UI – Part 356 – Islam in America (2 of 2)
(This is the second part of the blog on this topic – Part 1 appeared last week)
Adopting Mainstream American Values
The essential element of assimilation by Muslims is adopting “mainstream American values.” Those who came to America 30 or 40 years ago who are not devout Muslims may be the exception.
When it comes to recent immigrants as well as the more serious Muslims who attend their local mosques regularly and are taught by fundamentalists, I believe they are prone to become integrated into American society no more than as minimally necessary. In America, even more so in Europe where Muslims emigrating is considerably higher, culture shock is a reality for the newcomers. If they stay long enough to have children, born and raised in a free nation, things may be different. But to the extent they choose to have their children educated outside the public school system, in religious schools, they may be breeding an occasional homegrown terrorist, Islamized (radicalized) within a free nation, even as a citizen, due to exposure on a continuous basis to neighbors and peers, as well as congregants (in the Mosque), and Imams that admonish them to be strident (jihad) in Islam.
To be strident in Islam is to find mainstream values at odds with Islam, mainly from the viewpoint of freedom. That is to include anything from freedom of thought to sexual preferences to religious choices. The offspring see their Muslim parents as having been timid towards any challenge to American policies, with the Middle East a focal point. Identity with Islam becomes more important to the youth, and today more so, as non-Muslims impute a “negative characterization” of Islam and in turn Muslims. “The more they are unfairly and intemperately characterized in public discourse and the media, the more they will perceive the imperative to mobilize politically as Muslim Americans.” In turn they “regard their faith as worth fighting for.” As they unify they become more isolated, less assimilated.
It appears from the WS article fault lies in part with American’s recent attitudes towards Islam and Muslims. I believe this has come about as a result of the 911 ‘wake up call’, the habits of ISIS who define themselves as the Caliphate and defender of true Islam, the Fort Hood shooting, many other terrorist events from London to Spain, Tunisia and recently Paris, and not to forget San Bernardino, but also due to the lack of the moderate Muslim community speaking out, not just Zuhdi Jasser, but others and in greater numbers with numerous leaders, and more frequently.
I disagree though that America, and the attitudes of Americans, are at fault. The fault lies with the rigor and the intransigence of the scholars of Islam to anything that is not Islamic. In addition what is taught is that any obstacle to the advancement of Islam, militarily or as simple as a question or objection toward the ideological foundation, especially when from a totally different religious view (such as Christianity or Judaism), engenders cries of persecution, attacks on free speech, justifying resistance and fighting, to include violence by Muslims; it is what Allah encourages through the Quran and what Muhammad exemplifies. As more Muslim centers for education continue to be built, greater numbers will attend, and what they learn will be more hard core that what their parents alone will teach them.
Mainstream Islamist Values
As a side reminder Saudi Arabia offered countries in the European Union (‘EU’) funds to build education centers (madrassas and mosques) in the EU so the Muslim arrivals will have places to go to where they are comfortable and can maintain their Islamic foundations – cultural and religious (Mainstream Islamist values). At the same time the Saudi’s offered no refuge for Muslims escaping the horrors of the civil wars in the Middle East. And certainly accommodating Christians and building places of worship there is simply out of the question.
“Indeed, the college campus is often where Muslim youth begin seriously to identify themselves as ‘Muslim Americans.’” With no parental guidance they are left to their own devices to defend themselves. They respond to the nearest scholar to inform them on what to do, how to do it, and why they should be even more Muslim. There they receive inputs from Muslim Brotherhood affiliated groups such as the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and national Muslim groups from C.A.I.R. and ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America). The OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) provides funding, made available from its supporters representing over 53 Muslim Nations, to any Muslim group that encourages strict compliance with the ideological standards of Islam, supporting curriculums and political pursuits that help to achieve a goal to establish a strong foundation for Islam anywhere possible throughout the world, especially in free countries (Europe and America). There are Muslim groups that encourage females, who never grew up veiled, to wear head covering and receive a stipend for doing so. If they stop peer pressure can overwhelm them.
Not all Muslims schools encourage violent jihad, but it only takes a few to find those persons who are weak and willing to become radicalized, as was the case with the San Bernardino terrorist, even the arranged marriage with a female jihadist, and instilled with the hatred of Islam. They are encouraged to find innocent victims to massacre to make a statement.
Muslim American Population
Although the population of Muslims in America may be small, we must look to what has transpired in Europe and the United Kingdom to see what can happen as the number of Muslims increase. History has shown what the process is as Islam’s presence increases in any location. When there are few they have little choice but to blend in. However as their numbers grow that need decreases and living with like-minded Muslims is the logical path, nearer to Islamic centers of worship and education. It is not a path to assimilation into American society but away from it. And the term ‘multiculturalism’ has become the PC word that in reality diverts our attention from the concentration effect.
Read the WS article (A Clash of Generations – The cultural contradictions of Islam in America. The author – Peter Skerry. 12/28/2015). It is informative. You must sense by this reading I may be in agreement with the author on the matter of assimilation as he puts forward, but my assessment is the emphasis must be on concentrations of Muslims. When they collect in one place and their population increases they seek changes in laws and treatment to accommodate their ideological standards and Islamic law, which is adverse to the Constitution of America. As the education of the youth becomes more Islamic, aided by the development and construction of more and more madrassas and mosques, additional scholarly leaders will evolve and proclaim a greater allegiance to Islamic values over American values.
Then the concern becomes as expressed, “America is facing an ideological enemy which masks itself as a religion. Those who adhere to this ideology have been working hard to normalize their extremist views, to obtain preferential treatment, to diminish American freedoms, and infiltrate the United States government.” – Vigilancenow.org by Deborah Weiss
Concerned Muslim Parents
The parent’s concern over freedom in America, America’s values system, which encourages “autonomy and independence” of spirit “as opposed to obedience and compliance” dictated by the Quran and Islam, seeks an alternative path for their kids. They turn to their cultural faith, the ideology of Islam. Thus by seeking a proper basis in Islam from Imams, the ulema of the ideology, the way is being paved for the children of the more settled American Muslims, more integrated in many ways, to become stronger and more dedicated, committed, Muslims who in turn associate with their own. The Muslim-American is becoming part of the political Islamic frontline for the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Heed the warning signs. Jihad is the way of Islam. Moderate Muslims are not Islamic, but they have potential, and if they become ardent followers and believers, practicing what the Quran and Muhammad say, they can be radicalized and the ideology of hatred will fill their hearts. The moderate Muslim then is no longer apathetic towards true Islam and can become a warrior and ideological enemy set on destruction of America’s foundational values.
Grace and Peace