The Supreme Court has long held that there are limits to free speech; shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre is unprotected speech. Anyone here who promotes al Qaeda and rejoices in the deaths of American troops is clearly advocating sedition.
Last year, the New York Times reported about Samir Khan of Charlotte, N.C. running a web site promoting violent jihad against America and Israel:
Mr. Khan, who was born in Saudi Arabia and grew up in Queens, is an unlikely foot soldier in what Al Qaeda calls the “Islamic jihadi media.” He has grown up in middle-class America and wrestles with his worried parents about his religious fervor. Yet he is stubborn. “I will do my best to speak the truth, and even if it annoys the disbelievers, the truth must be preached,” Mr. Khan said in an interview. While there is nothing to suggest that Mr. Khan is operating in concert with militant leaders, or breaking any laws, he is part of a growing constellation of apparently independent media operators who are broadcasting the message of Al Qaeda and other groups, a message that is increasingly devised, translated and aimed for a Western audience.
“Nothing to suggest that Mr. Khan is operating in concert with militant leaders” was their overstatement.
FoxNews further reported today on Khan and his web site:
When the blog, also called “The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge,” listed its top “scholars of Islam” and people to “take knowledge from,” it wasn’t hard to notice that the list of 63 names contained mostly known terrorists — including Usama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The site provides links to their works, all translated into English.
Revolution.Muslimpad’s sleek, modern style includes collections of the latest videos of U.S. military Humvees exploding from roadside bombs in Iraq, as well as pro-jihad messages aimed at radicalizing readers. But terror experts say it is unique because it is written in English for a Western audience and makes accessible radical Islamic content and context found mainly on Arabic-language sites. “This Web site is one of the premiere English-language sites promoting terrorism,” said cyberterrorism expert Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Jewish human rights group the Wiesenthal Center.
On Thursday Cooper presented a report on Capitol Hill on the dangers Internet sites like Revolution.Muslimpad pose to young, impressionable Muslims. His report, “Digital Terrorism and Hate 2.0,” references the Web site four times as an example of how Islamic extremists recruit for Al Qaeda.
Part of the Revolution.Muslimpad’s power comes from the context and interpretation of the radical messages, which experts say offer dangerous inspiration. “This guy [Khan] is plugged into the hardcore ideology that Al Qaeda espouses,” said Jarret Brachman, director of research at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center. Brachman — who oversees the center’s research on Al Qaeda and who has been monitoring the site for two years — compared it to a “gateway drug.”
“The goal is to hook people, to get more people in this country to become radicalized and see the world through the lens of Al Qaeda,” Brachman said. Sites like Revolution.Muslimpad are common in other countries, but there are a few that target American Muslim audiences, and this is “among the best,” he said.
Brachman and others believe Khan is the brains behind the site. According to The New York Times, which interviewed Khan in 2007, he launched his blog in 2005 under the name “Inshallahshaheed,” or “a martyr soon if God wills,” from his parents’ home in Charlotte, N.C.
Khan reportedly grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., after his parents immigrated to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. The Times reported he comes from a middle-class family and moved toward an increasingly radical form of Islam while at college in North Carolina. He launched his site while taking classes at a community college and during his off-hours as a knife salesman, it was reported.
Since then, the Web site has changed six times, according to Rick Eaton, senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center. It first appeared on the U.S.-based host company WordPress and was later moved to other host companies before ending up at its current Muslimpad. The American operators of Muslimpad reportedly have since moved from Houston, Texas, to Amman, Jordan.
It’s unclear if Khan operates his site alone; despite repeated attempts by FOXNews.com, he could not be reached for an interview.
In the “About Us” section, Revolution.Muslimpad describes the site as being run by a handful of “bloggers of inshallahshaheed,” and says their mission is to “attempt to bring to our readers the reality on the ground in the lands of Jihad, and exposing the lies and deceptions of the disbelievers, hypocrites, and tyrannical Governments,” including that of the U.S.
Today, someone (perhaps Salim Khan) posted their supreme leader’s latest message:
(click image to enlarge)
If you wish to visit Salim Khan’s web site or read more, go to the FoxNews article.
Do I question Salim Khan’s patriotism? Of course; he obviously has sworn bayat to Osama bin Laden. Do I think Revolution.Muslimpad should be shut down and Salim Khan should be arrested? Yes and yes. Yet that is just me exercising my right to free speech while I still can, before the jihadists take over.