- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a Phoenix-based physician, formed the American Islamic Forum for Democracy in March 2003. The think tank, according to its Web site (www.aifdemocracy.org), “was formed as an unmistakable expression of American liberty and freedom in an attempt to take back the faith of Islam from the demagoguery of the Islamo-fascists.”

The following are excerpts of an interview with Dr. Jasser:

Question: Are Muslims hearing more about politics than religion at local mosques?

Answer: While some mosques do protect their mimbar [pulpit] from the toxicity of politics, most mosques in my experience allow their pulpits to be used as a platform for specific domestic and foreign policy agenda. From Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act to American imperialism to the so-called neo-con and Zionist conspiracy, the political imams have abrogated their spiritual leadership in exchange for the political aspirations within the Islamist community. Many mosques are no longer a place to leave the stresses of this world and get closer to God in humble community worship, but have become places for imams to give stump speeches decrying the U.S. government and claiming victimization.

Until spiritual, morally courageous and humble Islam can reclaim the mimbar, the Islamist and Wahhabi agenda will continue to dominate our mosque-going community. If in doubt, just check out the Web sites of many of the major American Muslim organizations. You will not find a spiritual focus, but rather a political one in the name of Muslims.

One of the most effective methods at establishing a counter-jihad would be for imams to spend their time focusing on the love of God and the love from God, rather than His wrath and their hate.

Q: Is there a political agenda to drive a wedge between the Muslim-American community and non-Muslim-American community?

A: The stated agenda of most of the current major Muslim organizations in America is to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims and yet their victim refrains, widely publicized lawsuits and use of the Muslim bandwidth for minority politics is actually doing the very opposite. Rather than protect the rights of Muslims humbly behind the scenes, they run to the media to try their cases before any evidence has been collected. One cannot help but wonder what their real agenda is. It must be the Islamism: the attempt to collectivize Muslims under the banner of faith and utilize the ummah for a political agenda and movement, political Islam.

In reality, it will be the rejection of Muslim collectivism, and the expression of our common interests politically as Americans and spiritually as Muslims, which will in the end unravel the appeal of Islamists.

Soon it will become obvious that most of the so-called “Muslim” organizations in America are actually religious Islamist political parties, which are hijacking the Muslim community for their own political agenda.

Eventually, I hope to see a consciousness from Muslim organizations that no one speaks for the Muslim community or the Islamic faith, and that we all unite with the rest of America under universal humanitarian principles. Each organization speaks only for its members, donors and ideas. At the end of the day, we are all Americans who happen to be Muslims, not Muslims who demand to be American.

Q: How can we defeat Islamist terrorists?

A: We will only be able to diminish their numbers when we defeat the very nature of political Islam from within as Muslims and change the false dreams of the Islamic state. While faith is a powerful motivator, ultimately Islamists will abort their dreams in exchange for the dreams of America’s forefathers when they realize that history has shown that theocracy is a failed system when it competes with liberal pluralistic democracies founded in religious freedom.

Q: What mistakes were made in establishing the new Iraqi government?

A: To this day, I remain in full support of the work of our sons and daughters in Iraq fighting to liberate the Iraqis from dictatorship and now from Islamist terror. To anyone aware of the history of the metastatic spread of radical Islamism around the globe, they are well aware of the central role of the parasitic relationship of Middle Eastern dictatorships and militant Islamist networks and their ideology. This is apparent in the relationship of the House of Saud with the radical Wahhabis, the relationship of [Egyptian] President [Hosni] Mubarak with the radicalism coming out of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, or the relationship of the Islamist radicals with the Syrian Alawite regime or when they ultimately get into power as we have seen in Iran and with Hamas.

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