A Mosque Is Not Like a Church or a Synagogue
Islamic terrorism expert Steven Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project for Terrorism, attributes the spate of mosque-building and land acquisition to the Muslim American Society (MAS), an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. Emerson contends that the MAS has been actively buying up property and establishing mosques to control the appointment of imams who “distribute the message they believe is necessary to spread Islam around the world.”
It should be noted that a mosque is totally unlike a church or a synagogue, entities that serve their communities under the law of the land and are both empowered and restrained under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Under the Establishment Clause of that amendment, the government is prohibited from establishing a state religion or conferring preferential treatment on one religion over another. Although the government may not interfere with religious beliefs and opinions, the proscription of religious practices is permissible, as in the examples of polygamy and human sacrifice.
In the U.S. and in other Western countries, Christians and Jews freely and critically choose their brand of theology from a multitude of ecclesiastic offerings and determine their individual levels of religious observance or none at all. The exercise of faith and the observance of faith-related practices occur across a broad spectrum of individual behaviors based solely on personal choice.
In Muslim countries, no separation exists between mosque and state. Islamic doctrine or sharia controls all aspects of a person’s existence, from the correct way to use the toilet to permissible forms of lying, or taquiya. For Muslims, Mohammed is the perfect man, whose every example must be emulated, even though by Western Judeo-Christian standards he was a mass murderer, pedophile, rapist, torturer, and looter. Furthermore, Islamic doctrine is immutable, and any criticism of the traditions and practices of Mohammed is considered apostasy, which is punishable by death.
No free individual will exists or is allowed when it comes to practices and observances. Sharia must be strictly followed. A mosque is a symbol of this ultimate authority and serves the function of organizing every aspect of life in a Muslim community.
Mosques are modeled after the first mosque established by Mohammed in Medina, which was a seat of government, a command center, a court, a school, and a military training center and depot for arms. Mosque leaders today issue religious decrees, enforce Islamic doctrine, monitor conduct, provide training, punish transgressions, and command actions, including the requirement to conduct jihad.
In the “Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” published in 1991 and discovered in a 2004 FBI raid of a house in Northern Virginia, the Muslim Brotherhood explains historical stages of Islamic activism for “civilizational jihad.” This usurpation of American Judeo-Christian and Western liberal social, political, and religious values by Islam was defined in the document which gave the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in America as “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and G-d’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
The Explanatory Memorandum goes on to describe the role of the mosque or Islamic center as being identical to the Medina mosque constructed by Mohammed, with its status as a military base and a provider of jihadist training. In essence, the mosque or Islamic center building operates in the service of establishing an authoritative physical presence for a strategic base of operations. Rather than the benign construction of a house of worship, the building of a mosque represents one in a series of beachheads in the interconnected network of bases to teach the skills of jihad, advance Islam, and impose sharia in due time.
The radical nature of U.S. mosques was confirmed in 2005 by a study conducted by Freedom House, “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques,” in which it was determined that 80% of American mosques encouraged Muslims to work for the establishment of the Islamic state and espoused hatred and intolerance toward non-Muslims.
Beyond the Freedom House study and further bolstering the contention that the mosque is an institution of concern for Americans is the incidence and prevalence of mosques that have harbored and trained terrorists as well as raised money for terrorist activities. One such example, the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in northern Virginia, is referred to as a “terror mill” and front for Hamas operatives. The fact that it has been investigated for its financing and aid of terrorists is not an unusual profile of activities for U.S. mosques. Established in 1982 with Saudi funding, the Dar al-Hijrah mosque is one of the largest and most influential mosques in the country. Its leaders have routinely given militant sermons condoning the use of violence and criticized U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
Imams preaching at the mosque have included Mohammed al-Hanooti, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, and Anwar Awlaki, a senior al-Qaeda operative who was linked to three 9/11 hijackers, the Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hassan, and the Underwear Bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The mosque has hosted Muslims, including Sam Al-Arian, who have been accused and convicted of supporting the terrorist group Hamas. Astonishingly, the Dar al-Hijrah mosque is still in operation, a privilege that would unlikely be extended to a church or synagogue under similar circumstances.
According to former FBI agent and expert on Islam John Guandolo, we have over 2,000 so-called Islamic centers across the U.S. modeled after the first mosque in Medina. These Islamic centers can be likened to military command centers that imbue jihad ideology and serve as processing centers for jihadist training, Guandolo says.
In view of the stated intent and the supporting ideology of mosque-proliferation, we would be well-advised to heed the words of former Muslim and professor of sharia law Sam Solomon, who declares, “We must never forget that Islam is an all-encompassing ideological system, and as such wherever there is a Muslim community there will be sharia, and wherever there is sharia, there is Islamization of the territory and ultimately the nation.”
Rather than allowing the building of more mega-mosques in the United States, we should halt existing projects and seriously consider shutting down existing mosques to prevent the proliferation of an ideology that has publicly pledged to destroy America.