Skip to comments.Expert: Saudis have radicalized 80% of US mosques
Posted on 12/06/2005 6:15:52 PM PST by Alouette
Mainstream US Muslim organizations are heavily influenced by Saudi-funded extremists, according to Yehudit Barsky, an expert on terrorism at the American Jewish Committee.
Worse still, Barsky told The Jerusalem Post last week, these "extremist organizations continue to claim the mantle of leadership" over American Islam.
The power of the extremist Wahhabi form of Islam in the United States was created with generous Saudi financing of American Muslim communities over the past few decades. Over 80 percent of the mosques in the United States "have been radicalized by Saudi money and influence," Barsky said.
Before the 1970s, she explained, "Muslim immigrants who came to the United States would build a store-front mosque somewhere. Then, since the 1970s, the Saudis have been approaching these mosques and telling them it wasn't proper for the glory of Islam to build such small mosques."
For many Muslims, it seemed the Saudis were offering a free mosque. However, Barsky believes for each mosque they invested in, the Saudis sent along their own imam (teacher-cleric).
"These [immigrants] were not interested in this [Wahhabi] ideology, and suddenly they have a Saudi imam coming in and telling them they're not praying properly and not practicing Shari'a [Islamic law] properly." This Saudi strategy was being carried out "all over the world, from America to Bangladesh," with the Saudis investing $70-80 billion in the endeavor over three decades.
Barsky, who heads the AJC's Division on Middle East and International Terrorism and is the executive editor of Counterterrorism Watch, said this means that "the people now in control of teaching religion [to American Muslims] are extremists. Who teaches the mainstream moderate non-Saudi Islam that people used to have? It's in the homes, but there's no infrastructure. Eighty percent of the infrastructure is controlled by these extremists."
The same is true, Barsky said, of many of the mainstream Muslim organizations in America. Many of them are "pro-Saudi and pro-Muslim Brotherhood organizations."
As examples, she listed three important groups: the Islamic Society of North America, which "supports the Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi regime;" the Islamic Circle of North America, which "is composed of members of Jamaat e-Islami, a Pakistani Islamic radical organization similar to the Muslim Brotherhood that helped to establish the Taliban;" and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), "founded in the 1980s by pro-Hamas activists."
The problem is most acute when it comes to interfaith relations. When advising colleagues on interfaith work with their Muslim counterparts, Barsky tells them "to proceed with caution, [since] some of the [extremist] organizations have concluded that interfaith dialogue is a good way to spread the ideology."
Indeed, despite instructions given in Saudi embassy literature - and available in many mosques throughout the country - which blast Jewish and Christian "corruption and immorality" and teach Muslims that "the only way to survive is to have no contact with the infidel Christians and Jews," these organizations reach out to Jews and Christians.
Barsky explained that interfaith dialogue gives such organizations a public legitimacy that their ideology would deny them if they expressed it outright.
"So there's a problem," Barsky concluded, "with knowing who these people are, who is really moderate. [These organizations] come to the Jewish community to talk about interfaith, while they still teach anti-Western and anti-Christian doctrines to their followers. Some of the leaders have even condoned suicide bombings in Israel and against American armed forces."
Her advice to American Jewish organizations who want to take part in interfaith activities: "Take time to learn who they are and what they're saying. It's more complicated than just respecting each other."
As for finding true moderates in the American Muslim community, Barsky said such organizations "have quite a way to go before they will have the level of organization" displayed by the extremist organizations. "So there's a moderate voice that hasn't been heard. But it's starting to be heard, and that's because of the anger over [organizations such as] CAIR claiming the mantle of leadership."
For example, organizations such as the Arizona-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy and the Washington-based Center for Islamic Pluralism are both new and "have gathered under their umbrella a number of moderate organizations."
As for combatting Islamic radicals in America, Barsky thinks Americans need to change the way they think about Wahhabi Islam.
"The United States has a hard time understanding the extremists' ideology. Americans don't like to interfere in the religion of other people. But the reality is that this isn't religion, but a politicized radical ideology. It's very dangerous," she warned, adding that the people who are being taught this ideology are prime targets for recruitment by terror organizations.
"If we don't understand that [these groups] are dangerous," she concluded simply, "we're going to suffer the consequences."
Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.
I am stunned. Stunned.
And stuned. This is a very important article if the details are even half true. This is our future.
Fortunatley the percentage of these Muzzles is lower than in EU.
At least we know where to deploy the munitions, should the need arise.
The Saudi Wahhabists fund far more Islamic terrorist training sites (mosques) in the West then the radical Shi'ite Iranians.
Neither of these renegade régimes would exist without their 'oil-for-terrorism' profits.
"Expert: Saudis have radicalized 80% of US mosques
I am stunned. Stunned."
Say it isn't so! Didn't we know we are under assault on all levels?
George W Bush and Bandar Bush
As we agressively apply the Oil Slick principle in Iraq, a larger anti-American enemy slowly applies it over here: the likes of "loudmouths" as you say, and their useful "good-intentioned" following of naive liberals.
This has been known for a long time, at least since 9/11 when people started paying attention. And I had read articles about the Saudi radicalization of Pakistani madrassahs much earlier than that, back in the time of the war to eject the USSR from Afghanistan.
The problem, of course, is that the CIA, the FBI, the State Department, and apparently the President are not interested in looking at this or admitting it.
I think there was a time when the President may have had Saudi Arabia on his to-do list, but at this point it's not clear whether he even intends to deal with Syria or Iran.
WRONG.. all mosques are radical institutions..and Time Bombs..
The Saudis merely shorten the fuse of some..
But very unfortunately their percentage is not too low either.
It's gonna be ugly, folks.
Couldn't agree more.
The Saudis are a fiendly nation..
We just got a new Mosque in our town. These kid's running around with burkas and the teacher's doing the same. It makes me sick. At least a little humor though they have the crescent makes it look like an old time outhouse.
I'm shocked as well. Deeply saddened too.
Yeah, go figure, right!
Islam is an agressive, malignant, depraved socio/political system with no common ground with the West or possiblity of coexistence. The only options available are convert to islam, be a slave to islam (dhimmitude),death by islam or kill islam.
Religion of Peace bump