Radicalism or extremism is a tendency in the human heart that finds expression in diverse ideologies that are only superficially different.
When I was young my mother had a close friend from Cyprus. I grew up hearing her tell horrifying stories of the Turks' invasion of her home. This woman was very beloved to me. When told her in 1992 I had become a Muslim, the look of shock and anger on her face was hard to bear. "No, Randy, no!" she wailed. She had known me since I was in my mother's womb. I knew I had let her down, sold her out, betrayed her.
If anyone had any doubt that ISIS are from the khawarij sect, and not "Sunni extremists," much less the Muslims' champions, read no further than the latest edition of Rumiyya, ISIS's filthy Satan-glorifying propaganda rag.
The Associated Press has a new story out about me, my case, and my release from prison: "Randall Royer grew up in the Midwest, a suburban St. Louis kid. By the time he was 21, he had converted to Islam and changed his name to Ismail Royer, fighting in Bosnia alongside fellow Muslims against Serbian ethnic cleansing...."
When you hear about someone leaving Islam, you may imagine it has something to do with religious beliefs. On some technical level it surely does. But I think the reason usually has nothing to do with, say, rational rejection of one of the six pillars of faith. Rather, most people I've known who left Islam did so because they became disillusioned. And nothing causes a Muslim to feel disillusioned about Islam but the bad character of other Muslims.
When I was confined in ADX Florence, the most secure and restrictive prison in the United States, I conducted an eighteen-month long debate with Richard Reid, aka the Shoebomber, through notes we passed between us. Here are some of those notes...
The Islam of the American Muslim community is morphing into a cultural identity whose defining components are not spiritual and moral substance but rather victimhood and resentment of the dominant culture’s “oppression.”
I converted to Islam at a stage in my life in which I was obsessed with the struggle for social justice. This was the era of Iran-Contra, the first Gulf War, and the Rodney King riots. I’d taken my knowledge of history from Noam Chomsky and of current events from the Dead Kennedys and Public Enemy. At that time I’d been having a lot of debates with a Muslim friend of mine over the existence of God and the value of religion. Through very subtle and beautiful arguments he awakened in my soul the awareness of God’s reality. And he advised me that I should become a Muslim, in part, because Islam was the best way to achieve justice in a society I felt was sorely missing it.
When I was transferred in 2015 to a new prison, I met a young Pakistani brother that I took a liking to. Like me, he had been convicted of providing material support to the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, although I’d been in prison much longer than him, and the “support” he’d contributed was so ephemeral that it rendered his 13-year sentence a mockery of justice...
"Defendant’s sneering argument that plaintiff is not prejudiced by all this delay by defendant because he remains incarcerated is beyond the Court’s comprehension. The whole point of this litigation is whether defendant can continue to single out plaintiff for special treatment as a terrorist during his continued period of incarceration. Did any supervising attorney ever read this nonsense that is being argued to this Court?"