11/23/2016 This Thanksgiving, We Remain Grateful – and Determined

Dear Friend of AIFD:

As Americans of every religion, ethnicity, culture, and family structure prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, we write to express our gratitude to the many who have supported us over the years. Without your solidarity, we would not be able to do the work we do.

Even in times of turmoil and tension, our country remains one of the most blessed, abundant and promising places the world has ever known. On this Thanksgiving, we remain ever focused on protecting and advancing the American vision of liberty and justice for all, through our efforts to combat Islamism and protect religious freedom and other universal human rights.

This holiday season, we also have an exciting announcement to make: this year, we will be launching our first ever AIFD Courage Awards. AIFD’s inaugural Courage Awards are given to individuals who have shone a light on some of the most urgent matters of our time, and whose work for universal human rights in the face of staunch opposition has inspired action toward positive change.

We have chosen winners in the fields of activism, media and philanthropy, with special focus on those who have demonstrated a willingness to dissent with their own identity groups in order to protect the rights of the most vulnerable. Winners have been contacted, and we will soon be introducing them to you!

As we reflect on our blessings this Thanksgiving, we also must remain focused on the work we still have to do. While it is easy and natural to become distracted by what has dominated the media, we must remember that the perils of radical Islam and the malice of fascism continue to advance. While we at AIFD remain committed to our efforts, we need your support to continue to advance our mission.

We have made tremendous strides with few resources, and must this year make a special appeal to our friends and followers: can you contribute to support our cause today? You contribution is tax-deductible in the United States – and 100% of your gift goes directly to our work. Plus, you will receive regular updates from our team about the efforts we’re making and our progress. Please click here to make your contribution – and please know that no amount is too small. I look forward to thanking you for your support.

I also invite you to check out our new website, which we’ve been working on over the last several months.

We at Team AIFD (as we call ourselves!) wish you a happy, safe, and blessed Thanksgiving.

 

Yours in liberty.

 

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser

07/14/2016 AIFD calls upon mainstream media leadership to finally diversify American Muslim voices

Dear Friends of AIFD,

Our supporters often ask us an important question: Why is it that we at AIFD aren’t regular guests on what many consider to be “mainstream media” (MSM) networks like ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN? Further, why aren’t we published regularly in venues like the Washington Post and New York Times?

While we have been featured on these networks before, invitations to appear have been few and far between – and certainly much rarer than invitations to appear on more conservative media outlets.

We hope this comes as no surprise – but the lack of attention from the MSM is certainly not due to any lack of effort or outreach on our part.  Further, we refuse to accept that the lack of representation of our voices in these venues is due to the politics of our leadership, or the perception of our leadership as partisan. Our leadership at AIFD is bipartisan, and our core values themselves are non-partisan. The Muslim Reform Movement, started by leaders of AIFD and other Muslim-led groups across North America and the UK, is politically diverse, as well – and, if anything, has more members who are politically left-of-center than not.

The unfortunate truth is this:  Anyone who follows issues related to Muslims, Islam, Islamism and radicalization cannot deny the presence of Islamist groups, their representatives and apologists in all “mainstream” media venues. Any honest observer would also notice the obvious censorship of anti-Islamist voices. You, our supporters, could not begin to imagine the amount of time and energy we have spent reaching out to MSM leaders, producers, writers, and reporters. We have not been asking them to endorse us. Rather, we have simply been asking for a seat at the table, even if it is to debate those Muslims they regularly invite as guests. At every turn, we have given MSM the benefit of the doubt. We can no longer do that.

We now are taking these complaints to the next level. We are demanding an explanation from the very top of these organizations as to why there remains a boycott of diverse Muslim voices from media institutions that claim to value and promote diversity.

Earlier this week, AIFD FedExed letters to the heads of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post informing them of our disappointment in their apparent bias and their role in allowing Islamists to dominate, not just the narrative on Islam and Muslims, but also to dominate our faith communities. We are now awaiting their responses.

A copy of the letters we sent is provided below. We hope we receive positive responses, which would allow us at least to begin the process of your seeing and reading more from reform-minded Muslims. It is only through additional exposure that we can show America that we are not one homogenous, grievance- mongering community of Islamists like the MSM would have you believe.

So, we ask, please, the next time someone criticizes our work as partisan or skewed, show them this. And share with them the fact that these letters come after over a decade of work to challenge Islamist voices in the media and that the censorship of our voices is not due to any lack of effort or interest from anti-Islamist Muslims.

Please see the letters attached below mailed overnight on July 11, 2016:

  1. CBS News: Leslie Moonves, CEO CBS Corporation
  2. NBC News: Mr. Stephen Burke, President
  3. ABC News: Mr. James Goldston, President
  4. CNN: Mr. Jeff Zucker, President
  5. The Washington Post: Mr. Martin Baron, Editor-in-chief
  6. The New York Times: Mr Dean P. Baquet, Executive Editor

 

—AIFD Staff

06/06/2016 AIFD Wishes Muslims around the world “Ramadan kareem!”

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) wishes our fellow Muslims around the world a blessed and fulfilling Ramadan. For those who are fasting, may your fasts be easy.

The fast of Ramadan is intended to remind us of those who are less fortunate, and to bring us closer to God in thankfulness and compassion. Ramadan is about more than just abstaining from food during daylight hours, however. It is also a month of reflection and revelation, during which Muslims contemplate scripture, share their blessings with those in need, and come together in fellowship and family.

This Ramadan, we at AIFD extend our most heartfelt and fervent wishes for a blessed month to all Muslims – including those who cannot fast. In addition, we hold in our thoughts and prayers all of those who are hungry not out of religious observance, but because they do not have enough to eat; those who are marginalized and forgotten; those who do not have family with which to break their fasts and celebrate the blessings of Ramadan; those who are serving our country domestically and abroad; those who are struggling with their faith; those who are under siege by dictators and theocrats; and, of course, all of those still suffering in Syria, which remains under the boot of the genocidal monster, Bashar al-Assad.

Wherever you are in your faith journey, we invite you to join us in a commitment to continue challenging the systems of oppression which subjugate both Muslims and non-Muslims, and to fast from any complacency or fear you may experience in your commitment to resist Islamism and its ills.

As we break our fasts tonight, the first night of Ramadan, we will thank and ask God for protection for both Muslims and non-Muslims around the world who hunger for mercy, for compassion and for justice. May our Ramadan increase our faith, our mindfulness, and our sense of community.

Zuhdi Jasser: Don’t let the Khan Family’s Sacrifice be Used as a Political Wedge

Phoenix, AZ., (August 2, 2016) – Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, lends advice to Donald Trump, following his recent feud with the Khan Gold Star family.

Dr. Jasser states:

“Gold star families – those whose loved ones have lost their lives in the service of this great nation know no single party or faith. They are first and foremost America patriots of the highest order. If they are people of faith, their faith may guide them in healing from their loss.

It is reprehensible that any public official or candidate would see fit to attack such a family. It would be my hope that any candidate for office would lift up, support, and honor the parents of a fallen soldier, regardless of the faith he or she professed, national origin or the color of their skin. Like any person, a gold star parent has the right to be critical of a public figure – but no public figure should attack such a parent in the way that Mr. Trump has attacked the Khans. It seems that Mr. Trump’s advisers should urge him to speak only from prepared statements, leaving off-the cuff statements and 140 character comments off limits.

Attacking the Khans helps no political party and certainly doesn’t help the United States or bolster our national defense. If anything, the Khans’ sacrifice speaks to what I have been saying for decades: that American Muslim youth need to be taught that their country is worth that ultimate sacrifice, before any other identity group; and that the “Islamic State” must never be embraced, only fought – even if it is to the death. It is in fact an attention to the national spirit of those American Muslims willing to risk that ultimate sacrifice that holds within it that antidote to Islamist radicalization and allegiance to the global jihad.

The only party worthy of such venom here are those who are “jumping blindly on the bandwagon” to support the Khans here – the Islamist groups who otherwise condemn and abuse patriotic and reformist Muslims every day who have been championing the cause of heroes like Humayun Khan for years while calling for reforms against global movements that demonize his service and American exceptionalism. Also worthy of critique is the mainstream media, who ignore or even vilify American Muslim patriots.

If the media truly wants to honor the memory of Humayun Khan, they will do an immediate about-face, and support American Muslims like us at AIFD, who have always stood with our servicemen and women and have consistently championed with the exceptionalism of the American defense of liberty. Sadly most of the Muslim voices currently responding to this controversy are apologists for Islamism and its theocratic movements across the world.”

 

About AIFD

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy is a non-profit organization based in Phoenix, Ariz. dedicated to providing an American Muslim voice advocating genuine Muslim reform against Islamism and the ideologies which fuel global Muslim radicalization. AIFD’s mission is to advocate for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. In December 2015, AIFD convened and helped launch the Muslim Reform Movement, a coalition of over 12 Muslim organizations and leaders dedicated to reform for values of peace, human rights and secular governance.

 

About Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a think tank dedicated to protecting American national security against the global threat of Islamism. AIFD promotes reform-minded Muslim voices for liberty, and is shaking the hold which Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have upon Muslim leadership. Dr. Jasser is the author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.” He is also a Co-Founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser is the host of “Reform This!” on the Blaze Radio Network.

 

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07/04/2016 AIFD Wishes you a Happy Fourth of July

Dear Friends of AIFD,

We at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy write to wish you a happy, blessed and safe Fourth of July holiday. Every year, as we watch the world continue to be plagued by the deathly evil of radical Islamism, the fundamental liberties formalized on that day on 1776 are ever more essential to protect. This country’s founding example and spirit is something that infuses all of our work at AIFD.
We also wish to take a moment to remember the life and legacy of Elie Wiesel, whose example of moral courage inspired and continues to inspire many who seek to work against oppression and hate. Dr. Jasser had the opportunity to meet Mr. Wiesel on several occasions during his time they shared on the board of advisors of the Gatestone Institute. We will continue to be grateful for his example, and to work to speak out against oppression whenever and wherever it occurs.
At AIFD, we have been blessed to see morally courageous youth take a stance against Islamism and for human rights through our Muslim Liberty Project (MLP). This year, we are very proud to celebrate the accomplishments of three of the MLP’s founding leaders, who have achieved success as students and community organizers. Stay tuned as we share with you their stories and contributions to AIFD and MLP in the coming weeks.
Yours in Liberty, AIFD

06/28/2016 SENATE TESTIMONY : “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts To Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism.” By Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser

I. Introduction

Thank you Chairman Cruz and members of the Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary for holding today’s hearing on “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts To Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism.” I am Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, President and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) based in Phoenix, Arizona. I am here today, taking time away from family and work during this last week of what is our holiest month of Ramadan, a time of fasting and deep atonement, because I could not feel more strongly that our current national and agency direction in combating Islamist inspired terrorism is deeply flawed and profoundly dangerous. As a devout Muslim who loves my faith, and loves my nation, the deemphasis of “radical Islam” is the greatest obstacle to both national harmony and national security.

Wholesale denial of the truth by many in our government and political establishment has actually emboldened extremists on both sides of this debate: both radical Islamists and anti-Muslim fascists.

Neither Islam nor Muslims are not monolithic and should not be treated as such by anyone – much less our government and media. Please understand it is as equally foolhardy in counter-terrorism and counter-radicalization work to refuse to acknowledge the role of political Islam in the threat as it is to villainize the whole of Islam and all Muslims. The majority of Americans are smart enough to understand that to say the House of “Islam has no problems” is just as problematic as declaring that “Islam, and all Muslims, are the problem”.

 

Testimony Of M Zuhdi Jasser

07/05/2016 A solemn Eid Mubarak from AIFD

Dear Friends of AIFD,
We at AIFD wish Muslims around the world “Eid Mubarak!” as this week, we celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the celebration at the close of Ramadan.
While we will enjoy celebrating Eid with our friends, families, chosen families and loved ones, we must acknowledge that this Eid is marred with the solemn recognition that this Ramadan has been one of the most violent in recent history; with scores of innocents murdered by those who also claim our faith.
Ramadan is a month of fasting, reflection, and atonement – a month meant to raise our consciousness about the plight of the oppressed, the suffering of the disenfranchised, the poor and the lonely. If anything should be a wake-up call to so called “moderates” the world over, it should be the blood shed in Orlando, the blood shed in Baghdad, Istanbul, Dhaka, and even in the city of Medina – within the very cradle of Islam; as well as elsewhere. Our community has a cancer – a rapidly spreading, murderous cancer – and that cancer is called Islamism. We Muslims are often its victims, yes; but we are also the very people who can do the most to fight it, alongside our non-Muslim allies.
So as we gather this week, in fellowship and in celebration of the Eid holiday, may we re-commit ourselves to fighting Islamism, and to challenging oppression and hate wherever they are found. The lives of innocent people the world over depend on our commitment to this fight.
Eid Mubarak.
In liberty,
Team AIFD