As CIA Director Brennan needs to rethink his position on Islamist ideology



As CIA Director Brennan needs to rethink his position on Islamist ideology

American Muslim organization concerned by terror experts history in the fight against Islamist extremism

 PHOENIX (February 14, 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) in the wake of the delay of the likely confirmation of John Brennan as CIA Director.

“The American Islamic Forum for Democracy is concerned about the direction that the CIA will be steered under the stewardship of John Brennan who is likely to be confirmed in the coming weeks.  Today’s hearings highlighted several important issues, but failed to focus enough on Mr. Brennan’s position or lack thereof on the ideological root cause of Islamist extremism.

The CIA is on the front lines of the byproduct of an existential war against the ideology of political Islam (Islamism).  It’s byproduct includes Al Qaeda and the global array of radical Islamist organizations and nation-states. It is by far and away the greatest threat posed to the national security of the United States in the 21st century. Of all people in our government, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency whose operatives engage in counter-intelligence across the world needs to fully and unapologetically understand and be engaged in the war of ideas against this ideology.

AIFD has been critical of Brennan in the past for comments and apologetics he has proffered as the Obama Administration’s counterterrorism point person. His involvement in the creation of the toothless National Strategy for Counterterrorism and his remarks at New York University in 2010, highlight serious concerns about Brennan’s dedication to this fight against Islamism.

In the National Strategy, the guiding document for the U.S. government’s counterterrorism strategy, Brennan’s report uses the term “ideology” over 20 times, but fails to identify political Islam or any ideology for that matter as the ideology we need to defeat. His report does not name jihad, salafism, the Muslim Brotherhood, or any other derivative of the global movement of Islamism.  If we cannot name the threat, how can we defeat it?  In his remarks at NYU Brennan seemed more concerned with offering apologies about the U.S. and downplaying if not denying the prevalence of Islamist extremism for what he emphasized as “the actions of our own government [that] have at times perpetuated [ignorance, prejudice and discrimination].”

The Obama Administration has been completely absent in the battle of ideas against political Islam. If confirmed, Brennan is poised to take over a CIA which has among other portfolios –The Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program. Mr. Brennan has demonstrated no acknowledgement let alone desire to lead or expand such a vital program with the CIA under his stewardship. If he is unable to comprehend the central ideas of Islamism which threaten Americans across the world today, is he the best choice for CIA director? With the growth of Islamist leadership throughout the Middle East the threat is becoming more significant. If confirmed, as Director at CIA, AIFD implores Mr. Brennan to rethink his position regarding political Islam and refocus the agency commitment to winning the battle of ideas for liberty and against Islamism.  Our commitment to American principles is the key to victory in this war.”

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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