The Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will be holding an event in the memory of Imam Luqman Abdullah, an Islamist separatist killed after firing on FBI agents in 2009.
CAIR-Michigan's Executive Director Dawud Walid, and CAIR National's Litigation direction, Lena Masri, are both listed as event speakers.
Walid frequently expresses ideas typical of CAIR's most hardline Islamist officials. In June 2019, he denounced adultery, sodomy and lesbianism, warning that "if we want to protect the society, to help the society be healthy, then we have to be involved in promoting that which is just and wholesome and forbid that which is unjust and not wholesome."
When Walid is not spreading extremism himself, however, he has kept busy sharing conspiracy theories absolving Luqman Abdullah, and placing all the blame on the FBI.
Authorities found that Abdullah was the head of a radical fundamentalist Sunni group that intended to establish an Islamic state in the United States. The FBI conducted a raid with the intent of arresting Abdullah and ten other men on charges that included conspiracy to sell stolen goods, mail fraud and illegal possession of firearms. Abdullah, who was forbidden to possess a firearm, opened fire on the FBI agents and died in the consequent shootout.
At the time, Abdullah El-Amin, an imam at the Muslim Center, who had known Abdullah for more than 20 years, did not deny his separatist intentions, saying that he "had heard Mr. Abdullah talk about wanting a separate state." According to the criminal complaint against Abdullah, he "preached that "every Muslim should have a weapon, and should not be scared to use their weapon when needed."
Dawud Walid has long supported Luqman Abdullah, insisting on his innocence at the hands of a government conspiracy. In 2015, he claimed that "the entire investigation and subsequent killing of Imam Abdullah was nothing less than a cover-up, and a fraud engineered on the part of the government." Walid has even mysteriously announced that at the event, he will reveal "how there was a methodical effort by law enforcement to suppress evidence that would have implicated their wrongdoing."
Walid wrote with evident nostalgia that he and Luqman Abdullah used to "travel together to [North American Imams Federation] conferences out of state and shared hotel rooms." The North American Imams Federation (NAIF) is an organization long linked to Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood ideology. And NAIF's former executive committee member Ashrafuzzaman Khan, was convicted in absentia by Bangladesh in 2013 of being part of the Pakistan-backed Al-Badr death squad, which murdered professors and intellectuals in the final days of the Bangladesh War of Independence.
We contacted CAIR's national headquarters, to ask if they endorsed Walid and CAIR Michigan's lionization of a violent extremist. CAIR refused to respond.
CAIR claims that its vision is to be "a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding" but as long as its representatives continue to make extremist statements and organize events such as this one, CAIR's glowing descriptions of its own mission and vision will ring very hollow.