Imam Abdul Alim Musa is the founder and director of the As-Sabiqun movement, which aims to “enable Islam to take complete control of … the lives of all human beings on Earth.” He serves as director of Masjid Al-Islam in Washington, DC, and is a senior member of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) — a pro-Iranian, pro-Hezbollah, Islamist think tank. Musa also sits on the governing body of the Muslim Alliance of North America, which is headed by Siraj Wahhaj. In addition, Musa is a frequent speaker on American college campuses, often at the invitation of the Muslim Student Union and chapters of the Muslim Students Association. In 2004 the San Francisco Bay View described Musa as “one of the highest-ranking Islamic leaders in the Black community, nationwide and specifically in the Islamic movement.”
Born in Arkansas as Clarence Reams, Musa was raised in Oakland, California during the 1960s, when he embraced the ideology of the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam. According to his As-Sabiqun biography, Musa at that time became a “leading cocaine-exporter in Colombia” and he met exiled Black Panther leaders such as Eldridge Cleaver and Pete O’Neal in Algeria. After returning to the U.S., Musa surrendered to law-enforcement authorities and served some time in prison. While incarcerated, he converted to Islam and took his present name.
During the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Musa announced his support for Ayatollah Khomeini. Since the early 1980s, Musa has made a number of visits to Iran as a representative of Muslims in the United States and has declared his support for Iran’s “Islamic revival.”
In November 1996, Musa was a featured speaker at a conference, titled “In Pursuit of the Power of Islam,” which called for the creation of an Islamic state in London. Fellow conference speakers included Muhammad al-Asi, the neo-Nazi Ahmed Huber, and Ayatollah Taskhiri (who headed the International Department Office of Imam Khamanei). The printed program,+Hizbullah,+Hamas+and+other+parts+of+the+Global+Islamic+Movement%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us) for this event also advertised the participation of “representatives of FIS (Islamic Salvation Front), Hizbullah, Hamas and other parts of the Global Islamic Movement.”
At a June 2000 event in Baltimore (organized by Jamaat al-Muslimeen), Musa lauded Jamil Al-Amin, who, under the name H. Rap Brown, had served as a Minister of Justice for the Black Panther Party in the 1960s, and who would later be convicted of the March 16, 2000 murder of a police officer. Said Musa:
“Al-Amin … turned his ideas, his belief in Islam, into practical solutions for society. And they can’t stand that. Just like our brother said: the Zionist[s] are the same today as they was then. In those days [in Arabia before the ascendance of Islam] they controlled the liquor market in Medina … and the Zionists kept the Arab leaders broke and drunk … the yahud [Jew, in Arabic] were seating back and had each one of them [Arab clans] fighting each other because the leaders was both drunken and they was all in owe (sic) to the same Yahud … he was manipulating the Arabs … then Islam came. We’re the pioneers here of Islam in America … Islam went everywhere in the world… so why can’t Islam take over America … We are on the right road.”
At an October 28, 2000 “Jerusalem Day” rally in Washington, DC, Musa praised Muslims who had died as suicide bombers:
“We celebrate our young brothers, that’s right, we celebrate those shuhada [martyrs]. They are not dead. They say that we lose people by the hundreds. The Zionist, when they get hit they are dead. They are dead and gone and they are headed for gehenna [Hell], isn’t that right? But our people, when they leave this world, they’re headed for jinnah [Paradise]….
At a June 8, 2002 event in DC, Musa would echo these sentiments again:
“When they [Muslims] go out and strike at the heart of Zionism, they are not suicide bombers, they are heroes, they are ‘she-roes’ [female heroes], isn’t that right? That’s a part of our deen, that’s a part of our religion. Let’s not become weak-boned and apologetic …”
On January 21, 2001, the Muslim Students Association of UCLA sponsored an event titled “Shaping Our Perspective: Our Role in a Changing World,” where guest speaker Musa predicted the imminent destruction of America:
“If you were to say [years ago] that the Soviet Union was [would be] wiped off the face of the earth … people would have thought you were crazy, right? The people of Afghanistan didn’t have the intellect or historical knowledge to know that they wasn’t supposed to wipe out the Soviet Union, is that right? … We saw the fall of one so-called superpower; Old [Uncle] Sam is next.”
Two days before 9/11 — at a September 9, 2001 fundraiser at UC Irvine on behalf of the cop-killer Jamil Al-Amin — Musa said:
“Imam Jamil coined a phrase, and that phrase meant this: ‘If you don’t give us justice. If you don’t give us equality. If you don’t give us our share of America. If you don’t stay out of our way and leave us alone, we’re gonna burn America down.”
“… this way of life known as Islam will dominate all other ways of life … Allah says that Islam will rise to its proper position in the world whether these [Western] mushricks … get together, still Islam will reign supreme whether they like it or not.”
At that same event, Musa said the following about Israel: “America placed this sword, this cancer, this Zionist state in the center of the crossroads of the world.” He also assailed “Zionists in Hollywood, the Zionists in New York, and the Zionists in DC” who “all collaborate” to oppress blacks and Muslims.
In April 2002, Musa moderated an anti-Israel rally sponsored by International ANSWER. During this event, where a large Hezbollah flag was prominently displayed, numerous speakers openly called for the destruction of Israel.
At a May 24, 2003 “Muslim Solidarity Day” rally organized by the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, Musa disputed the notion that violent jihad is antithetical to authentic Islam:
“We have Imams going on television and radio talking about how there is no Jihad in Islam. Oh no, [they say], there is no Jihad in Islam. [They say] Islam means peace. But Allah says he loves those who fight in his way…. So when we have leaders in Palestine going out and fighting in the way of Allah, [our] Imams should not be jumping up on television talking about how they are suicide bombers. They are not suicide bombers. They are martyrs. The Zionists are suicide bombers.”
In May 2007, Musa again lauded those who sought to honor Allah by means of violence:
“… [T]hey tell the weak-minded Muslims here in America, ‘Don’t talk about jihad.’ One of the big leaders here got up and said, ‘There’s no jihad in Koran.’ I say, He must be reading a different book, than we read, cause jihad, mujahadin … In fact Allah says in the Koran if can remember, [several words in Arabic]. This is what it says in the original language. What does that mean? That Allah loves those who fight in his cause.”
In a January 2004 interview with the San Francisco Bay View, Musa denounced the white racism that allegedly permates American society. He said:
“When 9/11 happened, the only people who understood it really was Black people. They know that when you have an election-stealing president that has no credibility, he needs something to make him presidential…. Black Amerikkkans [the three k’s are intended to equate America with the Ku Klux Klan] understand the Amerikkkan system …”
In a February 18, 2007 television interview, Musa said, “If bin Laden is a Muslim and if he is alive … I have to like him.” Musa added that Hezbollah is not a terrorist group, but rather “a great movement and a great organization.” With regard to Hamas, he said: “Hamas just means enthusiasm…. I know Hamas. They are nice people. Very nice people.”
According to Musa, the 9/11 terrorist attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. and Israeli governments in order to provide a pretext for waging war against Islam. At an October 5, 2006 rally outside the White House, he put it this way:
“We got to get rid of this new Hitler [President Bush].… Just like Hitler burned the Reichstag … to gain full power over the people … George Bush brings down the World Trade Center, blames it on us [Muslims] and then claims himself dictator over the world.”
“When you hear about some bomber that blew up the World Trade Center or blew up this or blew up that, I’m telling you brothers and sisters, that is your CIA. That is your government blowing up people, blaming it on us … Didn’t Adolph Hitler burn the Reichstag, blame it on the people and he became the Fuhrer and what happened? He could suspend civil liberties. And he could wipe out and he could war against all of his enemies. That’s what Adolph Hitler did, isn’t that right? He burned the Reichstag himself…. They blew up the World Trade Center, blamed it on us, and then come out with the PATRIOT Act and all these criminal laws. Right?”
At the same event, Musa said:
“Who ran the slave trade … who funded [it]? You’ll study and you will find out: the Jews … It was the Jewish bankers … in Vienna, with pockets full of money, funding and insuring, that’s who did it…. you can’t tell us about no holocaust. Between the African Americans and the Native Americans, everybody else’s stuff was [supposedly] small potatoes [according to Jews].”
In June 2007, Musa again held the U.S. and Israel culpable for both attacks on the World Trade Center (in 1993 and 2001). He said:
“They blew up the World Trade Center [in 1993] … And from that we got the anti-terrorism bill. From that we got …. spies in the Masjid. We got phone taps, right? We got secret evidence. We got a whole plethora of injustices against the Muslim because of the demonization of the Muslims in the Western press. And even the whole bombing of this World Trade Center #1 was suspicious. And we said at that point that we believe the Israelis did it because of their motto, ‘By deception, we rule.’ Now, when World Trade Center #2 came along [the 9/11 attacks],… the Israelis again, and the Americans themselves …”1
In November 2008, Musa was the featured speaker at an event sponsored by the Towson University Muslim Students Association. There, Musa told his listeners that the United States and Israel were responsible for the 9/11 attacks; that President-elect Barack Obama was an “idiot” because “no black man should believe in America”; that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a coward who should have advocated violence as a means of winning civil rights for blacks; that no Islamic terrorist entity named al-Qaeda even existed; that the war on drugs “has broken down the backbone of the blacks”; and that America’s war on terror was a war against Islam. Further, Musa pledged that he would work tirelessly to transform the United States into an Islamic, Sharia-governed state by no later than the year 2050.
Musa also has accused the FBI of secretly poisoning its enemies and causing them to suffer strokes. “All of a sudden they [even those in perfect health] have a stroke,” he said. “That’s your FBI.”2
Musa supports former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill because “his views are very close to ours.”
Portions of this profile have been adapted, with permission, from the Investigative Project on Terrorism entry on imam Abdul Alim Musa. Portions of this profile have also been adapted, with permission, from Stand4Facts.org.