The word "mafia" itself is derived from an Arabic word meaning "aggressive boasting."
Perhaps some Sicilians saw firsthand the deadly effectiveness of the Islamic way of doing things, and adapted the methods to their own goals.
However it happened, the similarities are numerous. Below is a synopsis of Ibrahim's list of parallels. At the end you will find links to the three articles in the series. They are very much worth reading. Here is Ibrahim's list of similarities:
- The leader has absolute authority, is inaccessible, and is greatly feared.
- The leader's will is dominant. The subordinates' only job is to follow orders.
- The leader gets a "cut" of all the action of his subordinates, but there is still some booty for the subordinates.
- The group assassinates enemies.
- Each member must be willing to die to defend the group and the leader.
- Trying to leave the group is seen as a betrayal and is punishable by death.
- Members are required to maintain absolutely loyalty to the group and its leader.
- Members are not to trust or associate with non-members of the group.
- Association with outsiders and deceiving them is permissible to advance the goals of the group.
- The leader or the group will "make you an offer you can't refuse."
- They fund their operations with "protection money" gathered from non-members.
Here is Raymond Ibrahim's original three-part series:
Part 1 – Islam: More ‘Like the Mafia’ than Bill Maher Knows
Part 2 – Loyalty and Enmity: Parallels between Islam and the Mafia
Part 3 – Islam and the Mafia: ‘Making An Offer You Can’t Refuse’
Another version of this series is posted on PJ Media, along with video clips from The Godfather to illustrate the principles. Read it here.