Skip to comments.Saudi America-How the Saudis have radicalized U.S. mosques
Posted on 12/12/2005 5:39:53 AM PST by SJackson
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."
Which Saudis are our friends?...the one's with no power to stop the bad guys?....
The only reason I can see as to why we have not nuked or at least bombed these bass turds back to the pre stone age and take the oil they owe us in damages (for all the terror events of the last 40 yrs) is because too many of our so called leaders are in bed with them and their own personal finances and those of their benefactors and international compadres are more important to them than is the America of our founders
Link to Paul Sperry article
Well theyare in France and in the U.N.and in England and in Russia so go igure - must be true here too.
A timely issue. Saudi religious organizations hold title to at least 25% of US mosques. Our friends the Saudis have been promoting Wahhabi Islam in the United States. The Saudis are subverting the moderate Muslims here and subverting America
I have an alternate theory, and that is that these "moderate Muslims" have never existed and never will exist except in the fantasies of those without the stomach to face the ugly truth about what will be necessary to win this war.
I seem to recall you had some interest in this topic, though my memory is not the most reliable.
Yes, and it doesn't stop at the mosques.
True, a lot of it goes to universities.
There is no evidence Islamofascism provides substantial support to enviro groups (and you know I would say so had I found any).
LOl...hey wolfie @ "ya think?"...once in a great while I stir in my intellectual slumber roll over an phhhfart..
Even a blond pig finds a broken watch now an again an then announces the correct time while munching a truffle and right before falling over the obvious.
But, but, but, but......the "Saudis are our friends, really, really, really"......ping!
Too bad your alternate theory doesn't fit the facts. EVERY Muslim terrorist has been Wahabbist.
I think it does. Alleged "moderate Muslims" either: a) don't follow the Koran and aren't really Muslims, or b) simply want to conquer us with a different strategy (e.g., outpopulating us then using our own representative systems to vote themselves an Islamic state).
What a lot of us do not get is, every time we fill up our tanks with fuel, we are contributing to terror coming at us from the ragheads and south americans. We are our own worst enemies, we need to open our own oil supplies. Better yet tell the slime balls that we will pay ten bucks a barrel and let them continue to foul the earth's air supply.
You're engaging in Definition by Exclusion and so your argument is meaningless, other than to proclaim your arrogance by declaring that your definition of Islam is the ONLY valid definition.
I have no time for idealogues.
You mean, you have to time to read the Koran and see that these definitions don't come from my imagination. Guess what - it is impossible to be a "moderate" adherent to a totalitarian religion!
Every religion has a basic definition that defines its follower. For Jews: Believe in God, no other gods, etc. For Christians: Believe in God and the Trinity, Christ is the Messiah, etc. For Muslims: Believe in Allah, work towards the complete domination of the earth and all humanity by Islam, kill anyone who gets in the way.
All the September 11th terrorists were Wahhabists, thanks to Saudi Arabia's oil-for-jihad exports.
Mohammed, The Mad Poet Quoted....
You asked, "What's the big deal" is a Saudi prince wants to donate $40 million to Harvard and Princeton?
What if it's part of a larger plan?
""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. "
From author David Jonsson in The Clash of Ideologies:
"The point I want to make is that we are, at present, not engaged in a clash of cultures, but in a clash of ideologies. The Enlightenment is for the third time under totalitarian attack. Each of the three attacking ideologies rejects the concept of the dignity of the individual. Each of them is an ideology that subordinates the individual to a collective, the first a collective based on ethnic origin, the second and third based on a common faith. Each of them strives toward a messianic goal: Hitler's Germanic Thousand-Year Reich, Lenin's Egalitarian Society, and Islam's Reborn Caliphate."
Truly, the Saudis are fiends..