I spent years debunking Dearborn, Michigan’s ties to terrorism and Sharia Law. Then this jerk showed up in his basement with a web cam, a cheap rug and now it’s the whole darn planet’s problem.
Let’s back-track a little bit: if you heard the news recently, there was a horrific terrorist attack in London. What does that have to do with Dearborn? Well, we have a basement-dweller named Ahmad Musa Jibril who lives here. Media reports have strongly implied that his internet sermons have been the inspiration for the London attacks, as well as many others.
If you heard the news reports, then you’d hear that he’s an “Imam,” an “Islamic scholar,” or a “sheikh” who is using the internet to spread his message of hatred. There’s just one problem: he’s not really any of those things. The media is giving him way too much credit.
He’s a guy in a basement expounding (in poor English) on the Quran based off his poor comprehension of Arabic. At one point, in one of his videos, he says without a hint of irony, “Everybody’s a sheikh these days.”
No sh**, Sherlock!
Of course, that hasn’t stopped him from becoming the most-liked scholar of ISIS fighters coming out of the West. How that happened is anybody’s guess - but these aren’t exactly the brightest bulbs rushing out to die in Syria. The smart people are trying to leave.
You see, while most Arab and Muslim Americans are busy getting harangued by their parents about getting a medical or law degree, it’s undeniable that there are a couple young people who, as you read this, are feeling pretty lonely and isolated in an America that often treats them like second-class citizens. It’s not unimaginable that some of those young folks would seek out a message that gives them some sense of belonging in opposition to the United States.
The only problem is, if they want that kind of message, they aren’t going to find it in a Mosque or community space in Dearborn. So what’s a companionless, dejected devotee of Daesh to do? Go on the internet - duh!
And that leaves us with the pernickety problem of Dearborn’s phantasmal Islamic potentate. You see, nobody knows who the hell - or where the hell - this guy is. Does he go to Mosque? Not anymore - he got kicked out for being too much of a whacko. Does he go to the library? No library card. Does he hang out at Shatila during Ramadan? He’s not that cool. So who the hell is this guy?
Well, according to news reports, he got arrested for insurance fraud and, when authorities noticed his videos were getting traction with ISIS, they took away his right to post on the internet.
Now, with no new content forthcoming, his old Islamist videos are stuck on repeat for his devoted followers. He’s become the Madonna of Wahhabist theology.
So, what’s the point of all this? Well, it’s just to say - if you’re out there and you’re thinking about writing about Mr. Ahmad Musa Jibril, stop calling him a “religious leader,” an “imam” or a “sheikh.” He’s about as much of an Islamic scholar as I am - and that’s not saying much.