“All Politics is local” is how the saying goes.
And that’s true of the insidious spread of Islamist ideology in North America. In towns, cities and counties, cities, Islamist groups are building networks to establish influence: on city councils, “advising” local police, slipping radical ideology into local schools and colleges.
While other organizations exists to respond to the effect of Islamism on the national policy conversation, until now there’s not been an organization to identify, document and expose the impact Islamist groups have on local communities.
The Counter-Islamist Grid is a network of local researchers and activists operating around the United States and Canada, documenting and working to counter the activities of local Islamist groups in their own hometowns by: researching and writing articles identifying Islamist bad actors on the local scene, preparing detailed research reports regarding local Islamist networks, briefing local officials and law enforcement about these groups and their ties to larger terrorism and terror finance networks, and organizing local activists to oppose efforts to promote Islamist ideology in all facets of their local communities.
We’re working to connect the dots that others have missed.
Islamism refers to a political ideology that seeks strict enforcement of Islamic law (or Shariah) in all aspects of human life, rejects western influences, including modern ideas of human liberty and equality, and promotes a caliphate.
Like fascism and communism, the other competing 20th century political ideologies, Islamism is an inherently revolutionary political ideology whose adherents are willing to use both violent, and non-violent means to achieve their goals. Islamists seek to supplant the existing political system, replacing the U.S. constitution with the Koran.
Beginning in the early 1960s, Islamist groups established operations to promote their ideology throughout all aspects of American society. Islamists promote extremist materials to indoctrinate American Muslims, and established terror finance networks on U.S. soil. Islamists often promote various criminal behaviors including: female genital mutilation (FGM), honor violence, and domestic abuse.
Not all Islamists run afoul of American laws however. Some Islamist groups use political pressure, litigation, and media campaigns lawfully to advance their agenda through the American political and legal system.
Such groups also seek to present themselves as the sole leaders of the Muslim community, disenfranchising and delegitimizing the majority of Muslims who reject their ideology.
The Counter-Islamist Grid is pleased to be able to work alongside moderate Muslims who are actively opposing the Islamist groups that wrongly assert themselves as the only legitimate voice for North American Muslims.
The Counter-Islamist Grid is an initiative of the Middle East Forum.
Kyle Shideler is the Director of the Counter-Islamist Grid. Mr. Shideler specializes on Islamist groups operating in the United States, having spent over a decade researching and writing on their history, doctrine, and impact. He has briefed senior U.S. Government personnel, Members of Congress, and law enforcement on this topic, as well as testified before the Canadian House of Commons.
Mr. Shideler has written for The Federalist, The Hill, FoxNews.com, the Claremont Review of Books, and contributed to Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network (Palgrave, 2011).
Mr. Shideler previously worked at the Center for Security Policy, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, and StandWithUs. He is a graduate of Boston University and was a Lincoln Fellow with the Claremont Institute.
Please send all inquiries to Director@counterislamist.org