The day after seven people were arrested in Miami for trying to raise an “Islamic Army” to wage jihad by mounting terror attacks against the Sears Tower in Chicago and other landmarks, FBI Director Robert Mueller pointed to a new terror threat: “These extremists,” he said, “are self-recruited, self-trained, and self-executing. They answer not to a particular leader but to an ideology. In short, they operate under the radar.”
The plotters were members of the Moorish Science Temple, a bizarre precursor to the Nation of Islam. While the Council on American Islamic Relations has asked the media to refrain from calling the group members Muslims, clearly it was the Islamic elements of the group’s theology that led them to begin plotting. According to the Telegraph, “the basic tenet of Moorish Science is that all black people are born as Muslims and are descended from the Moors, a nomadic North African tribe.” The Islam of the Moorish Temple has only a glancing resemblance to orthodox Sunni Islam, but the connection is real: the father of the accused ringleader, Narseal Batiste, has said that his son, according to AP, “was determined to study the Quran.” And their attempt to make contact with al Qaeda makes their allegiances abundantly clear.
Others recently have also operated below the radar, apparently motivated only by the same ideology that seems to have been the primary impetus of the
This is the ideology to which Mueller was referring. And he’s right: there is no way to spot a Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar in advance. Anyone can read the Koran the way Taheri-azar did, and come to the conclusions he came to. But in part this is because American Muslim advocacy groups, for all their self-proclaimed moderation, have done little or nothing to combat the spread of the jihad ideology in American mosques. One might reasonably expect, if they really abhor that ideology as a twisting of Islamic principles as much as they say they do, that they would have developed and implemented comprehensive programs within American mosques to make sure that that ideology does not proliferate within them, and that they would have made it abundantly clear that that ideology is unwelcome and its adherents expelled and reported.
If they did this, Mueller and his colleagues would have a fighting chance to begin to make headway against this ideology. That they have not done so, and have not been called to account by government and law enforcement officials, as well as by the media, for not doing so, is an increasingly serious and glaring omission.