by Christopher W. Holton
The French are slowly waking up from their denial.
At some point America will come to a crossroads on this same issue. If a mosque is found to be involved in material support for terrorism in the US, it should NOT be protected by the 1st amendment of our constitution.
And make no mistake, it is in fact in the mosques that recruitment and organization for Jihad is occurring. Despite what the so-called mainstream media’s narrative claims–namely that “radicalization” occurs simply over the internet and social media–an honest review of history indicates that it is mosques that serve as the outposts for Jihad around the world.
There is evidence to support this.
In France this week, security agencies shut down three mosques. One was in Lagny-sur- Marne, a suburb of eastern Paris. Nine Muslims associated with that mosque were placed under house arrest and 22 others from barred from leaving France.
According to USA Today, in that investigation, police seized a 9mm handgun, a computer hard drive that was hidden behind a wall, as well as jihadist propaganda materials. Police also discovered documents about an unregistered Quranic school.
In addition, two other mosques, one in Gennevilliers in the northwest suburbs of Paris and one in Lyon, were closed by French police. Moreover, four Muslim “prayer rooms” in the Nice area in the south of France have also been shut down. It is worth noting that these so-called “prayer rooms” are very common throughout the West and are often operated in strip malls and in store fronts and private homes.
The Germans have been shutting down mosques for a few years now and, as of yet, they haven’t been hit by a Paris or Brussels-style attack.
Back in December, they shut down a mosque in Stuttgart that was involved in recruiting for the Islamic State:
“Through the association, donations have been collected for terrorist groups and fighters recruited for the Syrian conflict. In addition, the association and its members glorify jihad and religiously motivated terrorism.”
The German police confiscated computers, data storage devices, cell phones and documents in that raid.
In December 2014, the German police shut down a mosque in Bremen on charges that it too was recruiting for the Islamic State.
But the most notorious mosque in Germany was probably the Al-Quds Mosque in Hamburg. That mosque served as a meeting place for some of the September 11th hijackers and was finally shut down in 2010 after German authorities uncovered an Al Qaeda plot to launch terrorist attacks across Europe. Several members of the mosque had been recruited to travel to Pakistan and Afghanistan to train to participate in Jihad.
Contrary to what you may read or hear from pundits here in the U.S., the role of mosques in the U.S. is not much different from what we have seen in Europe.
The first indication of that came back in the 1990s as detailed in the book “Willful Blindness” by former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy. That book details the conviction of Omar Abdel Rahman, also known as “The Blind Sheikh,” who preached at three different mosques in the New York area. Educated at the prestigious Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, Rahman issued a fatwa in the U.S. that declared it lawful to rob banks and kill Jews in the U.S.. His sermons condemned Americans as the descendants of apes and pigs.He called on Muslims to assail the West, cut the transportation of their countries, tear it apart, destroy their economy, burn their companies, eliminate their interests, sink their ships, shoot down their planes, kill them on the sea, air, or land.
Rahman recorded his sermons in Brooklyn on cassette tapes and sent them to Egypt as the spiritual leader of Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, a Jihadist terrorist group based there.
Rahman was eventually convicted in 1995 of seditious conspiracy and sentenced to life in prison.
This was certainly not the only example of an Imam preaching Jihad and recruiting for Jihad at a mosque.
Anwar al-Awlaki was a U.S.-born Imam who went on to become the head of AQAP–Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Before that, however, he served as an Imam at the Denver Islamic Society (where he was caught encouraging a member to travel to Chechnya to fight the Russians), the Masjid Ar-Ribat al-Islami mosque in San Diego, as well as the notorious Dar al-Hijrah mosque near Falls Church, Virginia, where he preached to at least two of the September 11 hijackers and an Army doctor named Nidal Malik Hasan, aka the Fort Hood shooter.
Al-Awlaki fled the US after serving as the Muslim chaplain at George Washington University and actually delivering sermons to the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association at the U.S. Capitol. He met his demise in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
Then there is the case of Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, also known as Omar Shafik Hammami. He grew up in the quiet gulf coast town of Daphne, Alabama, served as the president of the Muslim Students Association at the University of South Alabama and went on to become a Jihadi fighter with Al Shabaab in Somalia. While this man was not an Imam himself, it is extremely suspicious and interesting that his father, a Syrian immigrant, served for a time as an Imam in Daphne as well.
Another case in which the son of an Imam became a Jihadist terrorist is that of Adnan Gulshair el-Shukrijumah, the son of Gulshair Muhammad el-Shukrijumah, the Imam at the notorious Masjid Nur al-Islam mosque in Brooklyn, who made a career on the payroll of the Saudi government preaching Islamic supremacism and Jihad. The elder el-Shukrijumah also preached sermons at Masjid al-Farooq mosque in the same area of Brooklyn, which served as the religious base of operations for Ramzi Youssef and the other 1993 World Trade Center bombers. After all of this activity, the entire family moved to Florida where the elder Gulshair served as Imam at the Masjid al-Hijrah mosque.
The younger Gulshair did not follow in his father’s footsteps as an Imam preaching and recruiting for Jihad. He decided that joining Al Qaeda was the way to go. He rose in the ranks of Al Qaeda before being killed in a counterterrorism raid in Pakistan in December 2014.
It should be pointed out that the Imam fathers of these Jihadis denied any knowledge of how their sons could have found their way into Jihad…uh huh.
Finally we have the case of Carlos Bledsoe, also known as Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, named for his Imam as the Islamic Center of Nashville, who was recruited for Jihad in Nashville and sent to Yemen to a Jihadi training camp, before returning to the U.S. to murder U.S. Army Private Andy Long in Little Rock, Arkansas, as depicted in the movie “Losing Our Sons.”
If you haven’t seen that movie, you should, especially for the audio and video footage of Imams at mosques preaching violent Jihad.
What all this means is that Jihad isn’t just happening over the internet and social media. The French and the Germans evidently are starting to understand that, according to Islamic doctrine, mosques are not the same as churches in the West. In addition to places of worship, mosques are also the equivalent of the town hall, court house, school, community center…and the national guard armory.
Will our own bureaucratized counterterror apparatus ever wake up to this reality?