A prominent Muslim leader in the United Kingdom with links to the Muslim Brotherhood estimates that half of the mosques in the West were founded by Brotherhood members. The Brotherhood presents itself as moderate, but it supports violent jihad and is the parent organization of Hamas.
The estimate was made by Mohamed Ashmawey, CEO of London-based Islamic Relief Worldwide, the worldâ€™s largest Muslim charity.
He was responding to his organizationâ€™s admitted Muslim Brotherhood origins and its designation as a terrorist entity by the United Arab Emirates and Israel. The Israeli government says Islamic Relief Worldwide sends â€œmillionsâ€ of dollars to Hamas every year.
â€œIf this is a crime to have someone as a founder as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, they will have to close 50 percent of the mosques in the West because they also had founders from this group,â€ he said.
The Muslim Brotherhood is responsible for establishing the most powerful Islamic institutions in the West, though that does not mean that most Muslims or most mosque attendees subscribe to its Islamist ideology. Surveys consistently show that Muslim-Americans largely reject extremism, though a formidable minority remains committed to it.
A 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo discusses how the group established a network of front organizations in America for â€œunifying and directing Muslimsâ€™ effortsâ€ under an â€œan effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood.â€
The Brotherhood hoped that its control of the main infrastructure would enable it to lead the growing community.
The struggle that followed is encapsulated in this 2004 Chicago Tribune story about Islamists taking control of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois. A 2003 St. Petersburg Times article also reports on the Islamist challenges for the leaderships of mosques in Florida, California, Illinois, Texas and Arizona.
The Brotherhoodâ€™s purpose, as stated in the 1991 memo, is to wage â€œa kind of grand jihad, in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and â€˜sabotagingâ€™ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believersâ€¦â€
One of the organizations listed in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo as a front for this purpose is the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), an organization that owns mosques across America. Its offices were raided in 2002 as part of a terrorism-financing investigation.
Its website says:
â€œSince NAIT’s founding, Muslim communities have entrusted the titles of over 325 properties in 42 States to NAIT. More are added every year. Market value of these Waqf Â [NAIT] properties is several hundred million dollars.â€
Another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), has said that NAIT owns about 27% of mosques in America. National security expert Dr. J. Michael Waller had a higher estimate of 50% to 79% of mosques being owned by NAIT.
NAITâ€™s status as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity was confirmed by federal prosecutors during the prosecution of another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity named the Holy Land Foundation. The Justice Department designated NAIT as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case.
NAITâ€™s designation as an unindicted co-conspirator was upheld in a 2009 ruling because of â€œample evidenceâ€ linking it to the Hamas-financing network of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. A NAIT bank account gave the checks for the â€œPalestinian mujahideenâ€ to the Holy Land Foundation, which then distributed the funds to Hamas.
In the documentary The Grand Deception, former FBI special agent Robert Stauffer talks about taking part in an investigation into the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, including NAIT. He said that many millions of dollars were donated to NAIT from foreign countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran.
A declassified FBI document from 1987 summarizes intelligence provided by an informant inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood who adamantly stated that NAIT is a Brotherhood front with a â€œsecret agendaâ€ that includes supporting terrorism and a long-term Islamic revolution in America.
â€œ[NAIT wants] all the mosques to be ideologically pure in their own Wahhabist line. They want to prevent others from having influence,â€ said Islamic scholar Khalid Duran.
There are also mosques and Islamic centers that are not technically owned by NAIT but are officially affiliated with other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities.
Another significant problem within U.S. mosques is the widespread presence of radical literature. A 2011 survey of 100 U.S. mosques found that only 19% of mosques were completely absent of texts promoting violence, and only a mere 15.5% had imams who did not recommend violent texts for studying.Â In addition, just 42% of mosques did not have guest speakers known for promoting violent jihad.
About 51% of U.S. mosques were found to have texts that â€œseverely advocateâ€ violent jihad, preaching that supporting it is an obligation of Muslims. Literature in this category includes texts like Milestones by Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb and those by Jamaat-e-Islami founder Abdul Ala Maududi/Mawdudi.
About 30% of U.S. mosques were found to have texts that â€œmoderately advocateâ€ violence, such as Fiqh us-Sunnah by Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Sabiq and Tafsir Ibn Kathir.
This shocking number is substantiated by Sufi Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, the chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of America. Kabbani has founded 28 Sufi Islamic centers in North America and is listed as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.
In 1999, Kabbani said during an event at the State Department that 80% of U.S. mosques follow an extremist Saudi-sponsored form of Islam. He said that 90 of the 114 U.S. mosques he visited had a radical ideology.
A 2006 study by Freedom House likewise found that Saudi-sponsored extremist texts are widely present in U.S. mosques. The study was based on a survey of over 200 books from 15 major mosques in seven states.
Readers can learn about the Islamist mosques in their state through the Clarion Projectâ€™s Islamist Organizations in America page.
In addition, the following is an incomplete list of over 60 mosques and organizations known to be affiliated with NAIT and other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); Muslim Students Association (MSA), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim American Society (MAS) and the now-defunct Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA).
Islamic Society of Mobile
Newspaper reports link it to NAIT.
Islamic Center of Tucson
The centerâ€™s constitution shows that NAIT holds its real estate and that it is affiliated with ISNA.
Islamic Community Center of Phoenix
The centerâ€™s website says it is entrusted to NAIT.
Bentonville Islamic Center
The centerâ€™s constitution says its assets will be held by NAIT in the event of dissolution.
Islamic Center of Little Rock
The centerâ€™s website shows it was financed by NAIT and ISNA and previous property was owned by NAIT.
Islamic Center of Davis
The centerâ€™s bylaws states that the real state is entrusted to NAIT.
Islamic Center of Fort Collins
Proposed bylaws state its assets will be held by NAIT in the event of dissolution.
Muslim Community Association of San Francisco Bay Area
The centerâ€™s constitution says it is entrusted to NAIT.
Islamic Society of Colorado Springs
The societyâ€™s constitution states it is entrusted to NAIT and affiliated with ISNA.
American Muslim Community Centers
The centersâ€™s bylaws state that NAIT will hold its assets in the event of dissolution.
Islamic Center of South Florida
The centerâ€™s website has shown that it is owned by NAIT.
Al-Huda Islamic Center of Athens
The centerâ€™s bylaws state that NAIT holds the title.
Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center
The mosqueâ€™s constitution says that assets will be held by NAIT or ISNA in the event of its dissolution and it is affiliated with ISNA.
The mosqueâ€™s bylaws state that NAIT will hold its assets in the event of dissolution.
Islamic Center of Bloomington-Normal
The centerâ€™s constitution says its property is entrusted with NAIT.
Islamic Center of Carbondale
The centerâ€™s constitution states that its real estate will be entrusted with NAIT and it is affiliated with ISNA.
Islamic Center of Peoria
The centereâ€™s website says it is a member of NAIT, affiliated with the North American Imams Federation and endorsed by the Hamas-linked Mosque Foundation.
Media reports say it is owned by NAIT.
Muslim American Society (bylaws state its principal office is in Illinois)
The societyâ€™s bylaws state that NAIT will hold its assets in the event of dissolution.
Council of Islamic Schools in North America
The councilâ€™s bylaws state it is affiliated with ISNA and NAIT will hold its assets in the event of dissolution.
Islamic Center of Bloomington
The centerâ€™s website says it is linked to NAIT and was originally owned by MSA. The original financing came from the leader of the Muslim World League, a Saudi-backed Islamist group.
Islamic Society of Greater Lafayette
The societyâ€™s constitution says its real estate is registered to NAIT.
Darul Arqum Islamic Center
The centerâ€™s bylaws state it is entrusted with NAIT.
Islamic Center of Ames / Darul Arqum Islamic Center
The centerâ€™s bylaws state it is entrusted with NAIT.
Islamic Center of Des Moines
The centerâ€™s constitution and bylaws states that property is entrusted with NAIT.
Prince Georgeâ€™s Muslim Association
The associationâ€™s constitution and bylaws state that NAIT owns its property.
Islamic Center of Greater Worcester
The centerâ€™s website says it is owned by NAIT and was established as a sub-chapter of ISNA.
Islamic Center of Greater Lansing
The centerâ€™s website says it is affiliated with ISNA.
Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor and Vicinity
The centerâ€™s constitution says it is registered with NAIT and it will hold its assets in the event of dissolution.
The centerâ€™s constitution says it is a trust under NAIT and all assets will go to NAIT in the event of dissolution.
Islamic Center of Central Missouri
The centerâ€™s constitution and bylaws shows its property is entrusted with NAIT and that it is affiliated with ISNA.
Muslim Society of Jersey Shore / Masjid Bilal
Its website used to declare it as an affiliate of NAIT.
Islamic Center of New Mexico
The centerâ€™s website says its property is under the NAIT umbrella and it is affiliated with ISNA.
Islamic Center of the Capital District
The centerâ€™s constitution says NAIT owns its real estate and that it is affiliated with ISNA.
Islamic Association of Raleigh
The associationâ€™sÂ website says it was founded by MSA. Its bylaws state it is affiliated with ISNA and the Muslim Community Association of the U.S. and Canada. NAIT owns the property and the authority to enforce its compliance with the Basic Law.
Islamic Center of Charlotte
The centerâ€™s constitution and bylaws state that it is owned by NAIT and affiliated with ISNA, ICNA, MAS, Muslim Community Association of U.S. and Canada, and the Carolina Islamic Council.
Columbus Islamic Center/Masjid Al-Jannah
The centerâ€™s website says it is registered with NAIT.
Islamic Society of Akron and Kent
The associationâ€™s constitution states that assets will go to either NAIT or ISNA in the event of dissolution.
Islamic Society of Edmond
Media reports state it is owned by NAIT and affiliated with ISNA.
Islamic Society of Tulsa
The societyâ€™s constitution says it is affiliated with ISNA and all its real estate is held by NAIT.
Mercy School Institute
The instituteâ€™s charter says it is owned by NAIT.
The instituteâ€™s charter states NAIT will hold its assets in the event of dissolution.
Islamic Association of North Eastern Pennsylvania
The associationâ€™s constitution and bylaws states that all property is owned by NAIT.
Islamic Center of Pittsburgh
The centerâ€™s bylaws state that its property is owned by NAIT and that it is affiliated with ISNA.
Central Mosque of Charleston
The mosqueâ€™s constitution and bylaws states that NAIT will own all assets in the event of dissolution.
Grand Strand Islamic Society
The societyâ€™s bylaws state that all assets will be held by NAIT in the event of dissolution.
Dar El-Iman Islamic Center
The centerâ€™s constitution and bylaws state it is owned by NAIT and affiliated with ISNA.
Institute of Islamic Knowledge
The instituteâ€™s website says the leader is a member of NAITâ€™s board of trustees and that he led various groups to entrust with NAIT. He is also a â€œpioneerâ€ of the ICNA.
Islamic Association of Carrollton
The associationâ€™s constitution says that assets will be held by NAIT in the event of dissolution.
Islamic Community of Bryan/College Station
The organizationâ€™s website states it was founded by MSA and bylaws state that NAIT will hold its assets if dissolved.
Islamic Society of Arlington
Its website used to state that it is owned by NAIT.
Islamic Society of Greater Houston
The societyâ€™s constitution and bylaws shows an affiliation with ISNA. A previous version said NAIT holds its real state.
Muslim American Society (website lists Texas contact address)
The societyâ€™s bylaws state that NAIT will hold its assets in the event of dissolution.
Muslim Children Education and Civic Center
The centerâ€™s website states that NAIT will hold its assets if dissolved.
Nigerian Muslim Association of Greater Houston / Masjid Ul Muâ€™Mineen
The associationâ€™s bylaws state that at least one trustee must be from NAIT and all deeds will be held by NAIT.
North Austin Muslim Community Center
Its website used to say that its property is registered with NAIT.
Valley Ranch Islamic Center
The centerâ€™s draft constitution says it is affiliated with NAIT and ISNA.
All Dulles Area Muslim Society [ADAMS] Center
The societyâ€™s website states it is affiliated with ISNA.
Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center
The centerâ€™s constitution says it is affiliated with NAIT, ISNA and MAS.
Islamic Center of Blacksburg
The centerâ€™s constitution says it is owned by NAIT.
Islamic Society of Central Virginia
The societyâ€™s bylaws states it is affiliated with NAIT and ISNA.
Islamic Center of Tacoma
The centerâ€™s constitution states that assets can be given to NAIT, MSA or any other Sunni organization.
Pullman Islamic Center
The centerâ€™s website states it is owned by NAIT and affiliated with ISNA.
Islamic Center of Morgantown
The centerâ€™s constitution shows affiliation with NAIT.