Muslim store gets heat for selling al-Aulaqi sermons
By William Wan
A Halal store in the Washington D.C. suburbs is getting heat for selling CD sermons by Muslim cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, who has been in the news recently after calling for the killing of U.S. Citizens.
In a phone interview, employees of Halalco -- a popular supermarket in Falls Church, Va., that caters to the D.C.'s Muslim community -- confirmed they were selling CDs and DVDs of old al-Awlaki sermons, but said they were comprised of religious teachings and not the extremist and anti-American rhetoric he has become known for in recent years.
Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network caught wind of the CDs and sent a crew out to investigate. They aired their broadcast earlier today. And it caused store to pull all the sermons from their in-store inventory as well as their online catalog.
"We are just a supermarket. We sell halal meat and groceries and gifts from abroad. We don't have any associations with anyone or promote anyone's particular philosophy," said Mohammad Ayaz, a store employee.
The owner of the store, Abdul Mateen Chida, was traveling out of state, said Ayaz. "But I want people to know he is a good man. There is no bias or extremism here. We have workers who are Sunnis, Shiite, Christian, Asian, African here."
Anwar al-Aulaqi was also once an imam at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Va., near Halalco, but worshipers there say his speeches were not radical when he was serving there and he subsequently was denounced by the mosque.
Al-Aulaqi's sermons was just a small part of a large catalog of cleric sermons sold at the store, Ayaz said. "We understand the current situation and sensitivity around this man, and we've removed all his sermons from the store."
William Wan| June 2, 2010; 2:49 PM ET | Category: God in Government Save & Share:
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