In its Summer 2011 edition, Middle East Quarterly published a groundbreaking report, “Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques,” by Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi.
The survey, on which the report was based, found that 51% of US mosques had texts that either advocated the use of violence in the pursuit of a Shari’a-based political order or advocated violent jihad outright; another 30% had texts that were moderately supportive of violence. 19% had no violent texts at all.
The report– culled from years of research, examining scores of mosques in the United States–is a rare opportunity for academics, policymakers, and the American public to understand the phenomenon known as jihadist terrorism and gauge the depth of support for it in the nation’s varied Muslim communities.
The report is the product of the multi-year Mapping Shari’a Project. This website, Mappingsharia.com, is a guide for further research and, specifically, an elaboration of the Islamic texts used to gauge support for violent jihad in American mosques.
The authors of the report note that, prior to this survey, “few empirical studies that attempt to measure the relationship between specific variables and support for terrorism.” Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques measures that relationship based on quantifiable metrics: both behavioral and political aspects of worship and the types of text available or recommended.