This was the mosque where Democrat politicians, and then DNC Chair Tim Kaine, were invited guests at an annual fundraiser (Kaine & Jim Moran cancelled). According to this statement from today on the mosque website:
Today, the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center received the news of the death of a former Imam, Anwar Al-Awlaki. While employed at Dar Al-Hijrah, he was known for his interfaith outreach, civic engagement, and tolerance in the Northern Virginia community.
However, after Mr. Al-Awlaki's departure in 2002, he was arrested by Yemeni authorities and allegedly tortured. It was then that Al-Awlaki began preaching violence. He was killed violently in an apparent drone strike today. In recent years, while in his self-imposed exile, Mr. Al-Awlaki encouraged impressionable American-Muslims to attack their own country. Al-Awlaki will no longer spread his hate speech over the internet to Muslim youth provoking them to engage in violence against Americans.
We reiterate that as an American faith community we do not accept violence nor extremism and recommit ourselves to our message living our faith in peace, tolerance, and the promotion of the public good.
We must also add that in previous statements we have rejected the use of extra-judicial assassination of any human being and especially an American citizen which includes Al-Awlaki. We reiterate our commitment to "due process under law" and justice and are concerned that the alleged drone attack sends the wrong message to law abiding people around the world.
Really? Well, according to the Washington ComPost, in this 2008 story:
Even before the 2001 terrorist attacks, American-born imam Anwar al-Aulaqi drew the attention of federal authorities because of his possible connections to al-Qaeda. Their interest grew after 9/11, when it turned out that three of the hijackers had spent time at his mosques in California and Falls Church, but he was allowed to leave the country in 2002.
New information later surfaced about his contacts with extremists while in the United States. Now, U.S. officials are saying for the first time that they believe that Aulaqi worked with al-Qaeda networks in the Persian Gulf after leaving Northern Virginia. In mid-2006, Aulaqi was detained in Yemen at the request of the United States. To the dismay of U.S. authorities, Aulaqi was released in December.
"There is good reason to believe Anwar Aulaqi has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States, including plotting attacks against America and our allies," said a U.S. counterterrorism official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
In June 2010, Erick Stakelbeck of Pat Robertson's CBN News, reported that some of al-Awlaki's sermons and recordings were being sold at Halalco Supermarket in Falls Chruch, VA. The owner removed the display of the recordings the day after CBN visited the story (see video at link).
The Investigative Project on Terrorism has recordings of some of al-Awlaki's sermons. In March 2002, al-Awlaki said:
"So this is not now a war on terrorism. We need to all be clear about this. This is a war against Muslims! It is a war against Muslims and Islam. Not only is it happening worldwide, but it's happening right here in America, that is claiming to be fighting this war for the sake of freedom while it is infringing on the freedom of its own citizens just because they're Muslim, for no other reason. And as Muslims, if we allow this to continue, if we do not stop it, it ain't gonna stop! It's not gonna stop."
Dar Al-Hijrah does not address either, how al-Awlaki was in contact with two of the 9/11 hijackers, both at that mosque and in San Diego, CA.
So is this statement another example of Taqiyya? That is defined as "a practice emphasized in Shi'a Islam whereby adherents may conceal their religion when they are under threat, persecution, or compulsion."