Malaysia Airlines ‘bomb’ drama: Death-obsessed YouTube videos of arrested man – and it’s not the first time he’s ranted about ‘slaves of Allah’
In a series of videos on his YouTube channel, the man arrested in the Malaysia Airlines plane bomb drama continues to talk about dying, dead bodies, funerals and when it’s acceptable to stone a woman to death.
Muhammad Ali Arif, 55, forced the return of flight MH122 on Monday afternoon when he allegedly ran a crazed diatribe about passengers being ‘slaves of Allah’ while clutching a backpack to his chest.
The incident began 45 minutes after the flight took off when the Pakistani Australian reportedly reached into the bag, claiming it contained something ‘dangerous’, and pulled out a copy of the Quran.
The Airbus A330 plane landed in Sydney just before 4pm and was isolated at the end of a runway while panicked passengers were moved to another part of the plane.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) arrested Mr Arif at around 7pm as the passengers were safely evacuated from the plane.
The outage grounded all flights to and from Sydney airport for hours, and travel chaos was expected to continue for days.
Mr Arif was charged with two counts of making a false statement and failing to comply with directions and was due to appear in court on Monday.
Muhammad Ali Arif (above) in one of his YouTube videos telling followers that it is acceptable to stone a woman to death if she has committed adultery after giving birth and breastfeeding her child
Muhammad Ali Arif, 55, (above left) forced the return of flight MH122 on Monday afternoon when he allegedly uttered a crazed diatribe about passengers being ‘slaves of Allah’
Mr. Arif, whose Linkedin page says he works as a security guard but is a licensed architect with “team leadership skills,” has a YouTube channel @followingthefootsteps with multiple videos of him talking about Islamic teachings.
His Linkedin page says that he got his experience in architecture in Pakistan and a ‘Architecture with Distinction’ from the Institute of Pakistan National College of Arts in Lahore and ‘has worked with multinational architectural practices’.
He is “known for his team leadership skills, creativity, functionality and perfection, sharp observation and eye for detail,” as well as “creative and original ideas” and “presentation and interpersonal skills,” according to his profile.
In one of the videos, filmed at sunrise and talking about birds, Mr. Arif rants into a diatribe about bodies at funerals and declares that ‘I will be nothing if I go into my grave. Everyone goes to their grave’.
In other videos, some shot outdoors with sounds or scenes of kookaburras, magpies and kangaroos, Arif seems transfixed by themes of repentance and “patience and perseverance.”
In a video reading from his favorite book on Islamic traditions, Mr. Arif uses the term “slave” of Allah in a lesson about people being rewarded with death if they show patience when a loved one dies.
“Allah the Exalted says: ‘I have no reward other than Jannah for a believing slave of mine who remains patient when I take his beloved from the inhabitants of the world,'” Mr. Arif reads, using the Islamic word Jannah, which means heaven or the place where believers go in the afterlife.
“Waning and saying nonsense things shows weakness of faith. The reward of patience on such things is Jannah, while the result of impatience is displeasure from Allah’.
In another video, which reads from the same book – Riyad as-Salihin, described as “sayings of the Prophet Muhammad on ethics, manners, worship and knowledge” – Mr. Arif talks about stoning a woman.
Pakistan-trained architect Mohammad Ali Arif rants aboard MH122 on Monday about ‘slaves of Allah’, a theme he talks about in his YouTube videos that center on death, burials and the afterlife
Mohammad Ali Arif asks followers on his YouTube channel if they are “givers or takers.”
‘Do you have any control over your free will?’ he continues, ‘No, you don’t. Then why are you so arrogant… Honestly, how dare you. How dare you!’
Mr. Arif wears a Levi’s T-shirt and jeans and sits in a window seat. He says the parable is about a pregnant woman who tells Muhammad that she has “committed an offence” and that Allah says “treat her kindly” under after she has given birth.
Then, says Mr. Arif, “her clothes were fastened around her and she was stoned to death. She voluntarily sacrificed her life to gain the pleasure of Allah, the Exalted.
‘This … confirms the validity of the punishment … for the adulterer, that … he must be stoned. It confirms… a pregnant woman cannot be punished … until she bears the child (and) during one year the suckling of the baby is completed.’
In Mr. Arif’s video constantly referring to death or dying that starts at ‘Fajr’ time, the first Muslim prayer of the day, he claims that ‘every other living being and you are one of them ‘praise Allah’.
“You have been given free will. Free will is a test. That is… the greatest test to fight against yourself, to wage a jihad against yourself,” he says, referring to the Arabic word for battle or struggle.
At this point, Mr. Arif bursts into laughter and utters the words ‘Allahu Akbar’ (meaning ‘God is great’) and ‘Alhamdulillah’ (meaning ‘Praise be to God’).
After telling his YouTube followers he needs to lose some weight, Mr. Arif says, “I’m nothing, I’ll be nothing when I go in my grave.”
‘Everyone goes to his grave. Don’t be arrogant. One piece of advice: Don’t wait for Janazah, he says, referring to the Islamic term for funeral service.
“And the reason for it, if you go and attend, see the body being buried. So when you see how the body is buried, you realize the value of this world.
“And it worries you, it worries you, even though you’ve been a good person all your life, it actually worries you that you’re going to end up there.
Australian Federal Police arrested Mr Arif (top centre) at around 7pm as passengers were safely evacuated from the aircraft, grounding all flights to and from Sydney airport for hours
Mohammad Ali Arif reads from a book of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad on his YouTube channel, talking about repentance and punishment and how ‘slaves of Allah’ will be rewarded
“So by seeing it, you learn a lot… about this life and realize that this man can’t even wake up… I’m going to use every second of my life to do something good for the sake of Allah. ‘
In other videos, Mr. Arif tells a story of a young boy slaying a monster, with “the main lesson being that whatever difficulty one has to face…should sacrifice one’s life for it.”
In a video filmed in an Australian field, with kookaburras calling in the background, Mr Arif says ‘whatever Allah takes away or gives belongs to him and everything with him has a limited fixed term in this world’.
In a series of short videos he calls “Food for Thought,” Mr. Arif offers some pithy but cryptic advice, saying, “There are only two kinds of people in this world, givers and takers. Which one are you?’ and ‘You are not the boss, but allies’.