An Eye on the Enemy: Learn about our Foes

We are fighting a global war against an ideology that seeks to defeat secular democracies. There are a few websites and associated organizations that came to my attention recently that should be mandatory reading for all those who doubt that the stakes of the war are ideological at the core and not just global anti-American hate or fanatical “terror”. The “Islamist” ideology seeks to reinstate the Caliphate that is a remote historical reference to the administration of the Islamic Empire during the 7th to the 13th Centuries. In fact those who seek to impose such a rule are a truly similar threat to America and the west as communism and its global dreams of domination were in the Cold War. To all those who doubt the threat check out Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s website, which is working openly in England, Indonesia, Denmark and across the globe. Hizb ut Tahrir seeks to defeat secular democracies and put into place pseudo-Islamic theocracies and Islamic states. View the site associated for a grim look into the propaganda that Islamist activists are promulgating about America. It makes Russia’s Pravda of the 1960’s appear to be a scientific journal. The Khilafah magazine and organization is also another arm of this global movement. It should be clear as these organizations come to the international surface that their openness is one of two signs. Either they are struggling and searching for followers, or it may be a sign that they are gaining confidence. The essential issue and challenge for our foreign and domestic policy should be to identify organizations like these, at least on their surface, as intellectual enemies of the west . As a Muslim I see them as intellectual enemies of Islam. The United States has in its 228 years created an environment in which I could not be more free to practice my faith. Any organization that seeks to impose an individual interpretation of Islam or any faith in a theocracy will profoundly limit my liberty and freedom and that is the ideology we are fighting. To defeat this clearly identifiable Islamist ideology is to, in fact, liberate Islam. Look at these websites and learn about the ideology we are fighting and the ideology moderate secular Muslims need to lead the charge against. This column can also be found online at this link at The Arizona Republic T

A Disgrace Upon Islam

Finally, in the wake of the barbaric killing of innocent children in Russia, the blinders that have kept the Muslim world from seeing the cancer within its midst are coming off. The killers at the children’s school in Beslan were not Chechen “separatists.” They were not Muslim “militants.” They were “Islamo-fascist killers,” pure and simple. Such killers revel in death. They pick the times when they can kill the most people on the subways, in their offices, in restaurants, in schools or on buses. They slit throats, shoot children in the back or blow themselves up, trying to create as much blood and carnage as possible. We must call them by their true name, but that alone is not enough. More is required. Across the Muslim world the past several weeks have finally seen a clear and long overdue change in Islamic _expression. There is a realistic introspection unseen before. Abdulrahman al-Rashed wrote in an editorial titled, “The Painful Truth: All of the World’s Terrorists are Muslim” in the pan-Arab daily, Asharq Al-Awsat: “Self-cure starts with self-realization and confession. We should then run after our terrorist sons, in the full knowledge that they are the sour grapes of a deformed culture.” Russian Muslims – granted, aided by state-controlled media assistance and a workers union endorsement – impressively brought out upwards of 40,000 Muslim faithful to a Rally Against Terror in Moscow. But as we know here in Phoenix, rallies are only a start in creating a new consciousness. Every time I have the privilege of praying with my Muslim brothers and sisters in devotional prayer, I feel a perfect harmony and solace of thought and movement as we bow and say God’s praises together. While my faith is very personal, without that group energy, my religion is not complete. But with spiritual enjoyment and fulfillment comes equal responsibility. Moderate, moral Muslims may see these Islamo-fascists as far removed from our reality; however, the unforgiving reality of this world is that we are responsible as a group for our weakest as well as our most corrupt and deranged. These killers are committing incomprehensibly evil acts in the name of my religion across the world, and because of that, I and my fellow Muslims should atone for their actions. I think it would be totally fitting for Muslims to erect a monument to stand eternally in memorial like that which was done for all those who lost their lives in Vietnam and other wars. On it would be the names of every man, woman and child who has lost their lives due to Islamo-fascism. The only tie that would bind the lives memorialized therein would be the fact that they were all lost at the hands of Islamo-fascists. A memorial is more lasting over generations in its impact than any editorial, speech, sermon or rally. With our effort, we could show the world and ourselves that those names from all around the globe are not forgotten. They would be remembered and honored as innocent souls whose lives were snuffed out by barbaric, un-Islamic – in fact, anti-Islamic – cruelty. The memorial would remain as living testimony to the search for forgiveness from the non-Muslim world of the Muslim faithful for the actions of its deranged criminal few. Denial and blinders are checked at the door, with atonement gained within. This column originally appeared in the print version of the Arizona Republic on September 26, 2004 [M. Zuhdi Jasser is a Phoenix physician and chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. He can be reached at or at]

Dictator Behind the Curtain

The preeminent institution of Islamic learning is supposedly Al-Azhar University in Cairo. The U.S. and the world continue, especially since 9/11, to look to its chiefs often to the chagrin of moderate secular Muslims for pronouncements regarding Islamic principles. Last month Al-Azhar made a recommendation to ban three books on different aspects of Islam. Hossam Bahgat opining in the Lebanese Daily Star today, noted, pure and simple, “Al-Azhar is actually an administrative branch of the Egyptian government. Egypt’s official religious institution is not independent and has not been independent since at least 1961, when law 103 on Al-Azhar was promulgated. The grand imam is appointed by an executive decree signed by the president and the prime minister has traditionally carried the additional title of state minister for Azharite affairs.” For such open revelations to be published in a major Arab daily is an “epiphany” Many of us are looking and praying for freedom-minded Muslims to effect reform in the Islamic world. I have actually long remarked about the obvious hypocrisy and oft misguided statements and principles that come out of institutions like Al-Azhar. While it is certainly somewhat of a center of Islamic learning, a true university in the honest Islamic tradition would be free from any external coercion and only answerable to science, philosophy and the pursuit of learning. For any who would doubt the significance of Arab secular dictatorships in promulgating the misguided ignorance and fanning the flames of religious intolerance, Baghat’s piece today in the Lebanese Daily Star may finally begin to open some eyes. It may finally enlighten the west to what many of us freedom-minded Muslims have felt for a long time. The change needed to combat the ideology that threatens us begins at the democratization of the secular and monarchal dictatorships of the Middle East. The parasitic co-dependency between dictatorships like Mubarak’s in Egypt and other Arab dictatorships is the primary sickness that manufactures religious intolerance. Thus, spreading liberty and freedom beginning in Iraq will go a long way toward liberating Islam from the vice-grip of Arab dictators. This column can also be found at this link at the Arizona Republic

Window into the fascist mind

In the opinion section of Al Jazeerah’s website today is a piece which, for those who have the gastric fortitude, provides a vivid window into the working mind of what America is truly fighting in this global war – a “war” not on “terror” which is a tactic, but a war against an ideology. Al Jazeerah’s writer from London, Yamin Zakaria, opines freely for the free world to read. He leaves the reader with a clear comprehension of the true ideologies that are at stake in this war. He believes that a Muslim theocracy is a panacea. He espouses an ideology that holds that lands of freedom and liberty like the United States and Britain are inherently corrupt and purposely target civilians. As a prior U.S. Navy officer and a Muslim, his comments from across the pond are beyond offensive. His blinders and fanatical dismissals refuse to acknowledge the driving ideology of Islamo-fascism and why those who target civilians in barbaric acts of terror are fascistic in their means, their philosophy and their faith. This person cannot see Muslims doing anything wrong. He interprets Islam vis-a-vis Muslims as always being the victim. This is in fact tacit approval for all terrorism performed by so-called Muslims. Zakaria of Al Jazeerah is unable to understand how Muslims could be fascist. He misses the simplest of understanding that, in fact, an individual without any self-awareness or self-consciousness is by definition – a fascist. In fact, this very discussion demonstrates the depth of the intellectual fabric of the Islamo-fascists and their consistent derangement in their own elaborate warped world view. This piece should be mandatory reading (with anti-emetics) for all those who doubt that there is in fact an ideology that is in direct conflict with the secular democracies of the West and most specifically with the secular freedoms guaranteed in the U.S. by our Constitution. Zakaria’s misunderstanding, distortion, and hate of America and our liberating forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere need to be addressed. It is not just this one opinion specifically which brings concern, but rather that this is an articulate form of blind fascism that is a potent minority in the leadership of the Muslim world that must be defeated in the war of ideas. This is a mindset revealing itself on the Arabic oped pages that can see no wrong in their own group and see all wrongs within others. It is, in fact, the antithesis to a free secular tolerant society that respects individuality, honors humility and introspection. It is the ideology with which we are at direct odds as Americans since 9/11. It is crucial for Americans to understand that this is part of an infrastructure of philosophy that is painfully thought out. It is crucial that we begin to publicly and vociferously deconstruct this in the international arena. This column first appeared at this link in the Arizona Republic

When will the Sudan genocide end?

When will the killing, the genocide in Sudan stop? Yes, this week finally we have declared the crisis in Darfur to be a – genocide. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Secretary of State Colin Powell. What’s in a word – “genocide”? A great deal when it comes to quickly martialing the world’s resources and energies in order to put a stop to a preventable catastrophy being committed by barbarians in the Sudan including the Arab Janjaweed marauders and what finally appears to more clearly be the Sudanese military themselves. In recent analyses and surveys of refugees who were displaced from Darfur, verifiable reports have identified that over three-fourths of the violence is being perpetrated in the hands of the Sudanese military themselves. Powell confirmed this in Senate testimony last week. Knowing this now, it is not surprising in retrospect that the Arab League has been dragging its collective feet at declaring a “genocide” and owning up to their humanitarian responsibility for the tragedy occurring at the hands of one of their colleague nations. We acted too late in Rwanda ten years ago and with more than one million displaced from their homes and upwards of 100,000 dead we are certainly far from early in Sudan. The EU has begun to come around regarding the insistance upon corrective action by the Sudanese government, but we can no longer stand idly by. Organizations like the Save Darfur coalition ( ) signed on by more than 100 international organizations including our own American Islamic Forum for Democracy ( ) have been working to wake up the world to the genocide occurring on the watch of all world leaders under the blinders and complicity of the Sudanese government. We finally have reliable testimony. In Senate testimony and soon in U.N. action we will formally hear the world decry the genocide. When will the world finally listen? Listen to all those giving testimony and organizations trying to promote human rights without access in Darfur. Listen to the suffering of the displaced million of Darfur and the suffering of the families of those killed in the genocide. Unfortunately, we can no longer hear the voices of the viciously murdered in the genocide of Darfur or the ones from prior crises in Sudan. We must act now and the world must finally begin to effectively listen to the world’s humanitarian organizations like, Human Rights Watch and so many others who have been decrying the continued suffering of the Sudanese in Darfur. Perhaps sometime soon the world will act This column first appeared at this link at the Arizona Republic