It seems almost unthinkable, but Islamist groups are, as we speak, hard at work creating Muslim states-within-states in the U.S. Indeed, this process has been unfolding for a long time across the Western world, through the creation of isolated Muslim enclaves in both rural and urban areas, as well as through the designation of "no-go zones" where governments admit to having little authority over Muslims living there, essentially leaving them to function as autonomous regions.
Daniel Pipes has tracked numerous examples since 2004 of Muslim groups working to create communities based solely on Islam and run by Shari'a law. As discussed by David Kennedy Houck in 2006, "Although such concepts are antithetical to a free society, U.S. democracy allows the internal enclave to function beyond the established boundaries of our constitutional framework."
For example, one such community, Gwynn Oak, has been created in Baltimore, Maryland, consisting of Muslim immigrants and African-American converts. The project is led by John Yahya Cason, director of the Islamic Education and Community Development Initiative. Cason explained that the neighborhood is a response to the problem that "Muslim communities are ruled by Western societal tenets, many of which clash with Islamic norms." In his opinion, there is a need for communities with "the totality of the essential components of Muslim social, economic, and political structure." As such, the Gwynn Oak enclave follows specific moral rules based on Islam and people there speak Arabic. On September 13, 2009, the construction of its three-story mosque began. Approximately 400 Muslims now live in the vicinity.
Another example involves the Islamic Center for Human Excellence, which receives funding from the United Arab Emirates. In August 2004, it was granted permission to build a Muslim neighborhood in Little Rock, Arkansas, complete with a mosque, school, and 22 homes; it would not allow the presence of alcohol. The goal was for Muslims to find an area to escape the alleged crime and depravity of American life, although the imam behind the effort said that non-Muslims are welcome to join.
Far more radical groups than these are now taking the lead in promoting and creating Islamic enclaves on U.S. soil.
The possibility that Muslim-only towns and urban enclaves could be created inside the U.S. seems like a fantasy to most Americans at the moment, but there is precedent in Europe. The French government actually has a website where it tabulates 751 "sensitive urban zones," which have been accurately described as "no-go zones." In these areas, which are mostly populated by Muslim immigrants, there is a high level of crime and hostility to any governing authority, including law enforcement. Police officers do not regularly patrol the areas and they are as close to being autonomous regions as possible without the erecting of an actual parallel government.
The construction of the building blocks for similar Muslim enclaves and "no-go zones" in the U.S. is one of the most disturbing programs of Islamist groups. If successful, these territories will be the first to establish Shari'a law in the country, thus offering a profound challenge to America's constitutional order.
tags: speech texas sharia saudi