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Alleged former terrorist Kamal Saleem to speak in Allegan

23 January 2012 General 5 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Self-described former terrorist Kamal Saleem delivering a speech at Western Michigan University in 2009. Saleem's claims have been questioned by Islamic organizations.

Self-described former terrorist Kamal Saleem delivering a speech at Western Michigan University in 2009. Saleem's claims have been questioned by Islamic organizations.


ALLEGAN — Allegan County political organization Constituting Michigan-Founding Principles will host a self-proclaimed former terrorist on Thursday at the Allegan High School Events Center.

Kamal Saleem claims to have been a former Islamic radical and terrorist before converting to Christianity. He has since published a book detailing his experiences and makes regular tours speaking about his life and views.

”He had entered the U.S. and gotten in an accident, and received medical care,” said Carol Dannenberg, of Constituting Michigan-Founding Principles. “He thought, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to hurt these people.’ He was raised to believe that there was no hope, that killing was a good thing.”

”I met Saleem in my travels to Lansing,” said Bill Sage, one of the co-founders of Constituting Michigan. “He’s here to talk about keeping American law in American courts, to make sure that the Constitution is what we’re drawing from.”

Sage characterizes the organization’s main focus as education reform and a return to focusing on the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights in schools. Sage will also be speaking at the event, as will state Rep. Dave Agema, according to organizers. Agema is one of the sponsors of House Bill 4769, which seeks “to restrict the application of foreign laws” in Michigan. Opponents have characterized the bill as discriminatory towards Islam.

Saleem himself is also the subject of controversy. Questions have been raised regarding the authenticity of his claims, as well as the goals of his speeches.

”I believe he’s a complete fraud, and his claims are bogus,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR-Michigan, an American-Islamic relations council. “He says he’s been reformed by the Holy Ghost. If he were an actual former terrorist who snuck into the U.S., the FBI or immigration services would’ve detained and deported him by now.”

Walid claims that Saleem’s real name is Khodor Shami and that many details of his background do not add up.

”He’s profiting off the cottage industry of Islamophobia,” Walid said. “If he thinks that I’m lying, that I’m trying to falsely discredit him, he should sue me for defamation.”

Sage claims much of the controversy surrounding Saleem is the result of media bias.

”People don’t like his message, they don’t want him out there,” said Sage. “But if you listen to Kamal, you’ll understand.”

Walid encourages caution.

”Individuals should research his claims, and form their own opinions,” said Walid. “Don’t be taken in just because it sounds interesting.”

Contact Joe Stando at jstando@kalamazoogazette.com or 269-388-8553.

Original post: Alleged former terrorist Kamal Saleem to speak in Allegan

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5 Comments »

  1. All Hail the Grand Wazir of Islam

  2. I find Kamal Saleem hilarious. He thinks Muslims are “allergic to Jesus [‘alayhi salam]”, even though Jesus is the Islamic Messiah. Keep it up, Kamal.

  3. By the way, what is an alleged former terrorrist doing walking around freely? Shouldn’t he be locked up in Gitmo or something ;) ?

  4. No skhan if you commit terrorist attacks and convert to the Christian faith then you get a free pass on all the murdering you’ve done

  5. he’s just doing that for the fame and money,its funny there is no trace of what he claims,and he has been asked for talk with several people and ignored them.

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