Survey finds most mosques promote violent voices

Posted on June 12, 2011


By Diana West……Nobady can afford to miss a new study in the Middle East  Quarterly called “Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques.”

The authors have amassed a solid bank of peer-reviewed  data attesting to the presence and promotion of literature advocating violence  in the majority of 100 randomly selected American mosques.

And yes: that’s majority of “American” mosques. Not  Saudi mosques. Not Pakistani. Not Iranian. Not Turkish. Not even British  mosques. American mosques.

There goes that post-9/11 myth — the one that tells  us that American Islam is a happily assimilating creed, wholly different from  the aggressive Islam transforming Europe.

The new data collected by Israeli scholar Mordechai  Kedar and lawyer David Yerushalmi of the Center for Security Policy (and one of  my 18 co-authors on the book “Shariah: The Threat to America”) indicate that  most American mosques are sanctioning, if not also promoting, the study of  material of similar peril.

For me, the six tables of data boil down to two simple  and stunning facts. Eighty-one percent of the mosques in the study feature  Islamic literature that advocates violence. The authors divide the  “violence-positive material” into two categories: 30 percent “moderate”  violence, and 51 percent “severe” violence.

Further, 85 percent of the imams recommend this  literature – both lay-written and authoritative Islamic texts (not including the  Koran or Sunnah, writings said to be words and deeds of Muhammad).

It is a slim 19 percent of the mosques that don’t  feature such violent materials, and an even slimmer 15 percent of the imams who  don’t recommend it.

I guess it is in these small fractions where we might  find the real “tiny band of extremists” — perhaps among the followers of the  four imams in the 100 mosques who, the authors point out in a footnote,   “instructed against the study of violence-positive material.”

The authors follow a line of inquiry into whether  signs of adherence to Shariah (Islamic law) within the mosque — for example,  sex-segregated prayer, regimented prayer lines, bearded imams — indicate the  presence of inflammatory material.

Take sex-segregated prayer. They found that 95 percent  of the mosques where men and women pray separately contain violent literature.  At the same time, however, so do 74 percent of the mosques where men and women  pray together.

Similarly, 94 percent of the imams presiding over  sex-segregated congregations recommend the study of violence-positive material;  but so do 80 percent of the imams leading co-ed services. So, yes,  Shariah-adherence is a sure-fire indicator, but it’s not the only indicator.

No wonder the authors consider the conclusions to be  drawn from their survey as “dismal at best.” But what will those conclusions be?  What should they be? I conclude, just for starters, that there is an urgent need  to halt Islamic immigration to ensure that the demographic for more such mosques  doesn’t grow.

But having dug up the hard data on the textual embrace  of Islam-inspired violence within organized Islam in America, the authors almost  seem content to throw it all away:

“This survey suggests that, first and foremost, Muslim  community leaders must take a more active role in educating their own faith  community about the dangers associated with providing a safe haven for violent  literature and its promotion….”

The data may be new, but this is the same old mistake  we’ve made since 9/11: outsourcing our response to the ideological threat posed  by Islam to “Muslim community leaders” – and usually linked to the Muslim  Brotherhood.

This isn’t an internal Islamic problem. These alarming  data on the promotion of violence within Islam in American mosques are for the  wider, still non-Islamic society to address, and before it’s too late.

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