The West desperately needs a broad-based anti-Islamist strategy to combat the global reach of this deadly ideology that threatens freedom and liberty everywhere. Dr. Jasser says that, “American Muslims, living in this unparalleled laboratory of freedom, have a unique moral obligation to lead the way. For too long we have allowed the grievance narratives of Islamist groups to dominate, deflect responsibility, and radicalize. As American Muslims, we need to own the problem and address the root causes of Islamist radicalization.”
About the speaker
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), an American think tank built on the premise of advocating for the principles of the U.S. Constitution, liberty and freedom through the separation of mosque and state. He is an ardent activist for universal human rights and against the global movement of political Islam (Islamism) that holds Muslims around the world under the thumb of theocratic regimes.
He routinely briefs members of Congress on the threat to the United States and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security; the Constitution Sub-Committee of the House Judiciary Committee; and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. He is regularly on national and international media as an expert on Islamist extremism.
Dr. Jasser is a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy who served 11 years as a medical officer including a tour as the Staff Internist to the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. Currently, Jasser is a well-respected internist and nuclear cardiologist in Phoenix, Arizona.
He is the author of the acclaimed book, A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith. In the book, Jasser offers a way for Muslims to dismantle the ideology of Islamism and reclaim their faith. It is a must read for the millions of people who want to understand how Muslims can defeat radical Islam and create Middle Eastern governments devoted to the principles of liberty and human rights.
Robert R. Reilly:
Our guest tonight as you know is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, who’s the President and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), an American think tank built on the premise of advocating for the principles of the U.S Constitution, liberty, and freedom through the separation of mosque and state. Remember that famous letter from Jefferson? The separation – oh, that was church and state, okay, so Zuhdi is promoting the separation of mosque and state, which is very Jeffersonian.
He is a devout Muslim. He served recently as a commissioner on the congressionally appointed U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He is an ardent activist for universal human rights and against the global movement of political Islam or Islamism. He has appeared many times to testify before various committees in Congress and he’s spoken very forcefully and very courageously and for so doing he has also taken the heat from some Islamist organizations who don’t understand the distinctions that he espouses.
Dr. Jasser is a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy who served eleven years as a U.S. medical officer, including a tour as staff internist to the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. Sometimes I wish he had done his job less well than he did. Currently, he is serving as a well respected internist and nuclear cardiologist in Phoenix, Arizona.
Dr. Jasser is author of The Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith. We have copies of the book for sale out there. We have replaced the microscopic yellow post it note that said $20 so now it can be seen in a larger envelope and Dr. Jasser will be available to sign these books after his lecture which is on the subject of, Fighting for Victory Against Islamism: A Muslim Blueprint for the West. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Jasser.
Thank you, Bob. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be here at the Westminster Institute and you know I have to open by saying many years ago I read the Closing of the Muslim Mind and I recommend it to a lot of the Muslims in our liberty project and I’m here to tell you that hopefully my mind is open and not closed and that’s really what the challenge is is I do believe Bob was right that the Muslim mind has closed for the most part at least folks running our faith and running our communities and the challenge is really to open those minds.
You know we always struggle with where we are and how to contextualize the subject matter if you will and it almost seems like everyone of my talks opens with an apology for the recent attack that happened be it Orlando all the way back to Ft. Hood and now fifteen years ago, 9/11. And the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11 is only a few days away and I’m sure every one of you can remember where you were as those four planes attacked the United States and one was not too far from here at the Pentagon.
At that time- and that’s where my book opens with. It opens with me talking about how angry I was and how I almost wanted to reenlist and get those bastards. And now you look where we are today. You realize that Al Qaeda was an extremely small problem compared to the problem that we have and for those of us who formed the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, nobody understood why our mission statement was to preserve the U.S. Constitution and freedom and liberty through the separation of mosque and state. They’re like wait a minute, the problem is terrorism. That doesn’t make sense. Come along twelve years later, ISIS starts forming in Syria and all of a sudden this terror group called the Islamic State forms and people start to understand, oh, there’s an Islamic State terror group. And I’m still, fifteen years later, trying to explain to people that ISIS is even but a small symptom of a bigger global cancer that a quarter of the world’s population has within it.
So, when we look at this problem fifteen years after 9/11 and hundreds of thousands of troops that have deployed into the Middle East since then and we can talk about for good or whether we made things better. I think we did.