American Mosques – Jihad Central

Posted on December 9, 2015

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Editor’s Note:  In the second report in this series, we examined the central role that the mosque plays in the radicalization of Muslims in America and the terror that is spawned in them. We pick up that thread here in more detail and will conclude our series tomorrow with a recommendation of a course of action to neutralize it going forward.

Additional sources of inspiration

and provocation in the threat of Islamist terror in America – and a trend going forward, is the marketing of malice by extremists on social media platforms and via recorded and printed materials circulated among supporters of terror groups like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood. Such media is readily available in the majority of mosques in America.

An organization known as the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) is the owner of title for over one fourth of the Mosques and Islamic centers in the United States. The group is heavily networked with the Muslim Brotherhood. The FBI quoted an informant in an investigation of NAIT and it’s affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood as telling them he was, “convinced that this organization has a secret agenda which includes the spread of the Islamic Revolution to all non-Islamic governments in the world which does include the United States.”

The memo also quotes the source as reporting that “the entire organization is structured, controlled and funded by followers and supporters of the Islamic Revolution as advocated by the founders” of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

As is their fellow organization CAIR, Council on American Islamic Relations, NAIT, was ruled in a finding by U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis as an unindicted co-conspirator, agreeing with Federal prosecutors that there is “ample” evidence tying NAIT to Hamas. The Holy Land Foundation, for example, transferred money to Hamas through a joint NAIT/ISNA bank account.

The Mosques that are associated with NAIR by virtue of the control of the property they reside on, are also in implicit compliance with the extremist philosophy of the organization’s leadership.

A notable example is the Mosque in Bridgeview, Illinois, where a fundraising effort to benefit Sami Al-Arian, a Palestinian activist affiliated with Hamas and who is known to the U.S. government as a financier of terrorism. The Chicago Tribune characterizes the scene at Bridgeview:

Among the leaders at the Bridgeview mosque are men who have condemned Western culture, praised Palestinian suicide bombers and encouraged members to view society in stark terms: Muslims against the world. Federal authorities for years have investigated some mosque officials for possible links to terrorism financing, but no criminal charges have been filed.

Moderates among the founders of the Bridgeview mosque, launched a fierce but ultimately losing battle to wrest back their mosque from the Muslim Brotherhood element that had taken control. A flier circulated warned their more rational and sober minded fellows among them that “the essence of NAIT is the [Muslim] Brotherhood,” which had started its “deliberate and distorted means of dividing the community and tearing down what we have been attempting to build for one-half of a century.”

A similar power struggle and a similar outcome took place at the Islamic Society of New England, where the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston Marathon bombers cultivated their aspirations to commit a violent event that would shake the nation.

According to local property and tax records, ICCP is owned and controlled by the North American Islamic Trust, or NAIT, which is “the bank for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America,” veteran FBI agent John Guandolo says.

Over the past 10 years, at least three mosque members of the ICCP, have been convicted on terrorism-related charges by the FBI, which has been so concerned about dangerous people attending there that it’s sent informants and agents into the mosque to investigate. The mosque has featured appearances by known terrorist supporters and has hosted Islamic Relief USA, which funds Hamas in Gaza.   

Another facet of the security risk of mosques in the United States, is the propensity on the part of the leadership of these mosques to employ a calculated strategy of deception (Taqiyya), with public authorities and the media. Mosque officials will fain shock, disbelief, and indignation at the deeds of individuals that have participated in their community at the Islamic center, when questioned about heinous crimes.

It is true that in interviews with reporters from the LA Times, mosque leaders at the Islamic Center of Riverside and congregants at Dar-Al-Uloom Al-Islamiyah, where Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik attended – express disbelief about their acts. However, some degree of healthy skepticism is in order, as the following examples will illustrate.

At first, the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City had denied that beheader Jah’keem Yisrael, nee Alton Nolan, ever attended the mosque or that they were familiar with him. But when pictures emerged of Jah’keem praying at the mosque his Facebook page, their story radically changed.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Nolen was a regular at the Friday service at Masjid An-Nasr, a mosque in Oklahoma City. According to Saad Mohammed, director of Islamic information at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, which operates it, “He was usually quiet and kept to himself”.  Mohammed recalled interacting with Mr. Nolen just once, when Nolen had placed his Koran on the floor and Mr. Mohammed asked him to pick it up. “There was nothing about him that alarmed us at all,” said  Mohammed, who added that he had heard Mr. Nolen converted to Islam in jail.

Nothing “alarming” because the mosque was teaching the same things as Jah’keem believed!  And of course, a jail conversion is a convenient deflection, when mosque officials are well aware of the incendiary dogma Nolen was receiving and internalizing at the Islamic Center.

The Phoenix mosque, the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, that the two men who conspired to shoot guests at a Muhammad cartoon event in Garland, Texas attended, also expressed bewilderment at the behavior of their congregants.

The President of the Phoenix mosque, Usama Shami, claims not to know how or when the two became radicalized. But there is a problem with Shami’s account of being ignorant of what inspired Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi to journey to Texas on an intended killing spree that was only halted by an alert police officer. The testimony of individuals who attended the Islamic Center and left because of the poisonous rhetoric, contradicts Shami’s account.

Courtney Lonergan was interviewed by reporters from the Arizona Republic, about Simpson, who she knew by his ‘conversion’ name, Ibrahim. She’s known him for a decade and shares close friends. “He was one of those guys who would sleep at the mosque,” Lonergan said. “The fact that he felt personally insulted by somebody drawing a picture had to come from the ideological rhetoric coming out of the mosque.”

Courtney disclosed that Simpson “started listening to ‘us-vs.-them’ sermons at the Islamic center along Interstate 17, the language of victimization, blaming Muslims’ plight on America and Israel and it took root”, she said.

“They tell you your neighbors are against you,” Lonergan said, likening Simpson’s mind-set to what she had seen as an inner-city community worker. “You sit there and stew and feel there’s nothing you can do about it.  He  went backwards in time.”

Lonergan remembers Simpson would never waver from the teachings he picked up in the mosque and elsewhere. While she and mutual friends would reject sermons at the mosque that she described as anti-American and political, Simpson would repeat scripture and the writings of Islamic scholars, never offering his own opinion. “Ibrahim would die for an ideology and to protect a faith.” Lonergan said.

In many cases, the outward facing public relations efforts of the Imams and administration of American mosques, is intrinsically at odds with the inner reality of the function and objectives of the mosques. As the authoritative Brill Encyclopedia of Islam outlines it, the socio-political function of the mosque is seen by Muslims as:

the place where believers assembled for prayer around the Prophet, where he delivered his addresses, which contained not only appeals for obedience to God but regulations affecting the social life of the community; from here he controlled the religious and political community of Islam…From the Medina mosque was developed the general type of mosque.

It was inherent in the character of Islam, that religion and politics could not be separated. The same individual was ruler and chief administrator in the two fields, and the same building, the mosque, was the center of gravity for both politics and religion. This relationship found expression in the fact that the mosque was placed in the center of the camp, while the ruler’s abode was built immediately adjacent to it, as in Medina.

[W]ar was inseparably associated with early Islam and the mosque was public meeting place of ruler and people…councils of war were held in the mosque.

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