All around America, people are waking up to the fact that Islam can inspire Muslims to kill civilians. Examples:
● Bill Maher: “I mean there’s only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the Prophet. There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith. […] Now, obviously, most Muslim people are not terrorists. But ask most Muslim people in the world — if you insult the Prophet, do you have what’s coming to you? It’s more than just a fringe element.”
● Andrew Sullivan: “[Boston bomber] Tamerlan’s brain was damaged by religious fanaticism and fundamentalism.”
● The Associated Press: “BOSTON BOMB SUSPECT CHARGED; RELIGIOUS MOTIVE SEEN.”
The question is often asked, “What percentage of Muslims wish to carry out, or condone violence against civilians in the name of Islam?” A frequent assumption behind the question is that because an unknown percentage of Muslims does not do so, it would of course be wrong to deport all Muslims, and therefore — and this is the key point — nothing can be done to protect the U.S. from Islamic jihadists.
We Americans are used to thinking in terms of a single new law or a single new policy to take action for the public good. But to protect Americans from Islamic jihadists will take a different approach. It will not be a single new law or a single new policy that achieves this goal. It will be a marathon, over a number of years, of new laws and new policies, new awareness and new attitudes, that will do so.
New awareness and attitudes often come before legislation. Before we even begin to consider specific new laws, it may be helpful to begin with awareness, attitudes, and policies that do not require the force of law.
One possible place to begin is with public naming and shaming of mosques that encourage Muslims to support, condone, and pursue violent jihad. Investor’s Business Daily provides an example with the article “Bombers’ Mosque In Boston A Factory For Terrorists.” USA Today provides another example with the article “Mosque that Boston suspects attended has radical ties.” Fox News has an article stating, “The mosque where at least one of the two suspected Boston Marathon bombers prayed has a controversial history, with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, terror funding and frequent fiery sermons, according to a group that has long monitored the house of worship.”
Another possible place to begin would be to rigorously quantify and analyze relevant information. One example would be to examine what might be called the Mecca Metric. This is a measurement of what imams at mosques preach to congregations of Muslims gathered there for religious guidance:
● What percentage of these imams preach that Islam is a peaceful religion?
● What percentage of these imams preach that the September 11 hijackers violated Islam and did not go to Islamic paradise?
● What percentage of these imams preach that Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, violated Islam?
● What percentage of these imams preach that the Boston Marathon bombers violated Islam?
● How many imams will accept a challenge to include such a message every single time they preach?
● How many imams will assist by releasing video of their weekly preaching? If imams will not do so at this time, when 30 of the FBI’s 31 most wanted terrorists are Muslim, why not?
The Mecca Metric is relevant because an Internet search for what imams say at mosques currently reveals imams preaching hatred, killing, jihad, and death to congregations of Muslims who gather at mosques for religious guidance. Conversely, an Internet search currently reveals few if any instances of imams preaching peace. I have yet to discover any imams preaching at mosques that the September 11 hijackers, or Major Nidal Hasan, or the Boston bombers violated Islam.
Note that the Mecca Metric does not include statements made to the press, at interfaith events, or otherwise to the non-Islamic public by imams or by organizations such as CAIR or MPAC. Such statements are made explicitly for PR purposes. Islam apologists often take refuge behind such statements. But these PR statements mean nothing if they aren’t repeated day after day, week after week, month after month by imams at mosques to congregations of Muslims.
Establishing the Mecca Metric can help evaluate the degree to which Islam in America is in fact peaceful. A higher percentage of imams preaching peace would indicate a higher degree of peacefulness.
Those are just two suggestions for ways to begin. There are doubtless many more. Protecting Americans from jihadist violence will be a marathon, not a sprint.