As promised, and a day early.
June 5th, 2011 by Andrew Bostom |
The Islamic Center of Toledo Mosque and Minarets
Cross-posted at The American Thinker
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan represents the triumphant Janus-faced approach to the fundamentalist global “Islamic revival.” He and his pious forbears have now completed dismantling Turkey’s secular experiment, and achieved the full-throated re-Islamization of Turkish society, an insidious process begun already within the decade after Ataturk’s death, in 1938. When currying favor with gullible Western audiences, Erdogan burbles disingenuous ecumenical platitudes about the “Alliance of Civilizations.” But in reality, this is an Islamization campaign promoted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, notably Saudi Arabia, which rewarded Erdogan, for his role in the Alliance, specifically, as “services to Islam,” with the “King Faisal International Prize,” considered the “Nobel prize” of the Arab world. Regardless, Erdogan has always aroused his Muslim constituencies by brazenly appealing to their deep-seated jihadist sentiments as he did while mayor of Istanbul, in 1997, delivering a fiery speech that reminded the masses of these words from the poem “The Soldier’s Prayer,” written (in 1912) by Turkish nationalist poet Ziya Gokalp:
The minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks and the faithful our army.
Cited appropriately by successful opponents of minaret construction in Switzerland, such rhetoric should now resonate uncomfortably in America with the online release Monday June 6, 2011 of alarming survey data from a representative national sample of US mosques.
During August 2007, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) released “Radicalization in the West — The Homegrown Threat.” This insightful 90-page report evaluated the threat that had become apparent since 9/11/2001, analyzing the roots of recent terror plots in the United States, from Lackawanna in upstate New York to Portland, Ore., to Fort Dix, NJ. Based upon these case-study analyses of individuals arrested for jihadist activity, the authors concluded that the “journey” of radicalization that produces homegrown jihadists began in so-called “Salafist” (“fundamentalist” to non-Muslims) mosques characterized by high levels of Sharia—Islamic Law—adherence. The landmark study just published, “Sharia and Violence in American Mosques” (Kedar M, Yerushalmi D. The Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2011, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 59-72) sought to expand considerably upon the NYPD’s post-hoc, case study approach—systematically gathering objective survey data, with much greater methodological rigor—and address these two a priori questions: I) Is there a robust association between observable measures of religious devotion, coupled to Sharia-adherence in US mosques, and the presence of violence-sanctioning materials at these mosques?; and II) Is there a robust association between the presence of violence-sanctioning materials at a mosque, and the advocacy of jihadism by the mosque’s leadership via recommending the study of these materials, or other manifest behaviors?
Full details of the sampling methodology, extracts of representative jihad promoting materials (texts), and specific Sharia-compliant behaviors recorded, are provided in the accompanying appendices, reproduced from the full study (which will be available here 6/6/11). In brief, survey data were collected from a nationally representative, random statistical sample of 100 US mosques, covering 14 states, and the District of Columbia. This concise overview of the basic data collection procedures—including a self-critical, honest caveat by the authors about “completeness” of the available information on US mosque locations—is reproduced verbatim from the report (p. 68):
A surveyor visited a subject mosque in order: (a) to observe and record 12 Sharia-adherent behaviors of the worshipers and the imam (or lay leader); (b) to observe whether the mosque contained the selected materials rated as moderate and severe; (c) to observe whether the mosque contained materials promoting, praising, or supporting violence or violent jihad; and (d) to observe whether the mosque contained materials indicating the mosque had invited guest speakers known to have promoted violent jihad. Thus, the survey only examined the presence of Sharia-adherent behaviors, the presence of violence positive materials in mosques, whether an imam would promote the study of violence-positive materials, and whether a mosque was used as a forum to promote violent jihad. Since there is no central body to which all mosques belong, it was difficult to ascertain that the sampling universe list was complete. This may have introduced bias into the sampling although the authors find no evidence of any systemic distortions.
The study’s results provide clear—and ominous—affirmative answers to the a priori questions posed. Sharia-adherence was strongly associated with the presence of jihad-violence sanctioning materials, and the presence of jihad-violence sanctioning materials was in turn robustly associated with advocacy of jihadism by mosque imams—religious leaders. This key summary finding was highlighted by the authors:
…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.
Thus 81% of this statistical sample representative of US mosques were deemed as moderately (30%) to highly (51%) supportive of promulgating jihad violence to impose Shari’a.
Additional profoundly troubling findings emerge when the data are explored in depth beyond these summary observations. For example, only 4.7% of Muslim worshippers attended mosques where jihadist materials were not provided because Sharia-compliant mosques promoting jihad were the most heavily attended. The authors also describe these specific details indicating that the preponderance of US mosques sanction jihad terrorism and its ultimate goal of a Caliphate (i.e., the transnational imposition of strict Islamic law in current Muslim nations, and ultimately global imposition of Islamic Law, including in the US), if one includes advocacy of financial support for this sacralized violence (from pp. 67-69).