Muslim Enclaves in the U.S.A. -- Have One Near You?
- 2010/07/09 16:08:21
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American Caliphate, One Enclave at a Time
by Ryan Mauro
July 9, 2010
It seems almost unthinkable, but Islamist groups are, as we speak,
hard at work creating Muslim states-within-states in the U.S. Indeed,
this process has been unfolding for a long time across the Western
world, through the creation of isolated
Muslim enclaves in both rural and urban areas, as well as through
the designation of "no-go
zones" where governments admit to having little authority over
Muslims living there, essentially leaving them to function as autonomous
Daniel Pipes has tracked
numerous examples since 2004 of Muslim groups working to create
communities based solely on Islam and run by Shari'a law. As discussed
by David Kennedy Houck in 2006, "Although such concepts are
antithetical to a free society, U.S. democracy allows the internal
enclave to function beyond the established boundaries of our
For example, one such community, Gwynn Oak, has been created in
Baltimore, Maryland, consisting of Muslim immigrants and
African-American converts. The project is led by John Yahya Cason,
director of the Islamic Education and Community Development Initiative.
Cason explained that the neighborhood is a response to the problem that
"Muslim communities are ruled by Western societal tenets, many of which
clash with Islamic norms." In his opinion, there is a need for
communities with "the totality of the essential components of Muslim
social, economic, and political structure." As such, the Gwynn Oak
enclave follows specific moral rules based on Islam and people there
speak Arabic. On September 13, 2009, the construction of its three-story
Approximately 400 Muslims now live in the vicinity.
Another example involves the Islamic Center for Human Excellence,
which receives funding from the United Arab Emirates. In August 2004, it
permission to build a Muslim neighborhood in Little Rock, Arkansas,
complete with a mosque, school, and 22 homes; it would not allow the
presence of alcohol. The goal was for Muslims to find an area to escape
the alleged crime and depravity of American life, although the imam
behind the effort said that non-Muslims are welcome to join.
Far more radical groups than these are now taking the lead in
promoting and creating Islamic enclaves on U.S. soil.
One such organization is As-Sabiqun,
headed by Imam
Abdul Alim Musa, who is very honest about his disturbing
objectives. The group's website calls for installing Islamic law
worldwide, fighting for "oppressed" Muslims, and "build[ing] model
communities where Islam is lived." The website contains a point-by-point plan to
assemble mini-states in America, beginning with the construction of a
mosque and finishing with "establishing geographical integrity by
encouraging Muslims of the community to live in close proximity to the
masjid [mosque]" and "establishing social welfare institutions."
The ideology espoused by Musa and As-Sabiqun is undeniably radical.
The website boasts
about Musa's early endorsement of Ayatollah Khomeini and the 1979
Islamic revolution in Iran. It also is unafraid to say that As-Sabiqun
members follow people like Hasan
al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood; Maulana Mawdudi,
who called on Muslims to wage jihad until Shari'a law is in place over
the globe; and Sayyid
Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood member whose preaching inspired Osama
bin Laden. Musa himself has argued that
the CIA and Israel were behind the 9/11 attacks. He has admitted
that he "like[s]" bin Laden, calls Hezbollah "a great organization,"
and says Hamas members are "very nice people."
Muslims of the
Americas, led by Sheikh Mubarak Ali
Gilani in Pakistan, is a very similar group with very similar aims,
though its focus is more rural than urban. It admits to owning at least 22
"villages" around the country that are dozens of acres large and
operate under names like "Islamberg,"
"Holy Islamville," and "Aliville."
These Muslim-only lands are open to outsiders solely during planned
outreach events and sometimes to journalists.
This group has received considerable media attention due to
allegations that its isolated compounds are used for paramilitary
training, an accusation bolstered by a videotape released
by the Christian Action
Network. On that tape, a speaker is seen declaring the U.S. a Muslim
country and pledging that Muslims of the Americas will defend American
Muslims from foreign and domestic enemies.
The ideology of Muslims of the Americas is comparable to that of
As-Sabiqun, although it is more centered on following Gilani as a
representative of God who is capable of creating miracles. Gilani is
very anti-Semitic, describing Jews
as "an example of human Satans"; like Musa, he insists that a
Jewish-Zionist conspiracy is behind the attacks of September 11, 2001,
and other schemes to harm Muslims. He calls
bin Laden a "Saudi activist," while claiming to meet with Jesus and
personally to have introduced the Mahdi to a select few.
The Department of Homeland Security says
that Muslims of the Americas is linked to Jamaat
ul-Fuqra, a Pakistani terrorist group. The State Department's Patterns
of Global Terrorism report in 1998
described ul-Fuqra as an "Islamic sect that seeks to purify Islam
through violence." Other fronts for the group include the International Quranic Open University,
the United Muslim-Christian Forum,
the Islamic Post
newspaper, the Muslim Scouts of
America, the Hands
to Hands charity, Muslim
Vets, the American
Muslim Medical and Relief Team, and the Islamic
Another collective aspiring to create autonomous Muslim regions in
the U.S. is called the Ummah.
On October 28, 2009, the FBI tried to arrest one of its leaders, Imam Luqman
Ameen Abdullah, for his involvement in criminal activity alongside
some of his followers. A shootout ensued that took the life of Abdullah and
one police dog. Like Muslims of the Americas, Abdullah offered his flock
martial arts training and, in some cases, firearms instruction. He also
had his own armed security team and preached
war against the U.S. government and solidarity with bin Laden, the
Taliban, and Hezbollah.
The FBI describes the Ummah as a "nationwide radical
fundamentalist Sunni group consisting mainly of African-Americans" and says that its goal is to create "a separate,
sovereign Islamic state ('the Ummah') within the borders of the United
States, governed by Shari'a law. The Ummah is to be ruled over by Jamil
Abdullah al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown." The death of
Luqman Ameen Abdullah did not destroy this aim.
Although the Muslim Brotherhood and its American affiliates are not
directly trying to create Islam-based towns within the U.S., they are
helpful to the efforts to do so. The Council
on American-Islamic Relations' Michigan branch rushed
to Abdullah's defense and the American Muslim Taskforce
an investigation into his death. In addition, various Brotherhood
affiliates have given Musa speaking
platforms, including at major universities.
Also involved is Kenny
Gamble, a major music producer who now goes by the name of Luqman
Abdul Haqq. Gamble has been accused of trying to create a "black
Muslim enclave" in Philadelphia, closely following the plan put
forth by As-Sabiqun. Notably, he has a leadership position
with the Muslim
Alliance in North America; Abdullah also served as a leader of MANA
and Musa's name was once listed there, but has since
been removed. This suggests some level of cooperation among these
groups and individuals for their common goals.
The possibility that Muslim-only towns and urban enclaves could be
created inside the U.S. seems like a fantasy to most Americans at the
moment, but there is precedent in Europe. The French government actually
has a website where it tabulates 751 "sensitive urban zones,"
which have been accurately described as "no-go
zones." In these areas, which are mostly populated by Muslim
immigrants, there is a high level of crime and hostility to any
governing authority, including law enforcement. Police officers do not
regularly patrol the areas and they are as close to being autonomous
regions as possible without the erecting of an actual parallel
The construction of the building blocks for similar Muslim enclaves
and "no-go zones" in the U.S. is one of the most disturbing programs of
Islamist groups. If successful, these territories will be the first to
establish Shari'a law in the country, thus offering a profound challenge
to America's constitutional order.
Ryan Mauro is the founder of WorldThreats.com, national
security advisor to the Christian Action Network, and an intelligence
analyst with the Asymmetric Warfare and Intelligence Center (AWIC). This
article was sponsored by Islamist
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