On Wednesday morning, Imam Suhaib Webb says he woke up to several missed phone calls and messages beginning with “sorry to be the bearer of bad news.” He was now on ISIL’s hit list.
The list was published in ISIL’s magazine Dabiq, and was entitled ‘Kill the Imams of Kufr in the West.’ It included both Sufi and Salafi western scholars, as well as other Muslim figures, such as Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison.
Webb has become known for translating Islam for American Muslims looking to reconcile their two identities. Quartz recently covered his use of Snapchat to explain difficult Islamic questions in eight seconds.
ISIL singled him out by saying he “has spent his career making a fool of himself as the all-American imam… A clown in most senses of the word.”
Webb found ISIL’s words concerning, but also invigorating.
“I think when you look at that list of people you see everything that makes the American Muslim community pretty freaking awesome,” he told Quartz.
“People keep asking ‘Why aren’t the Imams denouncing terrorism? The American Muslim community is not complacent in the face of ISIS, as accusations suggest.”