How’s this for a wake-up call? America’s most cherished civil liberties and the Constitution that enshrines them are enabling Muslim Brotherhood operatives and other Islamists who have the declared mission of destroying our freedoms and government “from within … by [our] hands.” Specifically, our enemies are using our tolerance of religion to create an infrastructure of mosques here that incubate the Islamic holy war called jihad.
If this revelation is not exactly news to those who are serious students of the Brotherhood’s decades-long, stealthy “civilization jihad” in this country, it almost certainly will come as a shock to the average American. Yet, the phenomenon of our rights being used to pursue our destruction has become undeniable - particularly now, thanks to an assiduously researched, peer-reviewed study published Monday by the highly respected journal, Middle East Quarterly.
Entitled “Shariah and Violence in American Mosques,” this paper describes an ominous jihadist footprint being put into place across the nation. It is made up of ostensibly religious institutions, entities that, therefore, enjoy constitutional protection. According to the data examined by this study, most mosques in the United States are actually engaged in - or at least supportive of - a totalitarian, seditious agenda they call Shariah. Its express purpose is undermining and ultimately forcibly replacing the U.S. government and its founding documents. In their place would be a “caliph” governing in accordance with Shariah’s political-military-legal code.
To be sure, some American mosques are not part of the jihadist enterprise. And most Muslims in the United States, like most adherents of other faiths, are not regular attendees at their places of worship.
Still, according to this study’s two formidable authors - my colleague, David Yerushalmi, one of the nation’s foremost non-Muslim experts on the totalitarian Islamic doctrine known as Shariah, and a highly respected Israeli academic and expert on Islam and Arabic culture, Mordechai Kedar - on-site investigations of a random but representative sample of American mosques in 14 states and the District of Columbia produced chilling insights into the threat posed by many such institutions.
For the purpose of their analysis, the authors examined data collected by surveyors who “were asked to observe and record selected behaviors deemed to be Shariah-adherent. These behaviors were selected precisely because they constitute observable and measurable practices of an orthodox form of Islam, as opposed to internalized, nonobservable articles of faith.” Such behaviors included, among other readily discernible indicators: “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.”
For the purpose of their study, the authors evaluated support for jihad by considering the presence in mosque bookstores, libraries and among recommended materials “literature encouraging worshippers to engage in terrorist activity, to provide financial support to jihadists, and to promote the establishment of a caliphate in the United States. These materials also explicitly praised acts of terror against the West; praised symbols or role models of violent jihad; promoted the use of force, terror, war and violence to implement the Shariah; emphasized the inferiority of non-Muslim life; promoted hatred and intolerance toward non-Muslims or notional Muslims; and endorsed inflammatory materials with anti-U.S. view.”
Employing this methodology, Mr. Yerushalmi and Mr. Kedar found:
c More than 80 percent of U.S. mosques advocate or otherwise promote violence. “Of the 100 mosques surveyed, 51 percent had texts on-site rated as severely advocating violence; 30 percent had texts rated as moderately advocating violence; and 19 percent had no violent texts at all.”
c Mosques that were identifiable using empirical measures “as Shariah-adherent were more likely to feature violence-positive texts on-site than were their non-Shariah adherent counterparts.”
c “In 84.5 percent of the mosques, the imam recommended studying violence-positive texts. The leadership at Shariah-adherent mosques was more likely to recommend that a worshipper study violence-positive texts than leadership at non-Shariah-adherent mosques.”
c “Of the 51 mosques that contained severe materials, 100 percent were led by imams who recommended that worshippers study texts that promote violence.”
c “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.”
In short, such findings strongly suggest that Shariah-adherence is a useful predictor of sympathy for - and, in some cases at least, action on behalf of - jihad, to include both the Islamists’ violent or stealthy forms of warfare aimed at supplanting the U.S. Constitution and government. Indeed, the study confirms the anecdotal reports by Muslims themselves and earlier, less rigorous empirical studies of Saudi hate-filled literature permeating mosques in the United States.
Britain’s government has just announced that, pursuant to an update of its counterterrorism program known as “Prevent,” it now recognizes nonviolent forms of Islamist extremism can be every bit as dangerous as the violent kinds. We need to do the same - especially since the Muslim Brotherhood and its fellow Shariah-adherents are successfully using not only mosques, but academia, the media, financial institutions, political groups and interfaith “dialogue” to pursue their pre-violent yet seditious and therefore anti-constitutional and illegal, agenda.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of “Secure Freedom Radio,” heard in Washington weeknights at 9 on WRC-AM (1260).