The life of radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki

The World

We are taking a closer look at the life of radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. In a video released over the weekend by al-Qaida in Yemen, al-Awlaki urged Muslims to take American lives. The cleric has a published discography to rival some rock stars, with over 100 CDs of readings and lectures to his name, not all of them incendiary. al-Awlaki was once known as a popular (and moderate) interpreter of Islamic texts on CD; speculation abounds as to exactly when and why he took a more radical turn.

Azeem Khan, Assistant Secretary General at the Islamic Circle of North America, joins us with his thoughts on the change in al-Awlaki’s tone.

Takeaway producer Noel King visited a strip of Islamic bookstores in Brooklyn to see if CDs of al-Awlaki’s readings are still available. She found bookshop owners reticent to speak — except for one who condemned al-Awlaki.

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