DUBAI: The Salafi preacher Dr. Tariq Abdelhaleem, 70, justifies suicide bombings, advocates terror attacks and calls for global armed Islamist revolution.
That he does this while living a privileged life in Canada, protected by free-speech laws, makes him not just a bigot, but a hypocrite.
And it is why he is the subject today of Preachers of Hate, the Arab News series that analyzes militant extremists and their malign influence on those who follow them.
In Abdelhaleem’s case, those followers number in the millions, to whom he spreads his bile on YouTube, Twitter and his own website.
Abdulhaleem commands a mass audience by taking advantage of the freedoms granted by his adopted country, where he has lived since the 1980s, Dr. Hani Nasira, an expert on ideological movements, told Arab News.
“His bet is on a global armed Islamist revolution. He also calls for individual jihadist attacks and offers religious justification for suicide bombings,” Nasira said.
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Born in Cairo, Abdulhaleem was an early proponent of violent extremism. After settling in Canada he founded the Dar Al-Arqam Institution and began teaching a course in Sharia. He also edited Ummat Al-Islam, a periodical that appears in both Arabic and English, for several years in Toronto.
Abdelhaleem has endorsed Al-Qaeda, and struggled to choose between them and Daesh. “The establishment of Daesh … has revived in the hearts of many Muslims a dream that was hard to achieve, but now seems em and Daescloser,” he said.