Saga And The True Image Of Would-Be Martyred Nigerian Faruk Abdul Mutallib - Close Friends And Relatives

28 December 2009

By Kevin Kofi**

December 26th Obama's administration announced it was charging Young Brother Abdul Farouk Mutallab, the son of a wealthy Nigerian Muslim family from northwest state of Kano, for  - according to ‘the White House version of event’ - allegedly attempting to detonate a substance suspected to be an explosive on board a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, United States.  Since then people, who are close to the so-called would-be plane bomb suspect, especially his friends and family members have been made subject to stressful western media focus and invasion into their private lives.

EsinIslam has not been exempted from the exhaustion of the overwhelming flood of media intrusion.  The African Muslim portal has received unprecedented requests from unknown and unsolicited sources, requesting 'press release', media interviews and details about 'Young Muslim Brother Abdul Farouk Mutallab'.

Who Is Faruk Abdul Mutallib? A True Profile By Those Who Know Him Well

Too much fabricated reports have been published and broadcasted about relationship between Young Brother Faruk and his family, particularly his father Alhaji Umaru Mutallab - a household name in the Nigerian banking industry having chaired the board of the country’s biggest and most viable bank - the First Bank of Nigeria (FBN). 

While, majority of the reports and claims made against Farouk and his family have been totally untrue, it is true the 23 year old Nigerian who had his secondary education in Nigeria before proceeding to the elite British School of Lome in neighbouring Togo, where he passed his international baccalaureates diploma had earlier graduated with a degree in Engineering from the University College, London, he has not abandoned his postgraduate education. 

Several Nigerian newspapers claimed in the weekend that Brother Faruk's parents who had agreed for him to do a summer course in Arabic in Yemen from around August this year sensed trouble when he suddenly called to say that he was no longer interested in completing his MBA and instead is staying on in Yemen for the next seven years for an unclear field of study. 

This is a typical example of misinformed journalism.  In fact studious Farouk has reached the final stage in completing his Master in Business Administration from a Dubai-based university this month.

However, just like any other practicing Muslim, young or old, Brother Faruk sees legacy of him studying Business administration as a wrong footstep of his banker dad - an act of training to sell usury or Ribaa (i.e. working an interest based industry).  Who can blame Mutallab Junior, son of chairman of Nigeria's biggest bank for not wanting to be a banker given the roles bankers played in plugging the world further into poverty - a tale regularly featured in the British media during the graduate student staying in recession-hit London.

There is nothing unusual for a child with Faruk's devotion to his faith in having a different understanding of today's world from his 70 year-old dad whose presence in the Nigerian social circles is celebrated as one of the richest and influential personalities in the history of the West African nation.  Evidence of wealthy Alhaji Mutallib's popularity and political influence has been asserted by Nigerian president Omar Yar'Adua arranging to meet the nation's grand-banker to discuss the circumstances surrounding Faruk’s involvement in the US plane bomb saga.  Even Nigeria's 'born-again Christian' opportunist Vice President Goodluck Jonathan wasted no time in relishing the chance to get closer to Mutallib family in a specially arranged meeting in case the ailing president now in Saudi Arabia for a medical fails to come home in time.  After all, in Nigeria, the home for corruption and foul play, money reaches farther than anywhere else in the world.

That is America's Nigeria.  As for the 23 year-old life experience in home nation, he recently attended his father's 70th birthday in Kano despite maintaining it's against teachings and values of Islam for a Muslim to celebrate or help to celebrate birthday.  That is a gesture of a deep respect and dutifulness from considerate Faruk to his father.  According to a close relative, Brother Faruk was so unhappy to see powerful Nigerian figures Muslims and non-Muslims parading with glasses of alcohol in their hands and 'indecently dressed women' on their lamps at his family estates.  That's pretty too much for a young practicing Muslim man.  Therefore, outspoken Mutallib made his disapproval of what he saw in the father's 70th birthday celebration clear and warned members of his extended family "never try to get in touch with him again" until they change their 'disturbing behaviors'.

Well-disciplined son of Alhaji is not the only family members that relies on religious doctrines to influence the family's decision making and harmony life.  He and his other siblings of nine are no doubt mind-twisters in convincing the banker dad to shift from interests-based bank industry to Islamic Finance as an alternative and more acceptable code of life in Islam.  The former chief of the First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) is now the chairman of Jaiz International Plc, an Islamic Bank.

With a success story like this in family's religious fortune, Faruk could not have been wrong to seek to pursue even more sound Islamic etiquettes. That, according to a friend, was probably another good reason why Faruk decided to come to term with his father when he sought his parents’ forgiveness in his last text messages home, informing them that he was going to concentrate even more on his Islamic studies in an effort to become a better Muslim.

According to the BBC, former British teachers are full of good things to say about the decent Nigerian, praising him as a dream student of knowledge.  Efemena Mokedi, a classmate of Mr Mutallib and who played on the same basketball team, expressed disbelief over what had been reported.

"You would never expect this coming from him, he's a very good guy, a very good chap to hang out with," he told the BBC.

"He was very sociable, he comes from a wealthy background, he's well educated ... the numbers do not add up," he said.

Meanwhile there are evidences Faruk was expecting his family to pay him a visit in Yemen, knowing his family are wealthy enough to travel at ease.  A BBC report of his profile found that "as the son of one of Nigeria's most prominent businessmen he had access to international travel and a world-class education. He has been described by one former British teacher as a dream student."

Of course it takes some faiths for a young able man to turn one's back at a luxurious £4 million pounds apartment in Central London while living young as a prosperous student and opt for a muddy Yemeni rough life.  Newspapers revealed the privileged Nigerian boy sees his studying in Yemen as an alternative course that would cost nothing for seven-year programme, quoting him as resolute that it did not matter if his Nigerian passport expired - he would be able to obtain a Yemeni one. This is a choice of an humble child not of a twenty first century wealthy banker.

No wonder Michael Rimmer, a Briton who taught Faruk history at the British School in Lome (BSL), could not help himself to decorate the young Nigerian Muslim with praises when speaking to broadcasters.  "Mr Abdulmutallab had been every teacher's dream - very keen, enthusiastic, very bright, very polite",  Teacher Michael Rimmer said unreservedly.

He had excelled in Islamic scholarship at the British school and gained a reputation for preaching to other students, said Mr Rimmer.

Pictures of Young Faruk as a peace activist featuring in a series of anti-war coalition programmes in London have presented African and Muslim World media with journalistic themes for blaming American wars around the Muslim World as one of the possible influences on Young Mutallab. They provoked extensive commentaries over Faruk's British teachers claiming that in 2001 his Lome privileged British school had a number of class discussions about the Taliban, in which Umar spoke in their defence.  The Nigerian Muslim graduate had had his secondary education in Nigeria before proceeding to the elite British School of Lome in neighbouring Togo, where he passed his international baccalaureates diploma before he proceeded to the University College, London (UCL) where he read mechanical engineering between September 2005 and June 2008.

He told his friends and relatives that he wanted to study Arabic in order to better understand his religion theologies including Islamic Finance as an alternative to his family's background.

Despite being put in America's so-called Terrorist Screening Data Base, which has about 500,00 names - majority of whom are innocent and fellow peace-loving Muslims, Faruk has been a regular normal traveler.  The western media revealed he was granted visa to the US in June 2008, the year he graduated, and was valid through June 2010, according to consular sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.  This revelation proves December 2009 was not the first time the London University Nigerian elite graduate visited the United States.  Security agencies in the US, Britain and Nigeria have have also confirmed, he visited Houston, US, in August 2008.

Why Detroit?

Speculations and theories are piling as to why Black Faruk chose the Airbus 330 with 278 heading for Detroit populated with African American.  Not surprisingly Western analysts and opinion makers have began to link the death of Luqman Ameen Abdullah, the Detroit imam shot by federal agents during a raid at a Dearborn warehouse as another possible provocative acts by American government that's a potential recruiter of any disturbed young Muslim to act against the United States.  Abdullah's death on Oct. 28 may mark the first killing of a religious leader by U.S. government agents since David Koresh died at the Branch Davidian ranch outside Waco, Texas, in 1993 is capable of inciting remorse for Washington's foreign policies and all sufferings in the Muslim World engineered by Bush regime and currently pursued by Obama's administration.

In it editorial December 3rd, 2009 headline: Imam Killing Needs Independent Investigation, Detroit Free Press warned Obama's administration of 'consequences for the brutal killing', proclaiming the death of Abdullah, an African-American Muslim, has racial and religious overtones, especially in a community with a history of excessive police force.

"It has evoked the kind of skepticism, fear and anger that government should not ignore. Heavy-handed tactics by federal agents in the name of national security are not new. They were also employed against socialists and communists in the 1930s and black militants in the 1960s" the press said.

"Detroit's Muslim community and many local leaders, including Mayor Dave Bing, have called for an independent investigation into the death of Imam Abdullah as Muslim leaders contend that federal agents, not finding evidence of terrorist activity, often lure poor people into other illegal activities.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder suggested in a recent visit to Detroit that Abdullah's death had aggravated community tensions," it added

Detroit Free Press also warned: "it didn't help community relations that the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office informed CAIR, in response to a freedom-of-information request, that photos of Abdullah's autopsy would cost $1,500. That makes government look as though it were hiding something".

"No terrorism charges were brought against Abdullah, or any of the 11 mosque members indicted in the case. Instead, the government alleges that they conspired to traffic in stolen goods. An investigation should determine whether federal agents who shot Abdullah violated his civil rights, but it must also include a broader review of widespread government policies and practices regarding the use of informants to infiltrate mosques", said the editorial.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan said "Our government needs to show that there's not a double standard: a rule of law for the broader public and another standard for Muslims.".

Writing for EsinIslam earlier, El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan, chairman of The Peace And Justice Foundation observed a significant number of Muslim leaders of varying stripes weigh in on this tragedy before a national audience. MOST have delivered dangerously poor representation on this issue.

“It is with this in mind that I invite the reader to reflect deeply over what Professor Stephen Walt has to say. I believe Walt's analysis factors significantly into why Major Hassan's intellectual output was as it was in the months leading up to this tragedy, and why he ultimately did what he did. (It will also prepare you for my humble analysis which will come later, insha'Allah.)”, El-Hajj Saalakhan said

As for the Muslim "leaders," or opinion shaping apologists, who have been doing their best to assure the powers-that- be that there is no problem with Muslims helping to fight America's imperialistic wars, he advised them to reflect even deeper on the painful analysis provided by Professor Walt (below). And then those of you who presume yourselves learned (in the "Islamic Sciences"), check the condition of their heart!

Professor Walt said he heard a different take on the subject “why the Muslims hate the Americans” at a recent conference on U.S. relations with the Islamic world. In addition to hearing a diverse set of views from different Islamic countries, Walt said, one of the other participants (a prominent English journalist) put it quite simply. "If the United States wants to improve its image in the Islamic world," he said, "it should stop killing Muslims."

“To repeat: I have deliberately selected "low-end" estimates for Muslim fatalities, so these figures present the "best case" for the United States. Even so, the United States has killed nearly 30 Muslims for every American lost. The real ratio is probably much higher, and a reasonable upper bound for Muslim fatalities (based mostly on higher estimates of "excess deaths" in Iraq due to the sanctions regime and the post-2003 occupation) is well over one million, equivalent to over 100 Muslim fatalities for every American lost.”

“Americans should also bear in mind that the figures reported above omit the Arabs and Muslims killed by Israel in Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank. Given our generous and unconditional support for Israel's policy towards the Arab world in general and the Palestinians in particular, Muslims rightly hold us partly responsible for those victims too.”

Walt added: “Yet if you really want to know "why they hate us," the numbers presented above cannot be ignored. Even if we view these figures with skepticism and discount the numbers a lot, the fact remains that the United States has killed a very large number of Arab or Muslim individuals over the past three decades...our actions were indefensible (maybe even criminal) in others.”

“Contrary to what Friedman thinks, our real problem isn't a fictitious Muslim "narrative" about America's role in the region; it is mostly the actual things we have been doing in recent years. To say that in no way justifies anti-American terrorism or absolves other societies of responsibility for their own mistakes or misdeeds”, he argued.

“Some degree of anti-Americanism may reflect ideology, distorted history, or a foreign government's attempt to shift blame onto others (a practice that all governments indulge in), but a lot of it is the inevitable result of policies that the American people have supported in the past. When you kill tens of thousands of people in other countries -- and sometimes for no good reason -- you shouldn't be surprised when people in those countries are enraged by this behavior and interested in revenge. After all, how did we react after September 11?

Why Muslims hate America

When EsinIslam regular writer from Palestine Ustaz Khalid Amayreh wrote his article title: "Why I hate America" a few weeks after the 9/11 in New York many people thought then the article was too emotional. However, according to the Palestinian popular columnist, America’s behavior in the Muslim world since then, seems to have vindicated every word and every bit of anger in the article.

Below are some excerpt from the article:

“I would be dishonest if I said I didn’t hate the American government. I do hate it, so really, so deeply and, yes, so rightly... America is the author of 60 years of suffering, death, bereavement, occupation, oppression, homelessness, and victimization; America is the usurper of my people’s right to human rights, democracy, civil liberties, development, and dignified life; America is the abettor and financier of Israeli occupation, apartheid, repression, terror, and land theft; America is the protector, maintainer, sustainer and guarantor of despotism, dictatorship, dynastic fiefdoms, and brutal autocracies, theocracies, oligarchies, and monarchies in the Muslim world.; America is the evil power that denies my people freedom from a Nazi-like foreign occupation that murders our children and steals our land; America is the tyrant, global dictatorship that robs hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims of their right to freely elect their governments and rulers because corporate America dreads the outcome of democracy in the Muslim world; America treats me and my people as “children of a lesser God.”

“In fact, in the final analysis, America offers me one of two choices: Either I submissively accept perpetual enslavement and oppression or become an Osama bin Laden. Honestly, there is not a third choice, if there is one let us see it. I know hate can be blind and deadly. But, I also know that oppression, as the Holy Qura’n clearly states, is worse than murder. Hence, I try, even strive, to make my hate of America , as rational as possible, as constructive as possible, even as human as possible. This is not because America deserves to be treated humanely.”

That was then, recently the Palestinian writer said: “The recent American-embraced and American-backed Nazi-like Israeli campaign of murder and terror in Lebanon as well as the slow-motion genocide Israel is relentlessly effecting in the Occupied Palestinian territories, especially in the Gaza Strip, are a clarion testimony to America’s diabolical behavior.

“...Moreover, the Bush Administration, acting under the influence of the Jewish Lobby in Washington, invaded and occupied and destroyed Iraq, resulting in a gigantic catastrophe unseen since the end of the Second World War.  In 2001, America was preoccupied with one man, Osama Bin Laden. Now, five years later, not only Bin Laden is still at large, but thousands upon thousands of Bin Ladens and Zarqawis have appeared thanks to America ’s criminal policies.”

Muslims Beware

In responding to these overplayed curiosity EsinIslam editorial has warned individuals and cooperates to refrain from making any statement or actions they may live to regret and urge to pray for Young Brother Abdul Faruk Mutallab, who even under the man-made American law is innocent until proved guilty, and his family for strength and protection from Almighty Allah during this difficult time, quoting:

"O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done." Qur'an 49 verse 6.

Because the young Nigerian Muslim brother has been charged to a court in Detroit, accused of an attempt to destroy an aircraft and setting off destructive device on the plane, it would be inappropriate to give a comprehensive report and commentary about the saga.  The world should be prepared twists and turns from the politicians around the world through their Intelligent Agencies briefings - the same agencies that briefed the world about Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction and Saddam's special relationship with Al-Qaeda's leadership.  You've been warned!


**Copies of Guides, Lecture and Fatwa on Saga Of Would-Be Martyred Nigerian Faruk Abdul Mutallib: His Action - If True, Consequences And Islamic Injunctions - A Case Study In The Light Of The Qur'an And As-Sunnah by Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu as prepared by Kevin Kofi and Daa'i Mousa Philips and circulated December 27th, 2009 to Members of Awqaf Africa and registered members of Awqaf African Muslim College, London At EsinIslam are available for extensive reading and comprehensive studies.  Click here to order for you copy via an e-mail - English, Arabic, French, Yoruba And Hausa Versions Now Available.  Muslims only, please!  Pray for us.



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