Islamists Teach and Influence Young American Muslims: Samantha Rose Mandeles and Sean MacCormac, The Daily Wire, May 2, 2019
Qatar: “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’: Bankrolling Islamism in Europe: Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Institute, Apr. 9, 2019
Faith Politics on the Rise as Indonesian Islam Takes a Hard-Line Path: Hannah Beech and Muktita Suhartono, New York Times, Apr. 15, 2019
Sri Lanka Attacks: A Grisly Reminder That Asia is a Hotbed of Islamist Terror: Brahma Chellaney, The Globe and Mail, Apr. 26, 2019
In an age of a growing American Muslim population, the United States has seen an increase in the number of American Muslim private schools. Lobbying over public-school curricula is also an increasingly important area of focus for American Muslim organizations. By themselves, these phenomena are not problematic, especially with the focus on civil rights so commonly advanced by Muslim educators. But a problem arises when powerful American Islamist organizations use the language of social justice activism as a cover for their efforts to impose their own illiberal values on Muslim communities.
One such organization is the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which, among other pursuits, organizes annual “Education Forums” all over the country. Now in their 20th year and drawing hundreds of American Muslim educators with each occurrence, this ISNA educational conference claims to integrate Islamic teachings with social justice activism, working with Muslim educators who teach the next generation of American Muslims. But at its core, ISNA is an Islamist organization with deep ties to overseas terror networks. In the infamous 2007 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) terrorist financing case, the U.S. Department of Justice named ISNA an “unindicted co-conspirator” — naming the group as one of a number of “entities who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.” Accordingly, ISNA’s conferences — replete with extreme speakers and exclusionary ideology — facilitate the tendentious education of Muslim American youth by narrowly defining “authentic Islamic studies curricul[a]” and the “Muslim American Narrative” according to ISNA’s Islamist ideals.
On April 19, ISNA’s latest nationwide educational conference took place outside Chicago, Illinois. This year, the theme was “Integrating Social Justice in Islamic Education: Ensuring equal access to success for all students, parents, and teachers.” Indeed, the keynote speaker, British journalist Mehdi Hasan, is an outspoken commentator on the topical question of “Islamophobia” (a frequent ISNA educational conference topic). However, he is also known for a 2009 speech at a Shia mosque in London in which he stated, “Once we lose the moral high ground we are no different from the rest, of the non-Muslims, from the rest of those human beings who live their lives as animals, bending any rule to fulfill any desire.” He was also recorded describing disbelief in Islam as an “infirmity” and approvingly citing the Qur’anic classification of atheists as “a people of no intelligence.”
While Hasan later published an article apologizing for his “phraseology” in those cases, he concurrently justified his speech by pointing out that he had also called fellow Muslims “cattle.” And while he recently issued a sincere-sounding apology on Twitter, reminding his readers that “words matter,” he has now nullified his own apology by agreeing to speak for such an extremist organization as ISNA. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
In October, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini visited Qatar, the “energy giant”, where he praised the emirate for “not sponsoring extremism anymore”. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Qatar, “the other Wahhabi state”, apparently is interested not only in its economic relationship with Europe, but also in exporting its brand of political Islam.
According to a new book, Qatar Papers: How the Emirate Finances Islam in France and Europe, by two French journalists, Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, Qatar has distributed 22 million euros to Islamic projects in Italy alone. This funding has had virtually a single beneficiary: the Union of Islamic Communities and Organizations in Italy (UCOII), accused of closeness to Qatar’s pet organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, the mouthpiece of which is Qatar’s media outlet, Al Jazeera, located in the capital city of Doha.
“Qatar is today a leading funder of Islam in Europe,” Malbrunot said in an interview. His book, an important exposé of the Islamist penetration into Europe, notes that Qatar has funded 140 mosques and Islamic centers in Europe to the tune of €71 million. The country with most of the projects (50) was Italy, where Rome’s Al Houda Centre received €4 million.
A grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, Tariq Ramadan, whom several women have accused of rape and sexual abuse, has received €35,000 per month from the Qatar for being a “consultant”. The Muslim Cultural Complex of Lausanne, Switzerland, received $1.6 million. Qatar, in 2015, donated a new £11 million building at Oxford’s St Antony’s College, where Ramadan is a professor.
Qatar has also been extremely active in France. The emirate, according to the book, financed the Islamic Center of Villeneuve-d’Ascq and the Lycée-Collège Averroès, France’s first state-funded Muslim faith school. Lycée-Collège Averroès became the center of a scandal when one of its teachers resigned after writing that the school was “a hotbed of anti-Semitism and ‘promoting Islamism’ to pupils”.
Qatar has also financed other mosques in France. The Great Mosque of Poitiers, for instance, sits in the vicinity of the site of the Battle of Tours (also known as the Battle of Poitiers), where Charles Martel, ruler of the Franks, stopped the advancing Muslim army of Abdul al-Rahman in the year 732. The Assalam mosque in Nantes and the Grand Mosque of Paris are other examples.
In their previous book, “Nos très chers émirs” (“Our Very Dear Emirs”), Chesnot and Malbrunot exposed the close relationship that exists between the French political establishment and the Qatari monarchy. Among Qatar’s beneficiaries were the European Institute of Human Sciences — an Islamic facility close to the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood — that offers courses in Islamic theology. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK– Ed.]
Joko Widodo, the Muslim president of Indonesia, is into heavy metal and saving Christians. Earlier in his political career, he helped shelter ethnic Chinese Christians during deadly rioting. And upon winning the presidency in 2014, Mr. Joko filled his cabinet with women and banned a radical Islamic group that calls for Islamic law to replace Indonesia’s democracy. His election was seen as a victory for the moderate Islam that has long flourished in this country.
But this time around, as he runs for re-election on Wednesday against a pugnacious former general who has embraced the language of hard-line, Middle Eastern Islam, Mr. Joko is veering rightward.
At a Saturday campaign rally, he pointedly gave thanks to Muslim preachers, and on Sunday he visited Mecca. For his vice-presidential running mate, Mr. Joko chose Ma’ruf Amin, the 76-year-old head of the Indonesian Ulema Council, which has issued fatwas against homosexuality and the wearing of Santa hats by Muslims. No hip-gyrating traditional dancing, no premarital sex and certainly no headbanging heavy metal allowed.
President Joko Widodo at a rally in Jakarta on Saturday. His election in 2014 was seen as a victory for moderate Islam in Indonesia, the nation with the world’s largest Muslim population, but Mr. Joko has veered rightward in the current campaign.
Nearly 5,000 miles from the birthplace of Islam, Indonesia, the nation with the world’s largest Muslim population, has been widely seen as proof that Islam and democracy can coexist and prosper. “Indonesia is a country with more than 260 million people, with a geographical area of at least 17,000 islands,” Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, Indonesia’s minister of religious affairs, said in an interview. “People still treasure and respect the diversity, the differences.”
Yet as the Muslim world has wrestled with Islam’s role in modern society, Indonesia, too, has engaged in a national spiritual reckoning. In recent years, the country’s Muslim majority has embraced more overt signs of religiosity and shifted toward Arab-style devotion: flowing clothes and veils, Arabic names and Middle Eastern devotional architecture.
Most of all, a puritanical Salafist interpretation of Islam, which draws inspiration from the age of the Prophet Muhammad, is attracting followers in Indonesia. Bureaucrats steeped in austere Wahhabism draw converts in government prayer halls. Hundreds of Indonesians joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and hundreds of thousands more cheer for the group on social media. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka rank among the deadliest terrorist attacks in modern history and underscore the metastasizing scourge of Islamist violence in Asia. Radical Islamic groups, some affiliated with larger extremist networks, have been quietly gaining influence in an arc of countries extending from the Maldivian to the Philippine archipelagos, and the threat they pose can no longer be ignored.
Asia – not the Middle East – is the region most afflicted by terrorist violence. Home to the vast majority of the world’s Muslims, it is also host to multiple “terrorist safe havens,” owing to the rise of grassroots radical movements and years of complacency on the part of policymakers.
With more than 250 people dead, the Sri Lanka bombings were five times deadlier than the March 15 massacre by a white supremacist at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The death toll is also more than that of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which involved ten Pakistan-based militants in one of the modern world’s longest-ever terrorist sieges.
By targeting international hotels and iconic churches, the Islamists behind the Sri Lankan blasts clearly intended to strike a blow against Sri Lanka’s rapidly increasing tourism industry, a mainstay of the country’s debt-ridden economy.
Although suicide bombings were not uncommon during the country’s 26-year civil war, which pitted the ethnic Sinhalese majority against the minority Tamils, Sri Lanka has not previously experienced co-ordinated violence on this scale or a major attack by Islamist militants.
The civil war ended in 2009, when the Sri Lanka Army brutally crushed the last of the Tamil separatist rebels. But that outcome sowed the seeds of religious conflict between the country’s mainly Buddhist Sinhalese and a Muslim minority that constitutes one-tenth of the population.
Sri Lanka’s Muslim population is largely concentrated in the Eastern Province, where Saudi and other Gulf funding has fuelled the rise of jihadist groups seeking to enforce sharia (Islamic law). The group suspected of carrying out the Easter bombings, the National Thowfeek Jamaath, thrived in this setting. Like the similarly named outfit Sri Lanka Thawheed Jama’ath and the rapidly growing Tamil Nadu Thoweed Jamath in southernmost India, its primary goal is to foment militant Islamic fundamentalism. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
On Topic Links:
Charity Suspended Over Terror Financing Concerns Gets Canada Summer Jobs Grant: Stewart Bell, Global News, June 13, 2019 — A Toronto-area organization that was suspended by charities regulators and fined $550,000 over concerns it may have funded armed militants in Pakistan has been awarded a federal summer jobs grant.
Mali Attack: Behind The Dogon-Fulani Violence In Mopti: BBC News, Mar. 25, 2019 — In 2018, 202 civilians were killed in communal violence in 42 incidents in Mali’s Mopti region, according to New York-based group Human Rights Watch.
The Muslim Brotherhood In Switzerland — The First Decades: Daniel Rickenbacher, European Eye on Radicalization, June 6, 2019 — Two French journalists recently revealed that Qatar Charity, an organization close to the government of that Gulf Emirate, had invested more than 70 million Euros in its proselytization work in Europe by 2014, and four million Euros had been invested in the Muslim Brotherhood network in Switzerland alone, almost as much as in Germany — a surprising fact given German’s vastly superior global footprint. Besides supporting a museum and mosque projects linked to the local Muslim Brotherhood branch, Qatar also provided the Swiss-French Islamist activist Tariq Ramadan with a steady income by paying him no less than $35,000 per month as a “consultant” to Qatar Charity.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Switzerland: Part Two: Daniel Rickenbacher, European Eye on Radicalization, June 11, 2019 — In the 1980s, Western intelligence reports started to warn of the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Western Europe.
Young Religious Turks Growing Skeptical of Islam – Report: Jerusalem Post, June 12, 2019 — Young religious people in Turkey are growing skeptical about Islam, according to a report by the BBC.