06/27/2014 As Muslims begin the month of Ramadan, AIFD sends its blessings and renewed dedication to freedom for all

PHOENIX (June 28, 2014) – Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) issued the following statement regarding the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on Saturday, June 28, 2014 or Ramadan 1, 1435 of the Islamic Hijri Calendar:

 “Today, we begin the commemoration of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. We wish all Muslims a ‘Ramadan Kareem’ and a blessed and rewarding month of fasting and self-reflection.


During this, the ninth month of our lunar calendar and the holy month of fasting, we are reminded to give thanks for our blessings, while keeping the suffering in our prayers and taking additional action to help them.

We are reminded of the sanctity and safety of this great nation which we call home, and which gives us the comfort and freedom to sincerely engage in the humble spiritual renewal that is Ramadan.

These are values many American Muslims all hold dearly, but may often come to take for granted.

As we abstain from food and drink during the day in this blessed land of freedom, we continue to remember, with a humble and solemn recognition, the Syrian people continuing to fight against unthinkable evil and great uncertainty. This year marks the fourth Ramadan in their revolution against Assadist tyranny. At the end of last Ramadan, the death toll had reached 100,000 with over 2,000,000 Syrians displaced. This Ramadan, the death toll is approaching 160,000, with over 5 million Syrians displaced. The millions of displaced Syrians see little hope in sight for the end of Assad’s killing machine and terror factory.  It is this recognition – which calls us to the duty to serve our fellow man – which lies at the heart of Ramadan.

This Ramadan, we also reaffirm our commitment to advocate for those persecuted on the basis of their faith or their choice to reject religion; those suffering from gender and honor-based violence; and to take action to end these injustices.

The fast of Ramadan is a symbolic equalizer for all Muslims. From the very rich to the very poor we find common goodness in the challenges and rewards of the daily fast. The hunger and thirst we share allow us to find a common appreciation for the gifts we have at home and in this nation.

This month, we renew our daily efforts to remind our brothers and sisters of all faiths and none that we, as liberty-minded American Muslims, not only cherish western freedoms, but that the solution to global Islamist radicalism must come from liberty minded Muslims.

We are blessed to take this opportunity to wish Muslims worldwide a blessed and safe Ramadan, and a spiritually fulfilling fast.”

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:    Gordon James

Gordon C. James Public Relations




06/07/2014 In Response to Attack on Jewish Center, Southern Poverty Law Center Releases Report Attacking Jews, Defending Hamas

Source: Frontpage Mag 

After Frazier Glenn Cross, an anti-Semite who repeatedly quoted fanatical left-wing anti-Semite Max Blumenthal, launched an attack  near a Jewish community center, the Southern Poverty Law Center rushed to cover up and lie on behalf of Blumenthal.

The SPLC claimed falsely that Blumenthal “does not despise Israel” when even the Forward, a left-wing paper, describes him calling for the ethnic cleansing of its Jewish population.

Now the SPLC, a profitable mail order enterprise operating under the guise of a civil rights group, exploited the very anti-Semitic attack it tried to cover up by attacking Jews.

The targets of its “White Homicide” intelligence report, even though the victims in the Cross case were also white, include David Horowitz, as the SPLC defaults to one of its favorite obsessions, Islamophobia.

What does any of this have to do with the Frazier Glenn Cross shootings? Nothing. The SPLC, as even most liberals know, is a profitable mail order operation that piggybacks on any incident to roll out its usual sloppy and poorly researched screeds. It is however particularly insulting that it is exploiting an anti-Semitic incident it lied about it… in order to attack Horowitz, myself and other Jews.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s White Homicide report is, true to form, a scattershot collection of drive by attacks. Its targets include Homicide star Richard Belzer (also Jewish) for spreading JFK conspiracy theories, Rush Limbaugh and former Saturday Night Live star Victoria Jackson.

The basis for the SPLC’s attack on Horowitz was a discredited report from the Center for American Progress by Wajahat Ali, an Islamist who was on record as targeting Muslim reformers like Irshad Manji and Zuhdi Jasser with nasty slurs. Ali was on the board of the MSA, which his report and the SPLC attacks Horowitz for condemning.

Read More 

06/30/2014 AIFD sends sympathies to the families of Israeli teens

PHOENIX (June 30, 2014) – AIFD sends our sympathies to the families and community of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach. Your immense pain is the result of a hatred we must continue to fight every day. May the memories of Naftali, Gilad and Eyal bring your peace, and may we all remain tireless in our resolve to end the ideology that took their lives.

We at AIFD remain steadfast in our vehement condemnation of Hamas and its affiliates.


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/.


About Dr. Zuhdi Jasser

Dr. Jasser is a Syrian-American activist, Navy veteran, physician, and observant Muslim. He is a noted expert on Islamism, Islamist terror groups and Middle East foreign policy.  As the founder of AIFD, Dr. Jasser is dedicated to the support of human rights and democracy.



Gordon James

Gordon C. James Public Relations

Phoenix, A





Eid al-Fitr (Holiday of the Feast) Khutbah (sermon) for July 29, 2014


Sermon given by  Yaser Ali 

At the  Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley (ICNEV)

Scottsdale, Arizona

..[Arabic].. That he guided you on the guidance of his “rahmah” (mercy) on the month of Ramadan.   [Arabic].  And that you may be thankful.  That you may be grateful for his bounties upon us.  Allah (SWT: Glorified and Exalted One) has given us so much in this month of Ramadan.  This is the day that is known as [Arabic]: the day of prize giving.  Because in the month of Ramadan, you planted the seeds of goodness. You planted the seeds by fasting in the long hot days of the Arizona summer. You stood in Qiyam, in Taraweeh, you recited Qur’an.  You made du’aa (supplication). You paid zakat. You gave charity. You were good to those around you. We avoided that which was haram (sinful). So for that, Allah SWT promises the reward today. Allah SWT promises us an abundance of reward. That’s why they say. [Arabic] That the Eid isn’t just for the person who wears new and nice clothes, but the Eid is a celebration for that person who in the month of Ramadan increases their good deeds.


For that we thank Allah SWT. We praise Him. We say Allahu Akbar (God is great), Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. [Arabic] The Prophet (pbuh: Peace be upon him) of Allah SWT where he said when he said [Arabic] that the fasting person has two delights. Two delights. The first is at the time he or she breaks his fast.  Now each day, when we were thirsty, we were tired. We were hungry. At the end of the day, when we had that first date. When we had that first sip of water, how much it quenched our thirst.  How much we appreciated it.  That’s that “farha” (joy). But the important point isn’t just that it was a momentary delight, but that it made you forget all the difficulties that preceded it. And so this day of Eid, is supposed to be a celebration. The fatigue, the exhaustion, the exertion that we made and put forth to Allah SWT, that part is gone.  The reward sustains.  The reward remains.  So this, [Arabic] that delight when they break their fast, here today is a community when we collectively break our fast on this day of Eid [Arabic], and the delight when that person meets their Lord.


Imagine all the difficulties of this world when that moment we get to meet Allah SWT, all of them are forgotten.  Everything becomes worth it. Like a woman when she gives birth, all the pains of labor, of pregnancy, all of them are gone, because the result is there, and she has that tremendous love.  So, Allah SWT promises us, the people that fasted and took advantage of Ramadan, that for them is true ‘farha’(joy).  This day, today, and the day when we inshallah will meet our lord.  And Ramadan, my respected brothers and sisters and elders taught us how to enjoy worshiping Allah.  Look to subhanallah (the glory of God), we treat our religious duties outside of Ramadan as obligations.  (Oh, I gotta pray, I gotta do this, I gotta do this, I didn’t do this), but in the month of Ramadan we treated them with excitement.  I looked forward to going to the Mosque.  I look forward to fasting tomorrow.  So, Ramadan taught us how we can enjoy the ibadah (acts of worship) of Allah SWT. And this is something that I want you guys to remember here today. That Ramadan is over, but we can still enjoy the worship of Allah SWT. In Ramadan we fasted, the whole month. Your colleagues all thought you were crazy.  And yet, every single day you fasted, from the morning to the evening, from food and drink in the middle of the summer of Arizona, and we enjoyed it. So Prophet SWT promises us that the one who follows Ramadan with six days in Shawal, they get the reward as if the entire year they were fasting.  So we should resolve, because every deed is x 10, so 30 + 6 x 10 is 360, so the entire year of reward is given to us for fasting six days of this year, this month inshallah.  We prayed taraweeh, inshallah, we were punctual with our salah (prayer).  Let’s not give up on our salah, after the month of Ramadan.  We came in for fajr. We shouldn’t make it that we came and prayed and now we don’t get up for fajr. But we should be punctual with our salah.  We should populate the Mosque, just like you see it today. The spirit of Ramadan of community worship should be in existence all the time. And if we mutually support one another, “let’s go to the Mosque”, “let’s have these classes”, we will see that it will become easier. Just like it was easy in the month or Ramadan.  We gave charity, we should continue to do so [Arabic]. The most beloved deeds to Allah SWT are those done on a regular basis, even if they are small.  That one dollar a day to charity is worth so much to Allah.  We made du’aa for our brothers and sisters, for ourselves, to our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Syria, around the world, today, and now is the day we follow that up with effort.


The prophet, one of the companions of the Prophet [Arabic], he was in the service of the Prophet PBUH, and the Prophet (pbuh) asked him, asked for something.  Now imagine, imagine if we had one wish, what would we wish for? We all have these desires, what did he wish for? He didn’t wish for, you know, the best mansion, and the best car, and all this money, and good health. He didn’t even wish for Jenna (heaven). He was higher than that. He was a high level thinker.  He said [Arabic]. The Prophet of Allah, oh Prophet of Allah, I want your companionship in paradise. He was a high level thinker, and the Prophet PBUH could have said, “sure, I will make du’aa”. But he said something to him, and I want you all to remember this point. He said [Arabic], assist me by doing lots of sajdahs (prostrations). So we made our du’aa for guidance, but we have to follow them up with effort.  We made du’aa for guidance. We need to strive and struggle and make it a point to come to the masjid.  We made du’aa for our brothers and sisters.  We need to support them with our wealth by signing these pledge forms, by contacting our representatives.  This is the follow up that is required. A person, if they sat home and they made du’aa for a job, didn’t submit their resume anywhere, didn’t apply, they wouldn’t get the job.  So, similarly, the du’aas in Ramadan, they are not enough.  They need to be followed up with actions and this is the time when we do those actions.


Ramadan was about Qur’an and in inshallah in this masjid we are going to start classes for tajweed.  The sheikh and I will start classes on Hifz (memorization) for the children to memorize Qur’an, for adults to learn to read properly, and inshallah all of these things will take place.  So stay in touch with the masjid, come and attend these classes.  They will start very soon inshallah for your children, so that in a few years we will be producing young hifaz in this community inshallah. And this is the desire that everyone has in Ramadan. These good emotions, don’t let them die out after Ramadan, but let’s start immediately following it up. And in the month of Ramadan we avoided that which was haram.  Listening to, speaking to, looking at, so let’s not waist it. Allah SWT says what [Arabic].  Don’t be like the woman who unravels the thread after she has already spun it. Right, so we put forth, we put a lot of effort.  But let’s not waist it right after Ramadan. Shaytan (satan) was locked up for 30 days and he is coming back with a vengeance.  He is coming back with a vengeance. It is much harder to come to the Mosque.  It is much harder to wake up for fajr.  It is much harder to read Qur’an now.  But that’s the struggle.  That’s the beauty that Allah SWT charged us up in this month of Ramadan. And if we continue and work for the sake of Allah SWT the deeds will become easy.  The community will flourish and we will find tremendous good. [Arabic]. If you are grateful, I will surely increase my bounty upon you.  May Allah SWT accept from us all and give us the honor after Ramadan. [Arabic]


Respected brothers and sisters, and elders in Islam.  This is the day of celebration. This is the day of our Eid. You should take the day off of work.  You should tell your boss that I have to celebrate Eid today. You should take your kids and buy them gifts, take them to Toys R’ Us. Buy them some gifts. Take them go-karting. Have fun with them. Tell your spouse that you love them.  Have dinner with your family. Smile to one another.  The sahaba (friends of the Prophet) after this Eid, they would embrace one another. They would say [Arabic], that may Allah forgive you and me.  May Allah accept you and me. till after this salah and inshallah. Brothers, embrace the brothers, and sisters, embrace the sisters. Inshallah, meet new people.  In the spirit of community, go up to 20 people that you don’t know today, give them a hug, say my name is this, what is your name? May Allah SWT accept from both of us.  Such a beautiful thing in our religion.


Look at the diversity within the room. This is something, the day of celebration that we should make sure that our children enjoy this day.  Don’t be like the people who say, you know, “ok we gotta go to Eid”, “we gotta go to Eid, and then I gotta go to work”.  No, but celebrate it with your family inshallah, so that the children remember and enjoy this day.


But as we enjoy this day, let’s not forget our brothers and sisters who are struggling.  The prophet (pbuh) said that, he said [Arabic]. That the believers are like one body.  When the eye hurts, the whole body hurts.  When the head hurts the whole body hurts.  When you have a headache, you can’t just be chillin’.  You got a headache. Your whole body becomes unable to do anything, and this is the example the believers are like one body.


Those who aren’t concerned about our brothers and sisters. They are not from amongst us. Today there is an entire industry that is vilifying Islam and vilifying Muslims. And saying that Muslims are the aggressors, Muslims are the terrorists, well in fact, so many Muslims are the victims all across the world.  And we need to understand this. We need to make du’aa for this. There are people who are paid, even Muslims, who go on Fox News and speak ill against Muslims–who speak ill against our Muslim brothers and sisters.  And we need to ask ourselves, this is something that is really a problem, and we can’t just complain, but we need to ask ourselves, do we love Islam more than they hate it?


We should ask ourselves this question.  Do we love Islam more than they hate it?  People have spent their careers attacking Islam. The Islamophobia industry is huge today.  And their whole job is to vilify Muslims–make them look bad.  Make the masajid, look bad.  Well, in fact, how do we respond? Not just by complaining, but by taking proactive steps. By learning our deen (religion), right?  If we are not able to articulate and respond points to these people, we need to learn our deen. We need to study our Qur’an.  We need– there are so many– we need to come to the Mosque, we need to build positive Muslim communities. Invite our colleagues, our neighbors and say: “they don’t represent us”.  “They don’t represent us”. We, the Muslim community represent one another.


And we care for our brothers and sisters in Palestine deeply.  And that is why we have these petitions for you. That’s why we have these petitions because we care about our brothers and sisters who are being oppressed in Syria and Palestine in different parts of the world.  We ask Allah SWT to have mercy on them. We need to pool our communal resources to do better responses against this Islamophobia industry that main stream media.  We have people who are very eloquent.  We have people who are good writers.  We need to use these things.  You know, write up opeds to the newspaper instead of just posting Facebook statuses, right?  We need to engage, interact with our communities and inshallah engage our representatives, and most importantly we need to learn our deen.  The most important thing is we need to learn our Qur’an.  We don’t know what our Qur’an says.  So when they mis-quote our Qur’an, we are not able to respond.  So inshallah let’s all make that niyah (intention). Let’s all make that intention that I am going to study my religion. I am going to make my children and teach them my religion and then use whatever gifts Allah SWT has given, me for the sake of deen.


Everyone has that intention inshallah? (audience responds “inshallah”). So let’s make that our intention.  And if you can’t do it, but Allah blessed you with wealth, then support these institutions.  Support these institutions, these masajid, those advocacy organizations like CAIR and others who are supporting Muslims and Muslim civil rights around the country.  We need to support these groups.


So inshallah, this is the opportunity. We leave with this high in the month of Ramadan. Let’s not let it die down, but lets keep engaged. Let’s engage and fasting six days and come to the mosque and stay, like this beautiful community that we have established. Lets not let it fall apart after Ramadan.  So inshallah, this is the day like I said, as we finish this the khutbah (sermon), after the khutbah, make sure you embrace 20 people you don’t know here today.  Introduce yourself to them, introduce yourself to them and say may Allah SWT forgive you. May Allah SWT have mercy on you.  And may Allah SWT accept our deeds.  We ask that Allah SWT that all the efforts we made in this month, that Allah SWT accept them from us.  Whatever fasting we did that ya Allah, it was hot in this month of Ramadan. It was Arizona summer, but I fasted for you Allah, so accept it from me. Make it a means, a protection from the hell fire for us.  May Allah SWT make us a community of Qur’an. May Allah SWT make us a community that loves one another, that is a positive example for the community outside of us for our neighbors, for our friends, for our colleagues.  May Allah SWT bless each and every one of you. And like I said before: enjoy this Eid with your family. Buy them some gifts and say I love you to your spouse and to your family.  Call on your relatives that you haven’t called in awhile and smile at one another. Eid Mubara

AIFD Summer Newsletter: a Dispatch from Voices for Reform | June 20,2014

Dear Friends,

First, we want to let you know that we have been following the situation in Iraq very closely. Our written analysis will follow, but you may be interested in my recent media appearances on the topic, which are available on our YouTube channel. Click here for my recent appearance on Fox Business, discussing the troubling rise of ISIS.

We at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy are excited to share updates with you from the start of our tenth year engaging directly in the battle of ideas against Islamism.

As we reflected on the past ten years, with its many successes and challenges, we recognized that it is time to re-visit the values that drive our work. While we remain committed to our foundational values and core principles, we recognize the need to set forth a set of universal values to expand the reach of our work. The following guiding principles will be the focus of all of our public outreach and community engagement as we move forward:

1. AIFD seeks to build a national consensus on political Islam. Our goal will be to “Unite the American Spirit” around the concepts upon which this nation was founded: individual liberty, freedom of conscience, and the promise that each individual has a chance at reaching his or her fullest potential. Political Islam, or Islamism, is the antithesis of American values. Recognizing this is not a partisan act, it is an American act. When all Americans – Muslim and non-Muslim – unite to recognize and combat the threat of political Islam, we are recognizing and respecting every individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

2. AIFD will advance reform from within the house of Islam. For too long, Islamists have intimidated Muslims out of voicing the need for reform within our faith. By painting “reform” as anti-Islam and anti-Muslim, they have worked hard to guarantee that one interpretation of Islam – their interpretation – gets the most airtime. As Muslims who recognize the need for reform within our faith, we refuse to be bullied by Islamist interpretations of Islam. As liberty-minded Muslims, we embrace a pluralistic interpretation of Islam that works in synergy with, not in opposition to, universal human rights and individual freedom.

 3. AIFD is committed to ending gender-based violence. To Islamists, women are public enemy number one. While gender-based violence is a global problem, we Muslims must address issues far too common within our community: honor-based violence, domestic violence, forced and child marriage, marital rape, female genital mutilation and more. To Islamists, the responsibility of representing piety and respectability falls predominantly on women’s bodies, and controlling them is considered a divine mandate. At AIFD, we believe that women are entitled to bodily integrity, personal autonomy, and freedom from all forms of psychological, emotional, physical and sexual abuse and control.

4.  Freedom of religion is the first right in the U.S. Constitution because without it no other right can stand.  AIFD stands firm in our commitment to advance that right and the right for all to have freedom of conscience, which must also include freedom of expression and the freedom to leave one religion for another or to choose not to embrace any faith at all. We reject the practice of “takfir,” or the declaration of a person as non-Muslim as practiced by Islamists. This practice has been used by Islamists both to chill speech about political Islam and to signal to vigilantes that those targeted are worthy of death. We accept as Muslim any person who identifies him or herself as Muslim, and believe the veracity of an individual’s faith is a matter between the individual and God. 

5.  We seek to empower non-Muslim allies in working to eradicate radical Islam. We recognize that the threat of political Islam affects all of us – not just Muslims. All too often, non-Muslims are made to feel that they are not welcome to ask critical questions, express concerns, or speak frankly about these issues. We are committed to creating not just safe spaces for liberty-minded Muslims, but also for non-Muslims interested our mission.  We also recognize that without non-Muslim allies, our movement cannot succeed. The support and input of our non-Muslim allies is essential to our success and to meaningful change.

6.  We will continue to identify, engage, support and empower other Muslims and Muslim organizations who share the above five goals.

Our team continues to be at the forefront of championing these principles and challenging those forces within our community who stand against them. A few highlights:

Some of the attendees at our 2014 retreat

We recently held our fourth annual retreat for liberty-minded Muslim youth. This retreat brought both youth and adult leaders together to strategize on how to strengthen our core community. To see pictures from our retreat, click here.

Dr. Jasser continues to be a leading voice on Islamic reform, national security, and the battle against political Islam (for footage and audio of interviews, please click here). He recently traveled to the UK, where he participated in the prestigious Oxford Union’s “Thursday Debate.” These formal debates have been taking place since 1823 and were founded on “an ideal of the freedom of speech.” Dr. Jasser was asked to debate whether or not the religion of Islam is compatible with gender equality. He argued that Islam as a personal faith can indeed be compatible with gender equality, if Muslim take the necessary steps to engage in reform and combat misogyny within our communities. His side won the debate by a landslide. Please see here for pictures of Dr. Jasser at the event, and stay tuned – we will send audio of the event if we are able to. (Videotaping was not permitted.) While in the UK, Dr. Jasser was also honored to speak at the Henry Jackson Society, where he gave a talk entitled “Whose Islam? Which Islam? Reformists vs. Revivalists, or why the West Must Take Sides within the House of Islam.”

Raquel Evita Saraswati appeared in the widely acclaimed documentary Honor Diaries, which features women’s rights advocates working to end gender-based violence in Muslim communities. The film has brought urgently needed attention to the issue of women’s rights in Muslim majority societies and communities. She also appeared on Fox News’  The Huckabee Show to discuss the kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria by the Islamist group Boko Haram. To watch, click here. To follow Raquel on Twitter, click here.

AIFD Fellow Ahmed Vanya authored a ground breaking article on Traditional Islam and the Challenge of Modernity. The article looks at the compatibility of Islam with modernity. To learn more about Ahmed and our fellows program, click here.

Victory in the Battle for the Soul of Islam will come when Muslims and Non-Muslims alike engage the fallacies of the Islamist ideology and embrace for all people the principles that define America – the sanctity of individual human rights and inalienable rights to liberty.

We would appreciate your engagement and support our shared mission to safeguard individual liberty and freedom. To follow us on Twitter, please click here; and to like us on Facebook, please click here. To make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit this link.


Yours in liberty,




Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser

Eid 2014 Yaser Ali khutbah