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Catholic university’s top Muslim official supported 9/11 imam, recreating ‘Islamic State’

Irish-American convert said Muslims can’t back democracy

Even though the television show Deadliest Warrior has demonstrated that the Irish Republican Army would defeat the Taliban in a theoretical matchup, Michael P. Ryan still felt the need to praise an Islamic terrorist rather than his ancestral terrorist organization.

The assistant director of religious diversity at DePaul, the nation’s largest Catholic university, has openly praised Anwar al-Awlaki, a former imam to members of the 9/11 terrorist group as well as an adviser to Fort Hood terrorist Nidal Hasan and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Christmas Day bomber.

Also a Muslim chaplain at the university, Ryan has previously mocked “moderate” Muslims and promoted the idea of a global Islamic state, saying that real Muslims can’t accept democracy.

His LinkedIn page says he’s held the chaplaincy for seven years and the religious diversity slot for nearly three.

Now known as Abdul-Malik Ryan, the Chicago-born Irish American converted while a DePaul student in 1994. His DePaul student ID lists his middle name as “Kwame,” which Ryan called “one of” his middle names.

Ryan’s author page at the online magazine MuslimMatters credits his conversion to his “study of African-American history in high school and at DePaul University and his encounter with the life and legacy of Malcolm X (Malik Shabazz).”

Though his official chaplain and personal Facebook pages show little appetite for controversy recently, Ryan’s past social-media posts have shown a fiery edge.

As the author Matt Forney noted on his website, Ryan said he supported “re-establishing the Islamic State” in a since-deleted 2008 post on his blog, which includes no new posts since January 2010.


Ryan praised the American-born al-Awlaki and criticized U.S. foreign policy and military spending, expressing astonishment that “the great Muslim hope, Barack Obama,” has called for more military spending: “Really? Really.”

“The Islamic revival is continuing,” Ryan wrote. “The evil nature of U.S. plans are clear to most Muslims, especially the youth and especially the active practicing Muslim youth living in the U.S. itself.”

American leaders “plot and plan, but Allaah [sic] is the Best of Planners,” Ryan continued. “In fact, the popularity and understanding of the true message of Islam continues to grow in the Muslim world and the concept of re-establishing the Islamic State, or re-establishing the Khilafah is everywhere seen as much more realistic and likely than it was even 15 years ago.”

That post was first saved to the Internet Archive in October 2008, the year before Ryan joined DePaul. Ryan’s discarded blog, whose name references his Irish roots and describes him as an “unrepentant … Islamist,” still describes him as a Chicago lawyer, his pre-DePaul profession.

Despite the fact that his writings going back eight years have been saved for posterity by others, Ryan appears to have drawn little attention until last week, when he was profiled by Breitbart.

Ryan himself acknowledged the profile in a lighthearted Facebook post, which he and his friends celebrated as a badge of honor.

Elsewhere in the since-deleted 2008 post, Ryan disparaged “moderate” Muslims and laid out his plan for an Islamic society.

He criticized calls for the U.S. to back moderate Muslims, the subject of a 2003 report by the Rand Corporation. “Shaykh al-Awlaki makes it clear that the Rand definition of a ‘moderate’ Muslim is really not a Muslim at all and so he coins the term ‘Rand Muslim’” to describe heretical Muslims, Ryan wrote.

Such imposters are “in favor of liberal democracy as understood in the west,” they oppose “Shari’ah as the source of law” and they oppose “defending Muslim lands which have been invaded by foreign forces or are currently occupied by foreign armies.”

Additionally, Ryan has championed the declining white population of America and criticized white people in several tweets, though he appears to be white himself.

In 2013, identifying as “Michael Abdul-Malik Ryan” of Homewood, Ill., the DePaul employee signed a petition in support of Lynne Stewart, an attorney who represented Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993.

Stewart allegedly violated a legal agreement which barred her from communicating third-party messages to her former client, intended to block her as an intermediary between Rahman and his followers.

Neither Ryan nor DePaul University responded to requests for comment.

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About the Author
Matt Lamb graduated in May 2015 from Loyola University-Chicago, where he majored in political science, and minored in economics and Catholic Studies. There, he was also an active member of Loyola Students for Life and Loyola College Republicans, and wrote for The Loyola Phoenix. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. His work for The College Fix has been featured by National Review, Fox News, New York Times, and several other news outlets. He currently works as a Field Coordinator for Turning Point USA.