Thank you Chairman Cruz and members of the Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary for holding today’s hearing on “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts To Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism.” I am Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, President and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) based in Phoenix, Arizona. I am here today, taking time away from family and work during this last week of what is our holiest month of Ramadan, a time of fasting and deep atonement, because I could not feel more strongly that our current national and agency direction in combating Islamist inspired terrorism is deeply flawed and profoundly dangerous. As a devout Muslim who loves my faith, and loves my nation, the deemphasis of “radical Islam” is the greatest obstacle to both national harmony and national security.
Wholesale denial of the truth by many in our government and political establishment has actually emboldened extremists on both sides of this debate: both radical Islamists and anti-Muslim fascists.
Neither Islam nor Muslims are not monolithic and should not be treated as such by anyone – much less our government and media. Please understand it is as equally foolhardy in counter-terrorism and counter-radicalization work to refuse to acknowledge the role of political Islam in the threat as it is to villainize the whole of Islam and all Muslims. The majority of Americans are smart enough to understand that to say the House of “Islam has no problems” is just as problematic as declaring that “Islam, and all Muslims, are the problem”.