April 14, 2009
Civilization and MosquesBy Mordechai Nisan
It is late in the global game of confrontation with Islamic Jihad. The lines of conflict have been drawn and the ground-rules for Muslim victory are in place. Yet many among the targeted governments and peoples have yet been incapable or unwilling to identify the enemy, at the gates and within the walls.
Now the entire globe is Islam's religious ambition and field of conquest. Bombings and attacks in New York and London, Madrid and Moscow, Bali and Mumbai, Jerusalem and Balsan, are not isolated or discrete instances of local theatre low-intensive assaults, but components of a pattern of coordinated and executed warfare of a very singular kind.
Mentioning Bali and Istanbul, and adding Casablanca and Aden, Sinai and Tizi Ouzou, contributes confusion and paralysis to the policy equation in the West. Why would Muslim terrorists carry out violent attacks in Muslim countries and against fellow-Muslims?
For Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin-Laden and his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri, not only infidel countries like Hindu India, Jewish Israel, and the Christian Philippines, constitute legitimate prey and victims, but Muslim-ruled countries as well. Theologian Ibn Taimiyya (d. 1328) defined Muslim-governed societies not conforming to Islamic law and tradition as ignominiously reflecting the pre-Islamic jahaliyya period of history - thus the legitimate target of Islamic subversion and overthrow.
Islam's Will to Power
In confronting Islamic terrorism, governments around the world and specifically under the leadership of the United States have concentrated on the improvement of relevant security apparatuses. Although intelligence surveillance has enhanced domestic security with preventive arrests and early-warnings of imminent attack, such measures cannot eliminate a threat whose origin and rationale are not especially those of weaponry, battalions, and conventional warfare.
The manual of Islamic jihad is canonized in the sacred Koran. The believers, and only Muslims are dignified by the term mumin'in (believers), are enlisted to go ‘in the way of Allah' and fight and kill the enemies of Islam. The Koran opens with the exordium declaration that God is compassionate and merciful, but He is eminently cruel against those who reject Him and His messenger-prophet Muhammad. With piercing insight Frithjof Schuon elucidated three essential and successive principles of Islam: Truth-Victory-Generosity. The genius of Islam and that of the Arab race converge, he wrote, as the collective embodiment of the soul of Mohammad.[i]
Islam is not a private spiritual experience but a public campaign of conquest, colonization, and conversion. In the Muslim East, governments and mobs persecute, outlaw, and hound the Christian faith and faithful. Christians flee in fear from Iraq and Egypt, and churches are closed down in Algeria. Christianity is prohibited in Riyadh - Saudi convert Hamoud Bin Saleh was reported arrested in early 2009. Christianity is dwindling in the East: consider holy Bethlehem, Aleppo in Syria and Tripoli in Lebanon - while Islam flourishes in the West.
The mosque is the locus of religious faith and jihadic indoctrination. It is a place of prayer that serves as the barracks for gathering the soldiers. In the early days of Islam the mosque was a center for forging military preparedness, awaiting the spiritual command to go out and fight the enemy. The Muslims would line up in prayer "as in a battle formation."[ii] Mosques serve, as defined by Samuel Huntington in his book Who Are We?, ‘as a base and a cover'.[iii]
Tawfiq Hamid, an Egyptian doctor, related his nightmarish experience as a former believing Muslim fanatic. He recalled how the local imam positioned the believers tightly together in their prayer positions, assuring close contact, while teaching that ‘God loves those who fight for Him as a solid wall'.[iv]
In the mosque a niche (mihrab) in one wall indicates the direction of prayer toward the holy city of Mecca. Appropriately, Saudi Arabia as the sacred keeper of Islam's most sacred site is today one of the great promoters of jihad and Islam around the world. It is to Arabia that Muslims world-wide face five-prayer times daily, looking for religious inspiration and financial sustenance to continue their global struggle.
The history of Muslim warfare was traditionally crowned with mosque-construction in lands conquered and occupied in the name of Islam. Atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem the new rulers adorned aggression with a cultural symbol and built the Aqsa Mosque in 705. In late September 2000, the Palestinians launched their Al Aqsa Intifada against Israel, ending their rabble-rousing Friday public prayer in the Aqsa mosque by raining rocks on Jews praying below the Mount at the Western Wall.
A yet more arrogant practice was to either destroy churches, in Nazareth in 661, or to transform existing churches into mosques, in Damascus in 637 and the Greek Orthodox Church of Hagio Sophia in Constantinople (renamed Istanbul) in 1453. When the Muslims seized Hebron in 637, they desecrated while redesigning the Cave of the Patriarchs into the Ibrahim Mosque. A notorious Muslim practice in the theatre of warfare was to massacre Christians in their churches: Armenians in Nakhjavan in 705, Greeks in Thessaloniki in 904, and Lebanese in Ayshiyyah in 1976.[v]
Muslims build hundreds of mosques, madrasa schools, and cultural centers throughout Western countries. Some have come to recognize the insidious danger, sensing that the Muslim goal is power and not freedom, conquest and not integration. Congressman Peter King (R-NY), former Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, publicly stated that 'Unfortunately, we have too many mosques in this country'. Meanwhile, it was reported in January 2009 that the FBI was using planted agents to conduct surveillance in mosques in America.
The case of the Islamic Society of Boston, in constructing the largest mosque in New England, was revelatory of the infiltration strategy. The mosque project had proven links with the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, known to fund Islamic terrorism, specifically the Palestinian Hamas movement. Moreover, the Boston mosque is connected through the Muslim American Society with the powerful Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood whose definitive goal in America is, as defined in a document from late 2008, "Grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western Civilization from within."[vi]
A revelatory connection between mosque and jihad characterized Hamas practices in the Gaza Strip. When Israel initiated its military operation in late December 2008, its air force bombed the Gazan neighborhood Tel el-Hawwa mosque, and other mosques in Jabaliyya, which served as secret storehouses and launching pads for Qassam rockets and Grad missiles fired by Palestinians against Israeli civilian targets.
Jihad And America
Jihad is a stimulating and turbulent myth, while the mosque offers a space for mental transcendence, a headquarters for mobilization, a vision of conquest.
The muezzin call to prayer in Detroit and Manhattan, where mosques are disingenuously named ‘Islamic Centers', is a manifest violation of public space and private comfort for many. Muslims are determined to set the social rules by segregating classrooms, gyms, and swimming pools; promoting Muslim prayer in public schools; probing social resistance with women's head-covering scarves and non-alcoholic taxis; and enticing conversion through out-reach programs in prisons, religious discussions in mosques, and extensive internet missionary propaganda. For the Koran categorically states (3:18): "The only true faith in God's sight is Islam."
In America, the Muslim goal is not to earn acceptance but to acquire ascendancy in the mosaic of society. Omar M. Ahmed, former chairman of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told a crowd of California Muslims in July 1998 (though he later denied this) that 'Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant'.
For Italian philosopher-novelist Umberto Eco, writing a month after the 9/11 trauma, the freedom of religion was a sacrosanct principle. He wrote about the West with these words: "We are a pluralist civilization because we allow mosques to be built in our countries, and we are not going to stop simply because Christian missionaries are thrown into prison in Kabul. If we did so, we too would become Taliban."[vii] And he hoped that, if we allow mosques in our countries, then one day there will be Christian churches in their countries - or at least Buddhas won't be blown up.
Islam, engaging in archaic religious warfare, is committed to change the political order by a sweeping and fundamental transformation of society, culture, and morality. Rules and restrictions as in Saudi Arabia would strangle America; personal and public morality - concerning men and women - would be chiseled into form by the likes of Iranian ayatollahs and Egyptian muftis, though they speak American home-grown English. The individual happiness principle - just holding hands at the amusement park - would be smothered; and the intoxicating fragrance of individuality and creativity would be crushed in Islamic America.
The Muslim replacement strategy for America is on track. It took a few centuries following the death of Muhammad until Zoroastrian Iran and Byzantine Egypt overwhelmingly Islamicized. Even if it takes one or two hundred years, the final triumph is considered by the believers in Tehran and Cairo, but also in Houston and Minneapolis, a historical certainty. Veiling their intentions and women, the Muslim conquest advances.
Indeed, the method of indefatigable religious propaganda, rather than terrorism, is what can assure Islam's ultimate success. CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper admitted in a 1993 interview that he wants to see America become a Muslim country; not by violence, he admitted, but 'through education'.[viii]
In the end, who will be blamed for the cataclysm? Politicians who failed their constituents, the media who misconstrued the victim, clerics who preached dialogue rather than disclosure, intellectuals who betrayed national values; and those who stood by watching the exploitation of democracy rather than guarding its inner poise, its light and sweetness, for the free and brave people of America.
Dr. Mordechai Nisan resides in Jerusalem and lectures on Middle East history and politics. Email contact
[ii] Khalid Yayha Blankinship, The End of the Jihad State: The Reign of Hisham Ibn 'Abd al-Malik and the Collapse of the Umayyads, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994, p. 15.
[iii] Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004, p. 363.
[v] See Andrew G. Bostom, ed., The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, Amherst, N.Y.: Prometeus Books, 2005.