Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is definitely president and founder of the American Islamic Discussion board for Democracy (AIFD), co-founder of the Muslim Reform Motion (MRM), and writer of ‘A Fight for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to save lots of His Faith.’ He is a practicing Muslim who offers opposed Islamism actively.
Jasser can be an active doctor and past U.S. Navy officer whose parents fled Syria in the 1960s, and sponsor of the Blaze Radio Podcast “Reform This!founder and ” of TakeBackIslam.com.
In January on the Muslim Reform Movement the author interviewed him, Islamism, and the pugilative war in Syria. That is a follow-up interview. Jasser decided to discuss Islamism and looking for its antidote in the United Kingdom, america, and the center East.
Lessons from London
Q (Postal): While a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Motion, what lessons do the West is wanted by you to understand from the latest terrorist attacks in britain?
A (Jasser): We in the free globe cannot ever afford to end up being complacent. Army victories in Iraq and Syria increase ISIS’ global chatter contacting for acts of war against the West and subsequent efforts at more attacks will observe. The emergence of ISIS in 2013 following the diminishment of al-Qaeda by 2008 should provide as a reminder that people are in a long global battle against militant Islamism, and even more broadly non-violent Islamism.
The precursor of violent Islamism and violent jihad is non-violent Islamism and its civilizational jihad. Islamists of any range divide the world in to the “Property of Islam” (Dar-al-Islam) and the “Land of Battle” (Dar al-Harb). Islamists shall continue to promote the consciousness that non-Muslim majority nations will be the “Land of War.”
Nearly every among these attacks is following a same pattern and we ought to learn from them. Unfortunately, we aren’t. The perpetrators again and again end up being “known wolves” (radicals currently on the radar of protection apparatuses). The idea of a “lone wolf” can be a fictitious construct absolving nonviolent Islamists of any responsibility.
Islamists know that the best threat with their supremacist program is whenever we advance the basic ideas of liberty, freedom, and universal ideals of human privileges protected by secular national identity. That is the just antidote to Islamism (political Islam and the thought of an Islamic condition). The method of terror has morphed from suicide bombs and belts to vehicular jihad and machetes. While we must figure out how to confront this changing scenery, we must see each one of these episodes for what they are: the suggestion of the iceberg, the militant violent expressions of the substantial global Islamist movement.
We can and can continue to fight this pugilative war in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, And Libya yemen. But victories there are just fleeting and pyrrhic. To ensure that the West to visit a day clear of wars against Islamist terror and its own caliphate(s), we should wage an ideological battle to influence the thoughts of Muslims against political Islam.
Muslim reformers have a laboratory within the West to dissect theocratic Islam with techniques that just can’t be done in virtually any Muslim-majority nation. We, for instance, reached out with a plea to Ariana Grande on her behalf to use her tremendous cultural platform of hundreds of thousands to empower Muslim reformers to be ambassadors of independence, gender equality, sexual identification, free speech and all of the presssing conditions that distinguish us from Islamist societies and their sharia states. Unfortunately, her One Like advantage concert was another in an extended history of lost possibilities.
Q: Among the London bridge terrorists (Khuram Butt) reportedly viewed sermons on-line by Ahmad Musa Jibril, is a Islamist preacher in Dearborn, Michigan in midwestern U.S., who also praises violent jihad. Butt allegedly connected with Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary also, who’s set to become released from prison following year after calling for British Muslims to aid ISIS in 2013. (You needed his arrest seven years back). How should U.S. and U.K. authorities, and Muslim communities in those national countries, cope with Islamist websites, preachers, and mosques later on?
A: Essentially, once homeland security agents finally shift their focus to “Countering Violent Islamism” (CVI) all Islamist groups and individuals can be rightfully viewed by authorities as possible cultivators of violent Islamism. Individuals are not “radicalized” on the Internet. Their ideas are brewed in a local cauldron of Islamism that then drives them towards further Islamism and jihadism.
The Internet is merely a tool for the already radicalized Islamist. Islamist ideas include antipathy for Western society, governments, military, and foreign policy. Islamists are misogynists and anti-Semites. They obsess with conspiracy theories and condition Muslims to always be victims and bear grievances against non-Muslims. Islamist grievance groups in the West, such as most Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups, are the first steps in Muslim radicalization.
Authorities should closely monitor Islamist speech short of advocacy of violence and war against the West, in addition to obviously treasonous speech advocated by clerics like Anjem Choudary. Authorities shouldn’t evaluate those who have traveled abroad or are connected to known militants in a vacuum, but rather drill down on the ideological adherence to elements of the Islamist movement.
We should also, however, not fall prey to the autocratic inclination of just shutting down non-violent Islamist and jihadi-sympathizing mosques. Rather, our entire security apparatus domestically (DHS) and abroad (DOD and State) should be mapping and monitoring their public (not private) footprints. Our Muslim Reform Movement’s declaration is an ideological firewall that can be used to determine which Muslim groups are part of the problem and which Muslim groups are part of the solution.
Q: The United Kingdom is monitoring up to 23,000 Islamists as “subjects of interest,” and yet Khuram Butt, the Manchester terrorist (Salman Abedi) and the Westminster terrorist (Khalid Masood) were able to successfully carry out attacks despite being previously monitored or investigated. What can the United States learn from this to prevent further attacks? How should the United States deal with its ‘known wolves,’ as you like to call them?
A: The central axis upon which our homeland security focus is currently centered is labeled “CVE: Countering Violent Extremism.’ Thus, our agents are not told or encouraged to focus on obvious precursor Islamist ideologies to that violence but rather somehow they are supposed to focus on the moment some non-descript extremism becomes violent. This is impossible, as our agents hamstring themselves waiting for that virtual needle in a haystack.
In the United Kingdom, they are following 23,000 suspects looking for both a confirmed predilection for violence and also an imminent threat. A security strategy that only focuses on behavior will fail over and over as we have seen. Many so-called “violent extremists” have no violent precursors, but Islamist extremists always have Islamist precursors. Thus, we need to shift from a focus simply upon those imminently planning acts of violence (terror) upon citizens to focusing upon those harboring the precursor ideology of non-violent Islamism. The axis of DHS security work should center on CVI (Countering Violent Islamism), not CVE.
This doesn’t mean that Muslim citizens should have their civil rights compromised. We should focus on Islamist public messaging and adherents. The monitoring of the readily available public footprint of non-violent Islamists should be a matter of routine surveillance. Authorities do not need warrants for this type of surveillance, and our agents should be using the Islamist nature of those posts to narrow down their threat risk.
Q: On your Twitter feed dated July 6, you remarked that Linda Sarsour, in a speech to ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) delivered over Independence Day weekend, called for a “jihad” against President Trump and praised Siraj Wahhaj, who in a conversation with you highlighted in your book called for the overthrow of the U.S. Constitution by the Qur’an. In that same speech, Sarsour also called for Muslims to refuse to assimilate into the United States. How should Muslim reformers and their non-Muslims allies best respond to her speech?
A: Sarsour’s jihadi comments and the flurry of public outrage may be the beginning of thought leaders in the West seeking out Muslim reformers as a response to the jihadism of Islamists like Sarsour. There will always be droves of useful idiots like Abigail Abrams at Time who hysterically try to apologize for the likes of Sarsour, who lead the radicalization of Muslims against America and secular liberal democracies.
But the jihadi Sarsours of the world will remain as “the” voice of Islam and Muslims if Muslim reformers are not given equal time on all forms of media to counter and marginalize her radicalization. As you point out, I have been exposing her mentor’s radicalism since I reported Siraj Wahhaj’s 1995 call for the overthrow of our U.S. Constitution at the same annual ISNA convention.
It’s time for Americans to connect the dots between ISIS operatives, Middle Eastern sharia states, and these American Islamist thought leaders. Only we reformers at the Muslim Reform Movement can begin the process of putting violent jihad and its global Islamist movement into the dustbin of history.
Sadly, Sarsour’s speech is one among thousands of speeches and sermons delivered every day by leading Islamists in the West. Only bigger platforms by Muslim reformers can counter that very real jihad. As I’ve said many times, the only jihad we need is a “jihad against jihad.”
Q: What is your opinion on the Trump administration’s travel ban against six Muslim-majority nations? Would you advise President Trump any differently on this in the wake of the recent terrorist in the United Kingdom?
A: The travel pause, not an actual ban, is a necessary initial tool for the commander-in-chief to reset the vetting mechanism of those seeking the privilege of entering our country. Yes, it’s true that most attacks on the homeland have been homegrown Islamist threats and not refugees. Yes, the nations with the greatest ideological threats like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and Pakistan were not included in the ban.
But that doesn’t invalidate the legitimacy of a pause on refugee immigration. The pause is simply the beginning of a shift toward a more rigorous form of vetting that I hope will include screening of Islamist ideologies.
Some studies report around 23 percent of those seeking refuge here have sympathies for ISIS. Those individuals have no right to come to the United States. Those who come to the United States should not do so solely out of humanitarian need, but also to share our values. Those with sympathies for Islamists (e.g., Muslim Brotherhood or ISIS) as well as those with sympathies for fascist dictatorships (e.g., Assadists or those with allegiances to the Russian government) should never be given the freedom to come to the U.S.
The nations included in the travel pause are at best not even allies and at worst our enemies and virtual anarchies on the verge of collapse. It makes perfect sense to identify anyone coming from those nations as needing extra vetting. There is nothing discriminatory against vetting people who happen to come from these specific countries, even if they are predominantly Muslim.
My advice to President Trump is that he assemble his campaign-promised “Commission on Radical Islamism” and have that commission become the focal point of our domestic and foreign policy shift away from CVE toward Countering Violent Islamism. It needs to have a heavy presence of reformist American Muslims in order to deflect commonplace attacks from Islamist identity groups that the commission would be “anti-Muslim.” There is nothing more pro-Muslim and pro-Islam than engaging Muslims and non-Muslims in a campaign to marginalize and defeat the Islamist theocrats in our communities.
Q: In our previous interview, you discussed the differences between Muslim reformers and Muslim Islamists. You recently called Daily Beast author Dean Obeidallah a “non-violent Islamist.” What do you mean by this?
A: Dean has been raising money for and defending Islamist groups like CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) for over a decade. Contrary to his useful idiots, he doesn’t have an excuse of being unaware of the realities of sharia supremacism taught and indoctrinated from the books and teachings of many if not most American and Western mosques.
He is a Muslim attorney who under the false and obnoxious cloak of comedy provides cover for droves of Islamists, and actively leads fundraisers for their movements in the West every month. He is particularly dangerous in that his comedic shtick and focus on grievances mainstreams his apologetics for Islamism and in fact starts many on the path of anti-American radicalization.
His Islamist bona fides are evidenced by his pathological silence when it comes to the identifying or acknowledging that the Islamist platform of ideas is always the precursor of militant Islamism. If the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) movement were not covert in the West, they would likely proudly award him one of their leading awards for defense and advocacy.
Q: What is your opinion about the recent protests against Sharia law in the United States? Do you think these protests are a legitimate form of criticism against Islamism, or do they express bigotry against Muslims?
A: When Muslims protested the sharia state of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2013, that was not anti-Muslim bigotry. When the Green Revolution protested the Khomenist sharia state of Iran, that was not anti-Muslim, and when judges and lawyers in Pakistan protested the sharia state of Pakistan that was not anti-Muslim. Those are only a few examples. In fact, it is very pro-Muslim to reject theocratic Islamism and their instrument of their Islamist interpretations and institutionalization of sharia.
First, and foremost, every citizen should have a right to criticize any and all forms of sharia. That is part and parcel of genuine free speech. Anything short is the imposition of blasphemy laws. Many U.S. citizens are concerned when observing little to no condemnation from American Muslims as well as our anesthetized mainstream media of any of the draconian interpretations of sharia law which predominate the texts and teachings of most global Muslim institutions, including in the United State.
My primary criticism of the rallies was simply that it just seemed a little odd that non-Muslims were rallying in cities across America, protesting to predominantly non-Muslim communities about the problems with the sharia law of Islamists. I would have rather seen their anti-sharia protests target the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and all of its attendant 56 Muslim majority nations who are the world’s primary cauldrons of Islamist sharia law. The protests should have begun in front of the Saudi, Pakistani embassies in Washington, Turkish, Qatari, and Egyptian, to name a few.
Without identifying the sharia institutions these were protesting, I could not see what the true point of the rallies were. If it was only to educate the American general public that sharia may be the primary device of Islamism, what exactly are the next steps then? What’s the cure compared to that analysis? Is their objective to activate reformist Muslims? These rallies didn’t actually begin to perform that.
The Global Fight Islamism
Q: You lately criticized President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia to Muslim countries in-may, where he called on these Muslim nations to ‘travel out the terrorists.’ In this critique, you mentioned that this contact was a ‘great sound bite,’ but that “the hall must have almost emptied aside from Tunisia then, Indonesia and some others,” while “these tyrants [are] living off [of]…theocratic Islamist ideology that produces…global Islamist militants and their viral actions.”
A recent content in the Boston World reported that Saudi Arabia is instrumental in spreading Wahhabism beyond the Arab world to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, and Indonesia. How would you advise the Trump administration to do something towards Saudi Arabia and our various other Muslim allies differently?
A: This relevant question is so important. We desperately have to distinguish our short-term diplomatic and armed service goals from our long-term goals in your community. Our short-term goals are clear. First, we need to decimate ISIS and keep maintaining a semblance of stability in the centre North and East Africa.
Our long-term goals and policies ought to be to advocate for individuals who discuss our values and respect common human legal rights. President Trump continuing the aged and tired plans of the U.S. shoring up our Sunni Arab ally axis to stability the spot against the Shia axis of Iran, Iraq, and Syria bolstered by Russia. While this plan would be fitting through the Cold War whenever we had a larger global danger in the Soviets, the post-Arab Awakening scenery is quite different.
We have to acknowledge that shoring up so-called allies who don’t share our values contributes to those governments’ oppression of their personal citizens, which is against our core ideals as Americans, and plays a part in radicalizing those Muslims than liberating them from theocracy rather. These policies run counter to your global responsibility as the leaders of the free of charge globe and the ambassadors for all people who wish to be free.
In the end, as messy as the route might be, America’s interest is to greatly help those who wish to be free make that happen God-given right. This technique may backward be fraught with steps. But history shows that freedom will prevail eventually. Anything short is usually to betray our very own values and deal with Muslim majority countries with a bigotry of low anticipations.
Q: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates possess recently slice ties to Qatar because Qatar allegedly paid $1 billion ransom to Iran and an al-Qaeda affiliate marketer to release kidnapped users of Qatar’s royal family. What exactly are your thoughts upon this?
A: I am zero lover of the Saudi, Egyptian, or Emirati dictatorships. However in the global battle against Islamism, many roads result in Qatar 1st as the primary malignancy of global Islamist movements and the Muslim Brotherhood’s networks. Their propaganda vis-à-vis Al Jazeera and other associated global Islamist press outlets and Qatari-purchased believe tanks and universities possess additional operationalized and weaponized the Islamist motion.
There is small doubt that whenever it involves the radicalization of Muslims globally through Brotherhood networks over the planet, Qatar is a respected antagonist and enemy of the totally free world. This started all the way back 1961, when Qatar welcomed the leading radical Islamist icon and spiritual motivation of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who escaped from Egypt. Qatar hasn’t looked back since within their fealty for the Ikhwan.
The U.S. offers facilitated this for generations because of Qatar’s domestic lobby impact and the U.S. military bottom in Qatar which has always been that lobby’s insurance coverage. But the Home of al-Thani overreached by looking for monetary ties with and facilitation of Iran’s global Khomeinist systems. The Qatari royal family members has formed relationships with the Taliban and Al Qaeda even. So we have to contact this out, and isolate Qatar because of its duplicity.
That said, the Saudis are not innocent. Nor are their hands clean based on the cancer referred to as the Muslim Brotherhood. For over 50 years the Saudis also have financed and helped pass on the establishment of Muslim Brotherhood legacy thinkers and organizations in the West. The Wahhabis and the Ikhwan talk about both a hate of Western liberal democracies and an imagine attempting to establish Islamic says and the caliphate. Their essential difference is based on that Wahhabis are corporate simply, top-down, “elitist” Islamists, as the Brotherhood are grassroots, populist Islamists. Both their interpretations of Islam are theocratic and supremacist.
In the past couple of years things look like changing somewhat. The century-old Islamist Sunni fight between the Saudi Wahhabis and the Ikhwan is currently becoming more globalized most likely because of Saudi Arabia’s realized have to consist of Qatar. At least in the short-term, the U.S. can leverage this to its benefit.
However in the long-term, we need to eventually stop plans of balancing tyrannies to determine an illusion of stability. We should isolate these entrenched tyrannies and take off their lifelines to the global world. There is absolutely no better place to begin than Qatar and the Brotherhood network that it money. However, I am hoping that this may be the first stage of an extended process that will eventually result in the isolation of Saudi Arabia and its own global propagation of draconian Wahhabism.
Q: Recent reviews have stated that times following the Trump administration criticized Qatar for financing terrorism, it authorized the sale of $12 billion in 36 F-15QA fighter jets to Qatar. What’s your opinion upon this?
A: This is a method to “isolate” Qatar hardly. It’s time to end situations where the armed service (through bases, connectés, and congressionally authorized arms sales), intelligence brokers (CIA), STATE DEPT. (diplomats), and the executive branch (president and U.N. ambassador) are sending contradictory communications. Such contradictions provide tyrants just like the Al-Thani category of Qatar little inspiration to ultimately switch their behavior.
We should understand that the weapons which they are sold by us, with the purpose of helping them maintain regional balance, are also used to shore up the government’s household iron fist against their own residents. In the end, we have to adhere to this recalibration of messaging and policies towards Qatar with an identical one with various other “allies” like Saudi Arabia and other tyrannies to whom we source hands, and from whom we purchase oil.
Q: The Islamic Condition lately claimed responsibility for just two episodes on Iran. Is usually this a substantial development to you?
A: This is an extremely significant development for a true number of reasons. First, any operation inside Iran, aside from Tehran, is obviously challenging to perform for Arabic-speaking Sunni Islamists: therefore few if any possess ever been reported despite ISIS’ deep animus with Shia Iran. However it would appear that ISIS operatives could actually penetrate deep in to the center of Farsi-speaking Tehran and focus on the symbolic sites of the parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini, the symbol of the 1979 ascendancy of the Shia Khomeinist regime.
The principal nexus between ISIS and Iran are Iran’s Arab allies in Syria and Iraq. So it is quite likely that operation was planned very long in advance and included a deep infiltration of the Iranian forces with covert ISIS operatives. It is extremely likely that ISIS operatives exploited Iran’s alliances with Arab-speaking Shia Islamist Alawite and Iraqis Syrians.
While ISIS could be on the run within their strongholds of northern Iraq and Raqqa militarily, Syria, this procedure should illustrate their capability to continue to release sophisticated global procedures. This sophistication is fantastic advertising for ISIS as the principal make of radical Sunni Islamism, which will in turn yield a lot more jihadis against Iran, Assad, Hezbollah, and the West.
Especially telling is that Amaq (the ISIS news agency) immediately released a video of their operatives yelling in Arabic “We aren’t leaving; we shall remain, God prepared.” This is uploaded within moments following an attacks in Tehran, and released by ISIS globally. The phrase intentionally mimicked what ISIS spokesperson Mohammed Adnani said to his assassination in Syria prior.
The timing of the attack was likely in response to ISIS fearing a far more unified West-Sunni front against them. ISIS likely wished to deflect attention from synergy between your West and Sunnis towards triggering a larger Sunni-Shia war. Precisely to this effect, Tehran publicly blamed the assault on Riyadh immediately, not ISIS.