Groundbreaking Article by Dawud Walid

On September 7, 2016, Ustadh Dawud Walid published an article entitled: “The Danger of Imams Being Involved in Countering Violent Extremism (CVE).”

The full article is available here:

Ustadh Dawud Walid’s biography:


“My major concerns outside of the civil liberties realm pertaining to CVE have to do with the disempowerment, and in fact breach of trust, that CVE poses to Islamic religious leaders who collaborate with federal law enforcement with the generality of the community.”

“Religious leaders are being courted to play the role of adding to the obtuse intelligence gathering efforts that are currently taking place by the multiple law enforcement entities.”

“CVE also allows the federal government to indirectly shape the interpretation of Islam, which effectively defines who are the “Good Muslims” or “Moderate Muslims” and who are the bad Muslims. This is done through CVE presenting “counternarratives” to Muslims which includes through teachers and preachers of Islam.”

“It is not part of the federal government’s narrative that the illegal invasion of Iraq, support of Ethiopia’s bloody incursion into Somalia, the high percentage of drone strikes that kill civilians and other highly flawed policies are a primary fuel which lit the fire…”

“Thus Muslim leaders end up becoming messengers of counternarratives that are not designed to challenge underlying grievances…”

The early great scholars of Islam displayed high levels of integrity and did not wish to give the appearance of being compromised in their religious interpretations by governments. Hence those great personalities would advise governmental leaders when necessary, yet kept their distance from taking positions or accepting to act as de facto agents. Abu Hanifah, Malik, ash-Shafi’i and Ahmad bin Hanbal (may Allah have mercy upon them) advised sultans and spoke truth to them – Abu Hanifah and Malik were beaten for doing so while all four of those imams ended up being tossed in jail for keeping their independence. As our scholars and teachers must counter deviant interpretations of Islam, that endeavor should be done independent of reporting to the federal government, being influenced by it and/or taking funds from it under the framework of reporting to law enforcement. It is not an issue of disengagement from keeping our country safe but rather an issue of protecting our sacred tradition, community integrity while also helping to keep our country and our community safe on our own terms.”




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