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Florida-based Pro Jihad Mentor Abu Taubah was the mentor to Orlando Nightclub Shooter Omar Mateen

In the videos dating around 2008, Robertson has expressed his strict opposition to western culture and upbringing abroad

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Toronto vigil for Orlando shooting. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • In 2012, Robertson said he “attended a meeting of Egyptian and American intelligence officials.”
  • In the videos dating around 2008, Robertson has expressed his strict opposition to western culture and upbringing abroad
  • Robertson has also blamed the American ideals of freedom as the root-cause of homosexuality

A senior official in the Law enforcement has identified Abu Taubah, a Florida-based cleric, as the mentor to Omar Mateen, who killed 49 at a gay nightclub in orlando.

Abu Taubah, formerly Marcus Dwayne Robertson, has been a convicted bank robber and the trustworthy body-guard of the ‘Blind Sheikh’ alias Omar Abdel Rahman. The Daily Mail had reported in 2015 that Robertson had radicalized 36 of his fellowmen inside the prison which ultimately led to his solitary confinement.

“As a result of the horrific harm his religious principles are teaching his other inmates,” Abu Taubah was confined to solitary imprisonment. Lesser known facts about Robertson are his previous job with the Marine and various stints as an author and teacher of Islamic Education across US and Egypt. He was also involved with the secret police, working as an undercover FBI agent.

Abu Taubah—aka Marcus Dwyane Robertson. Image source: counterJihad.com
Abu Taubah—aka Marcus Dwyane Robertson. Image source: counterJihad.com

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In 2012, Robertson said to a news portal, counterjihad.com that he “attended a meeting of Egyptian and American intelligence officials.” He further added that his job was “to perform covert operations in places that American government had no credible operatives.”

A three-part video series entitled “Khutbah (Homosexuality)” illustrates Robert’s views on the topic. These are samples of what motivates people like Omar Mateen who do not bother to go deeper into religious texts but chose to get radicalized by extremist preaching of certain self-declared Islamic clerics.

In the videos dating around 2008, Robertson has expressed his strict opposition to western culture and upbringing abroad, which contradicts his own childhood spent in New York. He holds homosexuality as “sinful, illegal, worthy of penalty.”

An undated photo from Omar Mateen's social media account. Image Source: REUTERS
An undated photo from Omar Mateen’s social media account.
Image Source: REUTERS

Robertson has mentioned the Quranic story of Lut (Lot), and the devastation of Sodom and Gomorrah as the right way to look at homosexuals. He further states that the Muslim community has been “too weak and not ready” to deal with this issue “in a proper manner.” In the stated example, however, clerics like Robertson tend to go overboard with their extremist views by forgetting that the story of Lot is one where calamities were brought by a supernatural force, and not by the direct action or violence of different communities.

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Robertson has also blamed the American ideals of freedom as the root-cause of homosexuality, saying, “The concept of America is that you are God: you do what you want to do; you follow your desires.”

While Robertson claims being a preacher, it is essential to refer to his own actions and compare them with Islamic ideals for a better understanding of the difference between radical Islam and the real Islam. In a November 5, 2012 government memo, his criminal history is summarized as:

“The defendant, MARCUS DWAYNE ROBERTSON, has been an extremist for many years. In the early 1990s, the defendant was a leader of the ‘Forty Thieves,’ which was a group of Muslims who conducted numerous armed robberies of Government installations and banks to generate funds that were used, among other things, to buy weapons and explosives. As part of his crimes, the defendant murdered several individuals; participated in assassination attempts; used pipe bombs, C-4, grenades, other explosives, and automatic weapons; participated in a robbery resulting in a hostage situation; and attempted the murder of police officers. Following the first Gulf War, the Forty Thieves stockpiled weapons and explosives in preparation to fight against the perceived threat of internment of Muslims by the United States. The defendant served as personal protection for the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, and personally gave over $300,000 of the stolen funds to mosques that the defendant attended.”

All three of Robertson’s siblings have served in the Armed Forces, the CIA, the NSA and the military police. While his is a family history of community service and dedication, Robertson’s extremist views can be blamed for him becoming mentor for such Muslims who do not pay heed to verses of the Qur’an that strongly condemn killing of innocents.

In contrast to aggressive preaching and sowing seeds of hatefulness against ‘non-believers’ which is prominent among Muslims like Omar Mateen and Abu Tawbah, Muslims who sadly look at their television screens at such events are suffering the brunt of Islamophobia. These are Muslims who know the significance of living in peace with other communities, not enforcing religion upon others, and not killing innocents as depicted in varieties of examples throughout the religious scriptures.

– by NewsGram team with assistance from Maariyah, an intern at NewsGram

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Over 3,000 Followers Vacate Dera Sacha Sauda Headquarters at Sirsa Ahead of Ram Rahim Singh’s Sentencing

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Dera Sacha Sauda
A heavy blanket of security forces have been put in place around the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters at Sirsa as followers vacate the premises. (representative image) Wikimedia
  • Efforts continue to vacate Dera Sacha Sauda followers from the sect’s headquarters at Sirsa
  • Security arrangements tightened at Sirsa ahead of the rape-case verdict against Dera chief.
  • Special CBI court to announce quantum of sentence against Ram Rahim Singh today

Sirsa, Haryana, August 28, 2017 : For the states that witnessed transport and property getting burnt as the mob turned violent and attacked security forces and media persons alike, an uneasy calm prevails in parts of Haryana and Punjab, and especially Sirsa. With the district administration providing buses for safe transportation, the exodus of the Dera Sacha Sauda followers from the sect’s headquarters at Sirsa, which began on Saturday (Aug 26), continues even after two days.

Haryana roadways deployed over 50 buses on Sunday for transporting the followers a day before the verdict in the rape case against the Dera chief Ram Rahim Singh was to be announced.

According to a report by The Tribune, as many as 3,000 followers have already left the Dera in the provided buses which included women and children in large numbers. Several others are also believed to have left in their private vehicles.

The Dera Sacha Saudha headquarters at Sira, Haryana comprise a township on its own. Spread over 1,000 acres, the campus has schools, sports village, cinema hall and hospital inside it.

The process of the sanitization of the Dera headquarters has continued for over two days now, as the Army and the paramilitary forces have appealed to the followers to vacate the premises. However, according to the authorities, over 5,000 followers are still believed to be inside the Sirsa headquarters, as per a report by PTI.

ALSO READ Ram Chandra Chatrapati: The Braveheart Journalist who was Shot Dead for Exposing Sacha Sauda Dera Chief Ram Rahim

The deployed police forces and the Dera administration have been making regular announcements requesting the followers of the convicted religious-guru to vacate the premises.

The authorities also attempted to vacate the Shah Satnam Schools that are situated on campus. According to a report by PTI, over 100 students have been taken off the premises by their parents following government orders.

Additionally, the authorities also attempted to vacate the two shelters currently operational at the Dera Sacha Saudha campus called Shahi Betiya Basera and Shahi Asra Basera. However, as per reports, the children refused to leave the Dera and rebuked the forces’ requests.

To avoid any discrepancy, the police are maintaining detailed records of the names, phone numbers and addresses of the followers who are cooperating and vacating the premises, or are willing to leave.

Sirsa Under Vigilance Ahead of the Case Verdict

Haryana DGP B S Sandhu at a press conference on Sunday asserted that peace in now prevailing in Haryana and efforts are underway to keep all possible security arrangements in place.

“As many as 552 persons have been arrested and further investigation is underway” he said on Sunday, adding that action will be taken against every body found guilty.

It was also revealed that out of the 36 people killed during the violence, as many as 6 out of them were killed in Sirsa alone, with the tally of people injured in Sirsa reaching up to 60. The officer further revealed that 19 people have been identified by the police that include seven from Punjab. Additionally, they have also detained over a dozen Dera followers associated with the violence following the conviction of the Dera chief on Friday.

While there haven’t been reports of any fresh violence in Haryana since yesterday, district authorities are hopeful that no inconvenient action should take place after the pronouncement of the quantum of punishment in the rape case against the Dera chief Ram Rahim Singh.

ALSO READ Mann Ki Baat: Violence Will Not Be Tolerated, Says PM Narendra Modi

However, security arrangements have been beefed up to curb any possible outbreak. Authorities have established a barricade covering 6 kms between the Dera and the town, and no person is allowed to move beyond that point.

Previously on Sunday, the district administration had relaxed the curfew in and around the Dera headquarters in Sirsa, allowing people to move around for shopping and other necessary chores. However, it was asserted that no such relaxation would be given till Tuesday morning.

The special CBI court is to pronounce the quantum of the sentence today in the rape case against Dera Sacha Saudha chief Ram Rahim Singh. For the same, strict security arrangements have been put in place in and around Sunaria jail in Rohtak.


 

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Supreme Court of India to Announce Triple Talaq Case Verdict Today

The verdict will determine if Islam can enforce triple talaq as fundamental to the practice of religion

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Triple Talaq
Supreme Court is set to announce the verdict on triple talaq. Wikimedia
  • The Supreme Court will announce its verdict on triple talaq in India on Tuesday
  • Chief Justice JS Khehar heads the constitution bench of the jury
  • It will determine if triple talaq is fundamental to Muslim religion or not

New Delhi, August 22, 2017: The Supreme Court of India is set to announce its verdict on the triple talaq case that has gripped the nation since past few months.

The verdict is said to be a historic decision and will decide if the practice of triple talaq is fundamental to the Islamic religion.

Chief Justice JS Khehar heads the bench that comprises of five judges. After six days of the hearing, the bench had held its verdict on May 18. The verdict will determine if Islam can enforce triple talaq as fundamental to the practice of religion.

Other esteemed names in the jury include R F Nariman, Kurian Joseph, S Abdul Nazeer and U U Lalit. All the five justices come from different religious backgrounds.

ALSO READ: Muslim Law of Divorce ‘Triple Talaq’ is Sinful and Undesirable but can be permissible if not misused, AIMPLB tells Supreme Court

Among the petitioners are Muslim women who label triple talaq as simply unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court had already acknowledged during the hearing that triple talaq as a way of ending the marriage was “not a desirable” form.

Many legal experts have raised their voice against the Islamic practice, including the likes of Ram Jethmalani.

Other experts on the other hand, like Kapil Sibal, claim that the basis on which the practice is founded is the faith which cannot be simply changed.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter @Saksham2394


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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If Hillary Clinton wins, it may be Gold for Zakir Naik via Saudi Arabia route

Dr Naik has fallen on bad days because the West and their clients like Saudi Arabia have badly bungled in Syria

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Dr. Zakir Naik. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

August 27, 2016: The Islamic evangelist Zakir Naik with rock star ratings, could be only temporarily in trouble. Come November and he may be able to find apologists in the NDA government.

What has the month of November got to do with the government? Because, like the rest of the world, New Delhi is waiting for the outcome of the US elections. A Hillary Clinton victory will end the nail biting suspense globally, and in Israel and Saudi Arabia, there may be celebrations. Naik’s patrons in Saudi Arabia are perhaps low today, but they could bounce back with a Clinton victory.

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The Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and The Clinton Foundation have another link: considerable sums for their respective Foundations have come from Saudi Arabia.

Naik has been officially in the business of evangelism since 1991 when IRF was established. That year Manmohan Singh’s New Economic Policies brought New Delhi in line with the US. George Bush Sr was the President. The Bush family’s extraordinary interests in Saudi Arabia continued during the Clinton years.

King of Saudi (King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud) and Dr Zakir Naik. Image source: IRF
King of Saudi (King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud) and Dr Zakir Naik. Image source: IRF

An economically “reformed” New Delhi looked at Washington for almost every foreign policy lead. Since the Saudis could do no wrong in US eyes, New Delhi adopted the same public stance towards Riyadh. Zakir Naik preached in the Salafi-Wahabi idiom, favoured by the House of Saud. Little wonder, successive Indian Prime Ministers were advised to look the other way.

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During days of breathless adoration for the US, particularly when the nuclear deal was being negotiated, what registered in South Block was an unstated message from Washington: tolerate Saudi Arabia and its interests. Zakir Naik had Saudi protection. Therefore, his evangelism was acceptable to India for the past 25 years. Wahabism-Salafism was kosher when, on cue, New Delhi was voting against Iran in Vienna.

Naik has fallen on bad days because the West and their clients like Saudi Arabia have badly bungled in Syria. Jointly and singly they financed and armed all manner of extremist groups. Their search for a “moderate opposition” remained a pipe dream.

The blowback from the Syrian, Libyan (earlier Iraqi and Afghan misadventures) continued to plague the Saudis. Ultimately, to run away from themselves, they leapt into the bubbling Yemen cauldron.

Destroyed countries and civilizations created a migration problem, an Exodus of Biblical proportions, causing Europe to shuffle out of its old coil. Two party political structures, secured a long time ago, began to crumble.

As if all of this were not unsettling enough, the Americans have just come up with an unconvincing Republican nominee for President and a Democratic nominee who is by her own admission “unloved”. Even The Economist, that pillar of the Western liberal establishment, has pulled out from the dictionary adjectives of an extreme nature to describe Hillary Clinton: “dishonest”, “untrustworthy”.

In brief, the West has its own crises to worry about. The Saudis had already come down a notch or two when the Iranian nuclear deal was signed. And now, the mess in Europe and the US has pushed Saudis away from the West’s attention radar.

New Delhi, which keeps a steady gaze on Washington and its changing moods, has shrewdly noticed Riyadh’s fall from grace. Naik can now be taken to task. The change of heart on the evangelist also signals something important: New Delhi now feels secure in the thought that Sufism and mild Hanafi Sunnism most characterize Indian Muslims. Wahabism-Salafism is remote from the wider Islamic practice among India’s Sunnis.

Hillary Clinton. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Hillary Clinton. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Riyadh may be down, but it would be premature to count it out. After all, should Hillary Clinton enter the White House, who knows what might she not do for “Israel’s security”. Her email released by Wikileaks confirmed that the Obama administration had deliberately provoked the civil war in Syria as “the best way to help Israel”.

In an earlier email, she said: “The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.”

“Overthrowing Bashar Assad” was the one point theme former Saudi spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan had been instructed by the late King Abdullah to pursue. Typical of Prince Bandar’s style of diplomacy, he turned up at the Kremlin on a secret mission. He promised Putin a “terror-free” Sochi Olympic games if only he could have Assad’s head on a platter. Bandar was sidelined because he could not deliver on Syria.

So long as the Israeli military point of view is part of Western strategic thinking, a regime change in Damascus must re-surface as a Washington priority, should Hillary Clinton win.

Such an operation would require coordination with the Saudis as well. In other words, the current nosedive in Saudi saliency maybe quite as dramatically arrested. Zakir Naik’s protectors in Riyadh may yet be able to stiffen their sinews and summon up the blood. Good for Naik. Also, Delhi will then have to place Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s concerns in the balance. Apparently, Naik’s evangelical mesmerism is causing concerns in Dhaka where acts of terror have picked up in frequency, allegedly influenced by his eloquence. (IANS)

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