The other important thing that happened—also in the mid-20s—was the discovery of oil. With that, this extremist sect found itself not only in possession of Mecca and Medina, but also of wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. As a result, what would otherwise have been a lunatic fringe in a marginal country became a major force in the world of Islam. And it has continued as a major force to the present day, operating through the Saudi government and through a whole series of non-governmental organizations. What is worse, its influence spreads far beyond the region. When Muslims living in Chicago or Los Angeles or Birmingham or Hamburg want to give their children some grounding in their faith and culture—a very natural, very normal thing—they turn to the traditional resources for such purposes: evening classes, weekend schools, holiday camps and the like. The problem is that these are now overwhelmingly funded and therefore controlled by the Wahhabis, and the version of Islam that they teach is the Wahhabi version, which has thus become a major force in Muslim immigrant communities.Lewis goes on to discuss the possibilities for democratic change in the Islamic world:
So there is a good deal of pro-Western and even specifically pro-American feeling. But the anti-American feeling is strongest in those countries that are ruled by what we are pleased to call “friendly governments.” And it is those, of course, that are the most tyrannical and the most resented by their own people. The outlook at the moment is, I would say, very mixed. I think that the cause of developing free institutions—along their lines, not ours—is possible. One can see signs of its beginning in some countries.Most readers of the EB already know of the Wahhabist influence on mosques around the world and we know that the Saudis have financed virtually every mosque built in America. As Lewis’ words, “…we are weak and undecided and irresolute” ring in our ears let us consider today’s warning from Chuck Colson, What's hidden in the shadows
At the same time, the forces working against it are very powerful and well entrenched. And one of the greatest dangers is that on their side, they are firm and convinced and resolute. Whereas on our side, we are weak and undecided and irresolute. And in such a combat, it is not difficult to see which side will prevail.
I think that the effort is difficult and the outcome uncertain, but I think the effort must be made. Either we bring them freedom, or they destroy us.
Radical Islam and U.S. prisons
I don’t usually make predictions, but here’s one I’ll venture: If, God forbid, an attack by home-grown Islamist radicals occurs on American soil, many, if not most, of the perpetrators will have converted to Islam while in prison.
I am hardly going out on a limb here. I said this first in 2001. The spread of an especially virulent form of Islam within American prisons is obvious to those of us who have spent time in these prisons. It’s the rest of American society that is in denial. Now, thanks to a new study, ignorance is no longer an option.
The study, titled “Out of the Shadows,” concluded that “the U.S. . . is at risk of facing the sort of homegrown terrorism currently plaguing other countries.” The source of that risk, according to researchers from George Washington University and the University of Virginia, is “[America’s] large prison population.”
“Radicalized prisoners” within this population “are a potential pool of recruits by terrorist groups,” the study says. The sources of radicalization are incarcerated Islamic extremists and outside organizations that support them. The report notes that the absence of “monitoring by authoritative Islamic chaplains” permits “materials that advocate violence [to infiltrate] the prison system undetected.”
Colson reports that Christian groups like his Prison Fellowship Ministries which have been shown as effective counter measures to radical Islam are being hampered by lawsuits while the Islamist cancer grows. Colson doesn’t say it, but it’s a good bet, that the radical influence is Wahhabist. So far to my knowledge, we are undecided how to combat radical Islam in US prisons. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about our decades-old war on Christianity.
As long as we allow people like “the reverend” Barry Lynn and groups like the ACLU to dictate the meaning of the first sentence of the First Amendment, we will be, as Lewis said “… weak and undecided and irresolute.”