The following are excerpts from an article in the February 2006 local Muslim Voice entitled: “ﾓMilitary forces criticized as a persistent problem for every day youthﾔ. ﾓThey want you! The military wants people to join now more than ever. With the ongoing war in Iraq, and people being killed and the militaryﾒs numberﾒs dwindling. The military is a great opportunityﾅif youﾒre moderately poor, and canﾒt afford college or if you just want to serve your country. Even though you would be fighting for a pointless war, and a brainless leader. Most of the people that join the service do so because the military offers to pay for your college once you are done serving.” “However, with the ongoing war, many may not even come back from the war and even be able to go to college and others may be so disabled that they will have to endure many months or even years of rehabilitationﾅ.ﾔ ﾓthough the DEP (delayed entry program) military policy clearly states that recruits are allowed to change their minds and not enlist, and the military recruiters who help the students sign up sometimes ﾑthreaten them , tinimdate them, and tell outright liesﾔ These are among the findings of a five-month investigation entitled ﾓGI Liesﾔ led by reporter Dale Russell of Fox 5 TV News.ﾔ ﾓThe military goes crazy when theyﾒre trying to recruit you, they wonﾒt stop calling you and sending you stuff,ﾔ Sunnyslope junior Amanda Nelson said. The military barges into peopleﾒs lives and wonﾒt leave them alone. ﾅ they donﾒt care how they do it, just as long as they do it.ﾔ AIFD Comment: While a few of our American military recruiters could be inappropriate in their tactics, this piece in distribution to the Muslim community malignantly paints a skewed picture of our entire military. In fact it baits the Muslim community to hate all military recruiters. If extreme opinions such as this were balanced by more positive truthful examples of the benefits of military service to our youth and service to our nation, this piece would be insignificant. But in the context of repeated anti-military polemics in this newspaper with no local rival, it is exceedingly harmful to the perceptions of the Muslim and Arab communities. There is no wonder the numbers of Muslim youth applying for our military academies, ROTC, and other military programs continues to be abysmal. This propaganda may sell and be inconsequential on Al Jazeera, but locally left without balance it only serves to drive a malignant wedge between our Muslim community and our American military. Anecdotal and sloppy reporting like this is intentionally placed in cultural newspapers by Islamists in order to turn off any interest potential local moderate Muslim youth may have in serving their nation in the military. This piece is an example of the repeated subversion of the image of the American military by some of those who have never served and have no first hand knowledge of their biases. This article and its views run at the core of the war of ideas that we need to wage against the Islamists and the threat which their ideology poses to our youth and to our security. If Islamists succeed in destroying the image of our American military within the local Muslim youth, enlistment in the armed forces will be a rare occurrence from our youth and greatly discouraged by their parents and family. The one-sided nature of this type of negative propaganda within the Muslim community should no longer be unopposed. It is time for the Muslim community to be exposed to other viewpoints about the honor and distinction of serving in uniform with any branch of our armed services. It is in fact the deep tradition of voluntary military service from American families from across our nation which is the backbone of our strength as a democracy. Demonizing the military is akin to demonizing the American people. As the only print so far in the Valley speaking specifically to the Muslim community in Arizona, this cannot represent the majority of Muslims in the Valley and their viewpoint of the honor of serving in the U.S. military. In fact, many American Muslims serve today proudly in active duty. However, one would be hard pressed to ever find a positive piece in the Muslim Voice about our brave soldiers who protect our nation and fight radical islamists abroad. A balanced debate about the activities and conduct of our armed services is always healthy in a democracy; however, constant one-sided discouragement from service and dissemination of blatant prejudice and bias against our military is a disservice to our nation and to our security. Until our Muslim youth are encouraged to participate more readily in our armed services this type of hate will continue. Until our Muslim youth begin to personally testify to their own families and thought leaders in our community of their positive experiences in serving their nation, the conspiracy theory mentality upon which all of this hate is based will continue to certainly propagate. Meanwhile, back at home, local Islamists will continue to disseminate this type of vitriol and keep the divide of hate wide between American Muslims and the U.S. military wide rather than encourage participation in the most direct form of fulfillment of their citizenship oath- military service.
Spread an awareness of local media which hijacks our spiritual faith of Islam for political agendas Dissemination of Islamist (Political Islam) ideology by the only two local Valley Muslim and Arabic Community newspapers needs the light of day The local Arabic language Arab Voice and the English language Muslim Voice are local throw away newspapers published by Mr. Marwan Ahmad of Breek Publishing and distributed predominantly to the Arabic speaking community in Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico. While typically the quality of reporting and writing in these papers would not warrant an effort at monitoring, these papers are ubiquitous and unopposed in the local Arabic and Muslim communities of Phoenix and the southwest. Their wide presence in most Arabic and Islamic cultural centers in the Valley when put in the context of a virtual absence of any competitive or contrary voices makes it a political force and threat worth regular public monitoring. In the coming months, we will provide a public translation and accounting of selections from the Arabic language Arab Voice and excerpts from the English language Muslim Voice to the Arizona community. Without this report most Arizonans are unaware of this widespread material. This will hopefully be our small contribution in an effort to let the greater Arizona and southwest community understand what type of ideology is being distributed under the guise of cultural and religious newspapers. Transparency is essential to countering the ideology which feeds political Islam. We may at times provide commentary, but the selections should speak for themselves. It is our firm belief that those who operate under the benefit of freedom of the press should not seek comfort from the protection of communication in a foreign language or from distribution to circumscribed, limited, ethnic, cultural, or religious populations. Exposing political Islamic literature will force the debate which we seek– a public debate concerning the separation of religion and state in our faith of Islam. Today, the terrorism which threatens American security the greatest is that committed by radical Islamists driven by the politicization of Islam (Islamism). In our efforts to secure our safety from such threats, vehicles for Islamism operating on American soil are certainly a liability and at any time can serve as fuel for the next radicalized Muslim. Transparency will dilute this toxin. This is the reason we monitor local and global islamist ideology. Moreover, the sad reality is that this relatively rare phenomenon (as demonstrated by the lack of other competitive voices) of a local Arabic or Muslim publication could have actually been one of the primary tools in combating the ideology of Islamism. But rather quite to the contrary, readers of the English and the Arabic translations of Mr. Ahmadﾒs papers will find that these publications are far from being moderate voices for the Arab and Muslim communities in the Valley. Stay tuned to our ﾓArizona Islamist Watchﾔ reports and discover the type of ideology distributed in our Valley and in the southwest. These selections will also highlight an ideology which rests alongside their fellow media echo chambers of such satellite television networks as Al-Jazeera, Syrian television, Egyptian television, or a number of Saudi satellite stations beaming in Arabic language anti-American propaganda into American Arabic homes on a daily basis. Our efforts will remain steady to expose the writings of these publications as long as Breek Publishing (Principle: Mr. Marwan Ahmad) and its papers continue to distribute Islamist and anti-American ideology here in Arizona. Finally, also essential in this debate is an understanding of which businesses and mosques, fund, support, and distribute this material. For in the end, whether knowing or unknowing, they are directly facilitating a wider distribution of the ideology of Breek Publishing, Mr. Ahmad, and his editorial staff. One should safely assume that all of these advertisers and distributors support Mr. Ahmadﾒs message since they are funding it, distributing it, and allowing their own businesses to benefit from the community which reads it. At the website of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy we will only post the names of those businesses, mosques, and cultural centers which distribute or advertise for this material. (see Arizona Muslim Voice and Arab voice watch section and supporter lists). It will remain updated as we are aware of any changes. Our prayer is that with the light of day we can begin to break apart this toxic mixture of our pious local faith community and Arabic cultural community with the visceral politics of the Middle East and the Islamist agenda. While these publications (the Arab Voice and Muslim Voice) have not and do not promote violence and often carry many non-political messages as community services, unfortunately readers will also find throughout a heavy promotion of political Islam. It is our central belief that political Islam (Islamism) is an ideology which runs against the pluralistic ideology of America and the separation of religion and state. Perhaps our efforts will encourage the development of other non-political Arizona Arabic and Muslim community religious and cultural publications. Until Islamist (political Islamic) publications are truly marginalized, they will remain a liability to our security through their fertilization of susceptible Muslim minds. Stay tuned.
Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR rushed in his letter to the editor on March 31, 2006 to a list of programs and statements of condemnation which his organization has made in the recent past concerning terrorism and hate. He seems to either conveniently or carelessly miss the entire point of my March 30, 2006 column, Cancer in its Midst in the Washington Times. Let me make my points more direct. CAIR (Council for American-Islamic Relations) and other Muslim organizations gain their public notoriety as supposed Muslim responses to the darkness cast over our community from radical Islamists. Its response, however, is all about victimization and little else. And yet again, in Mr. Hooperﾒs response to my column he still could not get himself to answer these questions which I all but spelled out: 1- Will they directly help to dismantle and lead an organized effort against terrorist organizations and individuals by name beginning with Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, and HAMAS to name just a few of the radical Islamist enemies of America? Will they name and ideologically engage the extremism of the Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia, the theocrats of Iran, Sudan, and the litany of other despots and theocrats in the Muslim world in their so far empty nameless condemnations of terrorism? 2- Will Mr. Hooper acknowledge that political Islam (Islamism) is the toxin which feeds the terrorism committed by radicalized Muslims? 3- If so, is it not the primary role of Muslim American organizations to lead the ideological war against radical Islamists? Non-Muslims can do nothing to deconstruct this poisonous ideology. Our fellow Americans living in fear for their security are looking for us to lead this fight. The credibility of Muslims is suffering deeply as a result of the complete denial of this responsibility by the likes of Mr. Hooper. 4- As a fellow Muslim, will Mr. Hooper join me in the call to my fellow co-religionists to fully and unequivocally separate the spiritual from the political? If not, then Mr. Hooper just doesnﾒt get it. Opinion polls continue to fall concerning the credibility of Muslims and their stance in this war against radical Islamists. Our community needs organizations with a new paradigm in this global conflict. Unless, leading Muslim organizations primarily and frontally engage ideological Islamism (political Islam), in an effort to cure the cancer from our midst, all of their other efforts will remain, pure and simply, self-serving and far from embodying the Golden Rule.
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