Islamist Watch

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Established in 2004 by the Middle East Forum, supported by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Islamist Watch combats the ideas and institutions of nonviolent, radical Islam in the United States and other Western countries. It exposes the far-reaching goals of Islamists, works to reduce their power, and seeks to strengthen moderate Muslims." Differentiating between Islamists and Muslims, it asserts "Islamists ultimately seek hegemonic control via a worldwide caliphate that applies the Islamic law in full. Afghanistan under the Taliban offers one model of what they would establish globally."[1]

"Terrorism is one method to advance these projects but it is not the only one. Indeed, the activities of nonviolent Islamists arguably will prove a more effective tactic in the long term. For while the public intuitively understands the threat of terrorism and is mobilized by it, and while states have well-developed institutions (law enforcement, intelligence agencies, the military, the justice system) to protect and fight against it, the activities of nonviolent extremists are not alarming and institutions do not exist to deal with this problem. And how can terrorists impose their will on whole societies?

"Quietly, lawfully, peacefully, Islamists do their work throughout the West to impose aspects of Islamic law, win special privileges for themselves, shut down criticism of Islam, create Muslim-only zones, and deprive women and non-Muslims of their full civil rights.

Its website gives a number of examples of legal Islamist activities it considers inappropriate. The challenge, for a pluralistic society, would be to substitute other religious terminology and determine if these would violate Constitutional standards. Unquestionably, in at least in U.S. legal traditions, some of the points are highly questionable, such as leading school prayer of any sort, banning jury membership based on religion, or forcing U.S. troops to wear religious garments. Following the logic, however, what about monasteries, convents, or Amish villages? If it is inappropriate to have an envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), why is it appropriate to have a U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See?

  • Sell land at discount prices for building mosques or other Islamic institutions.
  • Ban Hindus and Jews from a jury hearing a criminal case against an Islamist in Great Britain.
  • Allow a prisoner the unheard-of right to avoid strip-searches in New York State.
  • Let students in public (i.e., taxpayer-funded) schools use empty classrooms for prayers in New Jersey.
  • Permit public schools and public airwaves to be used to convert non-Muslims.
  • Recognize polygamous marriages for tax purposes in the United Kingdom.
  • Set aside women-only bathing at a municipal swimming pool in France or use taxpayer funds for Muslim women-only swimming times in Washington State.
  • Arrange for women-only classes at a taxpayer-supported university.
  • Blame women for being the victims of rape by Muslim men in Norway.
  • Develop a special hijab for female Muslim employees of a leading home furnishing company, sporting the corporate logo.
  • Ban the use of piggybanks as the symbol of frugality in their advertising by two major British banks.
  • Establish panels, councils, or advisory boards uniquely for Muslims
  • Authorize Muslim-only neighborhoods or events.
  • Punish anti-Islamic views through the application of criminal charges, as has occurred to critics of Islam in Australia and Canada.
  • Prohibit families from sending pork or pork by-products or "Any matter containing religious materials contrary to Islamic faith" to U.S. military personnel serving in the Middle East.

  • Apply the "Rushdie rules" accepting Islamist intimidation and silencing critics of Islam.
  • Require that female American soldiers in Saudi Arabia wear U.S. government-issued abayas.
  • Secure a charter from the New York City Department of Education to open an Arabic-themed public school.
  • Lead Muslim students in prayer at a public San Diego elementary school.
  • Allow women in Ohio, California, and New York to have their drivers license photos taken with hijabs on.
  • Designate the port of Rotterdam as compliant with Sharia law.
  • Construct Islamic toilets at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
  • Construct prayer facilities in public bathrooms at the University of Michigans Dearborn campus.
  • Appoint a "special envoy" of the United States government to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
  • Compel teachers and students to don Muslim garb to mark the end of Ramadan.
  • Forward plans to dig up portions of an historic London cemetery to make space for a "multi-faith" graveyard.
  • Allow cab drivers in Vancouver, B.C. to refuse certified guide dogs for reasons of religious conviction.
  • Admonish doctors and nurses in Scotland to refrain from eating in front of their Muslim patients and colleagues during the month of Ramadan.
  • Propose that people of all faiths refer to God as Allah to "create more dialogue."
  • Allow Muslim sex offenders in Great Britain to opt out of a prison treatment program because it is "against Islamic teachings to discuss your offence to anyone."


  1. About Islamic Watch, Islamic Watch, Middle East Forum