The American Islamic Forum for Democracy’s (AIFD) mission is to advocate for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state.
AIFD is the most prominent American Muslim organization directly confronting the ideologies of political Islam and openly countering the common belief that the Muslim faith is inextricably rooted to the concept of the Islamic State (Islamism). Founded by Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, AIFD looks to build the future of Islam through the concepts of liberty and freedom.
AIFD’s mission is derived from a love for America and a love of our faith of Islam. Dr. Jasser and the board of AIFD believe that Muslims can better practice Islam in an environment that protects the rights of an individual to practice their faith as they choose. The theocratic “Islamic” regimes of the Middle East and some Muslim majority nations use Islam as a way to control Muslim populations, not to glorify God as they portend. The purest practice of Islam is one in which Muslims have complete freedom to accept or reject any of the tenants or laws of the faith no different than we enjoy as Americans in this Constitutional republic.
AIFD believes that the root cause of Islamist terrorism is the ideology of political Islam and a belief in the preference for and supremacy of the Islamic state. Terrorism is but a means to that end. Most Islamist terror is driven by the desire of Islamists to drive the influence of the west (the ideas of liberty) out of the Muslim consciousness and Muslim majority societies. The underlying philosophy of Islamism is what western society should fear most. With almost a quarter of the world’s population Muslim, American security will never come without an understanding and winning out of the ideas of liberty by Muslims and an understanding of the harm of political Islam by non-Muslims.
AIFD seeks to build and establish an institution that can provide an ideological infrastructure for the ideas of liberty and freedom to Muslims and our future generations. We seek to give Muslims a powerful intellectual alternative to political Islam (Islamism) ultimately seeking the defeat of political Islam as a theo-political ideology.
AIFD’s ideas will be promoted through this think tank and foundation as we take every opportunity to directly engage advocates of political Islam on the folly of their ideas. Our ideas are based in the American ideas of liberty and the separation of mosque and state without compromising the centrality of God in our life as devout Muslims.
We hope that AIFD’s ideas in the public place will ultimately serve as the seeds that will drive a prevailing liberty movement from within the American and ultimately the global Muslim consciousness to embrace the tenets of liberty and freedom. We will work to engage Muslim youth and empower them with the independence to question the ideas of imams, clerics, and so many “tribal” leaders of Muslim communities unwilling to look toward reform and modernity. We will empower Muslim youth to have the confidence to take personal intellectual ownership of their own interpretation of Islam, the Qur’an, Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), and shariah (Islamic jurisprudence) and separate mosque and state. We will work to advocate for the ideas of gender equality, genuine religious pluralism, and an unwavering preference of the secular state and a secular law over the Islamic state among other central ideas in modernity.
The most effective counter to the current problem of Muslim radicalization is the advocacy of the American principle of liberty over the prevailing ideas of political Islam. Muslim children in America need to be taught that the principles of the United States Constitution are not only in line with their faith, but are the best way to protect the sanctity of their faith. At AIFD we recognize that these ideas require not only an advocacy for liberty but a need to create and promote deep reforms against political Islam. It is this legacy that we seek to leave future generations with our work at AIFD.
Since our inception, AIFD has seen a steady and consistent growth in our platform, our ideas, and following. Our mission is challenging on almost every front. Our primary adversaries, the advocates for political Islam do not generally promote an environment that gives anti-Islamist foundations like ours a protective or a naturally engaging environment from which to operate among Muslims and non-Muslims. AIFD has slowly and steadily built upon our body of ideas most of which are contained on this website. We have also slowly and steadily built upon our base of support nationally and internationally.
Our mission is on the frontlines of what is probably the most essential and yet contentious debate of the 21st century. So it should be easy to understand why many Muslims may agree with our mission to separate mosque and state and marginalize political Islam, but yet want to remain private and out of the public eye as supporters.
Ultimately transforming the work of AIFD as a think tank into a palpable movement by American Muslims is a tall task that will not happen until the public environment becomes more welcoming to the diversity of Muslims who disagree with the Islamist movement and its organizations. AIFD will continue to grow and advocate for our ideas and protect those of all faiths who join us in this critical venture.