Muslims gather to worship during the Friday midday prayer at the Manchester Islamic Center. At right is Imam Sherif Shabaka. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
A controversy has erupted over a mosque in New Hampshire that an investigator contends is preaching jihad. Instead of investigating, however, the local police chief has doubled down, claiming that the charges are just “Islamophobia.” Is he really willing to bet the safety of the local citizens on that?
The New Hampshire Union Leader broke the story several weeks ago, not by reporting on the investigation of the mosque, or even what was being claimed about it, but on the reaction from the mosque leaders and local law enforcement officials, both of whom agreed that the mosque had been unfairly accused. Since the Union Leader, however, did not detail the charges, there was no way to tell whether or not this was true. Then last Wednesday, investigative journalist James Simpson published the evidence at Bombthrowers, and made it clear: this mosque warrants investigation, and the police chief, Nick Willard, is derelict in his duty.
Simpson reports that investigator Dave Gaubatz found a great deal of material promoting jihad in the mosque, including a brochure entitled Jihad in Islam. Simpson writes: “This 33-page document makes clear that the goals of Islam are to subjugate the world. Under the heading What Jihad Really Is? (sic) it states:
In reality Islam is a revolutionary ideology and programme which seeks to alter the social order of the whole world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ideals. ‘Muslim’ is the title of that International Revolutionary Party organized by Islam to carry into effect its revolutionary programme. And ‘Jihād’ refers to that revolutionary struggle and utmost exertion which the Islamic Party brings into play to achieve this objective…
…Islam requires the earth—not just a portion, but the whole planet—not because the sovereignty over the earth should be wrested from one nation or several nations and vested in one particular nation, but because the entire mankind should benefit from the ideology and welfare programme or what would be truer to say from ‘Islam’ which is the programme of well-being for all humanity. Towards this end, Islam wishes to press into service all forces which can bring about a revolution and a composite term for the use of all these forces is ‘Jihad’. (p. 5)”
The Union Leader piece does quote Gaubatz saying: “On a scale of 1 -10, with 10 being the most extreme, I rate this mosque a 10.” Then it goes to the chairman of the Islamic Society of New Hampshire, Mohammed Ewiess, who “said these unsubstantiated charges are ‘full of lies’ and have spread distrust of his community.”
Unsubstantiated? Not really. Nor does the Union Leader bother to mention, and probably didn’t bother to find out, that the literature Gaubatz found in the mosque is not surprising: four separate studies since 1999 all found that 80% of U.S. mosques were teaching jihad, Islamic supremacism, and hatred and contempt for Jews and Christians. There are no countervailing studies that challenge these results. In 1998, Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, a Sufi Muslim leader, visited 114 mosques in the United States. Then he gave testimony before a State Department Open Forum in January 1999, and asserted that 80% of American mosques taught the “extremist ideology.”
Then there was the Center for Religious Freedom’s 2005 study, and the Mapping Sharia Project’s 2008 study. Each independently showed that upwards of 80% of mosques in America were preaching hatred of Jews and Christians and the necessity ultimately to impose Islamic rule.
In the summer of 2011 came another study showing that only 19% of mosques in U.S. don’t teach jihad violence and/or Islamic supremacism. Specifically: “A random survey of 100 representative mosques in the U.S. was conducted to measure the correlation between Sharia adherence and dogma calling for violence against non-believers. Of the 100 mosques surveyed, 51% had texts on site rated as severely advocating violence; 30% had texts rated as moderately advocating violence; and 19% had no violent texts at all. Mosques that presented as Sharia adherent were more likely to feature violence-positive texts on site than were their non-Sharia-adherent counterparts. In 84.5% of the mosques, the imam recommended studying violence-positive texts. The leadership at Sharia-adherent mosques was more likely to recommend that a worshiper study violence-positive texts than leadership at non-Sharia-adherent mosques. Fifty-eight percent of the mosques invited guest imams known to promote violent jihad. The leadership of mosques that featured violence-positive literature was more likely to invite guest imams who were known to promote violent jihad than was the leadership of mosques that did not feature violence-positive literature on mosque premises.” That means that around 1,700 mosques in the U.S. are preaching hatred of infidels and justifying violence against them.
None of that is in the Union Leader article. All we get is this from Manchester, New Hamsphire Police Chief Nick Willard: “What [Gaubatz] wrote in this piece of paper is slanderous. I do not believe the mosque is a hotbed for terrorism. I don’t trust this gentleman’s research. I think he is trying to sell a book. I think the guy is a crackpot and I don’t believe we have those issues in this city.” The Union Leader stated: “Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard said his detective embedded in the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has no information that corroborates Gaubatz’s claims.”
Willard doesn’t mention, and probably doesn’t know, that the FBI is forbidden to study anything involving Islam in connection with terrorism, and so it wouldn’t know the danger signs to look for in a mosque even if those danger signs stabbed them with a four-foot sword while screaming “Allahu akbar.” Willard offers an argument from authority, the weakest of all arguments, in invoking the JTTF, without establishing that the JTTF is competent in this area. He then offers an ad hominem attack on Gaubatz, asserting (with what evidence?) that Gaubatz is just trying to sell a book and is a “crackpot.” This is a classic example of “‘Shut up!,’ he explained,” and lends credence to Gaubatz’s claims: clearly the Manchester Police Department doesn’t even want to consider the possibility that there may be problems with this mosque. So if there really are, what then?
Willard wasn’t alone. Alderman Chairman Patrick Long declared: “Personally this hate talk has no place in this city, that’s just my opinion. Alderman-at-Large Dan O’Neil said: “There is no need in the city of Manchester for hatred. I know this board won’t stand for it; our citizens won’t stand for it.”
Long and O’Neil ought to be ashamed of themselves, if they still have the capacity for shame, and ought to be voted out of office at the earliest possible opportunity. It is not “hatred” to raise legitimate concerns about what is taught in mosques, given the survey information above, as well as the fact that 80% of mosques in the U.S. are Saudi-funded, and the reality of Islam’s teachings on jihad, the rights of women, Jews, etc. To smear Gaubatz as spreading hate without any investigation of his specific assertions about the mosque is to do what they claim he is doing.
Willard added that Gaubatz “stokes the flames of fear, but he does so through hatred, bigotry and intolerance. His islamophobia has no place in our country and certainly no place in the fine city of Manchester that embraces diversity of all levels to include freedom of religion.”
“Islamophobia” is a propaganda term designed to intimidate people into fearing to oppose jihad terror. Willard’s statement here is a classic example of how it works. What if Gaubatz’s claims about the mosque are true, and this is the response he is getting? In the future, people will be afraid to speak up about what they may see going on in mosques, for fear of incurring charges of “hatred” and “Islamophobia.”
But Chief Willard needs to be put on notice: if Gaubatz’s charges are true, and you waved them away just by defaming him, then when it becomes clear that he was right, the responsibility for the devastation in Manchester will be on your head.
In a sane city, Willard would be forced to resign in disgrace. But like so many others in America today, Manchester, New Hampshire is not a sane city.