April 16, 2010

"I’m standing in front of you as a convicted felon, a lying imam, which is a physical, emotional and spiritual burden far greater than any sentence you could impose."

"Honest to God... it was never my intention to help those idiots for what they do in the name of Islam.... I cannot express my feelings in words, but I’m going to try... Violated. Betrayed. Used to the highest degree. Treated worse than a dog."

29 comments:

Salamandyr said...

It is gratifying to hear such contrition, and I sympathize with his plight; but I can't help but feel justice has been done.

The one thing that I worry is that this man is in danger of reprisals from the terrorists he informed on. He seems like a decent sort, and I would hate to see him harmed. I hope whatever country he lands in treats him well.

MadisonMan said...

The article does paint him as a decent man, past sexual fondling charge notwithstanding.

I was only trying to help!

I would love to read the transcripts of the phone calls between the FBI and the Police about this case as it unfolded.

Big Mike said...

This wouldn't have happened if he had been an atheist like me.

And he'd have had a well-trimmed mustache, like me, and not a scraggly beard.

Class factotum said...

Treated worse than a dog

Because dogs are treated so badly in this country?

Fred4Pres said...

Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

My guess is he shifts more radical when he gets to his new home base. If, however, he fights Islamic extremeism there, let us know.

Chip Ahoy said...

Violated Betrayed.

That reminded me of one of the funniest lines in The Birdcage. Armand (Robin Williams) is trying to butch up Albert (Nathan Lane). In a practice session Armand asks Albert, "So what do you feel about them [some football team]?" Albert clutches at his chest, releases to the air, then responds dramatically, "Confused … betrayed."

Hahaha that kills me. I revert to that line every opportunity no matter how inappropriate or damaging.

In that same scene Armand instructs Albert to walk like John Wayne. Albert produces the most ridiculous imitation imaginable. Armand stares in dismayed amazement. Albert asks, "Too fem?" Armand says, "No, it's just that I didn't realize John Wayne swished so much."

Quayle said...

In organizational form, Islam is like protestantism.

It is centered around a text, and a self-called (or calling-self-declared, if you will) interpreter of that text.

Congregations organize bottom-up around the interpreter.

There is no central authority to give a final, definitive interpretation of the text.

And hence there is a spectral spread of beliefs and opinion about how to act based on the text.

Islam's market and bus bombers are at one far end of the spectrum, much as abortion doctor killers or soldier funeral protesters are in protestantism.

But when one confronts the average Muslim in the street about the atrocious terrorists, their first reaction is, "what do they have to do with me?"

And it is a good question and distinction that we frequently blur in our western ignorance.

PatCA said...

"But Mr. Afzali said that even in that criminal act, he was a victim of his desire to serve as a bridge between his country and his community."

LOL! I know...he was just trying to sell them the Brooklyn Bridge, not bomb it!

Paddy O. said...

their first reaction is, "what do they have to do with me?

Like the Cardinals say about the abusive priests.

Zing!

bagoh20 said...

This guy is exactly what we need to stop the insanity of radical Islamic terror. He did a right, admirable and difficult thing. His decency should not be punished. The good he did far outweighs the understandable lying to police.

Law or not, he should be treated better and held up as a model of an ethical Muslim who is as much, if not more, a victim of the radicals than the rest of us.

bagoh20 said...

You can listen to the taped phone conversation on the site. He was authentically trying to stop them from doing anything wrong even without knowing what they were up to. He was acting like an ethical American religious man concerned about the individuals and the community. We need his type and they are more important than any other strategy of defense. Besides it's right.

Methadras said...

bagoh20 said...

This guy is exactly what we need to stop the insanity of radical Islamic terror. He did a right, admirable and difficult thing. His decency should not be punished. The good he did far outweighs the understandable lying to police.

Law or not, he should be treated better and held up as a model of an ethical Muslim who is as much, if not more, a victim of the radicals than the rest of us.


Muslims don't give two shits about how this Imam was used. He is nothing but a tool for the moon gods holy work. Death.

Jeremy said...

Methadras said..."Muslims don't give two shits about how this Imam was used. He is nothing but a tool for the moon gods holy work. Death."

And you immediately cast your wing nut net over all "Muslims."

There are over one billion Muslims in the world. Are you saying they're ALL terrorists?

Fortunately the people in charge of the man's prosecution aren't xenophobic pricks like yourself.

bagoh20 said...

He likely stopped the attack. More importantly, with Muslims like him such attacks will be very hard to organize undetected. We just threw out the best defense possible and a seed for many more.

edutcher said...

Breaks my freakin' heart. And if the bridge had been blown, he was going to say an Act of Contrition, I'm sure.

Hang the bastard.

Jeremy said...

Methadras said..."Muslims don't give two shits about how this Imam was used. He is nothing but a tool for the moon gods holy work. Death."

And you immediately cast your wing nut net over all "Muslims."

There are over one billion Muslims in the world. Are you saying they're ALL terrorists?


It's a little like the Good Germans during WWII. They didn't like Hitler, but did nothing to stop him and, in many cases, "just followed orders" like the SS.

I agree most Moslems probably aren't bad people, but they've allowed the crazies to take over their religion and it's their job, not ours, to stop them.

But we can't wait for them to man up.

Jeremy said...

edutcher said..."I agree most Moslems probably aren't bad people, but they've allowed the crazies to take over their religion and it's their job, not ours, to stop them."

That's big of you, and the misspelling of "Muslim" is really cute, too.

Maybe if you had actually attended school and read some history you'd be aware of the kinds of "crazies" associated with all religions, and of course, Christianity is right at the top of the heap.

Why not take a shot at reading something related to the topic at hand before posting bigoted comments that make you look like an ass.

bagoh20 said...

If all the other facts were the same but his guy was not a Muslim, I bet his detractors here would think him the hero he is. I say hero after thinking about carefully. A hero, to me, is someone who accepts likely personal harm to save another. He likely saved hundreds and will get deported for it. Imagine that your spouse or child was on the train that was targeted and he acted less heroic and they succeeded.

Quayle said...

Like the Cardinals say about the abusive priests.

Zing!


The two situations could hardly be more different.

The Catholic Church is nothing like Islam or Protestants because it is a hierarchical organization that has a central authority enabled to declare what is orthodox and what is acceptable.

The fault of some in the Catholic Church -yes even Cardinals - was their failure or refusal to take the proper action on those bad actors that were clearly under their hierarchy and thus within their span of control.

edutcher said...

Jeremy said...

edutcher said..."I agree most Moslems probably aren't bad people, but they've allowed the crazies to take over their religion and it's their job, not ours, to stop them."

That's big of you, and the misspelling of "Muslim" is really cute, too.


I'm trying to see your point, so a little courtesy wouldn't hurt.

And, in this country, it's spelled "Moslem", and pronounced the way it's spelled. Don't know where you grew up, but we're not Euros here, and 'Muslim' is the way they do it over there.

Maybe if you had actually attended school and read some history you'd be aware of the kinds of "crazies" associated with all religions, and of course, Christianity is right at the top of the heap.

Not sure, but I'll bet where I went to school is at least as good as where you did, and I don't see this country threatened by Christian, Hindu, or Jewish crazies, only the Moslem ones.

PS You want a dialogue, you keep the invective to yourself. You lose the fight when you get nasty.

Quayle said...

I agree most Moslems probably aren't bad people, but they've allowed the crazies to take over their religion and it's their job, not ours, to stop them.

That's just dumb.

It's like saying that a bunch of abusive yelling parents of a little league in New York have taken over all of little league baseball in America, and the little league in Arizona is condemned because they didn't do anything to stop them.

Please explain to us how one group of people at one end of a spectrum of belief, have somehow "taken over" those at the other end of a flat organization.

Hijacked their brand, yes.

But taken them over? That's just silly.

Skookum John said...

But when one confronts the average Muslim in the street about the atrocious terrorists, their first reaction is, "what do they have to do with me?"


I don't think there is one American in a thousand who supports Fred Phelps or the abortion doctor shooters.

However, a number of polls have shown support for violent jihad is at astonishingly high levels in the Muslim world. I've seen levels as high as 60 percent, depending on how the question is worded.

To the extent that a Muslim does NOT support jihad, he is not a good Muslim. The Koran is explicitly clear that Islam is to be spread by the sword.

Quayle said...


To the extent that a Muslim does NOT support jihad, he is not a good Muslim. The Koran is explicitly clear that Islam is to be spread by the sword.


And you are an authority on the Koran, so you can make that claim?

You've studied Koranic exegesis? You're fluent in Arabic?

With all due respect, it is this exact kind of western arrogance that is only making matters worse.

Jeremy said...

Skookum John said..."However, a number of polls have shown support for violent jihad is at astonishingly high levels in the Muslim world. I've seen levels as high as 60 percent, depending on how the question is worded."

So, according to your...opinion...over 600,000,000 Muslims support violent jihad?

Got a link?

But, speaking of what people think...

17% of Republicans and 19% of white evangelicals (74% of whom voted for John McCain) insist the President is an adherent of Islam.

And, among Republicans 44% think President Obama was not born in Hawaii.

Duh.

edutcher said...

Quayle said...

I agree most Moslems probably aren't bad people, but they've allowed the crazies to take over their religion and it's their job, not ours, to stop them.

That's just dumb.

It's like saying that a bunch of abusive yelling parents of a little league in New York have taken over all of little league baseball in America, and the little league in Arizona is condemned because they didn't do anything to stop them.

Please explain to us how one group of people at one end of a spectrum of belief, have somehow "taken over" those at the other end of a flat organization.

Hijacked their brand, yes.

But taken them over? That's just silly.


Don't give me brand. The Wahhabi sect, backed by the considerable money of Saudi Arabia, has dominated the Islamic religion for the past 30 years or so. Its adherents kill anyone who speaks out against them. Right now, countries that were fairly secular (Nigeria, Turkey, etc.)in the 80s are hotbeds of fundamentalism because no dissent from the Wahhabi way is tolerated.

That's how it's taken over.

Partridge said...

Don't give me brand. The Wahhabi sect, backed by the considerable money of Saudi Arabia, has dominated the Islamic religion for the past 30 years or so. Its adherents kill anyone who speaks out against them. Right now, countries that were fairly secular (Nigeria, Turkey, etc.)in the 80s are hotbeds of fundamentalism because no dissent from the Wahhabi way is tolerated.

Wahhabism is a certain type of fundamentalist Islamic reform movement, often called Salafism (which is characterized by its belief in the corruption of the religion over time and the need to harken back to the "Golden Age" of Islam in the time of the Prophet.) There are other types of Islamic reform, however, which are almost just as widespread as Wahhabism and focus on more liberal needs, such as the need to interpret religious law in line with modern times, including basic rights.

Clearly, however, you don't know much about Turkey or you would know that Turkey, while "secular" officially, has almost never been "secular" in the sense of strictly separating religion and state. Far from keeping a wall of separation, Turkey has maintained strict control over the religious establishment in Turkey. The "secularism" you seem to think is positive is in fact, quite oppressive and entangled with religion to the point of controlling it completely.

Also, while it is true that the Islamist party in Turkey has been gaining power, the ability of the Islamist party to participate in democratic party-based politics is actually seen as a very positive kind of Islamic politics.

holdfast said...

The problem, as noted, is that when a mullah or iman instructs his flock that the calls to Jihad in the Koran mean violent, terroristic Jihad, there is no central or higher authority to overrule him. Any dude with a beard, a copy of the Koran and a working knowledge or Arabic can set up a mosque, and the more radical ones tend to do well in attracting followers. And to criticize him is to criticize a fellow Moslem in public (in front of outsiders), which most won't do, and also to get between a holy man and his relationship with Allah, which is also not done. Once he says he is divinely inspired, any rational conversation within, or with, the Moslem community ends.

Related to this is the previously-mentioned surveys showing very high levels of support for OBL / Al Qaeda in many parts of the Moslem world. Now 99.98% of those respondents would never have enough guts or crazy to actually strap on the old suicide belt, but they do provide a community of support, or at least understanding, in which the terrorists can operate. And their refusal to condemn it sounds to me and a lot of other westerners like support.

holdfast said...

Also, while it is true that the Islamist party in Turkey has been gaining power, the ability of the Islamist party to participate in democratic party-based politics is actually seen as a very positive kind of Islamic politics.

Yeah, that was the party line a decade ago - today we see a Turkey increasingly aligned with Iran and other crazies, working against the west, and with a president becoming increasingly divorced from reality. Hooray for Democratic Islamism!

Quayle said...

Hooray for Democratic Islamism!

Well, are you a democrat-ist or not?

Because I'd say it is a pretty unsustainable position to say that people shouldn't have a vote because they might vote differently than you would.

That was Bush's colossal mistake with the vote in Gaza. When they voted for anti-westerners he refused to recognize the vote, and America looked quite hypocritical and rather phony to Islam.

edutcher said...

Partridge said...

Don't give me brand. The Wahhabi sect, backed by the considerable money of Saudi Arabia, has dominated the Islamic religion for the past 30 years or so. Its adherents kill anyone who speaks out against them. Right now, countries that were fairly secular (Nigeria, Turkey, etc.)in the 80s are hotbeds of fundamentalism because no dissent from the Wahhabi way is tolerated.

Wahhabism is a certain type of fundamentalist Islamic reform movement, often called Salafism (which is characterized by its belief in the corruption of the religion over time and the need to harken back to the "Golden Age" of Islam in the time of the Prophet.) There are other types of Islamic reform, however, which are almost just as widespread as Wahhabism and focus on more liberal needs, such as the need to interpret religious law in line with modern times, including basic rights.

Clearly, however, you don't know much about Turkey or you would know that Turkey, while "secular" officially, has almost never been "secular" in the sense of strictly separating religion and state. Far from keeping a wall of separation, Turkey has maintained strict control over the religious establishment in Turkey. The "secularism" you seem to think is positive is in fact, quite oppressive and entangled with religion to the point of controlling it completely.

Also, while it is true that the Islamist party in Turkey has been gaining power, the ability of the Islamist party to participate in democratic party-based politics is actually seen as a very positive kind of Islamic politics.


And a lot of people are noting that the Erdogan government is a lot more extreme than anything in recent memory. As for separation of church and state, I'm not interested in getting all wound up about gradations. In the Middle East and other Islamic countries, there are varying mixes, but Turkey has, until recently, been moderate and pro-Western enough to want a seat in the EU. That has all changed in the last ten years.