“Jihad For Dummies”: Shaykh Abdullah al-Faisal

Over the past few weeks, in the aftermath of the Anwar al-Awlaki’s rise to mainstream media prominence, I’ve been asked by several journalists to identify and discuss the role of the  influential ‘online celebrity shaykhs.’  At the top of my list of Western jihadist clerics has been a guy known as Shaykh Abdullah al-Faisal.  Well, turns out, he’s not just at the top of my list.

This Jamaican-born fire-breathing jihadist cleric whose spent time in UK prison for incitement to terrorism was just arrested in Mombasa, Kenya for preaching in Kenyan mosques.

Abdullah al-Faisal, when compared to the previous generation of fire-breathing Western clerics (Abu Hamza al-Masri and Abu Qatada, for instance) is a light-weight. In fact, there’s a great video of Abdullah al-Faisal getting pwned by Abu Qatada in a debate.  The point is, however, that he is still highly influential because, in large part, he offers a much simpler approach.

Whereas the big guns like Abu Qatada made multilayered ideological arguments, Anwar al-Awlaki and Abdullah al-Faisal present very clear, concise and direct behavioral guidance for their adherents.  It’s what I’ve been calling, “Jihad for Dummies..”

Here’s some articles on Abdullah al-Faisal’s recent arrest in Kenya:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/02/AR2010010200689.html

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/El-Faisal_7299368

And here’s some videos of Abdullah al-Faisal just so you can see what I’m talking about:

One comment

  1. PW says:

    With al-Awlaki’s profile rise due to his connection with home-grown attacks, the focus seems to be shifting away from the true intellectual foundation setters.

    Are we running the risk of dismissing the ideological heavy hitters in favor of the more jihobbist palatable “light-weights”?

    Or is it in our best intrest to promote the rise of the light-weights to degrade the overall philosophy?

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