The Wahabi Invasion of America

The Wahabi presence in the United States is a foreboding one that has potentially harmful and far-reaching consequences for our nation’s mosques, schools, prisons and even our military. My fear is, if we don’t wake up and take action now, those influenced by Wahab­ism’s extremist ideology will harm us in as of yet unimaginable ways. —U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)

In February of 2003 a University of South Florida professor and six others were charged with aiding Islamic Jihad, a global terrorist organization.

In July a federal grand jury in Dallas, Texas, in a 42-count indictment, arrested leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, charging its officials with raising more than $12 million to funnel to the terrorist organization Hamas.

Also in July two New York Muslim clerics were arrested for alleged connections to al-Qaida and for attempting to purchase a shoulder-fired grenade launcher.

These incidents raise the question of how deeply radical Islamic elements have become imbedded in the United States. Among the prime suspects under investigation are groups financed by Saudi Arabian interests known to be making huge investments in the spread of the extremist Wahabi Muslim doctrine in America. Larry Medford, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, reported to a Senate subcommittee in 2003 that the FBI has launched an initiative to uncover such sleeper cells in forty states.

State Department statistics show Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States. According to a recent survey, there are 1,209 mosques in America, with well over half founded in the past 20 years. Between 17 and 30 percent of American Muslims are converts to the faith. Accurate population figures for Muslims in the United States vary widely, from some 2 million to 7 million.

Whatever the population, non-Wahabi Muslim leaders say approximately 80 percent of all U.S. mosques are under the control of Wahabi imams and subsidized by Saudi Arabia. In addition to funding mosque construction and subsidizing programs, the Saudis are said to be pouring millions into creating a system of schools teaching militant Wahabi doctrines.

Given the 8O-percent figure, and considering that mosques are operating in every U.S. state, Wahabis are becoming a formidable influence. For example, the State Department lists 327 mosques in California, 67 in Texas, 57 in Florida, and 140 in New York.

An example of anti-American Muslim rhetoric was documented in terrorist expert Steven Emerson’s 1994 PBS documentary, Jihad in America.

If the Americans are placing their forces in the Persian Gulf, we should be creating another war front for the Americans in the Muslim world-and specifically where American interests are concentrated. —Mohammad Al-Asi, leader of the Washington Mosque and head of the Islamic Educational Center in Washington, D.C.

What sets the Wahabi segment of Islam apart as a danger to America and the West?

For starters, Wahabism has been described as an Islamist totalitarian system. Its strictures include suppressing women and invoking the death penalty for alcohol consumption, sexual transgres­sions, and conversion to another religion. Western influence and close interaction with non-Muslims are seen with a mixture of disdain; contempt; and, at times, aggression that is believed to be sanctioned by the Qur’an.

Prime targets for Wahabi animosity are Israel and America. Practitioners of the Wahabi brand of Islam are committed to spreading the religion around the world by peaceful or coercive means.

The Muslim Student Association, with solid Wahabi commitments, operates chapters on virtually every major campus in America. In league with militant left-wing organizations, it has been in the forefront of organizing and executing anti-Israel, anti-Semitic hate campaigns on campuses.

A student publication at Rutgers University published a cartoon depicting a Jewish man suspended over a burning oven. The caption read, “Knock a Jew in the oven.” At Wooster College in Ohio, a guest  lecturer spoke about the infamous Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as if they were true. At Northwestern University in Illinois, swastikas were painted throughout the  campus nine times in a single year.

The Wahabis’ brand of religious militancy is not simply a matter of being out of step with the American values and Judeo-Christian traditions of their adopted home; it is a potential menace to other Muslims who do not embrace the excesses of Wahabism. As has been demonstrated by the Muslim­-on-Muslim war in Darfur, Sudan, Wahabis are not above attacking other Muslims whom they consider not Muslim enough for their taste.

Thus far, understanding the full extent of these problems has escaped most Americans; but if we don’t deal with this information now, we’ll be sweeping the problem under the rug instead of sweeping it up.

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