Some people just turn out wrong, no matter how hard their parents try to raise them. In the case of Alabama Muslim Omar Shafik Ham-mami, he turned out pretty damn wrong. Instead of growing up to raise a family and build a career, Hammami instead built a jihad career in Somalia, making rap videos about destroying western infidels. His parents claim they didn’t foster jihadist ideas in him… but as we all know, half the time, they’re lying through their teeth when they say that. Nevertheless, here’s the story of the life and death of Omar Shafik Hammami.
Hammami was a popular high school student. He was elected president of his sophomore class, and he spent his summers at Bible camp. While his son was in high school, Hammami’s Syrian-born father converted back to Islam, and his son took interest in the religion. It wasn’t long before Hammami himself had converted, and began trying to convert his friends. In college, inspired by local convert preacher Tony Salvatore Sylvester, Hammami became even crazier about Islam, eventually joining the strict Salafi sect. He moved to Toronto because it had a large Muslim community, and married a Somali immigrant. After the couple moved to Egypt, they had a daughter. While in Egypt, he began networking with jihadis online, who convinced him to travel to the shithole known as Somalia. He tried to convince his wife to go with him, but she had the sense to refuse and get a divorce. In 2006, Hammami made it into Somalia.
Hammami was immediately noticed within al-Shabaab, as he had some semblance of an education. They kinda don’t have much of that in Somalia. He began releasing videos to media outlets for the group. In the first such release, he stated al-Shabaab was trying to establish the Islamic Khilafah (caliphate) “from East to West after removing the occupier and killing the apostates.” Oh look, the religion of peace propagating love and mercy yet again. “We’re waiting for the enemy to come… we’re going to kill all of them.”
Hammami’s role within al-Shabaab grew, and he began plotting jihad attacks, including bombings. He also networks with al Qaeda members, though many in al-Shabaab claim the organization does not have ties to al Qaeda. Though he claims he never personally killed any civilians, his actions prove him to be a terrorist. His actions also prove him to be quite the attention whore – he allowed reporters to ask him questions, and basked in the fame. Of course, all the videos and autobiographical materials he released were entirely for the jihad, none of that had anything to do with cultivating his image whatsoever. He even got into a flame war on Twitter against fellow Muslim convert jihadi Samantha LoseWeight, likely for the attention. She called Hammami “an irritating, obnoxious, contemptible little muj[ahideen] prat.” I’d say “fundamentalist psycho with no regard for human life” is a bit more accurate, but to each their own.
“Our main objective, one of the things we seek for in this life of ours, is to die as martyrs.” Basically, this entails having a death wish. Popular ways for Muslims to achieve “martyrdom” include hanging around territories prone to be bombed or hit with chemical weapons, blowing yourself up, and shooting people in the hope to get shot. I thought religion and faith were supposed to be life-affirming? Apparently not Islam.
al-Shabaab kicked Hammami out in late 2012, after realizing what a fame whore he was (seriously.) After falsely being reported dead, he went on to give a few more interviews in early September 2013. On September 12, 2013, he and a few of his fellow jihadis got into a gunfight against other militants, and he lost. Contrary to what he believed, he’s not a martyr. He’s just dead.