Hearing, All‐Knowing (Q. 2:256).

…Islam's primary emphasis when it comes to conversion is that one must accept Islam through free will.

2:256 of the Koran is used as the basis for claiming that there is no compulsion under Islam for the conversion of non-Muslims. However, this claim ignores the Doctrine of Abrogation, which is fundamental to understanding Islam. Here is a summary of that Doctrine:

The verses of the Koran are "revelations" Muhammad received from 610 AD until his death in 632 AD. While in Mecca, the religion of Islam was just starting and it was generally not well received. Perhaps as a result of this, the verses of the Koran "revealed" in Mecca were generally more peaceful and accommodating toward non-Muslims than the verses later "revealed" in Medina. The verses from Medina had a general tendency to be more belligerent and intolerant, and more inclined to make sharp differentiations between Muslims (believers) and non-Muslims (disbelievers).

This can lead to a conflict between the message of a Meccan verse and that of a Medinan verse addressing the same general topic. But how can there be such a conflict if the Koran is the infallible, eternal, "revealed" word of Allah? This was covered in a Medinan verse in the Koran that introduced the concept of "abrogation":

Chapter 2, Verse 106

Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is Able to do all things?

Abrogation means that if there is a conflict between the messages of two "revelations" in the Koran, then the most recent "revelation" is the one to be followed. Both verses remain in the Koran because they are considered the words of Allah; but it is the most recent "revelation" that now carries the doctrinal weight. So let's take a brief chronological look at this claim of "no compulsion under Islam."

2:106 was "revealed" around February 624.[iii] 2:256 was "revealed" around August 625.[iv] So as of August 625 Allah had "revealed" that verses of the Koran could be abrogated and no one was to be forced to become a Muslim.

Around March 629, 2:193 was "revealed"[v]:

And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of ) worship is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists and wrongdoers).

The authoritative Muslim scholar al-Qurtubi explained the meaning of this verse:

It is an unqualified command to fight without any precondition of hostilities being initiated by the unbelievers [non-Muslims]...The Prophet said, "I was commanded to fight people until they say, ‘There is no god but Allah.'…If they cease, there should be no enmity towards any but wrongdoers. If they stop and become Muslim or submit by paying jizya…Otherwise they should be fought….The wrongdoers are either those who initiate fighting or those who remain entrenched in disbelief and fitna.[vi]

Chapter 9 of the Koran was "revealed" in 630-631. In that chapter is Verse 5:

Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the Mushrikun [non-Muslims] wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in every ambush. But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salat (the prayers), and give Zakat (obligatory charity), then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

So 9:5 commands Muslims to aggressively seek-out and attack non-Muslims, and to kill some, and to capture some. And the only way non-Muslims could save themselves would be to convert to Islam.

Just with these few Koran verses the Doctrine of Abrogation shows us that the idea there is "no compulsion in Islam" has been abrogated by at least two subsequent verses of the Koran. Unfortunately, the booklet My Neighbor is Muslim does not address the Doctrine of Abrogation. And by ignoring this doctrine, the booklet was then able to present any Koran verse as still carrying doctrinal weight.


The purported purpose of this booklet is to provide introductory information about Islam that can be used in group discussions. Space limits for this article enabled us to examine just a few of the issues I found with this booklet. Nevertheless, it is hard to see how a version of Islam that includes significant omissions and broad assertions can possible contribute to a better understanding of the Islam of Muhammad. However, it will certainly help one better understand the Lutheran Social Service Reformed Islam.


[i] Abu Al-Fida' 'Imad Ad-Din Isma'il bin 'Umar bin Kathir Al-Qurashi Al-Busrawi, Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), trans. Jalal Abualrub, et al. (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2000), Vol. 3, p. 32.

[ii] Muhammad bin Ismail bin Al-Mughirah Al-Bukhari, Sahih Al-Bukhari, trans. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 1997), Vol. 4, Book 60, No. 3449, p. 412.

[iii] Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Ansari al-Qurtubi, Tafsir Al-Qurtubi: Classical Commentary of the Holy Qur'an, Vol. 1, trans. Aisha Bewley (London: Dar Al Taqwa Ltd., 2003), p. 321.

[iv] Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn 'Ali al-Wahidi, Al-Wahidi's Asbab al-Nuzul, trans. Mokrane Guezzou (Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2008), pp. 36-37.

[v] Al-Wahidi's Asbab al-Nuzul, p. 23; and Salahuddin Yusuf, Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, trans. Mohammad Kamal Myshkat (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2010), Vol. 1, pp. 171-172.

[vi] Tafsir Al-Qurtubi: Classical Commentary of the Holy Qur'an, Vol. 1, p. 496.



Part I:

Fantasy Islam (Kafir Edition): A game in which an audience of non-Muslims wish with all their hearts that Islam was a "Religion of Peace," and a Kafir (non-Muslim) strives to fulfill that wish by presenting a version of Islam that has little foundation in Islamic Doctrine.

In 2015 the Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota produced a 61 page booklet titled My Neighbor is Muslim, Exploring the Muslim Faith. The purpose of the booklet was to enable Lutherans to learn about Islam in order to better understand their "new neighbors" who were arriving as refugees.

On p. 3 of the booklet we find an endorsement by, and a picture of, Imam Hassan Ali Mohamud, the founder, Imam, and Director of the Minnesota Da'wah Institute. A brief biography of Mohamud can be found at the Institute's site. But there are a few additional items in Mohamud's background that are of particular interest and make him a curious choice as the endorser of a book welcoming Muslims into non-Muslim communities.

Hassan Ali Mohamud praised Hamas

The United States government declared Hamas a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997. On March 22, 2004, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (Yaasin), the founder of Hamas, was killed in an Israeli airstrike. On March 26, 2004, Mohamud wrote an article in Somalitalk – Minneapolis expressing his condolences for Yassin's death. The article was titled Hambalyo Shahiid Sh. Ahmed Yaasin, (Congratulations to Sheikh Ahmed Yaasin, the Shahiid). Shahiid is the term used for those who achieve martyrdom by being killed in the cause of Allah.

Mohamud noted that Yassin had founded Hamas and referred to the Hamas mujahidin (mujaahidiinta), who were fighting for the liberation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and of Palestine (mujahidin are those fighting in the Cause of Allah). Mohamud hoped that Allah would consider Yassin a martyr, and he referred to Yassin as the Sheikh of the Mujahidin (Sheikhul

Mujaahidiin). Mohamud referred to the Israelis as terrorists.

This article had the following byline: "Sh. Xasan Jaamici, xasanjaamici@yahoo.com, Minneapolis, MN, USA." How do we know this is our Hassan Ali Mohamud? An internet search of this name and e-mail address will show the connection to Mohamud (e.g., here, here, here and here (both of which also include a telephone number), here, and here. The aforementioned telephone number is also connected to Mohamud (e.g., here, here, here (on the page titled Expert Resources Available To Media), and here (on p. 15 of the slide presentation).

Muslim cab drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

For a number of years some Muslim cab drivers had refused to pick up passengers at the airport if those passengers were carrying sealed bottles of wine and/or liquor, even if those bottles were in the passenger's luggage. Controversy grew, and on June 6, 2006 the Muslim American Society of Minnesota (MAS) stepped in and issued a religious ruling (fatwa) stating that it violated Islamic law for the cab drivers to be involved in the transportation of alcohol. Hassan Ali Mohamud was one of the four members of the committee that issued this fatwa.

A few weeks later, when interviewed by NPR, Mohamud stated:

Islamic identity is important because it is like keeping the faith. For that reason, Muslims here believe - Somalis are the majority of the Muslims in Minnesota- they believe it's important to have, like, our own village, what you can call like Muslim village.

And what would this Muslim-majority "village" in the United States be like? Here is an excerpt from an article published later that year; this excerpt starts off with comments from Omar Jamal, a Muslim cab driver, and ends with comments from Mohamud:

Jamal..says MAS is an organization of Middle Eastern Muslims attempting to fold Minnesota's large population of Somali Muslims into its divisive political campaign…"They've been driving the taxis for the last 20 years. How come it became an issue now all of a sudden? Were all the Muslims born again?"

MAS leader Mohamud, who is Somali, contends that just such a revival occurred, that nominal Muslims began practicing their faith. He says that as more Muslims do the same, similar issues will continue to spring up throughout the country. Asked if he believes local governments should enforce Shariah law in communities dominated by Muslim immigrants, Mohamud replied, "I believe in American democracy, which is majority rules."

So according to Mohamud, as more Muslims return to their faith there will be more conflicts springing up between Shariah Law and American law. And if localities have a Muslim majority, then he believes that Shariah Law should be enforced, even in the United States.

This approach by Mohamud should not be surprising, because of what he wrote for his law school student newspaper in 2000; the article was titled Law in the Islamic Perspective:

Law, both as jurisprudence and as a normative system is an articulation and an expression of God's will. As a consequence, within the Islamic outlook, it is difficult to conceive of a secular state or a secular legal system.

If one cannot conceive of a "secular legal system" then it is only natural to come to the defense of Muslim cab drivers who are trying to impose Allah's law on non-Muslims.

Omar Jamal would later state:

Somali youth leaving Minneapolis to fight with al-Shabab

For many years there has been concern within the Somali community in Minneapolis, and among federal government officials, about Somali youth going overseas to fight for the jihadist terror group al-Shabab. In late 2008 and early 2009 there were two articles that mentioned Muhamud and his mosque.

On December 19, 2008 USA Today had an article that included an interview with a former jihadist living in Minneapolis. Below he describes how jihadists recruit new members at one particular mosque, and he stated that similar activities were occurring at Mohamud's mosque, the Minnesota Da'wah Institute:

Yusuf Shaba…says he decided to speak out about what he considers Islamic indoctrination at Minneapolis mosques because he doesn't want his sons to follow the same path he did.

Shaba, 34, joined Al Ittihad Al-Islami (Islamic Union) at age 16 and was wounded at age 19 in Somalia. Al Ittihad was Somalia's largest Islamic terrorist group in the 1990s…

Shaba says he and his three teenage sons attended a program two months ago at Abubaker As-Saddique Islamic Center, where a former Somali warrior sat in a circle with other young people and delivered a passionate recitation of his experiences during the Somali civil war.

Some mosques also screen videos about the war in Afghanistan and about Muslim victims of perceived injustices… "They give them all the grievances that Osama Bin Laden has," Shaba says. "They talk about nothing but jihad and it's the best thing that can happen to a Muslim."…

Shaba says similar activities occur at Minnesota Da'wah Institute in St. Paul, another mosque. Sheik Mahamud Hassan [sic], the institute's imam, says nothing like that is happening as his mosque. "It's liars," he says. "I'm not missing any members."

In February 2009 NPR did a similar report. The report noted this about the missing youth:

All of them were reared by single mothers, and all of them were particularly devout Muslims. They all prayed and signed up for youth programs at two local mosques…

Mohamud was the imam of one of those two mosques. And it was in Mohamud's mosque where the parents said their missing boys spent a lot of time, and even spent the night. In reply to the NPR interviewer, Mohamud stated, "We are not missing any single student who is connected to the mosque and the Dawah Islamic center." The interviewer pointed out that when Mohamud and his mosque's youth director were being interviewed, they were both "defensive."

Mohamud was refused clearance for an airport tour

In January 2016 Mohamud and other community leaders were invited to tour the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport and review its operations and screening procedures. Each had to be cleared in advance to access the secure areas of the airport. But a few hours before the tour started on February 18th, Mohamud was notified that he had not been cleared to access the secure areas. Government officials would not discuss the matter.


Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota created a booklet seeking to educate non-Muslims about Islam and encouraging them to have a welcoming attitude toward Muslim refugees coming into their neighborhoods. Ironically, the Muslim imam selected to endorse this booklet appears to be a Hamas supporter, believes that Shariah Law should be enforced in American communities where Muslims are the majority, heads one of two mosques that have been the focus of articles about Somali youth leaving Minneapolis to fight for a terrorist organization, and was recently refused a government security clearance. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Part 2 will look at how Islam is presented in this booklet.

Dr. Stephen M. Kirby is the author of three books about Islam. His latest book is Islam According to Muhammad, Not Your Neighbor.


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