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European-style Islamic Enclaves in the United States?

The Clarion report reminded me of the Islamization of the Bridgeview suburb of Chicago, which I related in The Grand Jihad:

In 1981, the Muslim Brotherhood enjoyed a middle American coup, using the [North American Islamic Trust – a Brotherhood organization that buys up American real estate for the establishment of mosques and Islamic community centers] to wrest the Bridgeview Mosque in Chicago from its moderate founders. The mosque became an anchor for the Brotherhood’s voluntary apartheid strategy.

As the Chicago Tribune reported in 2004, the mosque’s leaders “are men who have condemned Western culture, praised Palestinian suicide bombers and encouraged members to view society in stark terms: Muslims against the world.” Those leaders drove out moderates, they enforced Islamic dress codes and strict separation of the sexes, and they imported Salafist clerics, whose salaries were paid by Saudi Arabia. [Salafism is a fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam.] The mosque’s communiqués reeked of Brotherhood’s doctrine: one brochure, for example, warned that Chicago Muslims were at risk of “melting in the American society, culture and lifestyle”; a plea to a Saudi charity sought funding “before it becomes too late and we may lose our children because they are living in an unIslamic society.”

Most apparently, a swath of America’s fourth largest city was radically transformed.  As the Tribune recounted:

A whole new community sprang up.  The area became an upscale enclave, featuring new houses with Arabic script over the doors and sparkling chandeliers.  Mosque leaders built two schools and started a youth center for basketball and religious classes.  New clothing stores, groceries and restaurants opened in Bridgeview.  A floor-covering store turned into a Middle Eastern restaurant.  A music store became an Islamic hair salon. 

Men who attended the mosque grew their beards and traded their T-shirts for long tunics. Women draped themselves in loose, ankle-length robes.

Cook County was fast becoming home to more Palestinians than any other part of the nation.  And the mosque was now one of the area’s largest Islamic centers.… 

Most non-Muslims moved away from the mosque neighborhood, frustrated by traffic jams on Fridays and the call to prayer that rang out over mosque loudspeakers. Muslims were happy to take their places…. Some immigrants moved there to be near relatives. Some felt persecuted by the backlash against Muslims during the first gulf war. Others wanted to protect their families from what they saw as the increasing immorality of American culture.

[One woman] came to the mosque because of her oldest daughter. [She] worried about the 3rd grader's fitting in at a public school and enrolled her in one of the mosque Islamic schools. [The woman], who had only prayed at home before, started attending the mosque and covering her hair. 

“I started to understand that this was a way of life,” she recalled. “For me, this mosque became a place of tranquility.”  Still others joined the mosque because they liked the pro-Palestinian politics, sermons in Arabic and what they saw as its authentic interpretations of the Koran, the Muslim holy book.  “The community was serious about Islam,” [one] worshiper recalled. “It was easier to practice the faith here.”

It was also easier to join the Muslim Brotherhood there. After his arrest in Gaza for helping finance Hamas operations, Muhammad Salah, a Chicago academic (what else?), told Israeli authorities that he’d been recruited into the Brotherhood by Jamal Said, an imam at the Bridgeview Mosque whose salary was subsidized by the Saudi regime. Salah eventually became a top aide to Mousa Abu Marzook [a top Hamas leader and Brotherhood official who lived in the U.S. for many years and was key to establishing the Brotherhood’s American infrastructure], who incorporated him into the “Palestine Organization,” a precursor of Hamas. He confessed to the Israelis that Marzook had sent him to the Palestinian territories four times between 1989 and 1993 to fund the terrorist group’s military operations. (See here and here.)

Salah spent five years in Israeli custody. He was eventually indicted in the United States for racketeering in connection with his admitted Hamas activities. He ultimately retracted his confession, but his main defense at trial was that he’d withdrawn from the Hamas enterprise, not that he’d never been part of it. He was acquitted of the racketeering charges but convicted of obstructing justice for lying under oath about his Hamas fundraising activities. He was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment and fined $25,000. The Bridgeview Mosque encouraged worshippers to help his defense organized a campaign as the result of which hundreds of letters were submitted to the court on his behalf, pleading for leniency in the imposition of sentence.

Don’t think it could happen here?