Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Muhammad Fraser- Rahim: Stealth Jihad Quilliam Foundation Hires New North American Director - Tied To NOI And Islamists
Muhammad Fraser- Rahim: Stealth Jihad Quilliam Foundation Hires New North American Director - Tied To NOI And Islamists
Studied Under NOI Leader W.Deen Muhammed And Islamist Sulayman Nyang - Attended Clara Muhammed School
For more on the QF see:
"Ex" Terrorists Running Quilliam Foundation 'Pimping For The Profit'- Charging For Membership In Stealth Jihad Scam
In an exciting move for Quilliam International's expansion, Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, has been appointed as Executive Director, North America, where he will be responsible for leading on Quilliam's new strategic direction in the USA and Canada. Muhammad is a recognised expert on countering violent extremism and has worked in a wide variety of postings within the US Government having served as a frontline civilian for a decade working for the Department of Homeland Security, Director of National Intelligence and the National Counterterrorism Center.
Muhammad has worked and studied throughout the Middle East and Africa with real world experiences at the strategic and local level, he has wrote or co-wrote numerous Presidential Daily Briefs and advised senior USG policymakers at the White House and National Security Council. Muhammad joins Quilliam from a unique perspective and vantage point.
Muhammad's firm background within the national security arena, is complimented too, by a world class academic pedigree, currently finalising his PhD and scholarly works on Islamic intellectual history, Islam in America and contemporary theology in the Muslim world at Howard University. His last posting came as a Senior Program Officer for the U.S. Institute of Peace, leading on their work in the Horn of Africa and serving as an expert on CVE issues.
Quilliam International Chief Executive, Haras Rafiq, has this to say on Muhammad's appointment:
"Myself and the Board of Quilliam International, could not be more pleased that Muhammad is joining us. His experience in Government, academia and with Muslim communities in the USA and around the world, gives him the perfect background for a leadership role within Quilliam. As we continue to expand and continue to deliver in an increasingly fractured, political and societal landscape, having people like Muhammad, leading the way, is invaluable."
The newly appointed Executive Director, North America Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, says:
"I am delighted to be appointed as the new Executive Director, North America. I feel my professional, academic and personal story, truly demonstrates my approach and how I have dedicated my life to the service of my country, my local community and my academic integrity.
As a descendant of the indigenous African American Muslim community, whose families made great sacrifices in America, our story is one built on resilience, the fostering of trust and of dialogue across multiple viewpoints. I look forward to furthering this time honored tradition, rooted in my historical past and envisioning it further in the future with Quilliam."
To see Muhammad's full Bio please click here.
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Muhammad Fraser-Rahim is the Executive Director, North America for Quilliam International, a counter-extremist organization with HQ's in the United Kingdom.
He is an expert on violent extremism issues both domestically and overseas. Prior to his current role, he served as a Senior Program Officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace where he lead their Horn of Africa Programs and served as an expert on CVE issues at the institute. Mr. Fraser-Rahim's areas of specialty are on transnational terrorist movements,Islamic intellectual history, Islam in America and contemporary theology in the Muslim world. In addition, Mr. Fraser-Rahim worked for the United States Government for more than a decade for the Department of Homeland Security, Director of National Intelligence and the National Counterterrorism Center providing strategic advice and executive branch analytical support on countering violent extremism issues to the White House and the National Security Council where he was the author or co-author of Presidential Daily Briefs and strategic assessments on extremist ideology and counter-radicalizaiton.
Mr. Fraser-Rahim has conducted research in more than 40 countries on the African continent, and has worked and studied throughout the Middle East. He completed advanced level Arabic language certificates at various higher education institutions in the US, West Africa and the Middle East and studied Quranic exegesis under the late Imam W.D. Mohammed. He is also a Security Fellow at the Truman National Security Project. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Howard University in African Studies studying under Professor Emeritus, Dr. Sulayman Nyang with a focus on Islamic Thought, Spirituality and Modernity and holds a master's degree from Howard University in History, and a bachelor's degree in History from the College of Charleston, Charleston, SC.
Why I Joined Quilliam
I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, a coastal town on the East Coast of the United States, consistently ranked as one of the world's best tourist destinations with picturesque beaches and old colonial style homes which give memory to America's complicated past; a city affectionately called the "holy city" for its diverse religious communities. As a third-generation African American Muslim, I learned this from a young age as I balanced between attending secular public schools and private Islamic education as part of the oldest Islamic school network in the U.S., Clara Mohammed Schools, in which my teachers were a true representation of the diversity of the American experience.
I first learned and memorized the Qur'an as a young child, not from teachers from the rich Islamic centers of learning throughout the Middle East and Africa, but initially through teachers who were indigenous Americans who dedicated their life and time to mastery of the Arabic language and the Qur'an and who were hardworking ordinary Americans who were engineers, taxi drivers, and small business owners to name a few. Though biryani, baklava, and shawarma have a deep resonance within many Arab and Muslim communities throughout the world, it was red rice, vegetarian collard greens, baked fish, bean soup, and bean pie that were part of my early upbringing. Being a descendant of enslaved Africans, I was fully immersed in the rich cultural and linguistic tradition of the sea islands of South Carolina and Georgia known as Gullah/Geechee. My experience was authentically Southern and American.
As a college student, I decided early on that studying abroad, first in France and then throughout West Africa in Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia where I studied Islamic and West African history, gave me the foundational start for my interest in geo-political global matters. In combination with various intensive immersions throughout the Islamic world in the Arabic language, including in Egypt and Morocco, I developed a passion to further my career in foreign policy and national security issues at-large.
It was during this study abroad experience that I began to understand the nuances of local populations and how communities are confronted and challenged by criminal and transnational networks. As a young student, I saw the effects of stringent conservatism permeating communities, whether they be Christian or Muslim, and how their adherents struggled to abide by and implement these values on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, I've also seen the first-hand effects of the 10-year civil war in the West African countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia as I arrived in Sierra Leone in the direct aftermath of this brutal war that left men, women, and children victims of brutal devastation.
My professional career working in the national security and intelligence apparatus lasted for 12 years. During this time, I worked for the Department of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and at the National Counterterrorism Center. During this tenure, I travelled throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe providing expertise on violent extremism. For the vast majority of my career, I worked on some of the most sensitive issues related to counterterrorism, both domestically and overseas, analyzing and deciphering messages and providing high level, concise strategic assessments on counterterrorism issues and ways to combat extremist rhetoric.
During this time, I worked side by side with a diverse crowd: white, black, Asian, Muslim, non-Muslim, atheist, Jewish, liberal, democrat, and conservative types to name a few. While on the surface, it might seem that we were all different, upon peeling back that first layer of assumed identity, we were, and are, all the same. Our mantra at the time was that we were driven by our mission. As the world continued to evolve, and as the various potential threats evolved too, my career in the counterterrorism space gave me a deep understanding of how to analyze problems and provide accurate information with nuance and a holistic context.
As a historian by academic training, it was my expertise that was called upon when preparing senior U.S Government officials on how to engage appropriately with cultural and diverse communities. And when there was a call for more public outreach engagement, it was my personal upbringing and experience that allowed me to make sure law enforcement, intelligence, and government colleagues alike were being sensitive and aware of the multiplicity of views and perspectives within the communities we were seeking to protect.
All these examples in my upbringing and professional career gave me the passion and motivation to join Quilliam. As an American Muslim, my perspective in government allowed me to understand the bureaucratic limitations of government when it came to preventing extremism. As an academic, soon to be publishing a doctoral dissertation on the issue of how communities can remain resilient against extremism, I too see how a deeper and contextual understanding of past and future theories on these topics is increasingly vital as well. My decision to join Quilliam was based on seeking to holistically address what is perhaps the most pertinent issue of our time. The notion of working towards practical solutions to this hazard, beyond religious persuasions or ideological perspectives, was at the core of why I jumped at the opportunity to be part of an organization that sought to be part of that change in this field.
As we embark on the journey of establishing Quilliam in North America, we have an opportunity to serve as coalition builders and work with various segments of society within our pluralistic communities. I see this as an opportunity to use the power of dialogue, reason, respect, and tolerance to engage in a fruitful debate to challenge the extremist narrative and find tangible ways in which we can eradicate violent extremism and find practical solutions to strengthen and empower individuals and communities against this threat.
MIM: Rahim was a panelist on the recent Washington Institute For Near East Policy conference "Islamist Terrorism In The West". He is also on their board of experts. http://www.
He spoke of "violent extremism" and misleadingly claimed that Islamist violence had nothing to do with Islam!
MIM: Conference participants.
Islamist Terrorism in the West
"Extremists are adapting and learning more effectively than ever before. Indeed, counterterrorism analysts have noted the evolution from large-scale spectacular attacks to low-tech, high-impact strikes. Yet while countering violent extremism is a mighty challenge, officials and analysts must be very careful not to confuse such extremism with Muslim beliefs.For definitional purposes, Islam is a worldview, a value system, and a belief system practiced by some 1.5 billion Muslims across the globe. Islamism, by comparison, is a political ideology that supports a draconian interpretation of Islam that is narrow, rigid, strict, and mostly legalistic. Islamism has modern manifestations throughout the world. Some Islamist groups serve as gateways to more violent organizations, including terrorist organizations. Such groups can -- if left unchecked -- lead people down the path to extremism to groups like al-Qaeda, al-Shabab, Boko Haram, and the Islamic State. Islamists envision a mythical, theocratic pan-Islamic state that, frankly, never existed and exploit that idea to mobilize people to violence. Islamist ideology, combined with Salafi theology, effectively creates the modern manifestation of Salafi-jihadism.
So what needs to be done? Violent extremist ideology must be isolated from mainstream Islam. Who can do that? In the view of many, challenging and changing the radical narrative cannot be accomplished by secular individuals alone. The most effective voices to counter Salafi extremism are those of devout, practicing Muslims who see this issue as a cancer within their faith. Here in the West, individuals and institutions must challenge those texts and ideas that foster repugnant, misogynistic, or violent ideas. These may be legally protected ideas within Western democracies, but people must nevertheless fight the ideology and taboos just as they would fight homophobia, racism, and other destructive "isms."
MIM: Muhammad Rahim is also a fellow at the Truman Security Project. In a recent article about the terrorist attacks in London he disingenuously claims that Muslim converts have a wrong view of Islam. This mendacious claim is supremely ironic in light of the fact that Rahim is the North American director of The Quilliam Foundation named after a British convert to Islam!
William Henry Quilliam (10 April 1856 – 23 April 1932), who changed his name to Abdullah Quilliam and later Henri Marcel Leon or Haroun Mustapha Leon, was a 19th-century convert from Christianity to Islam, noted for founding England's first mosque and Islamic centre... Quilliam argued that Muslims should not fight Muslims on behalf of European powers. He denounced British foreign policy in Sudan and called for a worldwide Caliphate.[15 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdullah_Quilliam
Excerpt from "London Attack And Black Western Converts"
"...What also makes many of these Black Western recruits unique is that they are outliers to both the Muslim community and their own respective demographic group. The profiles of Black Western recruits to Islam show a milieu of experiences and exposures to Islam largely through interaction from conservative style Muslim clerics. In the case of the U.K. and U.S. examples, these clerics offer a perspective into Islam that is narrow, closed-off, and prey onto already real or perceived racial, ethnic, or economic marginalizations, as well as subject to conflicting political and religious worldviews. When Black Muslim converts pick up these uncommon viewpoints, they become victims of a foreign brand of Islam that rejects the religious pluralism and diversity of Western Islam and are under the guise of conservative Muslim clerics influences.