Obama has failed in the Middle East and the fight against Islamist extremism



Obama has failed in the Middle East and the fight against Islamist extremism

Congress needs to be focused on real solutions to the Islamist threat


 PHOENIX (May 21, 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” released the following statement on behalf of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) regarding the Obama Administration’s failures in Syria, Benghazi and Boston:

“Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey visited the White House on May 16 to discuss the ever growing genocide that is taking place in Syria.  Erdogan reportedly pressed for greater U.S. intervention in Syria. He presented further evidence of Syrian use of chemical weapons against the rebels and its own people in an effort to push for action from President Obama on his own self-imposed red line.

Erdogan’s visit comes in the middle of a heated political debate about the handling of the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya and following congressional hearings on the administration’s failures in both Benghazi and the Boston Marathon attack.

The White House is under increasing pressure for its failures in the Middle East and its counterterrorism efforts. The President has done little to instill confidence that our Commander-in-Chief has a firm grasp on the threat that we face.

In a May 13 press conference with British Prime Minister Cameron, he seemed annoyed that he had to address the issue of Benghazi at all, stating that there’s no “there” there’.  The reality is that the President isn’t even being asked the most important questions.

While Congress is correct to confront the President’s handling of these attacks, they have yet to truly get to the heart of the President’s failures, which lie in his inability to address the underlying ideology behind them. While we cannot ignore the details of a possible cover up in Benghazi, we also cannot afford to miss the forest for the trees… The real check on this President over Benghazi and Boston should be a confrontation over the administration’s inability to understand and provide a coherent strategy against the ideology which ties all of these incidents together. The American people deserve real answers for what happened, but more importantly, real solutions to the problems.

The global ideology of political Islam is the unifying thread between Boston and Benghazi. This same ideology is the impetus behind why countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are motivated to support the Islamist elements of the opposition in the Syrian Civil War. Without a strategy, Islamists will continue to rise from the dust of the “Arab Awakening” as this administration outsources American interests to our enemies across the Middle East. The President’s failure to grasp the import which the Islamist ideology is having in fueling our enemies and threatening us at home will have a deleterious impact on the region and our security for generations to come.

Syria could have been, and may still be, a very real opportunity to develop a secular free society in the heart of the Middle East rather than a breeding ground for Islamist hegemony in the region. The President himself said that ‘the humanitarian crisis and the slaughter that’s taking place [in Syria] by itself is sufficient to prompt strong international action.’

Mr. President, strong international action needs leadership. It needs determination from the White House to stand on the principles that created our free society and promote a foreign policy that embraces freedom around the world instead of just half-heartedly reacting to flashpoints of militancy. We need a leader that will be steadfast in the development of a doctrine based in liberty against our ideological enemies.

Congress and the White House need to shift their focus to solutions.  The fight over talking points, while important, does nothing to solve the problem of Islamist extremism which killed these brave men.

If we continue to cede the ideological battle to our enemy, they will continue to bring terror to our shores.”

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 http://www.aifdemocracy.org/.

MEDIA CONTACTS:         Gregg Edgar

Gordon C. James Public Relations




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by John Rossomando
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[USCIRF Release] SYRIA: The Sectarian Divide

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, President & Founder of AIFD is a member of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. The Commission released this statement today.


SYRIA: The Sectarian Divide 

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 16, 2013 –   The two-year armed conflict in Syria has left at least 80,000 people dead and more than 5 million displaced.  In his May 13, 2013 press conference with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, President Obama noted the difficulty of  “putting things back together” in Syria after “the furies have been unleashed.”

 These “furies” include a brutal conflict that increasingly is sectarian in nature. The recent massacre in Bayda and the kidnapping of bishops of the Syriac and Greek Orthodox Churches underscore the fact that what began as a political struggle in Syria has become a war in which sectarian rhetoric and religiously-motivated violence have led to sectarian divides.

 “We are deeply worried for the lives of Archbishop Mor Gregiorius Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Bishop Boulos Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church, who were kidnapped on April 22while providing humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged people of Syria,” said USCIRF Chair Katrina Lantos Swett.  “These two religious leaders put aside their own safety by travelling to one of the worst areas of fighting to help those Syrians left with few basic necessities after more than two years of war. The United States and the international community must leave no stone unturned to free the Archbishops and halt sectarian violence,” said Dr. Swett.

 The civil war in Syria began in March 2011 when peaceful protests by mostly Sunni Muslim opponents of the al-Assad regime called for the repeal of the country’s abusive emergency law, space for political parties, and the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad.  The civil war that has now entered into its third year has caused at least 80,000 deaths 1.3 million refugees and at least 3.6 million internally displaced people.  The brutal massacre by al-Assad’s armed forces in the town of Bayda on May 2 claimed the lives of dozens, including women and children, largely from that town’s Sunni Muslim community.

 “The use of sectarian violence and rhetoric will destroy any hope that Syria will emerge from this war as a representative democracy in which human rights and religious freedom for all Syrians is promoted and protected,” said Dr. Lantos Swett. “The kidnapping of the Archbishops and the massacre of innocents are only the latest attempts to inflame tensions between religious communities and divide them along sectarian lines. The al-Assad regime and some opposition forces, including those foreign to Syria who espouse violence based on extreme religious ideologies, increasingly are stoking sectarian tensions as a tactic in the civil war.”

 USCIRF’s report, “Protecting and Promoting Religious Freedom in Syria” includes preliminary findings and recommendations on the situation in Syria and underscores the detrimental effects of sectarianism on Syria’s current and future religious freedom environment.


To interview a USCIRF Commissioner please contact Samantha Schnitzer at (202) 786-0613 orsschnitzer@uscirf.gov.

 The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress.

Visit our Web site at www.uscirf.gov
Katrina Lantos Swett, Chair * Mary Ann Glendon, Vice Chair * William Shaw, Vice Chair * Elliott Abrams  * Sam Gejdenson * Robert P. George * M. Zuhdi Jasser  * Eric P. Schwartz * Jackie Wolcott, Executive Director
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