In 84.5% of the mosques, the imam recommended studying violence-positive texts.
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).
The survey found a strong correlation between the presence of severe violence-promoting literature and mosques featuring written, audio, and video materials that actually promoted such acts. By promotion of jihad, the study included literature encouraging worshipers 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
Sharia; 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. views… [O]f the 51 mosques that contained severe materials, 100 percent were led by imams who recommended that worshipers study texts that promote violence.
[M]osques containing violence positive materials were substantially more likely to include materials promoting financial support of terror than mosques that did not contain such texts. A disturbing 98 percent of mosques with severe texts included materials promoting financial support of terror. Those with only moderate rated materials on site were not markedly different, with 97 percent providing such materials.
These results were comparable when using other indicators of jihad promotion. Thus, 98 percent of mosques that contained severe-rated literature included materials promoting establishing an Islamic caliphate in the United States as did 97 percent of mosques containing only moderate rated materials.
These are the hard data that make plain why the “see no Sharia in America” mindslaughter redolent across the political spectrum amongst our policymaking, academic, and journalistic elites, is so dangerously delusive.
Here’s the abstract from Mapping Sharia’s report:
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.
Related: What is a Mosque?