European-style Islamic Enclaves in the United States?

Last week’s Brussels jihadist bombings, and their links to December’s Paris attacks that, similarly, appear to have been coordinated by the Islamic State terror network, spotlighted the challenge posed by Europe’s unassimilated Muslim communities. As I observed in a recent column, the threat posed by radical Islam is not limited to “violent extremists” (the Obama administration’s preferred sanitization of the term “jihadists­­”); it is exacerbated by the support system the jihadists enjoy in Muslim enclaves that share their sharia-supremacist ideology.

The terrorism in Europe prompted no shortage of discussion about American counterterrorism, including the suggestion by Ted Cruz (on whose presidential campaign I am an advisor) of stepped up surveillance of Muslim communities. In the aforementioned column, I explained that Senator Cruz’s proposal was a prudent call for recommitting to the intelligence-based post-9/11 counterterrorism that aimed to prevent terrorist attacks; that would be a departure from the 1990s Clinton approach, which regarded terrorism as a law-enforcement problem – meaning investigators generally did not kick into gear until after mass-casualty attacks had occurred. Cruz has also penned an op-ed fleshing out his thoughts on the subject.

An obvious question arises: Can the proliferation of Islamic enclaves that has occurred in Europe happen in the United States? For now, the situations are not comparable. The U.S. has a vastly larger population than any individual European country; and compared to Europe, we are geographically remote from the Middle East. Muslims make up only about one percent of our population (as opposed to ten percent of France’s), and because we have historically been a melting pot for diverse immigrant populations, we do a better job of assimilating Muslims into our society than the Europeans have.

Still, as I outlined in my 2010 book, The Grand Jihad, a major challenge of radical Islam’s “civilizational jihad” against the West (to borrow the Muslim Brotherhood’s description of its objective in America) is voluntary apartheid. That is the strategy by which Muslims of the fundamentalist bent integrate but quite intentionally resist assimilation. It is very difficult to assimilate a subpopulation that comes to a host country with the specific intention of changing the country rather than becoming part of that country’s culture.

So is there a large enough, determined radical Islamic faction in the U.S. to trigger the development of sharia-supremacist enclaves – many of which, in Europe, have become “no go zones” hostile to the police and other government authorities?

In a report published today, the Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro contends not only that it could happen here but that it is already happening, and has been for some time. He points to Jamaat al-Fuqra, a Pakistani Islamic-supremacist group that has rebranded itself as “Muslims of the Americas.” The group claims to have established 22 “Islamic villages” in this country, the best known of which is “Islamberg,” the group’s headquarters in upstate New York. Mauro’s report, using Fuqra’s own literature, demonstrates that the point of these villages, which are set up in rural areas remote from big cities, is for Muslims to separate themselves from Western society and govern their affairs under sharia – which includes setting up Islamic courts and implementing some of sharia’s corporal punishments (although not executions and the severing of limbs, which would be such obvious violations of American criminal law that they would prompt responsive police action).