Homeland Security: An alarming new study shows homegrown terrorists are not just radicalized in prisons or chat rooms but in mainstream U.S. mosques. Now if someone would just tell the White House.
A survey of 100 randomly selected mosques in America finds 81% of them feature Islamic literature — not including the Quran and Sunnah — that advocates violence. And 85% of the imams running the mosques actively recommend these tracts.
Only 19% of the mosques do not disseminate Islamic materials sanctioning jihadi violence, according to the peer-reviewed data collected by two scholars sponsored by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy. If accurate, this turns everything we've been told by Washington on its head.
Despite pleasant platitudes to the contrary, the majority of mosques are not preaching interfaith tolerance and assimilation. While some do, they are the exception — the fringe. It's the mainstream mosques that are actually radical. Fully four of every five, in fact, may be potential hotbeds for terrorist activity.
And the overwhelming majority adhere, at least in their worship rituals, to Shariah law — the strict Islamic legal code practiced in Saudi Arabia. The survey found, for example, that most American Muslim women are forced to pray separately from men and cover themselves with scarves and veils.
We're not talking about mosques in Saudi Arabia or Iran. Or even Britain. These are Islamic centers operating right here inside America — more than likely in your neighborhood. And new ones are popping up every day.
A popular tract distributed in U.S. mosques is "Milestones" by Sayyid Qutb, the man who inspired Osama bin Laden. If anyone restricts others from accepting Islam, Qutb exhorts Muslims, "then it is the duty of Islam to fight him until either he is killed or until he declares his submission."
What's stunning is that this tract is categorized by the authors — whose study is published in the latest issue of "The Middle East Quarterly" — among the featured Islamic literature advocating "moderate" violence. And that grouping is in the minority. More than half the mosque tracts surveyed exhort Muslims to commit "severe" acts of violence.
This is the first empirical evidence answering the question vexing experts: What is radicalizing the growing crop of homegrown Muslim terrorists in America? The answer may be Muslim places of worship.
Will the administration pay attention? Don't bet on it. It's too busy doing outreach with these very same mosques. The State Department coordinates diplomatic training programs with Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center just outside the capital, even though the mosque has been the subject of several FBI terror probes including the 9/11 case.
Meantime, White House national security advisers are conducting formal outreach with another Washington-area mosque, ADAMS Center, even though its imam also heads an organization named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history. And even though his mosque has been cited for distributing violent Saudi propaganda.
Also, the Justice Department recently stepped in to defend the construction of a mega-mosque in Tennessee, though the top mosque officials include a convicted felon and a Hamas supporter who had to be suspended by the mosque after local press exposed his radical ties.
Despite overwhelming evidence that many mosques operate as hubs for terrorism, none has been shut down. And more are being built without any investigation into their sources of funding or leadership.
The seminal mosque study proves that al-Qaida doesn't need the Internet or prisons to radicalize Muslims. It's getting plenty of help from our own mosques, which hold services every Friday often to overflow crowds, including ones not far from the Pentagon and just across the Potomac from the White House and Capitol.
Instead of holding more hearings on prison radicalization, House Homeland Security Committee chief Pete King would be well-advised to investigate mosque radicalization, political correctness be damned.