GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz's call for patrolling of Muslim communities with signs of extremism is being bashed as pandering to anti-Muslim voters, with critics saying there aren't even Islamist communities in the U.S. to begin with.
They are wrong. They exist — and newly-published documents show that they've boasted of enforcing Islamic sharia law, even going so far as to whip children.
Jamaat ul-Fuqra, a Pakistani militant group that has rebranded itself as Muslims of the Americas, says it has 22 "Islamic villages" in the U.S. Its "Islamberg" headquarters in New York is the most well-known.
The Clarion Project identified one village in Texas in 2014 and the group mentioned others, including one in Alaska during a frivolous lawsuit it filed against a prominent critic.
Fuqra's 1994 book, Target Islam: Exposing the Malicious Conspiracy of the Zionists Against the World of Islam and Prominent Muslim Leaders, explains that its establishment of "villages" in the U.S. since 1980 is part of a jihad against a Satanic-Jewish-Communist conspiracy that puppeteers the U.S. government.
They have a cultish devotion to their extremist leader in Pakistan, Sheikh Gilani, who they believe is in constant contact with Allah and the Prophet Mohammed and a miracle worker chosen by Allah to lead Islam to victory.
Of course, they state they are against criminality and terrorism (despite being extensively engaged in it) and tout a twisted version of patriotism. Part of the plan is ensuring the spiritual purity of the Fuqra/MOA members by enforcing sharia law in their villages.
"The majority of the Sheikh's [American] followers purchased land in areas away from urban metropolis and developed small villages, where they could raise their children in a wholesome environment and live a life of pure Islam, free from the decadence of a godless society," their book states.
That sounds innocent enough until you look at the picture above. The caption reads, "American Muslims have established their own villages where Islamic Law has been enforced. Here a wrongdoer is voluntarily accepting punishment." The unclear picture shows a man sitting on a chair, with his back facing a group of Muslims in prayer as a man stands over him. The image is identical to what a former Fuqra member described to the Clarion Project as the procedure for brutal whippings.
An issue of the group's newspaper, the Islamic Chronicle, from the 1980s has an article about its purchases of land in America and explains: "Sheikh Jilani explained that this will be a territory to set-up a model for Jammah for the practice in its simple and austere manner under the Shariat (Law)…"
Another issue, this one from 1983, (above) has a picture of a man bent over as a man stands over him apparently about to strike him. The caption reads, "Ta'azerat being administered." The article next to the picture explains that enforcement of sharia law in the villages in America is necessary to protect Muslims from falling into legal sins like gambling, adultery and alcohol consumption.
"The Jammatul Fuqra has been able to establish justice according to Islamic Law, not only in the United States, but wherever Muslims are living under un-Islamic laws. According to the Holy Q'uran, a Muslim is not allowed to follow laws other than the law of the Holy Qu'ran…This so-called 'freedom' is actually enslavement by the kufaar [non-Muslims] and Shaitan [Satan]…"
"On these sites where Islamic Law is enforced as much as possible, anyone who commits a crime against the Law of Allah is punished according to Ta'azerat….Here you see one person receiving twenty lashes in one [Sharia] court in South America. He was found guilty of violating the honor of a Muslim lady, a crime for which he received a hard punishment with patience and faith."
The article says that the hudud punishments, such as execution and severing of hands and feet, cannot be enforced in kuffar (infidel) lands like the U.S. Notice that this isn't a stand against sharia's brutal hudud punishments; just that they aren't implementable at this time.
One of Fuqra's newspaper articles announces the formation of America's first Islamic court, arguing that it is in compliance with the country's religious freedom. Judges have been trained and appointed by Sheikh Gilani.
The Clarion Project has obtained a copy of the Islamic Court's letterhead (above), which was originally found by law enforcement personnel during a raid on a Colorado "village" in 1992 where tunnels filled with weapons were found, as well as proof of criminal fundraising and terror plots.
But one document (see below) found by law enforcement is harrowing in its disclosure about the enforcement of sharia in these villages.
It is difficult to read but its words can be mostly understood with a close look. It is a note written in July 1992 to a Fuqra member that reads, "Stop taking your frustrations out on the children! Some whippings you give ARE UNNECESSARY!" [emphasis original].
Heartbreaking stories from former Fuqra members told to the Clarion Project include child abuse, desperate poverty, domestic violence and severe beatings of young boys for minor infractions of sharia law, such as watching an American children's show without approval.
Polygamy is commonplace. One story is about a mother who ferociously protested the forced homeschooling of her child. She was punished so harshly that it can accurately be described as torture.
ALthough these stories are from the early 1990s, but the organization and its villages are still around. The leadership is the same. The membership is mostly the same. The cultish, radical ideology is the same, albeit cleaned up a bit to cope with the negative attention. More recent testimony has come forth that shows that the abuses under sharia continue.
A former high-level member of Fuqra spied for the NYPD and came forward in a book titled Twilight in America by Martin Mawyer. His biggest concern was the treatment of the women and kids. He spoke of illiterate, unhealthy and indoctrinated children who he saw being beaten.
"If somebody breaks a command you could be tied to a tree and hit with sticks," he explained, including one case of a 50-year old woman which he witnessed. The punishments were for watching unapproved material, cursing, fornication, lying to the MOA officials and other perceived sins against Allah.
"You have to understand this—these kids, all they have been living for their whole lives is they want to fight a holy war. These are kids," he emphasized.
"You got all these young kids there, you walk up to them, ask them, 'what do you want to do?' 'I want to fight for Gilani.' That's what they want. It's not good."
The spin from Fuqra now is that their version of sharia law is not to be feared, for it is not much different than the U.S. Constitution. Its current newspaper (above), the Islamic Post, tries to defend its interpretation of sharia law but, in so doing, delegitimizes the existence of the United States and states the group's desire to punish its opponents:
"Sharia governs Muslims in how they must deal with each other, as well as non-Muslims. So why are some Americans worried about Sharia? Perhaps the “anti-sharia” hate-mongers are afraid of the fact that it would give those cheated and abused in the past the right to prosecute those who had wronged them — whether by destruction of their properties, physical harm that was rendered, and/or wealth that was usurped. Under Sharia, a person’s lands, if taken unjustly, would have to be given back to them. Following Sharia, the U.S. would owe its very existence to Native American tribes.
"Americans have no reason to fear Sharia. Muslims are quite content with the current state of American Sharia Law. Establishing Sharia in America is not a concern for Muslims. Especially since it’s already here."
The documents published here by Clarion Project show that—at least in saying sharia is "already here"–Fuqra/MOA is telling the truth. But it isn't rosy and non-threatening like they'd have you believe.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.