KSDK -- 29-year-old Michael Finton, also known as "Talib Islam", was taken into custody Thursday and charges with planning to use a vehicle bomb to attack the Paul Findley Federal Office Building and Courthouse in Springfield, Illinois.
Blogs uncovered that were written by Finton reveal a man struggling with his identity and his beliefs.
A copy of one of Finton's blogs is below:
A Journey of Self-discovery
As-salaamu alaikum and marhaba to all of my muslim brothers and sisters out there. I don't know a whole lot about the whole internet/myspace thing so I have mainly been surfing. I know that I want to be in contact with the ummah, so I can only do what I can. I guess I will start with my little blog here. Here goes:
Who Am I?
This is a question that so many ask themselves yet few ever find an answer to. There was a time when looking inside of myself only brought forth darkness. On the outside, there was this smiling, happy-go-lucky guy with not a care in the world. Everybody liked me, yet I hated myself. People thought I was smart, and reasonably good-looking, but to me, I was a moron, and a freak. I used to actually care what they thought, yet I would read ulterior motives into their words. As if by complimenting me, they were in actuality, making fun of me.
I am at heart an intellectual, and naturally curious; always asking different, weird questions (why is a foot 12 in., wouldn't it be simpler it it were only 10?).
So I started asking myself difficult questions: why I am I like I am at this moment? How come I am sitting here in this prison cell, mad at the world? Did "they" put me here? Gradually the questions evolved, and as I answered some, more would arise. Can a man fix his flaws? If I look at myself, and I don't like what I see, then what?
The questions led to answers and the answers led to self-discovery. Once I started to see where I had come from, I could analyze my past for clues that would help me. I could see exactly what forces led to the molding of Michael Finton.
I started to realize, once I was off of all the intoxicants, that I had a brain upstairs. As I became more comfertable with myself as a person and a man, I started to look at the world around me with fresh eyes. I started to ask more questions: where did I come from? where am I going? Just who is this "God" anyway?
Over the years, I have come across different answers to the various questions. Sometimes I was at war with myself about a particular answer to a particular question.
Again, once I was off all the drugs, etc., I immediatly discarded the wiccan/paganistic fairy tales that I had filled my head with while "kissing the sky".
Now what? I did what so many others before and after me did: I fell on tradition. In short, I became a bible-thumper. I went to church everyday, I did group bible-study once a week, and personal bible studies everyday, all day. I talked about it, I thought about. I ate it, I drank it. I also realized that due to my Seventh-day Adventist upbringing, I knew the bible pretty well. And thanks to many years in foster-care, I was familier with several different denominations including catholic, pentecostal, baptists, etc. It didn't satisfy me.
So I moved on. I studied moorish science temple, buddhism, bits of hinduism and judaism, and even the House of Yahweh, and a book on Aztec philosophy. All with the same results: the more of it I studied, the less sense it made. It didn't sound right, it didn't feel right, and in the back of my mind was "I don't know about that!" So I returned to Christianity. I felt guilty. I honestly couldn't question the fundamental doctrines without feeling the heat of the hell-fire on the back of my neck. I couln't even THINK about it objectively. I never tried to prove it to myself, I just accepted it as fact. If I didn't want to study it, I would ignore it.
Until one fine day I was sent to segregation (read: THE HOLE). My cellie told me that he was a member of the house of yahweh. I immediatly ducked into my foxhole. Oh no! I know all about you guys! And that was the end of that. Or so I thought. I started to feel really guilty and closed-minded for not even listening to the man. So I said "Hey Yachanan, what exactly is it that you wanted to tell me anyway?"
That seemingly simple question led to the path I am on now. We talked about God, the bible, Jesus (as), the origins of christianity, etc. for 16 hours straight. That's right, sixteen hours, non-stop. He produced his proof. The bible, bible encyclopedias, bible dictionaries, concordances, regular encyclopedias, scholorly works, and various other reference works.
He showed me that all was not as it seemed. He, all at once, fired an intellectual missile at me, and now I was on the defensive. I said, all right, game on.
I studied the works of Mr. Yisrael Hawkins of Abilene, TX. And he was right about a lot of things. I, for the first time, had to prove these most basic of christian beliefs to myself.
I couldn't. With all of the CHRISTIAN resources that this man had, it only made his case stronger: something smelled. Something wasn't right. These things, such as the divinity of Jesus (as), the trinity, the literal begotten sonship, etc. suddenly seemed not so firmly grounded in truth.
So I studied. As all should. I studied, and I studied some more. I realized first that the first generation after The Prophet of Allah, Jesus (as), did not believe the same things that modern-day christians do. For instance, they did not believe he WAS God. They believed that he was sent by God. A big difference. And the more I studied, the more I became familier with what the other religions around at the time believed. That was an interesting picture to put together! Early christians did not even resemble modern ones.
But another group did. Which one you ask? The various sun-cults. Mithras, and all of his ilk. You will notice upon first glance at these mystery religions that they are all the same; they all come from the same source. And that source is Babylon. According to the bible, the site of man's first rebellion en masse against his Creator. People were scattered and they took their beliefs with them. Their languages changed, so they had different names for the same concepts. Osiris, Mithras, etc. The religion of Babylon went egyptian. After that it went european and spread like a cancer throughout the continent. At the same time it went east into china, japan, india, and south-east asia.
And despite what most people think, monotheism did not arise from polytheism. Polytheism arose in oppostion to monotheism. People deviated from right belief (belief in one God), to wrong belief (belief in many gods).
If one compares the fundamental doctrines of modern-day christianity with the doctrines of the various pagan cults, one quickly realizes that they are the same. Coincidence?
The idea of sonship, the halo, the sacrifice, the belief in the divinity of jesus, praying to saints, the idea of mary's enhanced status, the trinity, the symbol of the cross, the sacrements, all of these and more have their origins in paganism. Even the pope's hat is a pagan symol! The priests of Dagon, the Canaanite fish god wore exactly the same thing. Entirely too many things were identical for my comfort.
I realized that Jesus (as) had come to restore the pure worship of One True God. He came with a message of submission to God and not to men in robes.
He came with a message, and with power, given to him BY GOD, to back him up. Men however, did what they always do:they took out what they did not want to hear, and added what they did want to hear. In short, they changed it. They listened to the pagan roman and greek elite's call to "modernize" and "fit in". They became just like everybody else.
I was horrified. I had never converted away from paganism at all! I had just changed my terms.
So I became a member of the house of Yahweh. I read the guys books, and his version of the bible, and his newsletters. There were a few problems, like him calling himself a prophet and some of his prophecies not coming true. Then I read a verse in Jeremiah that spoke about testing a prophet. Basically this: if he is right, he is from God, if he is wrong he is not. Pretty simple.
Well, old Yisrael was wrong alot. That got me to studying him and his whole outfit, as well as his claims. I realized that they were a cult. Pure and simple.
I could not discount what they said about christianity. After that, I could never be a christian again, but some of what he was saying just didn't add up. So, here I was, adrift again.