It didn’t take long for an academic to weigh in on the controversy over the Ground Zero mosque in lower Manhattan. “Mosques in America, my research shows this, are actually a positive vehicle for integration of the Muslim community,” Ihsan Bagby, an associate professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Kentucky, told Merlene Davis at Bluegrassmoms.com. “They are a bulwark against radicalism and extremism.”
Actually the New York Police Department might beg to differ. “This [Shariah] ideology is proliferating in Western democracies at a logarithmic rate,” the NYPD reports. “The Internet, certain Salafi-based non-governmental organizations, extremist sermons/study groups, Salafi literature, jihadi videotapes, extremist-sponsored trips to radical madrassas and militant training camps abroad have served as ‘extremist incubators’ for young, susceptible Muslims – especially ones living in diaspora communities in the West.”
As for Bagby’s research, it doesn’t hold up very well outside of his classroom. “In April 2004 he wrote A Portrait of Detroit Mosques: Muslim Views on Policy, Politics and Religion, which interpreted the findings of a survey conducted by a Detroit-area Islamic organization, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding,” according to DiscoverTheNetworks..com.
“The vast majority of Muslim Americans hold ‘moderate’ views on issues of policy, politics and religion,” Bagby claimed and asserted that “the mosque community is not a place of radicalism.”
Daniel Pipes called it “a case of survey research being distorted by its sponsors to hide the actual results. This is intellectual fraud and political deception.”
“In actuality, the survey found that among the Muslim respondents: fully two-thirds believed that ‘America is immoral’; approximately 90 percent favored universal health care; some 79 percent supported affirmative action for minorities; and 81 percent advocated the application of Shari‘a (Islamic law) in Muslim-majority nations,” DTN reported.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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