MOSQUES IN AMERICA GROWING: 81% PREACH JIHAD
|The Barracks, The Helmet, the Swords|
“The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and Muslims our soldiers…” The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Atlas Shrugs
US Muslim study finds jump in American mosques Wall Street Journal, February 29, 2012"NEW YORK — The number of American mosques has increased dramatically in the last decade despite post 9/11 protests aimed at Muslim houses of worship, according to a new study. The new Islamic centers serve Muslims who moved into the suburbs and newer immigrants from Africa, Iraq and elsewhere.
Researchers conducting the national count found a total of 2,106 Islamic centers, compared to 1,209 in 2000 and 962 in 1994. About one-quarter of the centers were built between 2000-2011, as the community faced intense scrutiny by government officials and a suspicious public. In 2010, protest against an Islamic center near ground zero erupted into a national debate over Islam, extremism and religious freedom. Anti-mosque demonstrations spread to Tennessee, California and other states."
"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and Muslims our soldiers…” The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.David Yerushalmi is America's leading lawyer in sharia, Director of Policy Studies, Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political Studies, Potomac, MD, and my attorney on a number of free speech cases, including a $10,000,000 Islamic supremacist lawsuit filed against me. Professor Mordechai Kedar is Assistant Professor, Bar Ilan University, Israel, Departments of Arabic and Middle East Studies, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Israel and Herzliya Inter-Disciplinary Center, Israel – Study team: “Facing Radical Islam,” and Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel – Study team: “Muslim Minorities in Western Countries.” They have conducted a critical study of jihadic doctrine as taught and advanced in American mosques.
The empirical evidence is deeply disturbing, but not surprising. An overwhelming number of American mosques teach, advance, promote violent jihad as dictated by Islamic teaching. Is it any wonder that Muslim Brotherhood-tied groups like CAIR are pursuing legislation and policy to restrict law enforcement infiltration of mosques? (here)
How great is the danger of extremist violence in the name of Islam in the United States? Recent congressional hearings into this question by Rep. Peter King (Republican of New York), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, have generated a firestorm of controversy among his colleagues, the press, and the general public. Though similar hearings have taken place at least fourteen times since 2001, King was labeled a latter-day Joe McCarthy and the hearings called an assault on civil liberties and a contemporary witch-hunt. Yet the larger dilemmas outlined by both the congressman and some of his witnesses remain: To what extent are American Muslims, native-born as well as naturalized, being radicalized by Islamists? And what steps can those who are sworn to the protection of American citizenry take that will uncover and disrupt the plots of those willing to take up arms against others for the sake of jihad?Watch Professor Kedar on Al Jazeera here.
Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi
A random survey of 100 representative mosques in the U.S. was conducted to measure the correlation between Sharia adherence and dogma calling for violence against non-believers. Of the 100 mosques surveyed, 51% had texts on site rated as severely advocating violence; 30% had texts rated as moderately advocating violence; and 19% had no violent texts at all. Mosques that presented as Sharia adherent were more likely to feature violence-positive texts on site than were their non-Sharia-adherent counterparts. In 84.5% of the mosques, the imam recommended studying violence-positive texts. The leadership at Sharia-adherent mosques was more likely to recommend that a worshipper study violence-positive texts than leadership at non-Sharia-adherent mosques. Fifty-eight percent of the mosques invited guest imams known to promote violent jihad. The leadership of mosques that featured violence-positive literature was more likely to invite guest imams who were known to promote violent jihad than was the leadership of mosques that did not feature violence-positive literature on mosque premises.
PREFACEThe debate over the connection between Islam and its legal doctrine and system known as Sharia on the one hand and terrorism committed in the name of Islam on the other rages on among counter terrorism professionals, academics, policy experts, theologians, and politicians. Much of this debate centers on the evidence that the perpetrators of violence in the name of Islam source the moral, theological, and legal motivations and justifications for their actions in Sharia. Much of the opposition to this focus on Sharia centers on the argument that Sharia is and has been historically malleable and exploited for good and bad causes.
This study seeks to enter this fray but at a more empirical level. Since we know that mosques are in fact a situs of recruitment and “radicalization” for terrorism committed in the name of Islam, this study seeks to enter into that domain to determine if there is an empirical correlation between actual, manifest Sharia-related behaviors and the presence of violent and jihad-based literature, and further, the promotion of that literature. While the presence of violent and jihad-based literature alone does not necessarily suggest the worshippers at such a mosque adopt the violent literature’s approach to the use of violence, if the imams at such mosques also promote the literature, and if those mosques are more likely to invite guest imams and speakers who are known to promote violent jihad, the presence of these factors together would be strongly suggestive of an environment prone to jihad recruitment. Thus, this study also seeks to determine if the spiritual leadership in these mosques is supportive of this genre of literature.
by Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi
Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2011
Identifying Shari'a-Adherent Behaviors
Shari'a is the Islamic system of law based primarily on two sources held by Muslims to be respectively direct revelation from God and divinely inspired: the Qur'an and the Sunna (sayings, actions, and traditions of Muhammad). There are other jurisprudential sources for Shari'a derived from the legal rulings of Islamic scholars. These scholars, in turn, may be adherents of differing schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Notwithstanding those differences, the divergence at the level of actual law is, given the fullness of the corpus juris, confined to relatively few marginal issues. Thus, there is general unity and agreement across the Sunni-Shiite divide and across the various Sunni madh'habs (jurisprudential schools) on core normative behaviors.
Surveyors were asked to observe and record selected behaviors deemed to be Shari'a-adherent. These behaviors were selected precisely because they constitute observable and measurable practices of an orthodox form of Islam as opposed to internalized, non-observable articles of faith. Such visible modes of conduct are considered by traditionalists to have been either exhibited or commanded by Muhammad as recorded in the Sunna and later discussed and preserved in canonical Shari'a literature. The selected behaviors are among the most broadly accepted by legal practitioners of Islam and are not those practiced only by a rigid subgroup within Islam—Salafists, for example.
Among the behaviors observed at the mosques and scored as Shari'a-adherent were: (a) women wearing the hijab (head covering) or niqab (full-length shift covering the entire female form except for the eyes); (b) gender segregation during mosque prayers; and (c) enforcement of straight prayer lines. Behaviors that were not scored as Shari'a-adherent included: (a) women wearing just a modern hijab, a scarf-like covering that does not cover all of the hair, or no covering; (b) men and women praying together in the same room; and (c) no enforcement by the imam, lay leader, or worshipers of straight prayer lines.
The normative importance of a woman's hair covering is evidenced by two central texts, discussed at length below, Reliance of the Traveller and Fiqh as-Sunna (Law of the Sunna), both of which express agreement on the obligation of a woman to wear the hijab:
There is no such dispute over what constitutes a woman's aurah [private parts/nakedness]. It is stated that her entire body is aurah and must be covered, except her hands and face … God does not accept the prayer of an adult woman unless she is wearing a head covering (khimar, hijab).In a similar fashion, Shari'a requires that the genders be separated during prayers. While both Reliance of the Traveller and Fiqh as-Sunna express a preference that women should pray at home rather than the mosque, they agree that if women do pray in the mosque, they should pray in lines separate from the men. Additionally, authoritative Shari'a literature agrees that the men's prayer lines should be straight, that men should be close together within those lines, and that the imam should enforce prayer line alignment.
The nakedness of a woman (even if a young girl) consists of the whole body except the face and hands. The nakedness of a woman is that which invalidates the prayer if exposed. … It is recommended for a woman to wear a covering over her head (khimar), a full length shift, and a heavy slip under it that does not cling to the body.
Sanctioned ViolenceThe mosques surveyed contained a variety of texts, ranging from contemporary printed pamphlets and handouts to classic texts of the Islamic canon. From the perspective of promoting violent jihad, the literature types were ranked in the survey from severe to moderate to nonexistent. The texts selected were all written to serve as normative and instructive tracts and are not scriptural. This is important because a believer is free to understand scripture literally, figuratively, or merely poetically when it does not have a normative or legal gloss provided by Islamic jurisprudence.
The moderate-rated literature was authored by respected Shari'a religious and/or legal authorities; while expressing positive attitudes toward violence, it was predominantly concerned with the more mundane aspects of religious worship and ritual. The severe material, by contrast, largely consists of relatively recent texts written by ideologues, rather than Shari'a scholars, such as Abul Ala Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb. These, as well as materials published and disseminated by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, are primarily, if not exclusively, aimed at using Islam to advance a violent political agenda.
Mawdudi (1903-79), for one, believed that it was legitimate to wage violent jihad against "infidel colonizers" in order to gain independence and spread Islam. His Jihad in Islam, found in many of the mosques surveyed, instructed followers to employ force in pursuit of a Shari'a-based order:
These [Muslim] men who propagate religion are not mere preachers or missionaries, but the functionaries of God [so that they may be witnesses for the people], and it is their duty to wipe out oppression, mischief, strife, immorality, high handedness, and unlawful exploitation from the world by force of arms.Similarly, Qutb's Milestones serves as the political and ideological backbone of the current global jihad movement. Qutb, for example, sanctions violence against those who stand in the way of Islam's expansion:
If someone does this [prevents others from accepting Islam], then it is the duty of Islam to fight him until either he is killed or until he declares his submission.These materials differ from other severe- and moderate-rated materials because they are not Islamic legal texts per se but rather are polemical works seeking to advance a politicized Islam through violence, if necessary. Nor are these authors recognized Shari'a scholars.
The same cannot be said for some classical works that are also supportive of violence in the name of Islam. Works by several respected jurists and scholars from the four major Sunni schools of jurisprudence, dating from the eighth to fourteenth centuries, are all in agreement that violent jihad against non-Muslims is a religious obligation. Such behavior is normative, legally-sanctioned violence not confined to modern writers with a political axe to grind. Nor does its presence in classical Muslim works make it a relic of some medieval past. While Umdat as-Salik (Reliance of the Traveler) may have been compiled in the fourteenth century, al-Azhar University, perhaps the preeminent center of Sunni learning in the world, stated in its 1991 certification of the English translation that the book "conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community." While addressing a host of theological matters and detailed instructions as to how Muslims should order their daily routine to demonstrate piety and commitment to Islam, this certified, authoritative text spends eleven pages expounding on the applicability of jihad as violence directed against non-Muslims, stating for example:
The caliph … makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians … provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax.The Fiqh as-Sunna and Tafsir Ibn Kathir are examples of works that were rated "moderate" for purposes of this survey. The former, which focuses primarily on the internal Muslim community, the family, and the individual believer and not on violent jihad, was especially moderate in its endorsement of violence. Relatively speaking, the Fiqh as-Sunna expresses a more restrained view of violent jihad, in that it does not explicitly call for a holy war against the West even though it understands the Western influence on Islamic governments as a force that is destructive to Islam itself.
The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim … because they are not a people with a book, nor honored as such, and are not permitted to settle with paying the poll tax.
Nonetheless, such texts do express positive views toward the use of violence against "the other," as expressed in the following:
Ibn Abbas reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "The ties of Islam and the principles of the religion are three, and whoever leaves one of them becomes an unbeliever, and his blood becomes lawful: testifying that there is no god except God, the obligatory prayers, and the fast of Ramadan." … Another narration states, "If anyone leaves one of [the three principles], by God he becomes an unbeliever, and no voluntary deeds or recompense will be accepted from him, and his blood and wealth become lawful." This is a clear indication that such a person is to be killed.Similarly in Tafsir Ibn Kathir:
Perform jihad against the disbelievers with the sword, and be harsh with the hypocrites with words, and this is the jihad performed against them.The survey's findings, explored in depth below, were that 51 percent of mosques had texts that either advocated the use of violence in the pursuit of a Shari'a-based political order or advocated violent jihad as a duty that should be of paramount importance to a Muslim; 30 percent had only texts that were moderately supportive of violence like the Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Fiqh as-Sunna; 19 percent had no violent texts at all.