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The Preachers of Hate Series: Pt. 2 – Kamal Saleem

Following on from the initial post in my Preachers of Hate series introducing the first of the ‘Three Stooges’ of the Christian right, Walid Shoebat. I would like to continue with the introduction of Stooge number two, Kamal Saleem. Another ex-Muslim terrorist turned born-again Christian. Or so his self-confession goes. As in Shoebat’s case Saleem’s biography doesn’t stand up to even the mildest scrutiny.

The biography from his memoir The Blood of Lambs states:

Born in 1957 into a large Sunni Muslim Lebanese family in the heart of the Middle East, Kamal Saleem was breastfed Islamic radicalism by his mother, and taught to hate Jews and Christians by his father. His cousin was the Grand Mufti of Beirut. Recruited by the Muslim Brotherhood for jihadi militancy as a small child, he completed his first bloody terror mission into Israel for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) at the age of seven.

Like a star U.S. college football running back, Kamal ran important terror operations as a young man in the service of Yassir Arafat, under the coaching Abu Yussif and Abu Zayed (PLO/Fatah). He has worked for, and dined with, Muhamar Kaddafi (dictator of Libya). He has “carried the ball” for Baath Party leaders and military attaches of Saddam Hussein (dictator of Iraq) and Hafez al Assad (dictator of Syria), for Saudi Arabian sheikhs and princes, and for Abdul Rahman (Muslim Brotherhood). Kamal Saleem fought with the Afghan Mujahadeen for victory against the Soviets… before he and his patrons turned their attention to the destruction of the West – and Western freedoms – through Islamicization. Above all, Kamal thirsted for jihadic death to America.

He was well prepared: After mastering every form of offensive and defensive terror tactic, Kamal Saleem slipped into Europe and then the United States to make Islamic converts — and to radicalize them, along with assimilated Muslims, into vicious intolerance.

In 1985, Kamal’s world changed when he was injured in a serious automobile accident. At that accident scene a Christian man tended to Kamal and made sure he got the medical treatment he needed. Kamal had a spiritual journey and eventually converted to Christianity.

Prof. Doug Howard, a Saleem sceptic comments:

The book fits the familiar pattern of reassuring Christians of the superiority of their own faith tradition by negative comparisons with a dehumanized Islam. I first encountered Kamal Saleem when he appeared at Calvin College in November 2007. A look at his website told me immediately that he was not who he said he was. He told stories, now repeated in The Blood of Lambs, of being recruited as a child for missions against Israel via tunnels under the Golan Heights, disguised as sheep; of visions of a rider on a white horse who, drawn swords in hand, commanded him to sever the heads of the infidels.

He gets those emphatic rivals, the PLO and the Muslim Brotherhood, both to recruit him. He recalls the intricate details of raids he carried out at age seven. Abu Jihad himself teaches him how to use an AK-47. He is shown off by Yasser Arafat as a model warrior. In Libya at age 14 he has Muammar Qaddafi gushing in gratitude. In Iraq, he waves to Saddam Hussein. He only meets one man smarter than himself, an American commander of the mujahidin at al-Qaeda, “the base,” in Afghanistan. No major war of liberation in the Arab world seems to have gone off without his expertise.

Professor Douglas Howard teaches the history of the modern Middle East at Calvin College in Michigan, where Kamal Saleem spoke last November. He was shocked to hear Saleem claim that a member of his family was the “the Grand Wazir of Islam.”

“Wazir is a variation of vizier,” Professor Howard explained. “The Grand Vizier was a political role in the Ottoman empire. No Muslim would ever claim that in connection with the role of mufti, which is a scholar of Islamic texts. It’s like someone saying they were the governor of Christianity.”

Chris Hedges of Truthdig:

Kamal Saleem claim’s to be the descendant of someone called the “The Grand Wazir of Islam,” which  Hedges points out is ”a title and a position that do not exist in the Arab world.” It can be further noted that the religion of Islam has no clerical hierarchy similar to the Catholic Church with defined positions such as the Pope, Bishops, Priests, etc. Kamal’s blooper in his bio is either a result of an ignorance of Islam and its structure or an attempt to manipulate the ignorance of his audience. Saleem says that as a child he infiltrated Israel to plant bombs via a network of tunnels underneath the Golan Heights, although no incident of this type was ever reported in Israel.

CAIR-MI – The Muslim Watch:

It’s also very interesting that Saleem claims to have been a terrorist inspired by Islam as a member of the secular, Marxist influenced PLO, whose long time executive committee member and long time spokeswoman, Hanan Ashrawi, was a Christian. Saleem wants us to believe that Ashrawi, George Habash and the countless others from Christian backgrounds in the secular PLO were also inspired by Islam as he claims was his “terrorist” motive in dealing with the pesky problem of illegal Israeli occupation.

Furthermore the Muslim Brotherhood, who Saleem claims he had dual affiliation with, was averse to the secular, Marxist leaning PLO during the time that he claimed to have been a member. In fact, it is also well known that the Muslim Brotherhood inspired Hamas was supported by Israel to be an “Islamist” counter to the secular PLO/Fatah. To this day, Hamas and the PLO have been at odds with each other to the point of killing each other in the streets of Palestine in recent years. Hence, Saleem’s claim of being an “Islamist” terrorist in the PLO while having felicity to the Muslim Brotherhood is utterly preposterous.

If he were indeed an “ex-terrorist,” I’m sure that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would have deported him by now for fraud because people with terrorism ties cannot get entry visas much less obtain American citizenship. And the FBI does not simply let “ex-terrorists” walk the streets because they claim to have received the “Holy Ghost” without detaining them for questioning. Changing idelogies does not absolve persons under American law from terrorism ties that they admit to.

Reza Aslan:

Here’s a question: if the claims of these three are true, why aren’t they in Guantanamo?

Mikey Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which has worked tirelessly to uncover precisely the kinds of constitutional violations of church and state that occurred when these three spoke, or rather, witnessed, at the Air Force Academy, put it this way: “If their claims are true, these alleged ex-terrorists should be deported or prosecuted, unless our government now considers conversion to fundamentalist Christianity a reason to disregard prior terrorist activities. If their claims are fabricated, they have criminally defrauded every institution that has paid them to speak.”

Strangely, no arrests warrants have yet been issued.

Yayah Snow at The Facts About Islam has exposed Saleem’s dishonesty by uncovering contradictory accounts of his conversion:

Conversion Story 1 – ABNSAT

In this conversion story Kamal Saleem is hospitalized through a car crash and ‘Jesus’ came to him whilst he is on his hospital bed and healed his bones. 

Conversion story 2 – KSLTV

In this conversion story, the doctors and the man who tended to him on the road (post crash) changed Kamal Saleem’s life. There is NO claim of ‘Jesus’ paying him a hospital visit and healing his bones. In fact this conversion story is very much due to the love Christians offered to him.

Conversion story 3 – CBN

In this conversion story, Kamal Saleem was healed by the doctors through conventional medical means (in this version, ‘Jesus’ did not heal him nor did he visit him at hospital ).

Kamal Saleem went to the doctor’s home to convalesce and fully recuperate after being discharged from hospital. Once he was well enough to take care of himself, Kamal Saleem had his hospital bills paid for by donations from local Christians and was also given a new car. He went home and questioned his ‘Muslim faith’ and then had a vision of ‘Jesus’ in his home. 

In this astonishing video Saleem appears to be literally making things up as he goes along. He claims to be hafiz, which means he memorised the Qur’an, and recited it 3 times by the time he was 10. He claims to have studied at Al Azhar Achareef University in Beirut. Which would be fine, apart from the fact that Al Azhar is the most famous and prestigious university in the Muslim world, and located in Cairo, Egypt. A Muslim as devout as he claims to have been would know this. He also recites random Arabic phrases and passes them off as hadith and quranic verses. They are all totally non-existent.

From the Village Voice:

Omar Khalifah, a student present at the now notorious conference at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, said.  “We left our study for one week to try to find solutions, not to listen to a person who is speaking as a preacher, as if he is in a church.” Khalifah, who is from Jordan, says he was shocked and offended by the proselytizing he saw. Instead of educating their audience, Khalifah and other grad students say, the speakers denounced Islam and promoted Christianity.

Khalifah and other New Yorkers say they were initially annoyed at the trio’s alarmist rhetoric, including claims that jihadist ideology is being taught in 90 percent of American mosques, and the characterization of Islam as an inherently violent religion. But they were truly offended by Shoebat’s announcement that converting Muslims to Christianity was a good way to defeat terrorism.

Columbia law student Ernest Jedrzejewski compares the presentation to a Christian tent revival. “All we needed was a light from above and someone to suddenly get over an incurable illness,” he says.

Just like Shoebat, Saleem is an associate of Rev. Pat Robertson having worked for his Christian Broadcasting Network. Robertson is a Southern Baptist evangelist with a history of controversial statements. Some choice examples include:

Claiming some protestant denominations harboured the spirit of the antichrist.

Robertson stated that the acceptance of homosexuality could result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombings and “possibly a meteor.” The resulting outcry prompted Robertson to return to the topic on June 24, where he quoted the Book of Revelation to support his claims.

The lead story on the January 5, 2006, edition of The 700 Club was Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s hospitalization for a severe stroke. After the story, Robertson said that Sharon’s illness was possibly retribution from God for his recent drive to give more land to the Palestinians.

On Muslims and their faith: “These people are crazed fanatics, and I want to say it now: I believe it’s motivated by demonic power. It is satanic and it’s time we recognize what we’re dealing with.”

On March 23, 1995, Pat Robertson led a television program in which he attacked Hinduism, calling it “demonic”.

On the January 13, 2010 broadcast of The 700 Club, Robertson blamed the Haitians for making a deal with the Devil during their 1791 slave rebellion, resulting in the Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010 and other misfortunes.

In 2006 Saleem founded Koome Ministries which according to their website:

The intended impact of Koome Ministries is:

  • Call the church to PRAYER that all may see the redeeming power of praying for our enemies and to pray for Muslims – Daily (Luke 6:27)
  • To wake up, educate, and train the Christian and Jewish communities on the impending dangers of radical Islam
  • To reach the Muslims with the redemptive message of Christ and
  • To teach the Church “relationship evangelism” in order to reach Muslims with the Truth.

Taking all of the evidence into account i.e. the wildly fantastical biography, the glaring errors, self contradictions and complete fabrications, it’s impossible to take any of Saleem’s claims seriously. It would appear that he has never been a Muslim, let alone an Islamic jihadist. In fact, all indications point to him being a lifelong Christian. As with Shoebat, his history is an invention to gain credibility and it seems is being used as a smokescreen to proselytize to students and soldiers and demonise Islam and Muslims.

Links to full articles quoted in this post are below:

http://mujtahed.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/kamal-saleem-the-fraud/

http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/2010/10/abnsat-hoax-kamal-saleems-fanciful.html

http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/search/label/Kamal%20Saleem

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080211_the_war_against_tolerance/

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/02/27/apparently-terrorism-pays-it-pays-very-well/

http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-02-19/news/reformed-muslim-terrorists-preach-christ-to-college-kids/2/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-rodda/iobsessioni-stars-have-le_b_126693.html

http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/04/the-three-stooges-coming-to-a-campus-near-you/

http://www.loonwatch.com/tag/kamal-saleem/

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