Backgrounder: Revolution Muslim
Posted: June 30, 2010
Islam Policy is the name under which Revolution Muslim (RM) has been operating since November 2010 when the Web site of RM was shut down. The group's leader, Younus Abullah Muhammad, launched a new Web site named Islam Policy, which he designated "the new home of Revolution Muslim." Under the new name, the group continues to advocate against democracy and the West and in support of terrorism.
The launch of Islam Policy came after several RM activists and followers of RM's Web site in the U.S. and Britain were implicated in terror-related criminal cases. These included Bilal Zaheer Ahmad, who is awaiting trial in Britain for soliciting murder in connection to a statement he published on the RM Web site. (According to reports, the site was shut down in reaction to this posting.) The formation of Islam Policy followed a split in the group's leadership, which led it to denounce its founder, Yousef al-Khattab. In another significant development, around the time that Islam Policy was launched, Abdullah Muhammad left New York for Morocco.
According to Abdullah Muhammad, the new name and Web site were not just a response to outside pressures, but also part of an evolution that corresponded with the changing priorities of Muslims. In announcing the move to Islam Policy, he wrote that "it is imperative at this juncture that we redefine our mission, advance our platform, and improve our position."
Shortly after Islamic Policy was established, it published a policy statement titled "On Crafting Islamic Policy: The Methodology of Islamic Social Sciences," in which Abdullah Muhammad discussed the group's new priorities, emphasizing its function as a Muslim NGO and a think tank that promotes discussion on policies in the Muslim world. He wrote that "the purpose of [Islam Policy] will be to insert fresh analysis and thereby policy ideas into the public forum" with the aim of fighting against "the coerced 'secularization' of Islamic societies."
Though Abdullah Muhammad describes the role of Islam Policy strictly in relation to its intellectual contribution, the policy statement also pays tribute to "Islamic terrorism" and asserts that "in order for policy analysis to be effective, an activist component must also exist."
Since Abdullah Muhammad has moved to Morocco and others parted with the group, Islam Policy has not staged the kind of street activity that RM used to hold, which included protests and distribution of CDs and printed materials outside mosques during Friday services and at anti-Israel rallies, mostly in New York City. Still, through its online activity. Islam Policy continues to play an important role as a distributor of pro-terrorist propaganda in English.
In confirmation of the role that Islam Policy continues to play among networks of Al Qaeda supporters in the West, on March 18, 2011 Abdullah Muhammad spoke at an online conference alongside several prominent activists linked to a banned extremist British group, Al Muhajiroun. Speakers included Omar Bakri Mohammad, the founder of Al Muhajiroun who is currently based in Lebanon, Anjem Choudary, the leader in Britain of the various Al Muhajiroun offshoot groups, and Abdullah al-Faisal, formerly RM's spiritual leader who is based in Jamaica. The six-hour conference, which was titled "Islam Rising," was held in Authentic Tauheed, al-Faisal's chat room, which is streamed permanently on the Web site of Islam Policy.
In his address at the conference, Abdullah Muhammad called bin Laden "the noble sheik" and cited as visionary "his  opening declaration of jihad against the Americans and Jewish allies." He emphasized the centrality of violence in advancing the cause of Islam, stating: "Oh Muslims, we are a nation that relishes death, praise to God, we love to die in the way of Allah in jihad. He cited "the Manhattan raids of 9-11" as the best example for "the way forward," and said in response to uprisings in the Middle East: "We do not believe in mass protest movements."
Islam Policy uses several Internet sites to spread its message. Aside from its own Web site, Islam Policy posts information to several Facebook pages and has a YouTube channel. It also has documents in the file sharing site Scribd. In addition, as part of Islam Policy's attempt to portray itself as a serious policy think tank, Abdullah Muhammad gives online academic-style lessons through WiZiQ, a Web site that serves as both an online educational platform and a social networking site.
The main channel of Islam Policy, however, remains its official Web site. For the most part, Web posts include articles and videos from various sources, among them non-extremist sources, which Islam Policy evidently sees as supporting its views about capitalism, democracy and other issues. For the most part, Islam Policy limits its editorial contribution to the headline and short comments.
The videos and articles posted to Islam Policy come from Muslim extremists from around the world. Islam Policy's headlines and commentary often express sympathy with the extremist content. For example, on April 3, 2011, Islam Policy posted a video under the headline "Brothers in UK Protest Western Intervention in Muslim Land," which showed Anjem Choudary leading his follower in chants of "U.S.A go to hell!"
Islam Policy regularly posts statements from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the shadow government of the Afghan Taliban, including a statement it posted in March 30, 2011, which called on revolutions in the Middle East to shun democracy and embrace an Islamic system as the "only option." That statement also denounced the U.S., claiming that it "declared a Crusade against the Islamic World to destroy the light of Islam once and for all."
Other Islam Policy postings included a Holocaust denial video by conspiracy theorist Anthony Lawson; a posting praising civic efforts of Islamic militant Al Shabaab in Somalia; a statement by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's second-in-command; and a link to an online PDF of the Fifth issue of Inspire, the English-language magazine of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. (The latter post included a disclaimer that read: "For informational and academic purposes only.")
While the new Islam Policy Web site may use less threatening language, on February 2, 2011 it posted a video of physical assault against CNN reporter Anderson Cooper by demonstrators in Cairo, commenting: "The time is now, Anderson Cooper is an enemy of Islam, a propagator of the dawa of the Devil. We implore the Egyptians to run him out of dodge by any means necessary..."