Backgrounder: Revolution Muslim
Posted: June 30, 2010
Updated: February 2012
Revolution Muslim (RM) is a fringe anti-Semitic Muslim organization that justifies terrorist attacks and other forms of violence against non-Muslims and seeks "the dismantlement of western, secular dominance across the world," according to its Web site. It is mostly active in New York. RM was mostly active in New York until the end of 2010 when its leader moved to Morocco. Currently, RM generally operates under the name Islam Policy.
RM's statements include implicit, if not explicit, threats of violence and its radical ideology is rooted in the propagation of violence. For example, in April 2010, Zachary Chesser, a member of RM who was arrested and charged in July 2010 for attempting to travel to Somalia to fight with the terrorist group Al Shabaab, posted entries to the RM Web site targeting the creators of South Park for satirizing issues surrounding the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. One posting included a picture of the assassination of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by a Muslim extremist in 2004 with the caption: "Theo Van Gogh – Have Matt Stone And Trey Parker Forgotten This?" The post, which also included the address to Stone and Parker's offices, asks readers to "contact them" or "pay Comedy Central…a visit."
RM's Web site has also included less veiled threats. In October 2009, the site featured a poem asking God to "kill the Jews" that listed ways Jews could be hurt, including by burning "their flammable sukkos while they sleep" and throwing "liquid drain cleaner in their faces." In January 2009, in response to the Israeli military operation against Hamas in Gaza, RM posted a picture on its Web site of Chabad's world headquarters in Brooklyn with a message encouraging readers to "make EVERY attempt to reach these people and teach them the message of Islam or leave them a message from Islam." The posting, which was titled "Do Not Let Orthodox Judaism Get Away From Murder in Ghaza," reportedly prompted a police investigation.
As a result of publishing a list of members of Parliament in the UK and how to track them in November 2010, the RM site was taken down (the materials from the site can now be found on a site called Islam Policy). The list was posted following the conviction of Roshonara Choudhry, a British woman who stabbed a former MP and reportedly claims that RM's site influenced her.
RM's activity goes well beyond its online presence. The group has organized numerous anti-Israel demonstrations, protested outside mosques and distributed its materials on the streets. During its protest of the 2010 Salute to Israel Parade in New York City, RM leader Younes Abdullah Muhammad declared: "We gather here to express our animosity and hatred for not only the state of Israel but all those that support it…" He went on to quote a Muslim text saying, "the Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews and when the Jews will hide behind the stones and the trees, the stones and the trees will then say: 'oh [Muslims] there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."
One of the participants at RM's protest of the 2010 Salute to Israel Parade was Mohamed Mahmood Alessa. Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte were arrested in June 2010 for allegedly planning to kill American soldiers overseas. While it is unclear how closely linked Alessa and Almonte are to RM, their alleged plan to travel to Somalia to fight with an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group is consistent with RM ideology and advocacy.
RM, which has only a handful of active members, was founded in 2007 by Yousef al-Khattab and Younes Abdullah Muhammad, both converts to Islam, to promote the ideas of Abdullah al-Faisal, a Jamaica-born Muslim preacher who served four years in a British prison for urging his followers to kill non-Muslims, including Americans, Hindus and Jews.
In December 2009, al-Khattab announced that the leadership of the group was being handed to Abdullah as-Sayf Jones, a convert to Islam who had previously organized RM activity in Florida. By April 2010, Jones left the group after an apparent falling out with Abdullah Muhammad and Chesser over disagreements on religious doctrinal issues. Currently, RM appears to have no official hierarchy, but Abdullah Muhammad is the acting leader of the group.
A version of this report was published in June 2009.