Much has been reported about Latin Americans sneaking across the U.S. southern border, but there may be a greater danger looming in America’s heartland in the form of nearly 2 million Muslims who have made their way to the U.S. since 1992.
And, unlike the surge at the southern border, most of those coming from the Middle East have done so legally, with the full support of the U.S. federal government.
Advertisement - story continues below
Scholars such as Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller and Daniel Pipes have warned for years of the Muslim Brotherhood's doctrine of immigration, or "al-hijra," as the long-term strategy to transform America into a different type of society – one that subjugates all other religions under Islam.
Now, another man has stepped up to sound the alarm. And his credentials make him hard to ignore.
Dr. Mark Christian, an obstetrician and former Egyptian Muslim with direct family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, is talking a lot these days about "stealth jihad." He says it's the Brotherhood's way of exploiting liberal immigration policies while working relentlessly through various Islamic front groups to pressure government, education and religious institutions to make concessions to Islam.
Advertisement - story continues below
"Their plan here is to use the influence of the U.S. to further their own agenda. It has been going on for quite some time," said Christian, who broke with the Islamic faith in 2003, converted to Christianity and came to America two years later. He changed his name and settled in Nebraska, only to be threatened and harassed by Muslims, including some from his own family.
"The Muslim Brotherhood is so big right now and so influential and so wealthy that they can do things on their own," he said. "The only thing that is missing is the power of the U.S. military to be on their side."
He explained that the Brotherhood's goal is "to restart the Islamic empire."
"And they think if they can restart it again, they can reconquer the whole earth."
Advertisement - story continues below
That plan starts with immigration.
WND reported earlier this week the U.S. State Department plans to accept at least 75,000 Syrian refugees, hand-selected by the United Nations, for resettlement in American cities over the next five years. Meanwhile, the influx of refugees from other Muslim countries such as Somalia and Iraq continues at a rate of more than 25,000 per year.
But a look at the overall immigration picture shows the U.S. government has gradually increased the religious "diversity" of new immigrants coming into selected American cities. More than 1.7 million Muslim immigrants have come to the United States between 1992 and 2010, according to a study by Pew Research Center, which has conducted one of the few studies on the religious affiliations of immigrants. The State Department says it does not ask the religious affiliation of refugees.
Advertisement - story continues below
Immigration by the numbers
Prior to 1990, fewer than 5 percent of foreigners who took up residence in the U.S. came from Muslim countries, according to Pew. Most of them came on temporary student visas and returned to their homelands after receiving their education.
Not anymore. The trend in recent years is to allow permanent status through an array of programs, including the U.N. refugee program, the annual diversity visa lottery and special programs for foreign religious leaders. Still others are able to remain past the original date on their visas through a program that allows "temporary protective status" for 18 months at a time.
"So there are many programs by which Muslims can come in, but in many ways the U.N. refugee program is the most outrageous because they qualify immediately for government welfare benefits whereas many of the other programs they must have been here for five years," said Ann Corcoran, who monitors the refugee population across the 50 states and writes a blog for Refugee Resettlement Watch.
Most of the U.N. refugees from Muslim countries lack education and skills that would allow them to find well-paying jobs in America. Those who do work often end up toiling in meat-packing plants or other factories that pay minimum wage. They supplement their paychecks with food stamps, Medicaid and government-subsidized housing.
But most troubling to some critics of these programs is their potential impact on the nation’s demographics and culture. They say refugees from war-torn Middle Eastern countries don't assimilate and don't understand or necessarily respect American values of individual liberty and responsibility.
Look at Europe
For a hint of what might be in store, one need only look toward the cultural and demographic shift occurring in Europe. Muslim enclaves have sprung up in cities across France, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom where it has become unsafe for Jews and Christians to enter and where civil laws gradually bow to elements of Islamic law, or Shariah.
Once they arrive on U.S. soil, the evidence suggests Muslim immigrants in cities such as Minneapolis; Lewiston, Maine; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; and Shelbyville, Tennessee, have done a poor job of assimilating into American culture.
American Muslims are more often Sunni as opposed to Shiite, and roughly 80 percent of American mosques built since the 1970s have been at least partially funded with money from Saudi Arabia, the headquarters for a particularly virulent strain of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism, as explained in a WND report in 2002.
According to the Pew Research study on the religious affiliation of immigrants, the number of Muslims entering the U.S. as a percentage of the total immigrant population has doubled over a recent 20-year period, going from 5 percent in 1992 to 10 percent in 2010.
While America’s overall Muslim population is only 0.8 percent according to Pew, 0.6 percent according to the CIA World Factbook, and up to 2 percent according to other sources, the European experience shows that Islam does not need anywhere near a majority of the population to begin influencing a country’s laws and culture.
The largest Muslim population in Europe resides in France, where the CIA World Factbook estimates 5 to 10 percent of that country’s overall population claims faith in Allah. Pew Research puts the figure just under 6 percent and projects that it will continually balloon to 7 percent by 2020, to 8.5 percent by 2030, and that by 2050, nearly a third of the nation's people will identify as Muslim.
And the picture is not much different in other European countries. Germany's Muslim population, mostly from Turkey, is estimated at 5 percent, Belgium 6 percent, Austria 5.7 percent, the Netherlands 5.5 percent, Sweden 4.9 percent and the U.K. 4.6 percent. Almost all of these countries will have Muslim populations of 10 percent or more within 20 years, based on current birthrates.
More than personal rules
If Islam were just another religion, the rise in Muslim immigration might not pose a problem.
But many conservative scholars who have studied Islam for years say there is more to Islam than its daily call to prayer and its dietary rules against pork and alcohol.
Islam has a decidedly political aspect that few in the halls of the U.S. State Department seem to understand, contends Robert Spencer, author of several books on Islam, including "Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs."
"Just in terms of population, you're talking about people with a much higher birthrate than the native peoples. You're talking about a religion that sanctions polygamy, so this means the Muslim community is going to expand exponentially compared to other communities," said Spencer, who also authors the blog Jihad Watch for the David Horowitz Freedom Center. "But this is not about numbers, it's about a religion that has intentions to take over the state."
He said the connections between the major American Islamic societies and the international Muslim Brotherhood have been well documented, but almost nobody in Congress or the executive branch seems interested in connecting the dots.
Spencer noted that when Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., in 2012 asked for an investigation into possible Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the government, she was ridiculed and derided.
So, as Spencer explains, it's not just a matter of the Muslim community advancing in Europe and America, it's that all of the possible neutralizing factors are in retreat, hiding behind well-intentioned fantasies of multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance.
Spencer is not the only Western scholar who is worried.
"Some 5 percent of the EU, or nearly 20 million persons, presently identify themselves as Muslims," wrote historian Daniel Pipes in an article for the New York Sun. "Should current trends continue, that number will reach 10 percent by 2020. If non-Muslims flee the new Islamic order, as seems likely, the continent could be majority-Muslim within decades.
"When that happens, grand cathedrals will appear as vestiges of a prior civilization – at least until a Saudi-style regime transforms them into mosques or a Taliban-like regime blows them up. The great national cultures – Italian, French, English and others – will likely wither, replaced by a new transnational Muslim identity that merges North African, Turkish, subcontinental and other elements."
In the U.S., Spencer and others believe the Muslim Brotherhood works through organizations such as the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA. Their power far outweighs that which might be expected for a religion that still claims only a tiny percentage of the American population as adherents.
"The connections these groups have are such that you only need a few people, much like the Bolsheviks did in Russia, because they had the vision and the ruthlessness and no other group had the will to stop them," Spencer told WND. "We already see from the captured Muslim Brotherhood documents their intent to infiltrate and destroy the U.S. from within, and so I can't see why they wouldn’t be successful, since no one is allowed to even discuss these plans in a public dialogue."
A different kind of jihad
Mark Christian is one man who is intimately familiar with the Muslim Brotherhood strategies. He left Egypt for good in 2005, when he came to the U.S. at the age of 33. That was two years after he converted to Christianity and was disowned by his family.
His great-uncle was one of the co-founders of the Muslim Brotherhood, he said, and shared an Egyptian jail cell in the 1960s with Sayyid Qutb, whom many, including Osama bin Laden, have revered as the doctrinal godfather of the Brotherhood. Christian says his father is still an influential member of the organization.
After spending some time in England, he and his wife settled in Omaha, Nebraska, which he thought would be a safe haven.
"I chose Nebraska because it's not that popular and nobody knows about Nebraska in the Middle East, because I had a very bad experience with the Muslims in England," he said. "I was new in my faith and trying to learn more about Christianity. After I moved to Omaha, some of the guys learned about me converting and going to church, and they started threatening and harassing me, calling my wife."
Americans should not be deceived by the fact that, despite increasing immigration, the Muslim population is estimated at only 1 to 2 percent, Christian said.
He told WND that the Muslim Brotherhood strategy from 1966 forward has been to avoid confrontations with American power. Instead, he says, the Brotherhood attempts to coax the U.S. into using its power for the Brotherhood's own benefit.
The Brotherhood's strategy is three-pronged, he said. It uses its front group CAIR to influence the government and military life, while ISNA works to foster "interfaith" dialogue with major Christian denominations and Jewish organizations. A third front group, the Muslim Student Association, or MSA, focuses on influencing K-12 and university education.
It is through these three groups that the Brotherhood wages "cultural jihad," or what Christian calls "stealth jihad."
"They want to influence the whole United States," Christian said. "They see the U.S. as three things – it's a government, it's a religious institution and it is colleges and education; so we have three organizations and all are designated to each one of those things."
ISNA concentrates mostly on outreach to Christian and Jewish religious groups.
"They say they are building bridges, but in reality they are building death tracks for these churches, watering down their theology, trying to influence the Christian teachings of the Bible and find common ground with Islamic teachings," Christian said. "Basically they are trying to find common ground so they can kill it."
He cites the Shoulder-to-Shoulder movement as one of ISNA's crowning achievements.
Shoulder-to-Shoulder is a coalition of 20 religious groups that includes many of the major Christian denominations. Members include the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church in the USA, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reform Judaism movement and left-wing organizations such as Sojourners magazine.
Their stated goal is to fight "anti-Muslim bigotry," but that's just the window dressing, Christian says.
When a similar interfaith movement started in his own community of Omaha, Christian began working through an organization he formed, the Global Faith Institute, to help get accurate information about Islam to the churches.
Christian said the Brotherhood front groups prefer to work with the large denominations and rarely pay attention to small churches.
"They say, 'Oh we all worship the same God and we need to find common ground,'" Christian said. "It’s all about 'respecting women, Islam is great,' and it's all a bunch of lies. Whenever you find those kinds of movements within the church, you always find a watered down, very liberal theology that is anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist. But there is money involved and influence involved."
Working the military and universities
Meanwhile, CAIR is working with the military and law enforcement agencies to make sure Muslims are granted certain privileges, whether it be in the way police are allowed to investigate Muslim suspects or concessions for Muslim members of the military.
In 2011, the FBI, at the insistence of CAIR, scrubbed all of its training manuals of all references to Islam that were deemed offensive to Muslims. Christian also points to the deadly Fort Hood, Texas, attack by Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who in 2009 gunned down 13 of his fellow soldiers. The crime, however, was not investigated as an act of terrorism but as "work-place violence" by the Obama administration.
"We cannot fight ISIS without cleaning house in our own military," Christian said. "There is no chance."
On the education front, MSA has a chapter in almost every American college and university, no matter how small, Christian said.
"They try to change the mindset of the kids and college students and they’re very active," Christian said. "Their job is to degrade America, degrade Israel, and then degrade Christianity."
Christian said Muslim Brotherhood front organizations like MSA have also worked to influence the content of American school textbooks, increasing the favorable references to Islam and its prophet, Muhammad.
"They talk about him like he’s a Robin Hood character" in many of the textbooks, Christian said. "He's this amazing guy whose message was spread around the world, and he wanted to take from the rich and give to the poor. No mention of any conquests and no mention of the sword, the beheadings, nothing."
So while America has less than 3 million Muslims, comprising less than 2 percent of its population, Christian says "that 2 percent is working tirelessly and they have unlimited resources coming from Saudi Arabia and Qatar and elsewhere.
"Their influence is huge."
Lessons from Europe
Christian believes America may only be 10 to 15 years behind Europe in the creation of a parallel Islamic culture.
In January, the German city-state of Bremen signed a treaty with city's 40,000-strong Muslim community. The agreement "guarantees the protection of Muslim community properties, the approval of the construction of mosques with minarets and domes, the allotment of land for Muslim cemeteries, the supplying of halal food at prisons and hospitals, the recognition of three Muslim holidays, Muslim representation in state institutions and several other rights and privileges," reports the Gatestone Institute.
According to Erol Pürlü, the spokesman of the Muslim Coordination Council, a Turkish-Muslim umbrella group, the treaty with Bremen "sends a clear signal that Islam belongs to Germany."
Bremen is the second German state to sign a treaty with local Muslim communities. Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, concluded a "historic treaty" with the city's 200,000-strong Muslim community in November 2012.
All across Europe, major cities are experiencing growing Muslim quarters that are increasingly hostile to non-Muslims.
"Especially in the big cities they have control of certain neighborhoods, not the whole city," Christian said. "I love traveling, and when I was in Europe my wife and I used to drive from one country to another, so you talk about London, Paris and all over Europe now, when the population gets bigger they call it a 'no-go zone' where the police can't come in and they set their own rules. And they have access from the Middle East, so they can go in and get asylum, in many cases even if they've been rejected by their own government for being terrorists. England has been opening its doors for years to the Brotherhood's leaders, after Margaret Thatcher had shut them out."
Spencer is equally pessimistic that America will avoid the path taken by Europe, where elected leaders increasingly cater to Islam.
"I think in America we will see the same thing that's happening in Europe happening here," he said. "There will be growing enclaves with Muslims living in close proximity, such as Dearborn, Michigan, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, and less and less respect for civil law and more and more for Islamic law.
"We see it now in Antwerp (Belgium), parts of London and in Malmo, Sweden."
Spencer said he has personally been banned from Britain, as has the co-author of one of his books, Pamela Geller. Anyone who speaks out publicly about what they see as the dangers of Islam can expect the same fate, he said.
Similar but different strategies
Christian sees similarities in what has happened in Europe and the situation in America. But the Muslim Brotherhood strategies for the two continents are not exactly the same, he said.
"There is something different over here. What they are doing in Europe is different than what they are trying to accomplish in the states," Christian said. "They need to gain the U.S. government's trust through the Muslim Brotherhood front groups, so over there they are trying to make it more scary."
Most of the leaders in Congress, those in the executive branch and those running the major U.S. media corporations are, psychologically, right where the Brotherhood wants them, Christian said.
"When you see ISIS you can't in five months change your minds about the peaceful Muslims. So when you see them slaughtering people’s heads you would say 'these other guys from the Muslim Brotherhood are political, they are not slaughtering heads in front of the cameras like ISIS,'" he said. "'So while I know he's a bad guy at least I have conversation with him, unlike that guy over there slaughtering heads.' So it's good cop, bad cop. When, essentially, they're the same. The majority of the government and media in America would say, 'You know, I would rather work with the Muslim Brotherhood than with ISIS.'"
Christian said the Muslim Brotherhood plan to prepare the world for Islamic law and Islamic supremacy goes back to the early 1970s, after its leaders were released from prison in Egypt.
"That is when they decided not to be local anymore, but to be more international. I have lived in interesting times," he said. "And I have been in meetings, even as a kid, where it sounded ridiculous to me, but lo and behold it seems to be coming together all the way they wanted it. I understand it very well.
"It is coming together even better I think than they planned."
In fact, the strategy of stealth jihad is working so well in America that Christian does not foresee any major terrorist attacks being planned anytime soon.
"They have their foot soldiers here from Somalia and Sudan and other places. But there will be no attacks for at least two years," Christian said. "Not because the FBI is so great in stopping them, but because they are having so much success under Obama. And it will be the same under Hillary (Clinton) if she is the next president. No attacks on American soil are needed. But as soon as that is not effective enough, they will launch attacks, and they have the means to do that right away. For now they are terrorizing people enough in Europe and Africa and the Middle East, but they are having so much success over here using a different strategy of stealth jihad."