Anwar al-Awlaki

The Lessons of Anwar al-Awlaki

Type ‘‘Anwar al-Awlaki’’ into YouTube’s search bar, and you get 40,000 hits. Most of them bring up the earnest, smiling face and placid voice of the first American citizen to be hunted and killed without trial by his own government since the Civil War. Here is Awlaki on what makes a good marriage; on the nature of paradise; on Jesus Christ, considered a prophet by Muslims; on tolerance; on the holy month of Ramadan; and, more quirkily, on ‘‘obesity and overeating in Islam.’’ Here is Awlaki, or Sheikh Anwar, as his many admirers still call him, easily mixing Quranic Arabic with American English in chapters from his 53-CD series on the life of the Prophet Muhammad, once a best seller among English-speaking Muslims.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    In the immortal words of John Wesley Hardin:
    “I never killed anyone who didn’t need killing.”

  • Minicapt

    “… hunted and killed without trial by his own government …”
    I do not think that the NYTimes has clearly considered the meaning of that phrase in history.