5/21/2017: M. Zuhdi Jasser pens “My take on President Trump’s speech to the Riyadh Summit”

In grading the speech, I am holding President Trump accountable to the standards of his own brand of being “anti-establishment” and fearlessly speaking “truth to power”.

So with that on this speech, I give him a C.

In this landmark speech for the Presidency of Donald J. Trump, I give you some “Hits” and “Misses”. Take a breath and read my praise as well as my critique.

HITS and MISSES:

Yes, even with a crystal clear understanding of the diplomatic dance and needles he needed to thread as a guest in Saudi Arabia, there is most definitely a way an American President, the leader of the free world, can lead the world and the people these tyrants supposedly represent into the 21st century holding on to our own values at home and abroad without needing to apologize for that. Yet, President Trump sadly had to say, “we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do who to be, or how to worship. Instead we are here to offer partnership, based on shared interests and values to pursue a better future.” I think the legions of persecuted free citizens in the streets, homes and jails of these regimes were saddened to hear that. America CAN both respect their independence, their culture and religion while ALSO holding them accountable to universal human rights.

1. HIT: Greatest sound bite and hit of the speech was “The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their country, and frankly for their families, for their children. It’s a choice between two futures, and it is a choice America cannot make for you. A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists.” Sadly and more truthfully, the hall should have then almost emptied except for Tunisia, Indonesia and a few others. Great sound bite but missed the follow through on these tyrants living off the root cause theocratic Islamist ideology that creates these global Islamist militants and their viral movements.

2. HIT: Second best hit was the call to isolate the regimes of Iran and Syria: The Iranian regime’s longest suffering victims are its own people. He poignantly said, “Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leader’s reckless pursuit of conflict and terror. Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate it, deny it, funding for terrorism, cannot do it, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they so richly deserve”. I wish he had added Syrian people in there and called for an end of the Assad regime. But without a doubt this statement was a wonderful end to the 8 years of Iranophilia at the fabricated alter of the deceptive Iranian nuclear agreement.

3. HIT: President Trump healthily rebooted the process of reestablishing unwavering American leadership with the regional governments and rebalancing the power with a long overdue tilt away from Iran in the Middle East. In fact it was wonderfully refreshing to hear him begin the process of isolating Iran.

4. Bonus HIT: Moscow cannot be happy at the strengthening of the US-Sunni axis against radical Islamists and Iran.

5. HIT: President Trump spoke positively of Muslims being 95% of the victims of terrorism and needing to lead this fight. He spoke positively of Islam as a leading religion among leading global faiths. Regardless of where anyone is on political correctness issues, all relationships of value are built on tough love. This is important.

6. HIT: Finally, finally…the end of empty, Presidential “Obama-like” apologetic rhetoric in reference to the “blame America” crowd on the Left that wants every presidential speech to begin and end with the USA asking for forgiveness in looking out for its own interests while advancing freedom and liberty and universal human rights abroad. It is beyond refreshing to see an end to that self-flagelating manifestation of American weakness and appeasement vis-a-vie apologies for what America does and has done. We often sacrifice our blood and resources for other nations while these tyrants sit on their hands and actually radicalize their own peoples.

7. MISS: (speaking to the people) President Trump spoke to the corporate Islamist dictators as if they represented Islam, Muslims and the people of their nations. They do not. After he set the stage on the above and called for an official gathering of a new coalition against ISIS and radical Islamists, he should have paused and then spoken directly to the aspiring people of these nations. He missed the opportunity to speak to the people of these Muslim majority nations who are now roiling in a nascent Arab Awakening and striving for revolutions and freedom against these very tyrants. He should have spoken past these tyrants whose ideology, Islamism, theocracy, tyranny and corrupt governance is THE primary cause of radicalization within their nations. After giving them hundreds of billions in arms deals and lip service, he had the credibility to be directive. He missed an opportunity to put all these dictators on notice that, yes, in the short term we will work with you against the chaos of radical Islam, but you must begin to own up to what your theocratic sharia states do in creating these radical Islamist movements. This was a big miss and will need to be inserted ASAP into any hope for a successful long term Trump Doctrine. I was very disappointed that the words freedom, democracy, and liberation were not used in his speech. It was as if the Arab Awakening had never happened. For all practical purposes this speech could have been give in the 20th century by any of our Republican establishment Presidents. Ushering in a new era of defeating both the viral radical Islamists and the corporate governmental Islamists was missed.

8. MISS: (Change of language to “Violent Islamism”) For a candidate that campaigned as an anti-establishment disrupter, he missed a profound opportunity to abandon the empty paralytic language of “violent extremism” and replace it with “violent Islamism”. That axis shift in national and global security focus is essential for a global strategy against radical Islamism and unfortunately, President Trump reverted to “establishment-speak” of CVE (Countering Violent Extremism).

9. MISS: (putting the Islamist establishment on notice) opportunity to take the Trump brand of anti-establishment and speaking truth to power to call out the “Islamist” establishment by name and name the OIC based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as a “neo-caliphate” and ask that they change the paradigm of their nations from “Islamic” to “democratic” and “freedom” and “unalienable universal human rights’. All he needed to do was ask them how they would perceive an OCC (Organization of Christian Cooperation)? That’s the Trump I wanted to see.

10. MISS: (identifying Islamist, sharia laws) opportunity to call out by name and specifically as a root cause of radicalization the existence of Islamist and Salafist blasphemy laws, apostasy laws, hudud punishments, and other theocratic restrictions on religious liberty and free speech have upon indoctrinating millions of Muslims that such are the real ways of Islam and not freedom and liberty.

11. LAST… Some sound bites from my twitter feed (https://twitter.com/drzuhdijasser)

* Our only real allies in the region are the people, masses,who dream for freedom and revolution. @POTUS ignored them today for the most part
* @POTUS should have taken time to speak past this Arab Islamist mafia of the @OIC_OCI and speak to their peoples who dream of freedom
* As has been said- no @POTUS can address Islamist radicalism and terror without confronting corrupt evil governance of @OIC_OCI nations
* @POTUS should have taken time to speak past this Arab Islamist mafia of the @OIC_OCI and speak to their peoples who dream of freedom
* These countries are roiling with fears of democracy, liberalism and revolutions – I would have wanted @POTUS to speak to those values
* Strong speech-but run of the mill US establishment speech spoken to run of the mill global Islamist establishment..back to the 20th century
* Trump: directly confronts Iran, Syria, @khamenei_ir @Presidency_Sy Assad directly as terror states without mincing words. Refreshing.
* Wait he just hastily said “Islamic and Islamist terror” I think they all including are pretending he didn’t say it. Sorry doesn’t count.
* Trump “we will seek gradual reform not suddenly intervention” – uggh that sounds like the Saudi MO of delay delay delay, deception.
* Trump: “drive them out of this earth” – well then the room he’s speaking to should now empty?
* Trump “refugees shouldn’t flee but flock back” … well most of the tyrants you are speaking to treat their people like slaves and animals
* Trump: “center for battling extremist ideology” … “conquer extremism” — he has yet to say ISLAMIST EXTREMISM” disappointing

The Ummah and Its Public Image

June comes to an end with a premature transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis, hastened due to a series of car bomb explosions near security forces in 5 major Iraqi cities responsible for killing about 100 Iraqis and injuring hundreds more. Turkey faced its share of bombs going off in residential areas, and near the hotel President Bush was going to stay at for the NATO summit. The ugly face of fanaticism in the name of Islam is again emerging to destabilize Pakistanメs port city, Karachi. Since the mass killings at Karbala last Muharrum, we notice that perpetrators of these crimes against humanity are choosing softer targets within Muslim countries, seemingly unable to repeat a 9/11 showing. If the beheading of Daniel Pearl in Karachi was somehow insufficient in driving home the urgency of deep cleansing needed within the Muslim global diaspora, then the recent decapitation of American Paul Johnson and South Korean Kim Sun-il, certainly clarifies it for those still unsure. It also clarifies what Islamメs credibility is up against. See full column at Naseebvibes on naseeb.com

Taking Back Islam

Rally Condemns Terrorism

A simple but powerful message defined a Muslim-sponsored rally held April 25 in Patriot’s Square Park in downtown Phoenix: the targeting and killing of innocent civilians is absolutely wrong. The rally is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation – a public gathering of Muslims, in solidarity with people of other faiths, unequivocally denoun-cing terrorism. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a Phoenix physician and chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, organized the event. Jasser said it’s time to “rally together around certain absolute, moral truths that make civilized life possible. God has created all these spiritual paths to lay down certain eternal, absolute laws so that humankind can live in peace. The killing of innocent people out of revenge, hate or retribution is against those absolute laws. People can justify their actions all day long, but we as Muslims are saying … that those acts are against every thing for which we stand.” Go to this link at the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix for the entire news story

Muslim and American Patriot

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is an American patriot. He is also a Muslim. And he is trying very hard to prove to his fellow Americans that these two central features of his life are as compatible as they are self-reinforcing. In fact, Dr. Jasser, who is a Phoenix physician, is trying so hard that he has taken it upon himself and his organization, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), to stage a rally tomorrow in downtown Phoenix. Appropriately, it will be held at Patriots Square Park. Summoning Muslims and other members of the interfaith community, Dr. Jasser and AIFD implore their neighbors to “stand with Muslims against the targeting of innocent civilians and to denounce those who would exploit religion to do so.” In a recent essay he penned for the Arizona Republic, Dr. Jasser explained why he felt compelled to organize the rally. In an era characterized by increasing attacks targeting innocent civilians across the globe, Dr. Jasser lamented that “[i]t is impossible as an American not to feel the growing, palpable distrust toward the Muslim community.” What is especially disturbing to him is the hate-filled rhetoric emanating from Muslim groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations, whose executive director has declared he is “in support of the Hamas movement,” which the U.S. government has condemned as a terrorist organization. (none) See the full editorial at this link at the Washington Times.