The radical Deobandi movement, an ultra-conservative manifestation of Islam, is spreading throughout the United States without capturing the attention of major media outlines. Sheikh Riyadh ul Haq, one of the movement’s most influential preachers, has voiced his support for al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and his hatred of all Western values.
The movement, which calls upon Muslims to “shed blood for Allah,” already controls more than half the mosques in Great Britain. In America, the Deobandi has gained solid footing in America thanks to the efforts of Tablighi Jamaat missionaries.
One such missionary was Sheikh Mubarek Gilani who set up over 40 compounds for jihadi training throughout the country, including Islamberg in Hancock, New York.
After undergoing training at these compounds, the Muslim recruits are dispatched to Pakistan where many have joined forces with al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Jamaat ul-Fuqra, Gilani’s organization, is fully funded by Tablighi Jamaat with contributions from wealthy Saudi benefactors. The same group supports 600 of Britain’s 1,350 mosques. The Deobandi also remains largely responsible for the spread of radical Islam throughout the national prison system.
The prison undertaking was led by Sheikh Ismail Abdul Rahman, who established the Sankore Mosque within Green Haven prison in New York state. At present, 90 percent of the U.S. converts to Islam are African-American; 60 percent become Muslim in prison.
Another American manifestation of the Deobandi is the National Ummah Movement which seeks to establish sovereign Islamic enclaves within major American cities.
Some of the Ummah mosques maintain armed militias. Others provide training in martial arts and guerilla warfare. Almost all operate beneath the radar of local, state, and federal law enforcement officials.
On October 28, 2009, the FBI raided a warehouse in Detroit and two houses in Detroit and arrested eleven Ummah members on charges of mail fraud, the illegal possession of firearms, trafficking in stolen goods, and altering vehicle identification numbers.
In the course of the raid on the warehouse, Luqman Ameen Abdullah, the ringleader of the group, opened fire on the federal agents and was killed in the ensuing gunfight.
Luqman Abdullah was the imam of the Masjid al-Haqq in Detroit, a mosque that was part of the Ummah network.
A short list of other mosques with ties to the Ummah and the Deobandi is as follows:
- The Universal Islamic Brotherhood in Cleveland
- West End Community in Atlantic
- Ta’if Tul Ministry in Los Angeles
- First Cleveland Mosque
- Masjid al-Islam – Washington, DC
- Dar al-Hijrah – Falls Church, Virginia
- Masjid Mohammad – Washington, DC
- Peace in the Hood – Cleveland
- Masjid Bilal – Lexington, Kentucky
- Masjid Waritheen – Oakland, California
- Masjid Ibrahim – Sacramento
- Sankore Institute – Green Haven Penitentiary
- Community Mosque – Winston-Salem
- Adams Center – Washington, DC
- Masjid Mujahidin – New York City
- Masjid al-Mumin – New York City
- Masjid al-Taqwa – New York City
In Britain, 17 of the 26 Islamic seminaries are run by Deobandis. These seminaries produce 80 percent of the country’s Muslim clerics.
Tablighi Jamaat was founded in 1926, in India, by a Deobandi scholar, Muhammad Ilyas, who wanted to raise Islamic awareness among rural Muslims in South Asia. He promised them that by obeying Islamic laws and following the example of the Prophet Muhammad in their personal lives they would one day “dominate over non-believers” and become “masters of everything on this earth.”
Ishaq Patel, Tablighi Jamaat’s first emir (leader) in Britain, is said to have been on pilgrimage in Mecca when Ilyas’s successor gave him a long-term mission to win “the whole of Britain to Islam.”
Yoginder Sikand, a Muslim expert on the movement, says that its ethos of “social and cultural separatism and insularity” seeks “to minimize contacts with people of other faiths.”
Ebrahim Rangooni, a leading proponent of the movement, says that Tablighi Jamaat through the Deobandi seeks to “rescue the ummah [the global Muslim community] from the culture and civilization of the Jews, the Christians and [other] enemies of Islam.” Its aim, he writes, is to “create such hatred for their ways as human beings have for urine and excreta.”
Paul L. Williams, Ph.D. is the author of The Day of Islam: The Annihilation of America and the Western World, The Al Qaeda Connection, and other best-selling books. He is a frequent guest on news networks like ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, MSNBC and NPR, and contributes to FamilySecurityMatters.org. Visit his website.