This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/95
From Militant Islamist to Stratfor geopolitical analyst
by Beila Rabinowitz
May 28, 2004
Response to Kamran Bokhari
Below is MIM's response to Kamran Bokhari's letter which he sent to me regarding my press release and to Dr.Daniel Pipes' in reponse to his article "The USIP Stumbles ".
Bokhari's claims of noninvolvement while the North American spokesman of Al Muhajiroun are patently absurd especially in light of the fact that in 1997 Bokhari was videotaped at an AM rally in London and a flyer exists showing his as the introductory speaker.
Another tape exists of Bokhari shouting for Jihad in front of the Israeli embassy in New York in April before the attacks on 9/11.
This in itself proves that he had a leading role in AM from 1997 at least up until 2001.
Everything that Bokhari writes in his letter is an exercise in dissemblence and obscufucation in light of these facts.
The Al Muhajiroun spokeman's present employment as geopolitical analyst for Strategic Forecasting is something he could not have imagined in his wildest dreams. His employer and CEO of Stratfor, George Friedman, apparently believes that Bokhari's Islamist experience is a valuable asset to his company.
One can only wonder if Bokhari's old friends in London, such as Omar Bakri and Anjem Choudary, are still in contact with him today.
Maybe they too have seen the "post Islamist" light and could find a position at Stratfor
Kamran Bokhari's addressed the objections raised by Dr.Daniel Pipes to his the participation of the CSID in a United States Institute of Peace sponsored event and a press release objecting to his appearence at a ' terrorism forum' at his alma mater, Southwest Missouri State University. The forum was organised by his former political science professor, Dr. Mehrdad Haghayeghi. Dr. Haghayeghi was fully aware of Bokhari's role as spokesman of Al Muhajiroun and head of the Muslim Students Association while he was his student at SMSU.
At around the same time that Bokhari organised a symposium featuring Anjem Choudary, head of Al Muhajiroun in the U.K., Dr. Haghayeghi organised a 'terror forum' in 1999 which included former deputy director of FBI Counter Intelligence Buck Revell. This was the same year in which his prized student, Kamran Bokhari, in his capacity as Al Muhajiroun spokesman, had written an article for the SMSU student paper defending Bin Laden entitled "Freedom Fighters Now Called Terrorists".http://www.southweststandard.com/93-21/f2.html
( see full text of Bokhari's letter below response).
Dr. Pipes's article detailed Bokhari's background as the leader of Al Muhajiroun and explained why the Center for Islam and Democracy (the CSID) has shown further proof of their Islamist agenda by accepting Kamran Bokhari as one of it's fellows. Bokhari is also the secretary and interim treasurer of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists a Saudi funded organisation directly linked to the IIIT which was raided by the FBI in 2003 on charges of terror funding.
Journalist Kenneth Timmerman also expounded on Kamran Bokhari's role in Al Muhajiroun in his article :"Pipes Objects to the Fox in the Henhouse" . http://www.insightmag.com/news/2004/03/30/National/Pipes.Objects.To.Fox.In.The.Henhouse-636946.shtml
While a student of political science at Southwest Missouri State University Bokhari was active as spokeman for Al Muhajiroun and also lead the Muslim Student Association. He helped to found the Islamic Center of Springfield, which was closed in 2004 by the U.S. Treasury Department for funding Al Qaeda.
All of Bokhari statments regarding his role as North American leader for Al Muhajiroun is either dissemblance or lies depending on one's semantical preference.
Which begs two questions:
If Bokhari is unable to tell the truth about any aspect of his personal involvement with Al Muhajiroun. as proven below, how credible can his analyses as a Stratfor geo political forecaster ?
Despite,or rather because of, his extensive history of Jihadist connections, Bokhari currently works as a defense analyst for Strategic Forecasting Corporation, commonly known as Stratfor.
"Stratfor is the world's leading private intelligence firm providing corporations, governments and individuals with geopolitical analysis and forecasts that enable them to manage risk and to anticipate political, economic and security issues vital to their interests."
If professional "post Islamist" is someone who can parlay their militancy working as a Stratfor intelligence analyst , what job description could be provided for a suicide bomber who decided not to detonate themselves ? Would they apply for work under the category of a " pre post Islamist" ?
Bokhari's response to Dr.Pipe's article was posted on several websites, including Hootinan.
His response generated several replies from someone who claimed to know him during his time as a student of political science at Southwest Missouri State University.
The poster made several comments which indicate that his claims of knowing Bokhari are indeed valid (see full posting below): The poster who called himself 'Aybars' stated that :
"Kamran Bokhari is a clear and present danger to humanity and a terrorist cell hiding in the U.S."
."By the way, he loves to tell that he has a red diplomatic passport and that nobody can touch him!"
"Mr Bokhari (sic) in 1995 said that they were going to break the hands of the U.S. government".and was used to threaten the Muslims whom did not take his side. Mr. Bokhari is a clear and present danger to both Muslims and US citizend... to the attention of the authorities!"
(see below for complete posting of Aybar's comments and Bokhari's response on the Hootinan website).
Bokhari appears to have become "PISD'ed off " at Aybars and posted this unintentionally ironic reply:
"Again whoever you are, and whatever your objectives may be, I see that you have chosen to continue with your private little jihadagainst me."
MIM Note: Bokhari's father was an official of the Pakistani government and worked at the Pakistani Permanent Mission to the U.N. at the same time Bokhari was head of Al Muhajiroun.
One wonders how William ' Fred ' Burton, Stratfor's newly hired vice president for "Counter terrorism and Corporate Security... who will advise corporate, institutional and government clients on how to develop the most effective security techniques, how to assess threats and potential deficiencies...", would analyse 'Aybar's' information regarding his Stratfor colleague, Kamran Bokhari.
Website featuring documentation on Al Muhajiroun:
Islamist group rallies at Israeli consulate
By Melissa Radler
NEhttp://www.jpost.com/Editions/2002/04/21/LatestNews/LatestNews.47354.htmlW YORK Đ About 150 protestors from the militant Islamist group Al-Muhajiroun called for jihad against Israel and the US at a rally across from the Israeli consulate on Friday afternoon.
They shouted "Death to Israel and called on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, US President George W. Bush, US Middle East special envoy Anthony Zinni, and the United Nations to "Go to Hell" as police protected the demostrators.
The participants handed out flags emblazoned with the opening lines of the Koran and waved signs at the consulate that read, "Jihad: The only solution for Palestine," and "Islam came to dominate the world."
The demonstrators also voiced support for terrorist groups Hamas and Hizbullah.
Dr.Pipes commentary re : the upcoming CSID conference featuring Bokhari as speaker : http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/215
May 14, 2004 update: My critique of USIP jointly sponsoring the event with CSID on March 19 focused on CSID's ties to one Kamran Bokhari, the North American spokesman for Al-Muhajiroun, which I characterized as "perhaps the most extreme Islamist group operating in the West." Today CSID sent out invitations to its 5th annual conference on May 28-29 and announced a talk then by that very same Kamran Bokhari, on "Justice and Political Legitimacy in Islamic Political Thought." Had the USIP done the right thing in March, this radical would probably not be invited in May."
MIM: Note that Alina L. Romanowski for the Department of State and Carl Gershman, President of the National Endownment for Democracy will join Bokhari as speakers at the CSID conference.
Bokhari is listed on the Pdf flyer .28-29, 2004.
More on the 2004 conference
Conference Program (PDF)
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS include:
1. Alina L. Romanowski, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Department of State
2. Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy
3. Abdolkarim Soroush, University of Tehran, Iran
4. Akbar Ahmed, American University, Washington DC
5. John Esposito, Director, Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding
6. Ali Mazrui, Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, New York
Below you can see the comments written to Bokhari by someone who claims to have known him in his Missouri student days. Aybars claims that "Kamran Bokhari is a clear and present danger to all humanity and a terrorist cell hiding in the U.S."
" As a former Islamist activist myself, I was exposed to a lot of information of rhetorical, polemical, and propaganda value. Having been around with several types of Islamist groups in my youth provided me with an opportunity to observe the phenomenon first hand. This first-hand experience as opposed to the second-hand acquisition of knowledge from books and news reports and analyses has its benefits. "
http://www.amss.net/Abstract_32ndConference/KamranBokhari21.htm "One of the reasons behind my interest in ALM was its advocacy of socio-political change through intellectual/ideological/political means. I disassociated myself from the group when it became clear to me that ALM had reduced itself to being a cheerleading club for jihadists. Also, I realized that my true calling was in the academic/scholarly study of Islam as opposed to activism. Then, over time, I also underwent an ideological shift, which is why I refer to myself as a post-Islamist."
by Beila Rabinowitz
This is a reply to Kamran Bokhari's statement at http://www.joplinindependent.com/comments_main.php/imawitz1080787894/kabokhar1080792248. .. www.militantislammonitor.org and to Dr. Daniel Pipes. I was also contacted by Kamran Bokari, who told me that although he never formally disassociated himself from Al Muhajiroun, but proof of his "post Islamist" gestalte was the signing of a post 9/11 press release issued by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, CSID which is a group with militant Islamist affiliations and accepted Bokhari as a fellow. The CSID press release was cynically used for bashing Israel and to indicate that the attacks were a result of American Middle East policy. http://www.islam-democracy.org/Sept11Statement.asp As one can see from his letter Bokhari refers to himself as a "Post-Islamist "( which begs the question if this definition also would also include suicide bombers who decide not to detonate themselves at the last minute).
Contrary to Dr. Pipes' claims that I was ALM's spokesperson until last year, I would like to state, for the record, that I have not had any ties to this group for five years now.
Bpkhari's claims of having peripheral ties and being and having an "insignificant" role in Al Muhajiroun, and that his group was "autonomous from London", is completely negated by the simple fact that:
On August 3rd 1997 Bokhari was the featured introductory speaker at an Al Muhajiroun "Rally Against Oppression" in London. He was listed on the event flyer as "Br. Kamran Ashgar Bokhari -Spokesman for Al Muhajiroun in the USA Chairman ". Omar Bakri, Anjem Choudary, and Dr.Muhammed Al Maasri, of the CDLR were among the speakers. A statement was read out by a representative of the jailed Omar Abdel Rahman .
Five years ago means 1999 but Kamran Bokhari has a documented association with Al-Muhajiroun from 1997 until 2001, as indicated by many sources including videotapes.. For example, in April 2000, he organized an event at Southwestern University in Missouri to which he invited the head of Al-Muhajiroun in the United Kingdom, Anjem Choudary, to speak on "Islam an Democracy." Bokhari was seen and videotaped at a April 28, 2001 Al-Muhajiroun rally in front of the Israeli embassy in New York leading chants calling for Bin Laden and jihad. Excerpts from the video of this event include Bokari declaring:
We are only a few here, but we have a billion Muslims behind the jihad. They support the jihad in Palestine, they support the jihad in Chechnya, they support the jihad in Kosovo and in Kashmir. And although you may see a few before you, one day we will liberate all Muslim lands. One day you will see the flag of Islam over the White House! Allahu Akhbar!
Bokhari then lead the crowd in chanting, " Hezbollah, Hezbollah! And we support Bin Laden! Bin Laden! We support Bin Laden! What do we want? Jihad! What do we want? Jihad! Jihad! Jihad!"
To the best of my knowledge, Bokhari has never formally or publicly renounced his association with Al-Muhajiroun. If he has, he needs to document this.
In fact, I have severely condemned al-Muhajiroun on multiple occasions.
Thorough research of Kamran Bokhari's statements nowhere turns up his criticizing Al-Muhajiroun. If he has done so "on multiple occasions," he needs to prove this.
To the contrary, he is quoted in a Feb. 24, 1999, Southwest University Standard article in a fashion that suggests his enthusiasm for, not his repudiation of Al-Muhajiroun:
Bokhari, a senior majoring in political science, is far from an ordinary undergraduate student. At age 30, he is the official spokesperson for the Al-Muhajiroun in North America. … We are an Islamic group trying to re-establish the Islamic State (the Caliphate) through intellectual, ideological, political and revolutionary means," Bokhari said. "However, the group is not militant, he said."
To call Al-Muhajiroun "not militant" speaks volumes about Bokhari's disingenuousness. For example, Al-Muhajiroun planned a "Rally for Revival" in London in 1996 that included, among those invited, Osama Bin Laden, billed as " a wealthy Saudi citizen." (The event was cancelled due to Jewish protests).
What's more is that my views on radical Islamism and jihadism are open for public scrutiny in my articles, most recent of which are ‘Is Democracy Kufr?' & ‘What is Moderate Islam & Who Are Moderate Muslims?', published in the December and March issues of Q-News, respectively. http://www.q-news.com/352.pdf
In these two essays, Bokhari refutes the thesis that Islam is incompatible with democracy. Stating that Muslims need a democracy compatible with an "Islamic ethos" means secularising Islam or Islamising society. Once again Bokhari's attempts to prove 'post Islamist' agenda is sabotaged by his choice of evidence.
Q-News is not a moderate publication and it's editor Fareena Alam, was dubbed "the face of Muslim anti Americanism in the UK" after she brought the former US ambassador to tears at a BBC public forum, stating that the U.S. deserved the 9/11 attacks because of their support of Israel, .After receiving more the 2, 000 complaints the head of the BBC was forced to issue a public apology for the distress and outrage Alam had caused ..http://www.schnews.org.uk/sotw/a-time-to-question.htm
In "Is Democracy Kufr " (the domain of infidels), claims that the "tracts of radical Islamists... betray their simplistic conceptualization of democracy". Bokhari's own views appear no different then these radical Islamists whom he wishes to appear to regard with disdain. . Bokhari sums up the concept of Islam and democracy in one sentence. "Since Islam has not provided any political system for the believers to adopt, and democracy is nothing more then organising the political affairs of a people, where is the haram and kufr in this?" In other words, he seems to be saying that democractic constructs to manoveur into a position where we can impose our "Islamic ethos" the conditione sine qua none being the rule of Allah which ultimately trumps all manmade precepts ? Bokhari pays lip service to the concept of Islam and democracy to further his moderate image when in reality, he can produce no solid proof that his views and affiliations have changed.
Moreover, the archives of the Political Islam Discussion List (PIDL), based out of The University of Texas server, which I founded in June 2000, and continue to moderate, are replete with my views for everyone to see whether I am a radical Islamist supporting al-Qaeda (as depicted by Dr. Pipes) or an aspiring Muslim scholar of political Islam.
The PIDL group Bokhari refers to is located at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Political-Islam/. This page indicates it has exactly one member and was founded in July 2001 not in June 2000. As it is open to members only, there is no way of gauging what its contents are. I call on Bokhari to give me access to the site so I can see it.
What is really ironic is that Campus Watch, a project founded by Dr. Pipes expressed appreciation for a panel entitled ‘Rescuing Islamic Political Theory from the Jihadist Ideology', which I organized at last year's Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. I presented a paper ‘Jihad & Jihadism: A Rendition of Transnational Militant Non-State Actors' as part of this panel. I will be presenting this paper again at this year's American Political Science Association (APSA) annual meeting in Chicago in August.
Campus Watch never "expressed appreciation" for that panel. As the reader who goes to Jonathan Galt Harris's article, "The Middle East Studies Left," will see, Harris criticized the subjects presented at the Middle East Studies Association conferences and, far from expressing appreciation to the content of Bokhari's paper, Harris approved only the topic:
There is also some progress. Three scholars will present papers on "Islamic Activism" and five will address "Rescuing Islamic Political Theory from the Jihadist Ideology."
An earlier version of this paper ‘The Social & Ideological Roots of Jihadism: A Constructivist Understanding to Non-State Actors' also appeared in the Middle East Affairs Journal [8:3-4], a publication of the United Association for Research and Studies (UASR). Incidentally UASR, back in 1999 invited Dr. Pipes to a forum ‘Islamism: A Critique, and Dr. Ahmad Yusuf, the head of UASR published an article in the Middle East Quarterly [5:1] of which Dr. Pipes is the publisher.
Citing Ahmed Yousef publishing Daniel Pipes as proof of moderation is nonsense, especially given Yousef's recent bizarre diatribe against Daniel Pipes, "Can a Jew be an Anti Semite?: Daniel Pipes takes the Stand." Besides being antisemitic, UASR has been described by Steven Emerson as "the strategic arm of Hamas in the United States."
MIM update 7/12/04 The UASR was raided today and was described as a basement headquarters for Hamas and Al Qaeda, a "part of a shell game for international terrorism" operating 14 miles from the nation's capitol. The UASR director Ahmed Yousef has dissappeared without a trace. http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/7/12/121909.shtml
Anyway, my brief and limited affiliation with ALM was not in the capacity of the typical member or leader, as Dr. Pipes has inaccurately stated.
This is a subjective statement; in fact, he was the group's spokesman, something he does not deny. Dr. Pipes had his role exactly right.
Instead, as a Muslim individual, I was interested in the initial ideas of the group, at the time of its formation. ALM began as a forum for promoting debate and cooperation amongst various Islamic organizations, and fighting partisan politics among Muslims interested in the establishment of an Islamic polity via peaceful means.
Al-Muhajiroun never served as a forum for debate but has always been a violence-oriented and extremist group. The above is sheer dissimulation. Since 1993, reads one biographical account,His (Bakri's ) rhetoric often extends beyond the limit of the law. In 1993 he led a rally in which he encouraged 5,000 Moslems to chant, "Death to Jews!" http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2000/05/30/Features/Features.7480.htm
Omar Bakri presents himself as the spokesman of Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders. This organization, by Bakri's own admission, participates in fundraising for Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and is "in touch" with Hizbullah. Bakri has further claimed to have recruited volunteers for training in paramilitary camps located in the U.S. and Lebanon.
In 1996, Omar Bakri broke from the group Hizb ut-Tahrir which had been banned from British college campuses for advocating the murder of Jews. The newly formed Al-Muhajiroun group organized a "Rally for Revival" whose listed speakers included Osama Bin Laden and Omar Abdul Rahman (the "blind sheikh," mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing).
I have always strongly stood against the use of violence as a means to effecting political change. One of the reasons behind my interest in ALM was its advocacy of socio-political change through intellectual/ideological/political means. I disassociated myself from the group when it became clear to me that ALM had reduced itself to being a cheerleading club for jihadists.
Al-Muhajiroun is not just a "cheerleading group for jihadists" but is long actively engaged in recruiting for jihad. Omar Bakri and and Anjem Choudary claim to have sent fighters to Chechnya, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. In 2001 the British parliament held hearings on the threat posed by Al-Muhajiroun recruiting Muslim men to train for Jihad in camps abroad. In addition, two suicide bombers who perpetrated attacks in Israel were tied to the group, as well as Hani Hanjour, one of the 9/11 hijackers. The group's second in command, Anjem Choudary, said that "jihad is a Muslim duty" and that is is no surprise that some should go to Israel and fulfill their duty in this way.
A memo written by FBI special agent Kenneth Williams and sent to the headquarters on July 10, 2001, noted a connection between Middle Eastern men (including Hani Hanjour) in Phoenix-area flight schools and Bakri's London-based Al-Muhajiroun.
http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/68 http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0615soubra15.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2004/04_april/05/suicide_bombers.shtml]
Also, I realized that my true calling was in the academic/scholarly study of Islam as opposed to activism. Then, over time, I also underwent an ideological shift, which is why I refer to myself as a post-Islamist.
The signs of this shift are not apparent to someone who follows Bokhari's writings; he must prove this point, not assert it.
Put differently, I am a moderate Muslim committed to the goal of establishing democracies in the Muslim world in keeping with its Islamic ethos, an objective, which is also shared by the Bush White House.
Many radicals claim to be moderates; that in itself tells us nothing.
Bokhari's goal of "establishing democracies in the Muslim world in keeping with its Islamic ethos" is a code word for using democracy as a way for Islamists to take power, then not relinquish it. This is the policy that former assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs Edward Djerejian, once described as "one man, one vote, one time."
My interest in democratization and democratic consolidation led me to become a Fellow with the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID).
The CSID is an Islamist organization with worrisome affiliations. It is directly connected to the the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a Saudi-funded think tank that promotes Wahhabi ideology under the guise of scholarly research. The IIIT was raided by the FBI in March 2002. IIIT and is believed to have bankrolled Sami Al Arian's World Islamic Studies Enterprise which was the North American branch Palestinian Islamic Jihad. http://w3.usf.edu/~uff/AlArian/Prehistory.html.. http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-epstein031903.asp and to have links to Al Qaeda .
CSID is also connected via its founder John Esposito to the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, a UK branch of the IIIT led by Azzam Tamimi, a Hamas activist. IIPT director Basher Nafi was indicted in 2003 for his ties to Palestine Islamic Jihad.
Therefore, Bokhari's affiliation to CSID hardly proves his moderation.
(Moreover, my thesis for my first Masters in Int'l Affairs & Administration (from Southwest Missouri State University) was entitled ‘Islam and Democracy in the Context of Contemporary Islamic Resurgence'. I have also presented papers at the annual conferences of CSID for the last three consecutive years. As a matter of fact, the U.S. State Department carried a report on my panel from the 2003 conference, specifically quoting me. This is now posted on the websites of many U.S. embassies all over the world, and that too in multiple languages.
Bokhari's thesis is not available and his second-hand report about a panel is no substitute for the original of his paper; I request that he make it available to me.
What is both ironic and interesting is that on one hand we have individuals like Dr. Pipes accusing people like myself of being militant Islamists, while the real radicals & militants accuse us of being U.S. lackeys.
Bokhari must document this accusation: who, when, and where has accused him of being a "U.S. lackey"?
Going back to ALM, with the exception of myself, all of the other U. S. affiliates of ALM (a London based group) lived in New York. Since I resided in Springfield, MO, I was never part of the group's meetings, planning, decision-making, etc. My relationship with the group was unidirectional in that I kept up with the group's literature and activities on my own initiative mostly via the web.
All very interesting; but it remains the case that he was the group's spokesman, and thus one of its leaders.
I never had any formal membership with the party, which is why when I left, there was no formal disassociation either.
What does formal membership mean in the case of Al-Muhajiroun? He was identified as the party's spokesman in an Al-Muhajiroun press release issued in August 1998, which obviously makes him a member. The press release refers to "Brother Kamran Bokhari" as the "spokesperson for Al-Muhajiroun in North America."
Moreover, I was also not involved in the formation of the group's U. S. chapter (if one can call it that). In early 1996, a few former Hizb al-Tahrir (HT) affiliates in New York left HT after serious disagreements with the leadership, and were looking to form an alternative group to pursue their intellectual, ideological, political, and cultural interests. At about the same time, coincidently they found out about Omar Bakri's departure from HT in the UK, and his subsequent founding of ALM. These ex-HT members became interested, and following a lengthy and extensive phone conversation with Bakri, they decided to form a chapter on a voluntary basis in New York, autonomous from London.
"Autonomous from London" can't explain Bokharis'listing on the flyer for the"Rally Against Opression" where he was the introductory speaker .The rally was held on August 3rd 1997 in Trafalgar Square and "Brother Kamran Ashgar Bokhari 'spokeman for Al Muhajiroun USA", was to kick off the rally at 2 pm with a " 5 to 10 minute introduction". Bokhari's appearence was also videotaped. Omar Bakri and and AM's second in command Anjem (Jim) Choudary, were also present.
The depth of Bokhari' mendacity is highlighted by his appearence at an AM rally in London in 1997 after claiming he had never had a "formal membership in the party" and was "autonomous from London". .Besides appearing at an AM rally in London Bokhari's other activities in his capacity as leader make it obvious he was much more then peripherally involved with the groups core in the U.K. as he wants us to believe.
Autonomous from London is still irrelevant even if they engaged in their own activities, and balanced their own checkbook.Bokhari and his followers in the U.S, were part of Al-Muhajiroun, period. The MSA at Southwest Missouri State University, headed by Bokhari, invited the head of AM in the United Kingdom to speak on April 12, 2000, providing further proof of Bokhari's close connection to the central group. Anjem Choudary is the Al-Muhajiroun leader and runs the group together with founder Omar Bakri.
I myself was not part of this process, and only decided to become part of the group much later, but always remained a long-distance affiliate.
"A long distance affiliate"? These are quibbles, especially in the age of the Internet. Bokhari plain and simple was a leader in Al-Muhajiroun.
In reality, I was far more active as part of the Muslim Students' Association on my campus and in the local mosque than with ALM.
Both Al-Muhajiroun and the MSA promote jihadi agendas, as indicated by WorldNetDaily.com: "On Wednesday January 14, 2004, the Washington Post reported that the Senate Finance Committee has requested the IRS to turn over financial records of Muslim organizations including the Muslim Student Association. An unidentified senior aide to the Finance Committee is quoted stating that the listed Muslim organizations are being targeted for their alleged role in supporting terrorism or disseminating the propaganda of terrorists."
The MSA at Southwest Missouri State University was led by Bokhari, listed in 1998 on the MSA website as the" North American leader of Al-Muhajiroun. In 1999 the group comprised about 35 students and was given an Islamic Center by "an unknown donor" according to SMSU professor and MSA advisor Ahmed Ibrahim. In 1996 Ahmed Ibrahim had served as a translator for Omar Abdel Rahman who was imprisoned at the Federal Penitentiary at Springfield afte the previous translator was indicted togethr with lawyer Lynn Stuart and 3 others on charges of helping Rahman smuggle out"Jihad' instructions to his followers from prison. http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/7994466.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp
This "local mosque" is a place of some interest in its own right. In 2004 the Islamic Center of Springfield was closed by the U.S. Treasury Department for ties to Al Qaeda. In 2003 the president of the MSA, Mohammed Al Hadharami was denied reentry into the U.S. after he went back to his home country of Yemen for a visit. The State Department has refused to comment on the case.
The Springfield Islamic Center was recently in the news as one of several Islamic centers shut down by the U.S. Treasury Department in connection with "Al Haramain and ties to Al Qaeda."
The advisor to the mosque,SMSU professor Ahmed Ibrahim,stated that he "had no idea where the money for the mosque had come from." The Washington Post reported http://www.washingtonpostcom/ac2/wp-dyn? pagename=article&node=&contentId=A55875-2004Feb19¬Found=true that the Treasury Department ordered banks "to freeze the accounts of the Oregon and Missouri branches of a large Saudi charity that U. S. officials say has been used to finance the al Qaeda terrorist network around the world... One of the top leaders of that mosque was Kamran Bokhari, a student from Southwest Missouri State University, who was the U.S. representative of a London based group called Al-Muhajiroun which supports Al Qaeda." http://216. 239. 39. 104/search?q=cache:lv44OjiBBtUJ:www. kansascity. com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/7994466. htm+ahmed+ibrahim+missouri&hl=en&lr=lang_de|lang_en&ie=UTF-8
Another thing that needs to be understood is that the ALM of today is very different than the group it began as in 1996. It started off as a group seeking to bridge the differences amongst the many Islamic movements worldwide. It also called for healthy dialogue amongst people of different faiths. Little did many of us know that ALM would turn into something much more worse than HT. In mid-1998, however, and to the shock of those of us here in the U. S., the group began assuming pro-jihadist stances. This was quite paradoxical as Bakri earlier had written a detailed treatise rebutting claims by militant Islamists that jihad was a valid modus operandi to establish an Islamic state. Nevertheless, this was the point when many of us began having second thoughts, and one after the other, almost all of us eventually left.
There is reason to believe just the opposite – that Al-Muhajiroun attracted Hizb ut-Tahrir's more radical supporters. The Guardian http://education.guardian.co.uk/students/story/0,9860,554652,00.html finds that "Al-Muhajiroun was formed in 1996 as breakaway group of the Hizb ut Tahrir, itself a militant Muslim organisation banned from UK universities." UK Home Secretary David Blunkett said that he was monitoring the group after it had called publicly for the death, "of those who wage war against Allah." A colleague of Vladmir Putin labeled Al-Muhajiroun "an agency for recruiting Muslim students in London to fight against Russian troops in Chechnya." http://chronicle.com/free/2001/09/2001092007n.htm
Also, this reply begs the question as to why Al-Muhajiroun is gaining supporters in Britain and has recruited close to 2,000 young men to go to train in Jihad camps abroad. Some of those recruits are Americans. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/672306/posts http://www.bupipedream.com/011005/news/n4.html
Three years later, shortly after the horrendous attacks on September 11, 2001, I learned that Bakri had issued a fatwah condemning the 9/11 attacks as Islamically forbidden acts, because non-combatants and civilian infrastructure had been targeted.
Bokhari offers no proof of this nor have I found any documentation to this effect .
Bokhari lies once again. Al-Muhajiroun was the group which gained notoriety by celebrating the 9/11 attacks as a "towering day in history" and calling the hijackers "the magnificent 19". http://forum.onecenter.com/cgi-bin/forum/forum.cgi?c=msg&fid=bwoi&mid=13960 Al-Muhajiroun leader Bakri praised the attacks saying "you bomb Sudan...before 9/11.. "They are going to find the opportunity to retaliate back". http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=9595
After the U. S. invasion of Afghanistan, however, he made an outrageous volte face, and said that the attacks were in fact justified. By 2002, the group had undergone yet another change as it had metamorphosed into a Neo-Salafist (Wahhabi) /Jihadist outfit. This is actually another example of the many diametrical changes in ALM. In the early days, Bakri wrote an article blasting the founder of Wahhabism. Since then he has done a 180 where he now celebrates Muhammad bin Abdel Wahhab.
Omar Bakri's spiritual and ideological flip-flops do not explain why Bokhari stayed with the group. After a 1998 press release which refuted claims Al-Muhajiroun received money from Osama Bin Laden, it proclaimed Bokhari as its North American spokesman. Bakri never changed his agenda from the time he founded AM until the present. If anything the group has become larger and more violent., and Bakri has decreed that chemical attacks are in accordance with Islam and urged people to flyi planes into 10 Downing Street http://united-states-of-earth. com/default. asp?MenuID=817 http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/stories/Detail_LinkStory=86545.html The violent nature of the group was recently highlighted by the discovery of 2 suicide bombers from the UK who were connected to Al Muhajiroun and recent terror arrests involving people who were affiliated with the group.
I am not sure, but I do not think that there are any ALM activists in the U. S. any longer as the group was small to begin with, and Omar Bakri's flirtations with jihadism drove pretty much everybody away, quite some time ago. Clearly ALM has turned out to be one of those fringe London-based rogue Islamist groups that seek media attention by making a lot of noise after jihadists stage their attacks.
Omar Bakri is doing much more then just "flirting with jihadism " The recruitment of nearly 2,000 Jihad fighters, and several suicide bombers (see above) proves that Al-Muhajiroun is much doing much more then "making a lot of noise" and is far more deadly then "just one of London-based fringe Islamist groups," as Bokhari would have us believe.
Given that it is a one-man show, I predict that ALM will not outlive its leader Omar Bakri.
Anjem Choudary is the leader of Al-Muhajiroun in the UK. Another AM member,Hassan Butt is presently under investigation and boasted of recruiting hundreds of people to fight for the Taliban in Afghanistan, and was in charge of AM operations in Pakistan. Butt made headlines in the UK this month when he said "he wanted to be a martyr and that he envied the Madrid bombers."
The AM second in command, Anjem Choudary claimed that the group's membership is much higher then official estimates and that they have..." a worldwide following with 30 offices". http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2001%2F10%2F31%2Fnmus231.xml In 2001, UK law enforcement sources stated that the group had a core membership of a few hundred. http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=membership+in+al+muhajiroun&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&meta= In 2003 the head of the Al Muhajiroun in Arizona, Zacharia Soubra. was deported to Jordan . He was linked to the Tempe Mosque and 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour who attended a flight school. . http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/68
Looking back though, I regret my ignorance of the group's evolution and intellectual trajectory. Not being in close proximity to the group's core, however, prevented me from sensing the radical/militant direction in which the group was heading. At the time, I was an undergraduate, but upon entering grad school I realized that my interest was in academic scholarship and not in activism, which is perhaps another reason for my departure from the group.
This repeats; Bokhari needn't have looked far to see that the group's "evolution and intellectual trajectory" was Islamist at any time since its founding. That Al-Muhajiroun actively recruited jihadi fighters and suicide bombers should have given him a broad clue.
My assuming of the role of ALM's spokesperson on this side of the Atlantic was by no means a serious undertaking (ALM's presence in the U.S. was always quite insignificant).
Again this word "serious"; what does Bokhari mean here? Explanation and documentation are needed.
I guess I was asked to take up the position due to my communicational skills, and abilities. It was an idea thrown out by one of the ex-affiliates from New York. Since ALM as an organization had no structure in the U. S., it was proposed that a spokesperson would be the best point of reference for the group. I was never given any directions by Bakri or anyone else on what I should say.
Bokhari "guesses" he was asked to take up the post of spokesman for Al-Muhajiroun due to his "communicational skills and abilities." But he claims in the next sentence an unability to communicate his grievances to the leadership of Al-Muhajiroun, saying that to "my utter dismay, my protestations only fell on deaf ears."
On a few occasions, I recall voicing my own frustration with the folks in London that even though I had no input in the decision-making process, I was forced to defend their statements, many of which I found myself strongly disagreeing with. To my utter dismay, my protestations only fell on deaf ears.
Why did he not quit? No one forced Bokhari to serve as spokesperson, after all.
In the beginning, I viewed myself as responsible for representing ALM in the media and the general public. The occasion to represent the group in the media (electronic/press) never arose, but I did write a handful of messages on a host of Muslim email discussion/distribution lists, trying to explain the group's take on miscellaneous matters. In essence, I was a spokesperson only in cyberspace and that too briefly. I take it that this is perhaps how my relationship with the group may have become public knowledge.
Bokhari himself wrote articles praising Bin Laden in the Southwest University Standard student paper and was profiled as the self proclaimed spokesman of Al-Muhajiroun. He is documented as publicly calling for a caliph (i.e., a single Islamic state ) as far back as 1998.
In any case, it is most unfortunate that a scholar of Dr. Pipes' stature would choose to cast me in such a negative light based on cursory and inaccurate information, and without even bothering to ascertain the precise nature of my limited association with ALM.
Dr. Pipes did not "chose to cast him in a negative light." Bokhari's defense of Osama Bin Laden, his invitation to Al-Muhajiroun head Anjem Choudary, and his involvement with a mosque closed by the U.S. Treasury in connection with Al-Qaeda funding speak for themselves.
Such reckless and misleading characterizations can ruin the lives of many innocent people. What I find really odd is why Dr. Pipes never wrote about me until now, i. e., many years after I left ALM.
There are many Islamists at large and only a handful of researchers. Dr. Pipes had no occasion to take up the matter of Kamran Bokhari, a rather small fish in the Islamist sea, until his affiliation with CSID connected him indirectly to Dr. Pipes. ( Dr. Pipes pointed out Bokhari's membership in the CSID as proof of CSID being an Islamist group as he objected to CSID participation with the U.S. Institute of Peace. http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1659
More importantly, why would someone calling for democracy be part of an organization that considers democracy to be antithetical to Islam?
Bokhari is referring to the CSID, a Saudi-funded Wahhabi organization connected to the AMSS and by extension the IIIT and the IIPT, both of which have terrorist links, as mentioned above. http://www.middleeast.org/archives/1998_09_12.htm A close examination of the individuals involved and the CSID links and agenda will dispel any illusions that the CSID is a moderate organization.
Anyway, Dr. Pipes' determination to protect people from dangerous individuals and organizations is both understandable and admirable, however, is the good doctor willing to live with the guilt that his irresponsible attitude caused unnecessary grief to individuals and their families?
"Unnecessary grief to individuals and their families" – what is this a reference to? Bokhari's group Al-Muhajiroun openly calls for the killing of Jews, Americans, and other non-Muslims. http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=131 It has been connected to the stabbing of a Jew in London.
The attack came days after Jo Wagerman, president of the Board of Deputies, wrote to Lord Williams, the Attorney General, warning that there was a "direct and causal link between literature which invites hatred and the level of racist violence on the street". http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2000/10/19/next19.xml
http://www.floridajewish.com/israel_under_seige/046.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2000/10/19/next19.xml In 2000 a Jewish student riding a bus was stabbed by an Arab.The attack was linked to the poster campaign which had been conducted by Al-Muhajiroun which stated that "The final hour will not come until Muslims kill the Jews" http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2000/10/18/JewishWorld/JewishWorld.13929.html
Bokhari writes that "I sincerely hope and pray " that this message will clear up any misconceptions with regards to my status on ALM. As researcher and director of Militant Islam Monitor and Wahabi Watch on Pipeline News, I have undertaken to clear up the misconceptions which Kamran Bokhari has tried to generate in his response to Dr.Pipes and Kenneth Timmerman's exposure of his continued Islamist activities .
. Evidence continues to surface of his close involvement with the Al Muhajiroun leadership in London and the Islamist agenda of the organisations such as the CSID and the AMSS of which he is presentently a member. His employment as a geo political analyst at Stratfor is the ultimate travesty. Even the best of spin meisters and whirling derwishes will not be able spin away Kamran Bokhari's leadership of Al Muhajiroun and continued affiliation with militant Islam.
Bokhari's response to Dr. Pipe's article "The USIP Stumbles " and MIM press release.
There are several serious problems with the allegations made by Dr. Daniel Pipes regarding my past association to al-Muhajiroun (ALM). These assertions, were first published March 19 in an article ‘Pipes Objects to Fox in the Henhouse' , have necessitated that I respond, in an effort to clarify my position. I apologize for the length of the message, but at the same time I feel it was unavoidable.
Contrary to Dr. Pipes' claims that I was ALM's spokesperson until last year, I would like to state, for the record, that I have not had any ties to this group for five years now. In fact, I have severely condemned al-Muhajiroun on multiple occasions. What's more is that my views on radical Islamism and jihadism are open for public scrutiny in my articles, most recent of which are ‘Is Democracy Kufr?' & ‘What is Moderate Islam & Who Are Moderate Muslims?', published in the December and March issues of Q-News, respectively. Moreover, the archives of the Political Islam Discussion List (PIDL), based out of The University of Texas server, which I founded in June 2000, and continue to moderate, are replete with my views for everyone to see whether I am a radical Islamist supporting al-Qaeda (as depicted by Dr. Pipes) or an aspiring Muslim scholar of political Islam.
What is really ironic is that Campus Watch, a project founded by Dr. Pipes expressed appreciation for a panel entitled ‘Rescuing Islamic Political Theory from the Jihadist Ideology', which I organized at last year's Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. I presented a paper ‘Jihad & Jihadism: A Rendition of
Anyway, my brief and limited affiliation with ALM was not in the capacity of the typical member or leader, as Dr. Pipes has inaccurately stated. Instead, as a Muslim individual, I was interested in the initial ideas of the group, at the time of its formation. ALM began as a forum for promoting debate and cooperation amongst various Islamic organizations, and fighting partisan politics among Muslims interested in the establishment of an Islamic polity via peaceful means. I have always strongly stood against the use of violence as a means to effecting political change. One of the reasons behind my interest in ALM was its advocacy of socio-political change through intellectual/ideological/political means. I disassociated myself from the group when it became clear to me that ALM had reduced itself to being a cheerleading club for jihadists. Also, I realized that my true calling was in the academic/scholarly study of Islam as opposed to activism. Then, over time, I also underwent an ideological shift, which is why I refer to myself as a post-Islamist.
Put differently, I am a moderate Muslim committed to the goal of establishing democracies in the Muslim world in keeping with its Islamic ethos, an objective, which is also shared by the Bush White House. My interest in democratization and democratic consolidation led me to become a Fellow with the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). Moreover, my thesis for my first Masters in Int'l Affairs & Administration (from
Going back to ALM, with the exception of myself, all of the other <st1:country-region>
Another thing that needs to be understood is that the ALM of today is very different than the group it began as in 1996. It started off as a group seeking to bridge the differences amongst the many Islamic movements worldwide. It also called for healthy dialogue amongst people of different faiths. Little did many of us know that ALM would turn into something much more worse than HT. In mid-1998, however, and to the shock of those of us here in the <st1:country-region>
Three years later, shortly after the horrendous attacks on
Looking back though, I regret my ignorance of the group's evolution and intellectual trajectory. Not being in close proximity to the group's core, however, prevented me from sensing the radical/militant direction in which the group was heading. At the time, I was an undergraduate, but upon entering grad school I realized that my interest was in academic scholarship and not in activism, which is perhaps another reason for my departure from the group.
My assuming of the role of ALM's spokesperson on this side of the
In any case, it is most unfortunate that a scholar of Dr. Pipes' stature would choose to cast me in such a negative light based on cursory and inaccurate information, and without even bothering to ascertain the precise nature of my limited association with ALM. Such reckless and misleading characterizations can ruin the lives of many innocent people. What I find really odd is why Dr. Pipes never wrote about me until now, i.e., many years after I left ALM. More importantly, why would someone calling for democracy be part of an organization that considers democracy to be antithetical to Islam? Anyway, Dr. Pipes' determination to protect people from dangerous individuals and organizations is both understandable and admirable, however, is the good doctor willing to live with the guilt that his irresponsible attitude caused unnecessary grief to individuals and their families? I sincerely hope and pray that this message will clear up any misconceptions with regards to my status on ALM.
Kamran A. Bokhari
Department of Political Science
2441, Sixth Street
Washington, DC 20059
These are messages posted on Hootinan to Bokhari from someone who claims to be a Muslim who was student with him in Missouri.
|aybars||Tue, 03/30/2004 03:33am|
|Mr. Bokhari has certainly ties with the mentioned group. In Springfield Missouri, he used to bring in fatwas from his leader based in London, for the killing of the regular Muslims. Mr. Bokhari in 1995 said that "they were going to break the hands of the US government" and was used to threaten the Muslims whom did not take his side. Mr. Bokhari is a clear and present danger to both Muslims and US citizend... to the attention of the authorities!|
|3||Kamran A Bokhari||Wed, 03/31/2004 09:10pm|
|I do not know who you are, why you didn't bother to identify yourself, or leave an email contact, and what is your agenda behind these malicious accusations. |
Indeed, I, like any other human being have my disagreements with others, however, I have never called for the use of violence against any individual, group, or state. Moreover, for the record, I didn't move to Springfield, MO until late 95. The group in question didn't exist until 96 and my affiliation didn't take place until Jan 97.
Regarding my positions on matters political and Islamic, they are well known to my professors, fellow students, co-workers, friends, colleagues.
As for you sir, who ever you are, whatever your problem is, I can only request that you desist from hurling false accusations. But then again the nature of the internet is as such that anyone can say anything at anytime. No wonder academia, despite years of efforts to standardize citation of material found on the web, remains skeptical about the veracity of information available on this medium.
|4||aybars||Wed, 04/14/2004 04:35am|
|When he first comes to Springfield MO, Mr. Bokhari calls us, "The Muslim Students Association" and asks for help. Now it's interesting that he doesn't remember me!.... Aybars..... The guy who took him around, the guy who opened up his house for him and his family and the guy for whom he issued death sentences from London. Along with another couple of my friends, Bokhari tried to show us as enemies of Islam although we were Muslims. The reason? Because we were too liberal! According to Bokhari, we had to fight with the government of USA and American people. When we refused this and kicked him out from our lives; he started to attack more. Maybe he was getting his tactics from his visits to the federal prison in Springfield... when he used to visit the guy who tried to knock down the World Trade Center with a bomb before 9/11.|
Kamran Bokhari! After seeing waht you have done, I made an oath to fight with the likes of you. As a Muslim, this is my responsibility. I already threw down your mask, but you do not know it yet.
I repeat: Kamran Bokhari, is a clear and present danger not just for US citizens and Muslims, but for all the humanity. Where do you think terrorist bomb cells come from? From people like Kamran Bokhari, who hide behind the big old masks they wear, till they get a chance to ruin the lifes of American people....
|5||Kamran A. Bokhari||Mon, 04/19/2004 06:34pm|
|Again whoever you are, and whatever your objectives may be, I see that you have chosen to continue with your private little "jihad" against me. What I don't understand though is the purpose behind your crude and unsubstantiated comments. |
Nonetheless, I have, decided that this will be my last response to you. Any further attempts on my part at a dialogue with someone who hides behind single word pseudonyms, lies, and is only interested in maligning, would only be sheer foolishness. Moreover, I neither have the time nor the energy for such immature exchanges.
Each of your allegations can easily be demonstarted with incontrovertible evidence as being false, but I do not deem that exercise as necessary. I will, however, leave you with two points to consider - assuming that you will.
First, had any of your assertions been true, then my alma mater Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO would not have invited me this past April 2 to come back as a guest speaker to address the issue of 'Anti-Americanism in the Muslim World' from a scholarly perspective. Also, the U.S. State Department would never have allowed its Director of Public Affairs David Ballard to be my co-panelist at this well-attended event.
Second, and more importantly, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), a federal government agency on April 1, following its extensive investigation of the charges made by Dr. Daniel Pipes (whose article prompted you, whoever you are, to emerge out of nowhere and start attacking me) against myself and the organization I belong to - the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), issued an official statement declaring his claims as being without merit.
Think about this before you embarrass yourself any further. Good bye and best wishes.
|6||aybars||Sun, 04/25/2004 10:17pm|
|Keep on lying man! God will take care of you! And for the hereafter, be ready; for you will be shaken by the eternal justice. |
I repeat: Kamran Bokhari is a clear and present danger for all humanity and he is definitely a terrorist cell hiding in USA. By the way, he loves to tell that he has a red diplomatic passport and that nobody can touch him!
The only solution!
Salam, Akhi Shehadah, As-Salamalaikum! Mashallah u have outlined as to what happened after the death of the Prophet with respect to the issue of Khilafah. But I feel it is necessary to translate the concept of electing the Khalifah for the contemporary times. It will be helpful, if all those on this list can get a perspective on what will happen or how should it happen in today's world. JazakamullahkhairWa'SalamYours-in-IslamKamran Bokhari JAk brother Kamran for your message and interest in the articles about Khilafah. You are right, we need to translate the concept of electing the Khalifah for the contemporary times. As schedualed in the outline I posted two weeks ago this issue will be discussed soon insha'allah, I ho next week. First I am going to discuss in more details how each Khalif w elected and discuss some few points related to the issue of bay'ah and choosing the Khalifah. I am starting today with Abu Bakr, next messag insha'allah will discuss the position of Sa'd Ibnu Ubadah and Ali from the bay'ah of Abu Bakr. I welcome any other suggestions or comments. If people think it is not necessary to go in more details in the bay'ah of th first four Khulafah and the practice of the Sahabah and we should concentrat on our contemporary time I am ready to do so.Salam,Shehadeh --------------------------------------------------- In the appointment of Abu Bakr some Muslims had debated in the courtyard of Bani Sa'ida; the nominees were Sa'd bin Ubada, Abu Ubayda , Umar and Abu Bakr, and as a result of the debate Abu Bakr was given the bay'ah. On the next day the Muslims wer called to the mosque and they gave him the bay'ah. As a result of this bay'ah Abu Bakr became the Khalif. Let's read part of what happened in the courtyard of Bani Sa'id as narrated in Al-Bukhari on the authority of Ibn Abas in Kitab Al-Hudood (see Fath Al-Bari vol. 12) that Umar said in a Jum' speech (Friday speech) "... And no doubt after the death of the Prophet we wer informed that the Ansar did not gather with us and gathered in the shed of Bani Sa'da. 'Ali and Zubair and whoever was with them, did not come with us, while the emigrants gathered with Abu Bakr. I said to Abu Bakr, 'Let's go to these Ansari brothers of ours.' So we set out seeking them, and when we approached them, two pious men of theirs met us and informed us of the final decision of the Ansar, and said, 'O group of Muhajirin (emigrants) ! Where are you going?' We replied, 'We are going to these Ansari brothers of ours.' They said to us, 'You shouldn't go near them. Carry out whatever we have already decided.' I said, 'By Allah, we will go to them.' And so we proceeded until we reached them at the shed of Bani Sa'da. Behold! There was a man sitting amongst them and wrapped in something. I asked, 'Who is that man?' They said, 'H is Sa'd bin 'Ubada.' I asked, 'What is wrong with him?' Theysaid, 'He is sick.' After we sat for a while, the Ansar's speaker said, 'Non has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' and praising Allah He deserved, he added, 'To proceed, we are Allah's Ansar (helpers) and the majority of the Muslim army, while you, th emigrants, are a small group and some people among you came with the intention of preventing us from practising this matter (of caliphate) and depriving us of it.' When the speaker had finished, I intended to speak as I had prepared a speech which I liked and which I wanted to deliver in the presence of Abu Bakr, and I used to avoid provoking him. So, when I wanted to speak, Abu Bakr said, 'Wait a while.' I disliked to make him angry. So Abu Bakr himself gave a speech, and he w wiser and more patient than I. By Allah, he never missed sentence that I liked in my own prepared speech, but he said th like of it or better than it spontaneously. After a pause h said, 'O Ansar! You deserve all (the qualities that you hav attributed to yourselves, but this question (of Caliphate) i only for the Quraish as they are the best of the Arabs as regard descent and home, and I am pleased to suggest that you choo either of these two men, so take the oath of allegiance to either of them as you wish. And then Abu Bakr held my hand and Abu Ubad bin Abdullah's hand who was sitting amongst us. I hated nothing of what he had said except that proposal, for by Allah, I would rather have my neck chopped off as expiator for a sin than becom the ruler of a nation, one of whose members is Abu Bakr, unl at the time of my death my own-self suggests something I don'tfeel at present.' And then one of the Ansar said, 'I am the pillar on which the camel with a skin disease (eczema) rubs itself to satisfy th itching (i.e., I am a noble), and I am as a high class palm tree! O Quraish. There should be one ruler from us and one from you.' Then there was a hue and cry among the gathering and their voices rose so that I was afraid there might be great disagreement, so I said, 'O Abu Bakr! Hold your hand out.' H held his hand out and I pledged allegiance to him, and then all the emigrants gave the Pledge of allegiance and so did the Ansar afterwards. And so we became victorious over Sa'd bin Ubada. One of the Ansar said, 'You have killed Sa'd bin Ubada.' I replied, 'Allah has killed Sa'd bin Ubada.' Umar added, "By Allah, apart from the great tragedy that had happened to u (i.e. the death of the Prophet), there was no greater problem than the allegiance pledged to Abu Bakr because we were afraid that if we left the people, they might give the Pledge of allegiance after us to one of their men, in which case we would have given them our consent for something against our real wish, or would have opposed them and caused great trouble. So if any person gives the Pledge of allegiance to somebody (to become Khalifah) without consulting the other Muslims, then the one h has selected should not be granted allegiance, lest both of them should be killed." Al-Bukhari reported on the authority of Aisha in Kitab Fadha'il Al-Sahabah (see Fath Al-Bari vol. 7) "...the Ansar were assembled with Sa'd bin 'Ubada in th courtyard of Bani Saida. They said (to the emigrants) "Ther should be one 'Amir from us and one from you." Then Abu Bakr, Umar bin Al-Khattab and Abu Ubaida bin Al-Jarrah went to them. Umar wanted to speak but Abu Bakr stopped him. Umar later on used to say, "By Allah, I intended only to say something that appealed to me and I was afraid that Abu Bakr would not speak so well. Then Abu Bakr spoke and his speech was very eloquent. He said in his statement, "We are the rulers and you (Ansars) are th ministers (i.e. advisers)," Hubab bin Al-Mundhir said, "No, by Allah we won't accept this. But there must be a ruler from us and a ruler from you." Abu Bakr said, "No, we will be the rulers and you will be the ministers ... you should elect either 'Umar or Abu 'Ubaida bin Al-Jarrah as your ruler." 'Umar said (to Abu Bakr), "No but we elect you, for you are our chief and the best amongst us and the most beloved of all of us to Allah's Apostle." So 'Umar took Abu Bakr's hand and gave the pledge of allegian and the people too gave the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr. In the books of Al-fasil-fil Milal by Ibnu Hazim, Tarikh of Al-tabari, Al-A'kd Al-Farid of Al-Waqidi, Al-Sira of Ibnu Kathir, Al-Sunan Al-Kubra of Bayhaqi and Siratu Ibn Hisham, that Al-Habbab Ibnu Al-Munthir said when the Sahaba met in the wake of the death of the Prophet (SWA) at the saqif (hall) of Bani sa'ida: One Amir from us and one Amir from you (meaning one from the Ansar and one from th Mohajireen). Upon this Abu Bakr replied: "It is forbidden for Muslims to have two Amirs (rulers)..." Then he got u and addressed the Muslims. And it has been reported in th Sirah of Ibnu Ishaq that Abu Bakr said on the day of Saqifa: "It is forbidden for Muslims to have two Amirs for this would cause differences in their affairs and concepts, their unity would be divided and disputes would break out amongst them. The Sunnah would then be abandoned, the bida' (innovations) would spread and Fitna would grow, and that is in no one's interest." Therefore Abu Bakr delivered the Sharia verdict on th unity of the Khilafah, stressing that it is forbidden for the Muslim Ummah to have more than one Amir. The Sahabah heard him and approved and consented, no one disputed th verdict, but submitted to it and accepted it as a law (indication of evidence from the Sunnah). The Ansar then conceded their claim to the Khilafah, and Al-Habbab Ibnu Al-Munthir (who is from the Ansar) was the first to give th pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr (RA). The public bay'ah took place next day in the mosque. Al-Bukhari reported on the authority of Anas bin Malik That he heard 'Umar's second speech he delivered when he sat on the pulpit on the day following the death of the Prophet 'Umar recited the Tashahhud while Abu Bakr was silent. 'Umar said, "I wish that Allah's Apostle had outlived all of us, i.e., had been the last (to die). But if Muhammad is dead, Allah neverthel has kept the light amongst you from which you can receive th same guidance as Allah guided Muhammad with that. And Abu Bakr is the companion of Allah's Apostle He is the second of the two in the cave. He is the most entitled person among the Muslims to manage your affairs. Therefore get up and swear allegiance to him." Some people had already taken the oath of allegiance to him in the shed of Bani Sa'ida but the oath of allegiance taken by the public was taken at the pulpit. " More next message, the position of Sa'd Ibnu Ubada and Ali from the bay'ah of Abu Bakr.
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/95