Islamic Leader Issues Tough Response to Fellow Muslims on Bombings and Extremism: Drop the ‘We are the Victims’ Mentality


Islamic Leader Issues Tough Response to Fellow Muslims on Bombings and Extremism: Drop the ‘We are the Victims’ Mentality

 TheBlaze Apr. 22, 2013 7:57pm Billy Hallowell

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a conservative author, activist and the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), has a message for Muslim Americans: Step up to the plate and work diligently to combat Islamism and extremism. Jasser spoke with TheBlaze this week about his reaction to the Boston Marathon terror attack and his views on steps that should be taken within Islamic circles to prevent further extremism.

When asked how he believes Muslims should be reacting to the terror attacks, the faith leader noted that he has been disappointed by the response thus far. He claimed that many Islamic leaders have simply not done enough and that more is required of the community as a whole.

“Swift condemnations of the act of terrorism are just not enough. I don’t believe that the American public is buying their mantra of denial and victimization,” he told TheBlaze through e-mail. “They deny that the perpetrators were Muslim (basically committing ‘takfir’ as is typical for Islamists) — all the while the list of hundreds of American Muslims either attempting to commit or having committed acts of terrorism continues to pile up.”

Jasser took particular aim at those Muslim leaders who he believes “focus on their own victimization, patronizingly reminding the rest of America not to be ‘racists’ [or] ‘bigots.’” The conservative Muslim leader said that it is time for faith leaders to confront the issues that so-often lead to radicalization.

Rather than avoiding the discussion and claiming victimization, Jasser believes that it’s paramount for these leaders to figure out what’s separating some Muslim youths from Americanism and leading them “toward supremacist Islamism” — and he wants to address these phenomena.

“There is a deep soulful battle of identity raging within the Muslim consciousness domestically and abroad between Westernism and liberalism,” he said. “In essence the Islamists confront every situation in a selfish ‘we are the victims’ mentality and the rest of us non-Islamist Muslims need to instead respond with a louder and more real leadership and say: ‘We will not be victims.’”

Jasser also noted that those who embrace the Muslim faith should openly acknowledge that the radicalization problem requires believers to tackle the issue from within — and that Muslims who embrace reform are the most essential to preventing future attacks.

By all accounts, Jasser practices what he preaches. Through AIFD, he seeks to educate Muslims and non-Muslims, alike, in an effort to prevent extremism.

“We have been trying to engage as much of the American public as possible as the long overdue attention to the greatest threat to our security in the 21st century is beginning to be realized,” he said. “The Islamist threat manifests as the early stages of radicalization domestically and it manifests as theocratic regimes (like the Iranian Khomeinists or Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood) abroad who will never be our allies and ultimately seek our destruction.”

It is through engaging the public that he hopes Americans will see that AIFD can help keep the nation safe through vital and unique programs. One of Jasser’s efforts, called the Muslim Liberty Project, works to engage young Muslims, ages 15 to 30, in an effort to help foster American identity — a worldview that embraces the Constitution and “the separation of mosque and state.” The goal? To prevent youths from falling into extremist traps.

Another program, the American Islamic Leadership Coalition, brings together diverse Muslim groups that are opposed to Islamism. Through public statements, position papers and press conferences, the goal here is to get the word out about combating extremist groups.

“We pray that the attention of the American public to the problem this time will not again be plagued by an ADD response which wanes shortly after the event and reverts back to an ineffective politically correct whack-a-mole program,” Jasser told TheBlaze.

As for more wide-ranging solutions, the Islamic activist said that America needs to come to a national consensus — one that examines terrorism as something rooted in a larger problem. Jasser believes that political Islam (also known as Islamism) can’t be defeated by military might and that these structures must be combated through engagement. The battle against these groups, though, must be waged by Muslims themselves, he argues.

“This needs to be engaged on many fronts with a public-private partnership where government, media, activist groups, and academe begin to push any and all pressure points which break down the power systems of Islamist groups and ideas while bolstering the infrastructure and ideas of non-Islamist and anti-Islamist groups here and abroad,” he continued. “I have called for our government to develop to that end: a Liberty Doctrine as a guiding philosophy of our nation against the threat of Islamism.”



Ethiopia Does Have a Legitimate Fear of Violent Religious Extremism, 2/14/13

Ethiopia Does Have a Legitimate Fear of Violent Religious Extremism

But The Government’s Response Threatens To Turn That Fear Into A Self-Fulfilling Prophesy

Address by M. ZUHDI JASSER, Commissioner, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom–Delivered at the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C., Feb. 14, 2013

Published in, April 2013

 Thank you for that kind introduction.

I want to thank Ambassador Campbell and the Coun­cil on Foreign Relations for inviting USCIRF here to share our findings about the situation of religious freedom today in Ethiopia, particularly as it pertains to the country’s Mus­lim population. We appreciate Ambassador Campbell giving us this platform today.

My remarks will be largely based on my visit to Addis Ababa from December 15 through the 19th of last year, as part of a USCIRF delegation.

My comments today will include a summary of our find­ings based on our own observations and our meetings with a number of key individuals in Ethiopia.

These individuals included the Minister of Federal Af­fairs; the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; members of the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council or EIASC; the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Booth; attorneys for imprisoned Muslim protestors and some protestors them­selves; the Interim Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church; the government’s Human Rights Commission; and members of several nongovernmental human rights and in­terfaith organizations.

Speaking for USCIRF, let me say that before our trip to Ethiopia, we were deeply concerned about reports about the deterioration of freedom of religion for Muslims in that na­tion, especially since July 2011, when the government first sought to change the way Islam was practiced and began to punish clergy and laity alike who resisted its new policy.

Our findings confirmed not only our concerns but our level of concern about the loss of religious freedom and its negative impact—both as a human rights issue and a poten­tial security matter for Ethiopia and for the region.


Before I get into our findings, let me provide some rel­evant background.

When it comes to religion, about a third of Ethiopians are Muslim, and most Muslims in Ethiopia traditionally have been Sufis.

The Ethiopian government has generally respected the religious freedom of its people, including Muslims, until very recently.

In Ethiopia’s constitution, Article 27 guarantees religious freedom and—to quote its words—”the independence of the state from religion.”

And in practice, Ethiopia has had a long history of reli­gious toleration.

However, there are four critical factors that have set the stage for the recent shift away from honoring this vital hu­man right.

First, there is the matter of geography.

Simply stated, Ethiopia is situated in an increasingly vola­tile region of the world. It borders Eritrea, Somalia, and both Sudan and South Sudan. In both Somalia and Sudan, vio­lent religious extremists pose a genuine danger to Ethiopia.

Second, within its own borders, Ethiopia remains con­cerned about the growth of Wahhabism as a potential threat to the country’s stability and security.

Third, the policies of the Ethiopian government have sig­nificantly shriveled the country’s civil society.

The government has shut down independent newspa­pers, arresting their editors.

It has also imposed limits on foreign funding for human rights, democracy promotion, and conflict mitigation.

As result, domestic NGOs are left with a range of problem­atic choices.

They are either forced to work with the government, for­going their independent status and drastically curtailing their activities, or to close up shop.

As a result, there are no independent groups operating in Ethiopia that can monitor religious freedom, undertake inter­faith cooperation, or lead in intra-faith conflict mitigation ac­tivities.

And finally, in addition to its ongoing political repression of civil society, Ethiopia’s government has now chosen the way of religious repression in dealing with the threat posed by Wah­habism and related forces of religious extremism.

Overall, the policies pursued by the Ethiopian government have been a textbook example of how not to fight religious extremism.

July 2011 and Its Aftermath

In many ways, July 2011 was a pivotal point for religious freedom for Ethiopia’s Muslim community.

That’s when the government decided that the way to fight Wahhabism was not by increasing religious freedoms for Ethio­pia’s Muslim community, but rather by importing imams from Lebanon who represented al-Ahbash, an alternative movement within Islam, to forcibly train Ethiopian imams and Islamic school educators on that sect’s beliefs.

For those who refused to be trained or to teach this imposed theology, the government began dismissing them from their positions and closing their mosques and schools.

This effort, which continued through the end of 2011, was conducted not only through the Ethiopian Ministry of Federal Affairs, but through EIASC, the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council.

As for EIASC, by the time this effort was launched, its mem­bers were being appointed by the government, instead of being elected by the Muslim community. Consequently, the Ethio­pian Muslim community had no recognized and independent voice to share their concerns and objections.

By December 2011, the government’s actions to impose al- Ahbash triggered protests which have been held nearly every Friday outside of mosques following prayer.


In the spring of 2012, as the protests continued and the EIASC was unable to represent the community’s concerns, an Arbitration Committee of 17 Islamic scholars was created to negotiate with the government about respecting the constitu­tion’s religious freedom guarantees, ending the imposition of al-Ahbash on Ethiopian Muslims, reopening and returning schools and mosques to their original imams and administra­tors. The Committee also asked that new elections be held for the EIASC and that the voting take place in mosques, rather than in government community centers.


By July of 2012, negotiations with the government had failed, and protests increased in both size and frequency.

In response, the government launched a crackdown, sur­rounded the demonstrators with police, and conducted house-to-house searches.


Between July 13 and July 21, it arrested all 17 members of the Arbitration Committee and nearly 1,000 protestors– al­though it did release all but 9 Committee members shortly thereafter.


The government escalated this conflict when, on October of last year, it leveled specific charges against the protestors, charging 29 of them—including the 9 Arbitration Committee members it was still holding, with terrorism and attempting to establish an Islamic state.


As of today, the government has presented no evidence to prove that any of these people are terrorists.


Moreover, the government has a history of using the Anti- Terror Proclamation under which they were charged as a tool to silence independent journalists and political opposition lead­ers, rather than to combat terrorism.


Our Meetings in Ethiopia


It is in this context that our meetings in Ethiopia occurred.


We met with attorneys for 28 of the 29 charged who re­ported that their clients were tortured and that they have had trouble meeting with those imprisoned. Our USCIRF delega­tion requested to meet with the 29, but the government did not grant our request.

In our meetings with government officials, they denied that the government played a role in the al-Ahbash trainings.


They insisted that their sole role was to educate participants about constitutional provisions relating to religious freedom and separation of religion and state.


They rejected our concerns that the government was forcing a particular religious belief onto a religious community, insist­ing that the government continues to respect individuals’ rights to believe as they wish.


They also said that they don’t violate religious freedom or meddle in religious affairs unless “red lines” are crossed, a term they failed to define.


The EIASC Question


They also claimed that the EIASC was solely responsible for the al-Ahbash trainings.


Yet the fact that EIASC members had been appointed by the government belies that claim, and not surprisingly, the EIASC is widely viewed as being government-controlled.

While the government did agree to allow new elections for EIASC in October 2012, protestors claimed the election was neither fair nor free and that the government vetted all candi­dates on the ballot.


In our meeting with EIASC, they reiterated, literally almost word for word, the government’s talking points about respect for separation of religion and state and called the protestors against government interference “terrorists.” Ironically, the Council used this charged language in spite of the fact that some of its members themselves had participated in the pro­tests.


Furthermore, EIASC members constantly referred our ques­tions to the Council’s vice president, whom our delegation later learned is close to Ethiopia’s ruling party. We have also learned that the Council’s president previously served in senior govern­ment postings.


Finally, and chillingly, the EIASC members said there would be no divisions within Ethiopia’s Muslim community and that those with different theological views would be, and I quote, “brought into the fold.”




So what does this all mean?


First, Ethiopia does have a legitimate fear of violent religious extremism.


Its neighbors include at least two countries, Somalia and Su­dan, which remain hotbeds of such forces.


As we’ve said, within the nation, the growth of Wahhabism remains a challenge.


Further, there have been occasional incidents of religion-related violence.


In March 2011, for example, Muslim-led violence in the Jimma region damaged over 60 churches and homes after a reported Quran desecration.


But second, the government’s response to that fear threatens to turn that fear into a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Simply put, you don’t fight religious extremism with reli­gious repression or with government meddling.


You fight it with religious freedom, opening up space for religious actors to freely and peacefully debate their beliefs.

You don’t fight it by dictating, rigging, or manipulating out­comes in the marketplace of ideas.


You fight it by promoting, as much as possible, a truly free marketplace of ideas, including religious ideas.


Above all, you fight it by trusting in the common sense of your own people.


You fight it by trusting that when given the choice, most people will instinctively reject a path that invites total strang­ers—violent and radicalized strangers—to exert complete con­trol over every aspect of their lives and the lives of their loved ones.


The only real chance the radicals have of winning a critical mass of people to their cause—in Ethiopia or in most areas of the world—is if governments, in the name of fighting these extremists, seriously abuse their own people’s freedom.


And so our message to Ethiopia’s government, and indeed, to any government facing this challenge, is to fight and win the battle for hearts and minds by choosing the pathway of freedom.


But that must mean that these governments themselves must reject tyranny of every kind.


Make no mistake:


Study after study demonstrates a correlation between free­dom and stability, freedom and social harmony, freedom and prosperity.


And study after study reveals a correlation between lack of freedom and lack of these great blessings.


In Ethiopia, as elsewhere, it is our hope that, not only for the sake of human rights, but for the advancement of stability, harmony, and prosperity, governments choose to fight radical­ism with freedom.


Thank you.

Hostile Takeover

Islamists enter military in Egypt as part of Muslim Brotherhood effort to take control, US says, BY: 

March 29, 2013 5:00 am

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated government recently allowed members of the Brotherhood and hardline jihadists to join Egypt’s military academy for the first time as part of what U.S. officials say is a covert effort to impose Islamist rule in the key Middle East state.

According to U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports, the government of President Mohamed Morsi is covertly taking steps to take control over the pro-Western military and the police forces as part of a campaign to solidify Islamist control.

Egypt for decades had banned the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamist groups from both the military and police academies after Islamic terrorists in the military assassinated Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat in 1981.

The Egyptian military also for decades has maintained close ties to the U.S. military. Analysts in the U.S. intelligence community and the military are viewing the introduction of Islamists into the national military academy, disclosed last week, with concern.

Muslim Brotherhood members and hardline Salafi groups are regarded as dedicated first to jihad, or holy war, and other Islamist principles rather than to the country.

“Any opening of the Egyptian military to Islamist elements would be a big and complicated change,” said one U.S. official. “It’s not clear how it would be managed or how well the rank and file would absorb it.”

Disclosure that the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamists are now being admitted to the military academy was made public March 19 in Egyptian news reports.

The head of the military academy, Ismat Murad, told reporters the new batch of Islamist students included the nephew of Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials said intelligence agencies are investigating reports that Morsi recently concluded a secret agreement with the Palestinian terror group Hamas, another disturbing sign the Egyptian government is shifting away from its former pro-Western stance and toward radical Islam.

There are concerns the agreement involves collusion between the Muslim Brotherhood and a plan to settle Palestinians in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas militants in recent days have attacked Egyptian troops engaged in demolishing tunnels from the Sinai into Israel. Hamas has asked the Egyptian government to halt the tunnel demolition. The tunnels are a major source of covert support into Gaza.

Morsi was elected president last year. His Freedom and Justice Party was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, an anti-democratic Islamic political movement whose motto states, “Jihad is our way.” The group claims to be nonviolent but has spawned numerous Islamic terror organizations including al Qaeda.

Under Morsi, the Egyptian government has appointed hardline Islamists as presidential advisers and assistants, including members of the Salafist Al-Nour Party.

In addition to the military academy, Cairo also is taking steps to Islamicize the police forces.

According to recent reports, the Muslim Brotherhood is planning to restructure the Egyptian Interior Ministry. The restructuring is said to include plans to place Brotherhood members in key ministry positions.

On the secret agreement with Hamas, Egyptian daily Al-Watan published documents in early February purportedly exposing a secret agreement between the government and Hamas. One document stated that Hamas’ military wing was sending militants to Egypt to defend the current regime from supporters of the ousted Mubarak government.

A second document was written by a Qatari foreign affairs official granting Hamas $250 million to support Morsi.

The Morsi administration has agreed to several construction deals in Gaza, along with security and intelligence-sharing agreements with Hamas.

Morsi also has sought closer ties to Iran, whose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Cairo in February. Intelligence officials said the two intelligence services also are collaborating.

Many Persian Gulf states are worried about the threat to their regimes posed by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, with the exception of Qatar emerging as a connection point for Brotherhood’s expansion efforts.

In Saudi Arabia, several Islamist Saudi clerics are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood transformation in Egypt, putting them at odds with Riyadh’s opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood government there.

There are concerns that Egypt will create religious police along the lines of Saudi Arabia’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, as the Sharia-law enforcement police are called.

Thousands of police in Egypt went on strike to protest the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist efforts earlier this month. Riots broke out March 22 between pro- and anti-Muslim Brotherhood protesters. The police went back to work after the government said it would bring in contractors, raising fears of further Islamicization.

The Brotherhood announced it planned to form vigilante groups to prevent attacks on Islamists.

An Egyptian military adviser went public with concerns about Muslim Brotherhood activities in Egypt on March 11. Maj. Gen. Abd-al-Munim Katu, an adviser to the Egyptian Armed Forces Morale Affairs Department, told the Dubai news outlet Al Bayan Online that the military is resisting Morsi’s Islamicization efforts.

Specifically, Katu said the Muslim Brotherhood was pressuring Egypt’s Defense Minister Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi to ignore the Sinai tunneling into Gaza.

“I think that the current situation in Egypt is alarming and confused, in general,” Katu said.

Asked if Morsi will complete his term as president, Tatu said: “The vision is blurry. Indicators suggest that he may not be able to complete his term. The people have legitimate demands, but the Muslim Brothers are busy seizing control of the joints of the state. The gap between the two parties is widening.”

The Obama administration, whose religious outreach advisers include several Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers, is not directly challenging the far-reaching campaign of Islamicization being carried out by the Morsi government in Egypt.

Instead the administration adopted conciliatory policies toward the current government in Egypt. The administration hopes to continue working with Egypt’s government but has not pressured Cairo into making needed democratic reforms, U.S. officials said.

Secretary of State John Kerry visited Cairo March 4 and mentioned U.S. hopes for democratic reform. He also announced the release of $250 million in U.S. aid out of $1 billion promised by President Barack Obama after Egypt’s revolution overthrew long-time ally Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last year.

Kerry said he urged Morsi to initiate “homegrown reforms.”

Pro-democracy protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square carried banners during the visit that read “Kerry, member of the Brotherhood,” and “Kerry, you are not welcome here.”

Analysts have compared Obama’s policy toward Egypt to those of President Jimmy Carter who in the late 1970s tacitly supported Iran’s exiled radical cleric Ayatollah Khomeini. Carter eventually abandoned the Shah of Iran, a longtime U.S. ally, and paved the way for 1978 revolution that brought the current hardline Islamist state in Tehran into power, a regime that is now on the verge of developing nuclear weapons for its large ballistic missile force.

Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy, said Obama’s foreign policy has been accurately described as “Jimmy Carter’s policies on steroids.”

“What’s happening in Egypt today with the Muslim Brotherhood takeover and the ascendancy of Islamist throughout the Middle East and North Africa, makes Jimmy Carter’s debacle in Iran pale by comparison,” Gaffney said.

Make No Mistake, It Was Jihad


Make No Mistake, It Was Jihad

Let’s hope the administration gets over its reluctance to recognize attacks on the U.S. for what they are.

Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2013


If your concern about the threat posed by the Tsarnaev brothers is limited to assuring that they will never be in a position to repeat their grisly acts, rest easy.

The elder, Tamerlan—apparently named for the 14th-century Muslim conqueror famous for building pyramids of his victims’ skulls to commemorate his triumphs over infidels—is dead. The younger, Dzhokhar, will stand trial when his wounds heal, in a proceeding where the most likely uncertainty will be the penalty. No doubt there will be some legal swordplay over his interrogation by the FBI’s High-Value Interrogation Group without receiving Miranda warnings. But the only downside for the government in that duel is that his statements may not be used against him at trial. This is not much of a risk when you consider the other available evidence, including photo images of him at the scene of the bombings and his own reported confession to the victim whose car he helped hijack during last week’s terror in Boston.

But if your concern is over the larger threat that inheres in who the Tsarnaev brothers were and are, what they did, and what they represent, then worry—a lot.

For starters, you can worry about how the High-Value Interrogation Group, or HIG, will do its work. That unit was finally put in place by the FBI after so-called underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up the airplane in which he was traveling as it flew over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009 and was advised of his Miranda rights. The CIA interrogation program that might have handled the interview had by then been dismantled by President Obama.

At the behest of such Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups as the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, and other self-proclaimed spokesmen for American Muslims, the FBI has bowdlerized its training materials to exclude references to militant Islamism. Does this delicacy infect the FBI’s interrogation group as well?

Will we see another performance like the Army’s after-action report following Maj. Nidal Hasan‘s rampage at Fort Hood in November 2009, preceded by his shout “allahu akhbar”—a report that spoke nothing of militant Islam but referred to the incident as “workplace violence”? If tone is set at the top, recall that the Army chief of staff at the time said the most tragic result of Fort Hood would be if it interfered with the Army’s diversity program.

Presumably the investigation into the Boston terror attack will include inquiry into not only the immediate circumstances of the crimes but also who funded Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s months-long sojourn abroad in 2012 and his comfortable life style. Did he have a support network? What training did he, and perhaps his younger brother, receive in the use of weapons? Where did the elder of the two learn to make the suicide vest he reportedly wore? The investigation should include as well a deep dive into Tamerlan’s radicalization, the Islamist references in the brothers’ social media communications, and the jihadist websites they visited.

Will the investigation probe as well the FBI’s own questioning of Tamerlan two years ago at the behest of an unspecified foreign government, presumably Russia, over his involvement with jihadist websites and other activities? Tamerlan Tsarnaev is the fifth person since 9/11 who has participated in terror attacks after questioning by the FBI. He was preceded by Nidal Hasan; drone casualty Anwar al Awlaki; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (born Carlos Leon Bledsoe), who murdered an Army recruit in Little Rock in June 2009; and David Coleman Headley, who provided intelligence to the perpetrators of the Mumbai massacre in 2008. That doesn’t count Abdulmutallab, who was the subject of warnings to the CIA that he was a potential terrorist.

If the intelligence yielded by the FBI’s investigation is of value, will that value be compromised when this trial is held, as it almost certainly will be, in a civilian court? Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers, as they have every right to do, will seek to discover that intelligence and use it to fashion a case in mitigation if nothing else, to show that his late brother was the dominant conspirator who had access to resources and people.

There is also cause for concern in that this was obviously a suicide operation—not in the direct way of a bomber who kills all his victims and himself at the same time by blowing himself up, but in the way of someone who conducts a spree, holding the stage for as long as possible, before he is cut down in a blaze of what he believes is glory. Here, think Mumbai.

Until now, it has been widely accepted in law-enforcement circles that such an attack in the U.S. was less likely because of the difficulty that organizers would have in marshaling the spiritual support to keep the would-be suicide focused on the task. That analysis went out the window when the Tsarnaevs followed up the bombing of the marathon by murdering a police officer in his car—an act certain to precipitate the violent confrontation that followed.

It has been apparent that with al Qaeda unable to mount elaborate attacks like the one it carried out on 9/11, other Islamists have stepped in with smaller and less intricate crimes, but crimes that are nonetheless meant to send a terrorist message. These include Faisal Shahzad, who failed to detonate a device in Times Square in 2010, and would-be subway bomber Najibullah Zazi and his confederates.

Is this, as former CIA Director Michael Hayden put it, the new normal?

There is also cause for concern in the president’s reluctance, soon after the Boston bombing, even to use the “t” word—terrorism—and in his vague musing on Friday about some unspecified agenda of the perpetrators, when by then there was no mystery: the agenda was jihad.

For five years we have heard, principally from those who wield executive power, of a claimed need to make fundamental changes in this country, to change the world’s—particularly the Muslim world’s—perception of us, to press “reset” buttons. We have heard not a word from those sources suggesting any need to understand and confront a totalitarian ideology that has existed since at least the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920s.

The ideology has regarded the United States as its principal adversary since the late 1940s, when a Brotherhood principal, Sayid Qutb, visited this country and was aghast at what he saw as its decadence. The first World Trade Center bombing, in 1993, al Qaeda attacks on American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, on the USS Cole in 2000, the 9/11 attacks, and those in the dozen years since—all were fueled by Islamist hatred for the U.S. and its values.

There are Muslim organizations in this country, such as the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, headed by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, that speak out bravely against that totalitarian ideology. They receive no shout-out at presidential speeches; no outreach is extended to them.

One of the Tsarnaev brothers is dead; the other might as well be. But if that is the limit of our concern, there will be others.

Mr. Mukasey served as attorney general of the United States from 2007 to 2009 and as a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York from 1988 to 2006.

A version of this article appeared April 22, 2013, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Make No Mistake, It Was Jihad.

Egyptian Case against Bassem Youssef finally gets attention of US left to Islamist Reality



Egyptian Case against Bassem Youssef finally gets attention of US left to Islamist Reality

Morsi’s Egypt clearly displaying dark repressive reality of an Islamist Constitution but US Embassy Cairo remains tone deaf


PHOENIX (April 3, 2013) – Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith” issued the following statement on behalf of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) on the prosecution and persecution of Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef.

“The Egyptian government’s decision last week to arrest Bassem Youssef, the “Egyptian Jon Stewart”, has once again clearly displayed the threat posed to the people of Egypt by an Islamist Constitution and Islamist idealogues leading.

Youssef was arrested for criticizing Egyptian President Morsi and for criticizing Islam, despite the fact that he is a devout Muslim himself and professes a deep love of his faith and his country.

Morsi’s allies in the Muslim Brotherhood are using the tool of religion and blasphemy to hammer dissent into submission. The arrest of Youssef and several other comedians is just the latest example of political Islam in action. The ideology is based in a supremacist mindset that holds the Islamist interpretation of Islam higher than any individual right to freedom of thought, expression or faith.  It quickly becomes the tool of the dictator to secure power through intimidation.  Youssef himself appeared with CNN’s Christian Amanpour labeling the brotherhoods actions as “fascistic”.

At long last the American Left appears to be stepping to the plate in condemning these actions and awakening to the threat of Islamism upon every citizen. Youssef, a heart surgeon turned comedian, and television host comes from within their ranks.  His arrest sparked Jon Stewart to do a 10 minute monologue that highlighted some of Morsi’s direct statements calling Jews ‘descendants of Pigs and Monkeys’ and Morsi’s hypocrisy on religious freedom.

The Obama Administration continued to falter on the principle of defending religious freedom, when it initially condemned the arrest and actually tweeted the Stewart monologue from a US Embassy Cairo twitter account, only to have Ambassador Anne Peterson soon thereafter remove the post and delete the twitter account.  Peterson is the Ambassador who forbade US Marines from carrying live ammunition when US Embassy Cairo was besieged by protesters and the walls were actually breached.

We cannot condemn the actions of religious suppression and then send $190 million to the government to secure its infrastructure.  We cannot stand with Bassem Youssef and send the Egyptian Government airplanes and tanks.  We cannot call for greater tolerance of religious freedom and label President Morsi an ally in the region all the while his henchmen enforce some of the most repressive restrictions on free expression seen in Egypt in generations.

There is no ambiguity in the intent of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.  Their Constitution clearly lays out their vision for a new Egypt that does not embrace religious freedom or individual rights. Recent scores of arrests of  Bassem Youssef and many others provide a stark reminder of this fact.  The Administration needs to take the lesson that his brothers and sisters on the left side of the aisle are learning and stand on the principles that built this country.

It’s time to cut off all aid to our non-ally Egypt and let the Muslim Brotherhood fail, fall into the dustbin of history and make room for Revolution 2.0 in Egypt for our real allies–those who believe in and represent real freedom.

About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD’s mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website at

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