The infamous jihadi web forums, which form the informal cultural core of the diffuse jihadi community, have been silent on the controversy over the Cordoba Center, an issue that is increasingly consuming U.S. and Arab media. Two experts who regularly monitor Arab and jihadi media, working independently, have found that jihadi forum users barely mention the issue. George Washington University associate professor and director of the Institute for Middle East Studies Marc Lynch found not even "a single reference" to the center among 500 recent posts. Brandeis University Research Assistant Aaron Zelin, who maintains a blog monitoring jihadi media, could find only one related post, which itself received almost no response, among the five most prominent forums. The forums are widely considered a window into the attitudes of the jihadi community, which must use them to communicate.
The lack of debate comes despite predictions that the Cordoba controversy would dominate forums and despite heavy coverage of the issue in Arab media. As The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg has pointed out, the Cordoba Center is the enemy of jihadi ideology because it promotes peaceful Muslim assimilation into pluralistic Western society, American opposition to the center plays into the jihadi mission of a clash of civilizations, and the marginalization of mainstream Muslim-Americans like those behind the center helps the jihadis by giving them a propaganda victory.