The majority of those who embrace Islam while incarcerated come out disciplined, with a moral compass, becoming productive members of society. Unfortunately, some are ripe for recruitment into radical beliefs by self-styled "imams" who may ignore the meaning of Islam and true teachings of our beloved Prophet Mohammed (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). (All of this raises one more question: what qualifies a person to be an imam? That they know how to recite some Qur'an? If so, this is a dangerous method of vetting who teaches/leads Islam/Muslims in the west.)
Like the guys in Illinois that were allegedly planning mayhem in the Netherlands, or foolish kids who allegedly planned to blow up a landmark to make a point--and kill innocent people in the process--the Muslims who break Allah's cardinal rules should face justice. I just have one question: Are these Muslims reading the same Qur'an that I read?!
Committing violent acts against the US is committing acts against innocent people. Like the bombings in Pakistan markets, killing innocent people is in no way EVER advocated in Islam. The Holy Qur'an says in Surah 5:32, "Whosoever took a single life, except if it be for murder or spreading of mayhem and corruption in the land, it would be as if he has killed the whole of humanity. And, likewise, if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind."
Murder is murder!
Agents at a warehouse in Dearborn were trying to arrest Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, on charges that included conspiracy to sell stolen goods and illegal possession and sale of firearms. Ten followers listed in a criminal complaint were also being rounded up in the area.
Abdullah refused to surrender, fired a weapon and was killed by gunfire from agents, spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said.
In a court filing, the FBI said Abdullah, also known as Christopher Thomas, was an imam, or prayer leader, of a radical group named Ummah whose primary mission is to establish an Islamic state within the United States.
No one was charged with terrorism. But Abdullah was "advocating and encouraging his followers to commit violent acts against the United States," FBI agent Gary Leone said in an affidavit.
"He regularly preaches anti-government and anti-law enforcement rhetoric," Leone said. "Abdullah and his followers have trained regularly in the use of firearms, and continue to train in martial arts and sword fighting."
Leone said members of the national group mostly are black and some converted to Islam while in prisons across the United States.
"Abdullah preaches that every Muslim should have a weapon, and should not be scared to use their weapon when needed," Leone wrote.
It was not immediately clear how many of the other 10 suspects were in custody.
The group believes that a separate Islamic state in the U.S. would be controlled by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, who is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Colorado for shooting two police officers in Georgia in 2000, Leone said. Al-Amin, a veteran of the black power movement, started the group after he converted to Islam in prison.
"They're not taking their cues from overseas," said Jimmy Jones, a professor of world religions at Manhattanville College and a longtime Muslim prison chaplain. "This group is very much American born and bred."
The movement at one time was believed to include a couple of dozen mosques around the country. Ummah is now dwarfed in numbers and influence by other African-American Muslim groups, particularly the mainstream Sunnis who were led by Imam W.D. Mohammed, who recently died.
By evening, authorities still were working the scene near the Detroit-Dearbornpolice tape
The U.S. attorney's office said an FBI dog was also killed during the shootout.
Abdullah's mosque is in a brick duplex on a quiet, residential street in Detroit. A sign on the door in English and Arabic reads, in part, "There is no God but Allah."
Several men congregated on the porch Wednesday night and subsequently attacked a photographer from The Detroit News who was taking pictures from across the street. Ricardo Thomas had his camera equipment smashed and had a bloody lip from the attack.
Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Dearborn, said the FBI had briefed him about Wednesday's raids and told him they were the result of a two-year investigation.
"We know that this is not something to be projected as something against Muslims," Hamad said.
Associated Press writers David Runk, Corey Williams, David N. Goodman and Rachel Zoll contributed to this story.