Last week, the Miller-McCune blog posted a report concerning the trend among secular European governments to provide public funds to build and support mosques within their countries. The operative theory behind this public financing of Islam is to replace the mostly radical clerics who espouse Islamic extremism throughout much of Western Europe with more moderate, government-approved and funded versions.
"A glamorous French-funded mosque, goes the logic, is better than a back-alley prayer room with literature and funding from Riyadh, Damascus or Tehran," the report states.
While there is little to identify the effectiveness of these policies, the underlying basis is clearly rooted in countering the radical theology of Islamism. Genuinely secular and moderate Muslim scholars in the U.S., such as M. Juhdi Jasser, have clearly defined the radical religious nature of Islamists, how that dangerous Muslim theology interfaces with radical political Islamic interests, and have also identified their organizational supporters here in the U.S.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is among the staunchest of those Islamist support organizations. CAIR has historically downplayed religious association with Islamic terrorism.
The Miller-McCune report identified U.S. State Department cables made public in the recent Wiki-leaks release that specifically had U.S. diplomats commenting on their perceptions of the 2005 riots in France that primarily involved North African descent Muslim immigrants. "The French riots were about racism and exclusion, rather than religion," the cables argued.
"Despite claims that its commitment to secularism nullifies prejudice against any religion, it is an open secret that historically Catholic France has heretofore failed to muster sufficient will and understanding to truly accept Muslims as French citizens," the cables said. "Although Islamic extremism may never completely disappear from France, acceptance of Muslims as full, participating members of French society will go a long way to minimizing its reach."
The State Department cables clearly indicate a posture denying recognition of the radical religious nature of the Islamist threat in 2005, but rather explaining it as an issue in need of social re-engineering. Essentially, the U.S. State Department took the same posture on radical Islam at the time as did CAIR. Unfortunately, this misguided posture by the State Department has not changed.