Fifteen years after 9/11, one reality should be self-evident: No matter how many jihadists are killed as a result of U.S. and allied kinetic actions, our Islamic supremacist enemies’ ranks seem to be continuously replenished by an inexhaustible pipeline. While it is undeniable that most jihadis are nurtured in Muslim communities, families, madrassas, and mosques, the final indoctrination that propels an Islamic terrorist on the pathway to mayhem often takes place among Muslim scholars especially dedicated to the teaching and training of those showing the most promise in devotion to the faith.
Preeminent among such incubators of indoctrination is a global Islamic missionary and revival movement known as Tablighi Jama’at (TJ). Founded in the 20th Century on the Asian subcontinent, TJ claims more than 70 million followers in 80 countries around the world. The group strictly enforces a no-violence policy among its missionary membership.
Those imbued with Tablighi Jama’at’s adherence to the jihadist doctrine of Sharia, however, are ripe for recruitment by groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State, that – in light of Mohammed’s example and the teachings of Islam’s sacred texts – have no such compunction against the use of terrifying force. Indeed, TJ-affiliated members, students, teachers and mosques have been at least loosely-connected to a number of U.S. terror attacks, including in San Bernardino, California in 2015 and Orlando, Florida in 2016.
If the terrorist pipeline to which Tablighi Jama’at contributes is ever to be severed, it is imperative that U.S. policy-makers and the American people understand the contribution this ostensibly “non-violent” missionary group makes at the intersection of Islamic indoctrination and jihadist terror. To that end, the Center for Security Policy is pleased to present the second monograph in its “Terror Jihad Reader Series,” Tablighi Jama’at: Gateway to Jihad, by Ilana Freedman.
This publication, like Freedman’s first in the series, Jihad! The Threat of ISIS in America, brings to bear her rigorous scholarship and solid analysis to help explain how it is that indoctrination in the Islamic canon can and does all too often lead to an absolute conviction of Islamic supremacism, and thence to violence.
In unveiling this new product, the Center’s President, Frank J. Gaffney, observed:
For far too long, the West has given a pass to Tablighi Jama’ati missionaries, on the theory that – like the Muslim Brotherhood – their ostensibly non-violent practice of Islamic supremacism poses no threat to our civilization and security. Ilana Freedman powerfully debunks this theory, exposing the dangers associated with it and making the case for treating TJ as the toxic enabler of jihad that it is, both elsewhere and here.