The Wahhabi Invasion of America


The following was written by Mark Silverberg, author of The Quartermasters Of Terror: Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Jihad. Reprinted with permission.

Reza F. Safa, author of Inside Islam: Exposing and Reaching the World of Islam, estimates that since 1973, the Saudi government has spent an unbelievable $87B to promote Wahhabism in the United States, Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe.

According to official Saudi information, Saudi funds have been used to build and maintain over 1,500 mosques, 202 colleges, 210 Islamic Centers wholly or partly financed by Saudi Arabia, and almost 2,000 schools for educating Muslim children in non-Islamic countries in Europe, North and South America, Australia and Asia.

The Kingdom has fully or partially financed Islamic Centers in Los Angeles; San Francisco; Fresno; Chicago; New York; Washington; Tucson; Raleigh, N.C. and Toledo, Ohio as well as in Austria, Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Turkey, and even in some Muslim countries such as Morocco, Indonesia, Malaysia and Djibuti.

Saudi aid to Muslims abroad, however, comes with strings attached, and most of the recipient institutions end up promoting the Wahhabi version of Islam.

A Textbook Case of Wahhabism

In a region where holy war is explained in public-school textbooks as "consider the infidel your enemy," (advises a Saudi text for 10th-graders), the connection between political Islam of the sort advocated by Osama bin Laden and the education offered to Persian Gulf schoolchildren has been the subject of agonizing dispute.

In late 2002, The Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP) undertook a survey of Saudi Arabian (Wahhabi) textbooks. Unlike the Center's former surveys of Palestinian and Syrian textbooks, however, the Saudi textbook survey included the Saudi Arabian (Wahhabi) outlook on Christianity and the West as well as Saudi notions of government, women's status and children's rights as taught in schools.

The results of the survey provide some insight into the message the Saudis wish to instill in the minds of their students both in their Kingdom and throughout the world. The message, simply stated, is that Wahhabism either must dominate or be dominated.

In terms of the democratization and modernization of the Arab world, Wahhabism stands as a monument to Arab stagnation and decline.

The Report analyzes 93 school textbooks taught in grades 1-10, mostly from the years 1999-2002 and presents a "unique" religious and political worldview to which school students between the ages 6 and 16 are exposed through their textbooks. In these Wahhabi texts, Islam is presented as the only true religion while all other religions are presented as false. "Islam is the only religion leading its followers to Paradise, whereas all other religions destroy their believers in Hell. The Muslims are, consequently, superior to followers of all other religions, in both this world and the next."

Christians and Jews in particular are denounced as infidels. Jews especially are presented as enemies of Islam and of Muslims. "Muslims may not befriend them, nor emulate them in any way, lest that lead to love and friendship which is forbidden."

In a broader context, the textbooks make clear that the West, in particular, is the source of all misfortunes of the Muslim world — its most dangerous effect on Muslim society being "its cultural and intellectual influence in various fields including the spread of Western practices and habits — from Western democracy to Western influence in the fields of literature, art, music, the media, fashion, education and research — including Christian missionary work, Western humanitarian and medical aid, and even Western-invented computer games."

According to the Wahhabi world perspective, "the Jews are a wicked nation, characterized by bribery, slyness, deception, betrayal, aggressiveness and haughtiness." As such, they have been "a harmful element in world history," and are responsible, inter alia, for "the French and Bolshevik revolutions and for the outbreak of World War I."

Not content to portray the Jews solely in negative terms to students, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are presented as an authentic historical source. One textbook mentions that "perdition is the desired fate for Jews." Zionism is presented as an evil movement. Accordingly, "Zionism strives towards world domination or, at least, towards territorial expansion in the Fertile Crescent and Arabia. It uses evil means to direct world history, including some non-Jewish auxiliary organizations like the Freemasons and the Lions and Rotary clubs."

In Wahhabi textbooks, Israel is not recognized as a sovereign state and its name does not appear on any map. Instead, all maps bear the name Palestine. Israeli regions such as the Negev and cities such as Haifa and Acre are presented as Palestinian. Palestine is presented as a Muslim country occupied by foreigners who defile its Muslim holy places, especially the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The occupation of Palestine is portrayed as the most crucial problem of the Arabs and the Muslims, "who should all join forces for the total liberation of Palestine and its purification" from the Zionists.

Nor is peace between Muslims and non-Muslims advocated. Instead, the Saudi textbooks, even grammar books, are full of phrases exalting war, jihad, and martyrdom. [This is consistent with the content of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.]

The Saudi textbooks do prove one thing as a certainty — Wahhabism rejects Western democracy, and praises the type of regime Saudi Arabia has embraced, the character of which is attributed to Islamic directives.

Wahhabi Educational Outreach America, perhaps due to the inherent openness of its society, is the only country outside Saudi Arabia where the Islamic establishment is actually under Wahhabi control.

For American Muslim moderates, the harsh reality of having their religion hijacked by Wahhabi radicals is something they have yet to confront. "Radical Islamic groups have now taken over leadership of the 'mainstream' Islamic institutions in the United States and anyone who pretends otherwise is deliberately engaging in self-deception," said the late Seif Ashmawi, an Egyptian-American newspaper publisher.

Stephen Schwartz, a noted scholar of Islam has commented that "Wahhabi agents have sought to impose their ideology on all who attend the mosques they control."

Of that $87B religious propaganda budget, the Saudis have allocated considerable line-item space toward building religious institutions that promote the Wahhabi version of Islam. The Saudis have funded more than 80 percent of the Wahhabi-influenced mosques built in the United States within the last 20 years. Moreover, the majority of Muslim Student Associations at U.S. colleges are dominated by Islamic and anti-American agendas, as are most of the numerous Islamic Centers and schools financed by the Saudis.

And the most malleable minds belong to Muslim children. An estimated 30,000 Muslim children attend Saudi-funded Wahhabi day schools in America. Intolerance and outright rejection of American values and democratic ideals — classical Wahabbism — are often taught.

Susan Katz Keating, writing in FrontPage Magazine noted that the Saudi-Wahhabi worldview is gradually finding its way into these Wahhabi-funded schools. In affirmation of the CMIP study, she concluded that children learn classical Wahhabi philosophy — that on Judgement Day, "Muslims will fight and kill Jews. The cowardly Jews will seek refuge behind trees. Much like the trees in the forest scene from the Wizard of Oz, these trees will become animated and aggressive. They will call out to the righteous: 'Oh Muslim, Oh servant of God, here is a Jew hiding behind me. Come here and kill him.'"

Students are taught "it is better to shun and even to dislike Christians, Jews and Shiite Muslims." Students learn it is okay to hurt or steal from a non-Muslim.

The Saudi-supplied textbooks at these Wahhabi schools state that Muslims are obliged to consider all infidels the enemy.

As a rule, Wahhabi worshippers do not embrace the American religious community's spirit of inter-faith cooperation. They are distinctly isolationist. This attitude came to light as early as the 1990's, when Wahhabi mosques in America refused to accept help from local churches wanting to donate food to Bosnian Muslims.

Confirming the parallel findings of the CMIP study, Keating concludes that Wahhabism will not work with infidels, even if the purpose is to save other Muslims.

The Saudis, meanwhile, have directed considerable outreach toward the American Black Muslim community. In one effort to showcase the bounties of Wahhabism to this target audience, the Saudis' enfeebled King Fahd pledged as much as $8M for a lavish mosque in shabby South Central Los Angeles. The Saudis' Islamic Development Bank pledged an additional $295,000 for a school attached to the mosque.

From the Saudi perspective, this and other similar contributions are less an expense than an investment. According to Reza Safa, an authority on the manner in which Wahhabism is spread throughout the world, "as many as 90 percent of American converts to Islam are black." According to some estimates, if the conversion rate continues, Islam could emerge as the dominant religion among urban blacks.

Wahhabi Prison Outreach

The SaudiĆ­s also have a special program aimed at converting blacks in prison. In a well-documented June 2002 article in the Washington Times, Cal Thomas noted that the program is funded by Saudi Arabian money through the National Islamic Prison Foundation which underwrites a "prison outreach" program designed to convert large numbers of African-American inmates not only to Wahhabism, but to its political objectives including virulent anti-Americanism.

The Wall Street Journal (February 5, 2003) also confirmed that Wahhabism is making serious inroads into the black population of American prisons. It quoted a New York-based Wahhabi imam, Warith Deen Umar (who until his retirement in 2000 helped run New York's growing Islamic prison program by recruiting and training dozens of chaplains and ministering to thousands of inmates himself) as saying: "The 9/11 hijackers should be honored as martyrs. The U.S. risks further terrorism attacks because it oppresses Muslims around the world. Without justice, there will be warfare, and it can come to this country too."

The natural candidates to help press such an attack, in his view, are African-Americans who embraced Islam in prison. Prison dawa, or the spreading of the faith, has become a priority for the Saudi Arabian government. The Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi Embassy in Washington disseminates hundreds of copies of the Quran each month, as well as religious pamphlets and videos to prison chaplains and Islamic groups who then pass them along to inmates. The Saudi government also pays for prison chaplains, along with many other American Muslims, to travel to Saudi Arabia for worship and study during the hajj, the traditional winter pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are supposed to make at least once in their lives.

The trips, courtesy of the Saudi government, typically cost $3,000 a person and last several weeks. Prison authorities believe that these converted inmates could serve as terrorists once they are released, murdering their own countrymen in a kind of "payback" for perceived injustices done to them by white America.

On October 20, 2002, the New York Times quoted Faheem Shuaibe, imam at a large, predominately black mosque in Oakland, Calif., as saying that more than 200 African-American imams have been trained so far in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Shuaibe told the newspaper: "This was a very deliberate recruitment process by the Saudis — trying to find black Muslims who had a real potential for Islamic learning and also for submission to their agenda. They taught Islam with the intent to expand their influence. A principal target was to stop the indigenous Muslim leadership in America from tinkering with their religion."

According to the Times story, the brand of Islam being taught and exported was Wahhabism.

This is a trend worth watching. Many of America's black Muslims have harshly criticized America and have deemed it an "immoral society." Increasingly, black Muslims oppose U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, and are adopting a Saudi-influenced view of Arab-Israeli relations.

Other Wahhabis in the U.S. advocate a Saudi-style approach to American government. Daniel Pipes reports that significant elements within the American Islamic community seek to replace our Constitution with the Quran. A ludicrous fantasy, to be sure; but one that offers a glimpse of Wahhabi dreams for America. [Maybe not so ludicrous after all. Check out their 20-year plan already underway.]

Former CIA Director James Woolsey told Congress: "Wahhabi extremism today is the soil in which al Qaeda and its sister terrorist organizations are growing."

Our problem is that we are not just fighting terrorists and their financial supporters. We are also fighting a religious ideology. The intrusion of Wahhabism into America is a threat to our security and to our way of life. The fact remains that the government has not done enough to root out Wahhabism, to shut off its funding, to close down its funding recipients, or to encourage moderate Islamic leaders to emphasize the inclusive (as opposed to the exclusive) writings of the Quran and the more humble and pluralistic commentaries of the Hadith.

The U.S. has also failed to pursue a coherent political strategy aimed at de-legitimizing the ideology of Islamic terrorism in America and undermining the terrorists' sources of support. And it is becoming increasingly clear that the reason for this failure is Washington's unwillingness to risk a rupture with Saudi Arabia.

The Bush administration has to face up to the fact that Riyadh has been — and remains — the main ideological and financial sponsor of Islamic extremism worldwide, and the Saudis are not seriously interested in helping us combat it.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations Report, Saudi Arabia is the largest source of financing for al-Qaeda, and blamed both the U.S. and Saudi governments for not being tough enough.

Matthew Levitt, has said that "Saudi officials and state-paid religious leaders sit on the boards of charities that the American government suspects of supporting terrorism."

Let there be no doubt. Al Qaeda ideology is essentially Wahhabism, and most, if not all members of al Qaeda are ideologically Wahhabist.

Billions of Saudi dollars are flowing through legitimate businesses, charitable front organizations, Islamic Centers, academies, private schools, wealthy Saudi individuals and worldwide criminal activities for the sole purpose of promoting a religious philosophy that is antithetical to democracy, the democratic ideals of freedom, tolerance, religious pluralism and Western civilization as we know it. Until the administration confronts this reality in a decisive manner, lasting progress in the war on terrorism is unlikely. Wahhabism, by its very nature and history, represents a nascent fifth column in America.

UPDATE: We've come across more about this here: How OPEC Profits Are Used to Endanger Americans.


Always On Watch 4:03 PM  

Grim, isn't it?

Dinah Lord 3:58 PM  

Oy. Reading that 87bil since 1973 number gave me a headache.

Great blog, Citizen. I landed here via Hard To Swallow and have linked this sobering piece over at my corner of the blogosphere. I'll be back!

Cheers - Dinah

(hi AOW!)

Anonymous 12:32 AM  

I attended a 500 person Muslim Community Center interfaith event in one of the cities mentioned.

It was lovely with food, & people from every faith represented. An famous Imam spoke as well as the local MCC President. Both are liberal & were easy to listen to.

Then the interesting news. The Imam talked about how some significant portion (I got an impression of 30-40%) of American Muslims support Sharia as a goal in this country. I looked around the other guests & asked others afterward to make sure I heard this correctly. He also talked about some wanting to form a Muslim political party. His advice was not to call it Muslim since that's not how US works. Still they want to call it Muslim because that is who it would represent. The Imam's complaint is that too many Muslims don't appreciate the freedoms that come from separation of church & state & other freedoms... so they have these goals.

I walked away with nausea. By all means I liked some of the people & am sure they are moderate. I've worked with people that I have no thoughts about. It's just that it's NOT a small portion that aren't moderate by OUR Western standards.

Citizen Warrior 1:24 PM  

"The way to gain influence among the Muslim community is to control the mosques," Steven Emerson says. "The way to control what people think in the Muslim community is to have the right imam preach the right message. So by acquiring these mosques the Muslim American Society gets the right to appoint the imam and distribute the message they believe is necessary to spread Islam around the world."

Emerson is the author of six books, and co-author of two more. His television documentary, "Jihad in America," won the 1994 George Polk Award for best Television Documentary, and top prize for best investigative reporting from Investigative Reporters and Editors.

He is also the Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), a data-gathering center on Islamist groups.

Emerson frequently testifies before Congressional committees on al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist organizations.

Citizen Warrior 4:12 PM  

Here are step-by-step instructions for stopping a mosque-building proposal in your town:

SIOA Mosque Manifesto: All Mosques are Not Created Equal, A Handy Guide to Fighting the Muslim Brotherhood

Citizen Warrior 6:00 PM  

In a speech by Mark Steyn, he said (when answering a question) Canadian Mounties did a survey of Canadian imams. It found 85 percent of the imams in Canadian mosques were "hardcore radical jihadists."

Anonymous 12:45 AM  

Good article! Don't you think it is just too hard to say "no" to Saudi money though? It seems money has become our real god. We might now like spread of Islam in the U.S., but not as much as we like Saudi money. What about the 600 million dollars they have invested in NewsCorp? Fox news seems like they are against the mosque at Ground Zero, but they won't admit that the same Prince that supports the mosque is the same Prince that is their second largest shareholder.

Citizen Warrior 1:13 AM  

Rudy Giuliani turned down ten million dollars of Saudi money:

What we need more than anything is to turn off the flow of money going to Saudi Arabia and all Middle Eastern countries.

We need to get the flex fuel bill passed ASAP:

Abdi 6:02 PM  

Wahhabi movement wasn't caught up with in time in Ethiopia. A nation with history of peaceful Islam since almost the sixth century, around the time of the prophet, is now in jeopardy of loosing it peaceful Islamic identity. Very few Imams are left who still preach peace and coexistence. I think people need to ask the question and receive an unwavering answer for whether or not these Islamic organizations or followers who call themselves Muslims believe in an Islamic government or not!!! The people that don't support Islamic government are moderate and would know coexistence. Those who can't answer... well that is obvious.
THIS IS THE PRINCIPAL QUESTION BY WHICH WE CAN DETERMINE WHO IS A PEACE KEEPER. This need to be asked now, and not tomorrow as it is being done in Ethiopia.

Anonymous 2:28 PM  

The Saudis want to dominate the entire Muslim world. The chief obstacle to this goal has been secular Muslim dictators. Khaddafy, Saddam, Assad, Mubarak...Most talked the anti American, anti Israel talk, but allowed their people to wear western dress and access western culture. Brutal and ruthless, yes, but their people had more religious freedom than those in Saudi Arabia. They used 9/11 to get the US to do their dirty work and depose Saddam, so the radicals could take over. Ditto Libya, then Egypt. They have so far been unsuccessful in Syria.
Their other big obstacle is Iran, but they will use the Israelis to take out Iran's nukes and government. Also, pro western countries like Turkey and Pakistan have slowly been transformed into radical Muslim hell holes. Pakistan had a chance to resist, but when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, the radicals had a clear path to taking over. And the government of Turkey has been slowly turned by Saudi funding of Islamic schools and imams. After WWI, Turkey under Attaturk dropped the old ideals of Muslim supremacy and adopted a more western way of life and government. This has been undermined as a generation of Turkish youth have been radicalized.
The ultimate goal is for the Saudi royal family to dominate and rule a swath of land covering all of North Africa, the Middle East, part of Asia and the southwestern Pacific. The United States will leave them alone because we will be too weak to do anything. And they will play the Christian Russians against the Christian Americans (as they are doing now in Syria)to even further distract us. Only India and China will be left to stand against them. There's close to a billion Hindus and two billion Chinese. I'd love to see how that jihad works out when the time comes. My money is on the Chinese.

Jim 8:29 AM  

Most Americans including most in our government do not understand the dangers of giving an open door to Islam in America. I have studied the truth of Islam and the ignorance of our nation in that topic is very serious. The whole plan for Islam in America is to slowing infiltrate and then dominate. Once they have the numbers they will demand Sharia law. The already have many positions in government due to our ignorance. If you truly believe they are willing to become of American beliefs and customs you too are ignorant. This article is very good and factual of who these people really are and it isn't good for America.

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