AMJA’s extremism is much more in-your-face than other “moderate” Islamist front groups in America.
Participants most certainly know what this group offers—and invested the time and money to attend the conference.
AMJA’s Arabic teachings outwardly promote seditious ideas like pursuing the incremental undermining of secular-democracy. American citizenship, for example, is acceptable as long as the citizen “(does) not accept indefinitely the law and legislation of that country and being indefinite belonging to the nation of the non-Muslim country.”
As for jihad against the U.S. mainland, AMJA opposes that— for now. However, the reason for their opposition to violent jihad inside America is because “the Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time.”
“With our current capabilities, we are aspiring towards defensive jihad, and to improve our position with regards to jurisprudence at this stage. But there is a different discussion for each situation,” one Arabic fatwa said.
AMJA, like so many other “moderate” Islamist groups, positions itself as an opponent of terrorism by condemning “extremism” and terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Upon closer look, we see that the group supports Hamas and the creation of an Islamic state governed by sharia law.
The fake moderation of AMJA is also apparent when you look at their conference agenda. One of the topics was, “protecting the New Muslim from extremist and liberal movements.” For AMJA, the “liberal” practices of Islam are a threat worthy of being in the same sentence as the “extremist.”
The “extremism” AMJA condemns is not the jihadist pursuit of destroying Israel (it supports that by advocating Muslim support for Hamas). It’s also not female genital mutilation or marital rape, which AMJA justifies.
Rather, AMJA condemns the “extremist” Western “propaganda” about female circumcision.
Deception is part of AMJA’s strategy. In January, Clarion exposed how one of AMJA’s fatwas teaches Muslims that they “are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly but never inwardly.” Its orders to Muslim judges serving U.S. courts are to incrementally move the country towards sharia governance, “even if by a ruse.”
AMJA cannot be dismissed as an irrelevant fringe group whose influence is limited to an Internet website.
The group boasts that almost 400 imams and students attended its conference. And its Fatwa Committee, Leadership Council, members and experts hold positions in prominent Islamist groups and mosques across the United States and around the world.
AMJA made the wise decision to stay out of attention-grabbing fights, letting its allies like the CAIR chapter in San Diego do its dirty work. But it’s about time that the spotlight be shone on AMJA, one of the most radical and dangerous Islamist groups in America.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s Shillman Fellow and national security analyst and an adjunct professor of counter-terrorism. He is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. To invite Ryan to speak please contact us.