An online documentary traces the path to radicalism and murder followed by Carlos Bledsoe, a bright, talented freshman from Memphis, who dropped out of school after converting to Islam and his name to Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad.
He was arrested in June 2009 and charged with killing Army Pvt. William Long and wounding Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, outside a military recruiting center in Little Rock, Ark.
"I don't think it was murder," Muhammad said in an interview excerpted in the documentary "Losing Our Community."
"Because murder is when a person kills another person without justified reason. And what I did was Islamic justified and also justified by common sense, you know. U.S. soldiers are killing innocent Muslim men and women…we believe we have to strike back."
The documentary, produced by Americans for Peace and Tolerance, showcases radical statements by a Memphis-area imam who is among the leaders of the Olive Tree Education foundation, a Muslim outreach group operated by the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN).
Awadh Binhazim co-founded the Olive Tree Foundation and is vice president of the ICN. According to the film, Binhazim and Mohamed taught classes at Tennessee State during and after Carlos' time in Nashville. He also serves as chaplain of the Muslim Students Association at Vanderbilt University.
In one clip shown in the documentary, Binhazim says that Islamic law calls for the execution of homosexuals.
In Nashville, Binhazim professes to be a proponent of "interfaith dialogue" with Jews and Christians. The film shows him emphasizing to "progressive" local Jewish and Christian leaders that Muslims believe in both the Gospel and the Torah. But they show him speaking to Muslims behind closed doors asserting that Torah and the Gospel have been twisted by "the corrupt rabbis and priests of the time" who "distorted the word of God."
The program also is critical of news media for not ferreting out the radical views of those accepted as voices of peace and moderation.
Watch the film here.