The PJ Tatler

Rewind: Awlaki defends Taliban in 2001 Washington Post live chat on Ramadan

Back when Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was the go-tomoderate” for the establishment media, the Washington Post got in on the game too, featuring Awlaki in a November 19, 2001 chat on Ramadan where he defended the Taliban:

Alexandria, Va.:I saw your video on the Washington Post website this morning. Perhaps I am too biased as an American, but just what other avenues should or could the US have tried as opposed to as you put it – ‘rushing into this war’?Also, like we say ‘Merry Christmas’, is there any special greeting Muslims use during Ramadan?

Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki: The Taliban repeatedly said: show us the evidence and we will turn over whoever is guilty with the crime. The US should have given them the benefit of the doubt. Also our government could have dealt with the terrorist attacks as a crime against America rather than a war against America. So the guilty would be tried and only them would be punished rather than bombing an already destroyed country. I do not restrict myself to US media. I check out Aljazeerah and European media such as the BBC. I am seeing something that you are not seeing because of the one-sidedness of the US media. I see the carnage of Afghanistan. I see the innocent civilian deaths. That is why my opinion is different.

Keep in mind that I have no sympathy for whoever committed the crimes of Sep 11th. But that doesn’t mean that I would approve the killing of my Muslim brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. Even though this is a dissenting view nowadays but as an American I do have the right to have a contrary opinion.

You can congratulate your Muslim friends with “Ramadan Mubarak”

It is worthy of mention that the Washington Post has since pulled their online video featuring Awlaki that accompanied the live chat. No doubt that video disappeared before publishing their Feb. 2008 article, “Imam from VA mosque now thought to have aided Al-Qaeda” (which curiously makes no note of his Nov. 2001 online chat).

Previous installments in this series:

Rewind: New York Times hailed Awlaki as “a new generation of Muslim leader”

Rewind: NPR says Awlaki can “build bridges between Islam and the West”

Rewind: Anwar al-Awlaki leads prayers inside U.S. Capitol for congressional Muslim staffers

Rewind: Awlaki lectures on Islam inside the Pentagon after 9/11 attacks

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