Four days after the November 13 Paris attacks, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the U.S. will have “absolutely no choice” but to close down mosques where “some bad things are happening.” He suggested people need to—and are finally starting to—understand this.
In a word association game, conservative Donald Trump’s name would not trigger as a response that of France’s liberal president, Francois Hollande. Yet Hollande also agrees it is time to shut down some mosques.
During World War II, the U.S. used Navajo Indians to transmit messages in code over open radio nets. Most codes at the time were susceptible to being broken but, since the Japanese did not understand the Navajo language, its code never was.
Similarly, our failure to understand Arabic leaves us oblivious to the coded anti-West hate messages delivered in many mosques. If we understood them, we would not be surprised Muslim radicalization takes place in mosques serving as hate cauldrons.
The lack of Arabic speakers in critical U.S. government and military intelligence positions has plagued America ever since 9/11. Purportedly, when U.S. forces invaded Iraq in 2003, it only had a handful of translators available.
Westerners’ Arabic illiteracy makes it easy for Islamic religious leaders to speak out both sides of the mouth—expressing moderation when addressing us in our native tongue but revealing a radicalized side when addressing believers in Arabic.
Such was the case with television Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi—considered one of the most influential Islamic scholars—in an interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel in 2006.
It was noted during the interview, Qaradawi “magnanimously conceded that there is also room in heaven for devout Christians and Jews. But on his Arab-language website a short time later, he made it clear he believes Christians and Jews are ultimately nothing more than infidels” for whom Paradise is non-existent.
Qaradawi felt it necessary to quickly make this clarification lest he leave believers confused. His message is the same promoted in the Quran: Inhuman infidels have but three options: convert to Islam, death or, where allowed, pay a tax to Muslims, known as “jizya,” to practice their own religion. (U.K. Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary has taken this last option to a brazen extreme, claiming he accepts U.K. welfare as jizya payments.)
Der Spiegel went on to report the following:
In a Berlin mosque, a television crew secretly recorded the sermon of a Turkish imam who described the Germans as godless and railed against their alleged stench. In London, hate preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri called upon the faithful to murder female tourists in his native Egypt, saying: ‘If a woman, even a Muslim woman, is naked and you have no way of covering her up, it is legitimate to kill her.’
In researching its article, Der Spiegel had sent correspondents to visit mosques from Nigeria to Indonesia to sit in on imams’ Friday Prayers, as that day’s prayers are the most important for devout Muslims. Some countries, such as Egypt, have to post police outside mosques on such days “to ensure that religious speech doesn’t suddenly turn into political invective.”
In countries like Pakistan (birthplace of San Bernardino mass killer Tashfeen Malik), Der Spiegel reported “religious scholars whipped their listeners into a holy frenzy and drew a sharp line between the Dar al-Islam, or House of Islam, and the Dar al-Harb, or House of War—the two spheres into which schools of Islamic legal thought have divided the world.”
According to this interpretation of Islam, there is a sphere where Islam already reigns (Dar al-Islam) and one where it does not, but eventually will (Dar al-Harb), thus making the latter a sphere of perpetual war until it happens. Nothing lies in between— i.e., there is no place on Planet Earth where non-Islamic control is to be respected and left in peace. Apparently, world peace only evolves upon global submission to Islam—i.e., in the form of a global caliphate. And, until the caliphate is established, every Muslim has a duty to carry out jihad to achieve it.
This theme is repeatedly taught in mosques, brainwashing followers to believe infidel life is valueless and Allah will only welcome into Paradise those Muslims committed to jihad. Such brainwashing includes banning believers’ independent thought to question such Islamic teachings as the words of the Quran are those of Allah and, therefore, not subject to man’s interpretation. Meanwhile, these imams, hypocritically, proffer their own Quranic interpretations for their flocks to follow.
Unsurprisingly, such brainwashing in mosques around the world nurtures fertile soil in which the seed of radical thought blossoms.
For President Hollande, the Paris attacks cast a light into the dark teachings of mosques in his country. Acting on a state of emergency declaration immediately after the attacks, which parliament later extended through February 26, 2016, security operations were mounted to search mosques nurturing radical beliefs. The raids uncovered various indicia of a not-so-peaceful religion, including guns and jihadist documents hidden behind walls, resulting in several mosques plus various Islamist front companies being shut down for engaging in a “pattern of radicalization.”
French authorities have now conducted more than 2,700 warrantless raids on houses and businesses, arresting hundreds. One such house raid generated discovery—in a Muslim woman’s possession—of a “fake pregnancy” belly covered in tin foil used to shield explosives from detection.
Mirroring France’s concerns, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also authorized searches of suspicious mosques. One in Stuttgart had been attended by 20% of the German fighters who ultimately made their way to Syria.
Former FBI agent John Guandolo warns America has become a breeding ground for jihadist networks. Of the more than 2,200 Islamic centers and mosques in the U.S., “the vast majority of them are a part of this network—they’re hostile.”
Similar to the Navajo code talkers, Islamist imams are delivering coded messages—only theirs contain anti-West, hate-filled invective. Trump, Hollande and Merkel all understand this and seek to shut down the cauldrons of hate from which they emanate. Unsurprisingly, President Barack Obama has yet to get the message.
Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.