M ZUHDI JASSER
PRESIDENT AMERICAN ISLAMIC FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY
“We are pleased with much of what the President had to say, noting that he seems to have shifted from more coddling language to what sounds like a firmer stance against terror. What remains to be seen, however, and what would demonstrate a meaningful and demonstrative shift toward REAL solutions – is if his engagement of the Muslim community changes. In order to be successful in obliterating violent extremism, President Obama must start at the root of the root – political Islam – the seed from which groups like ISIS grow. The President was right – many Muslims, including myself – have and do serve our nation in the military, law enforcement, and other roles essential to keeping us safe. And we need his leadership, too.
We invite the President to begin working with the real reformers and change agents from within the Muslim community, such as those of us who met in Washington, D.C. last week at a summit to craft and announce the launch of the Muslim Reform Movement. In our declaration, we outlined multiple principles consistent with President Obama’s stated values: equality of the sexes, protection for sexual and religious minorities, and the separation of mosque and state and so on. Further, though, we asked our fellow Muslims to denounce armed jihad and the notion of a caliphate and Islamic states. If President Obama is serious about the need for Muslims to ‘decisively and unequivocally’ reject the ideology fueling terrorism, he will stand with us as allies, recognizing us reformers as the solution to this increasingly dangerous global crisis.”