A wish for you for a most Blessed Eid al-Adha (Holiday of the Sacrifice) Friday, July 31, 2020

Eid al-Adha

Those of us at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy wish you a most Blessed Eid al-Adha (Holiday of the Sacrifice) on this 10th day of   
Zul-Hijjah,
  Friday, July 31, 2020
.

 

May this holiday inspire each of us to increase our awareness of and gratitude for the many blessings we have been given as well as the enormous  responsibility we have to serve and aid others. We are so proud of our many accomplishments and programs that our community at AIFD and the Muslim Reform Movement continue to do every day.  

We will continue to keep you up to date on our latest as it happens here! We are so blessed to have all of your support and community. 

As our nation and the world continues to grapple this year with the pandemic,  we pray for the safety, security and health of all, and know that our nation will unite after this stronger than ever and in gratitude for the freedom and liberty God  has bestowed upon us. The virus knows no faith, no nation, no peoples. It tests our unity and our resolve in maintaining normalcy in the face of the unknown. On this day of sacrifice we especially thank all those in humanity who have given so much on every front-line to keep us healthy and safe. Blessings to all of you and your families! 

May we, as brothers and sisters in humanity, use this Eid al-Adha to grow closer to each other and to our Creator, and seize this opportunity to recommit ourselves to the universal values of human rights, individual liberty, and love for all mankind.

At the core of being American is religious liberty to celebrate our most spiritually fulfilling of days. And we hope to continue to live up to our responsibilities to keep our nation free and open to unrestricted worship. 

Enjoy your families, communities, and nation on this day and may all of your prayers and supplications be accepted. May the Hajj (pilgrimage) of all those who performed it this year also be accepted. 

 

 

Yours forever in liberty,

July 24, 2020: The World’s Red-Green Axis Has Come to Our Streets

The World’s Red-Green Axis Has Come to Our Streets

 

M. Zuhdi Jasser , Founder and president, American Islamic Forum for Democracy

 

Since 9/11, Muslim reformers have been at the forefront of the fight against global Islamist forces. We have watched in horror as modern Islamism, a theocratic political ideology aimed at replacing secular law with clerical interpretation of sharia law, has made common cause with progressivists under the guise of “social justice.” Deeply illiberal organizations such as the Council of American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim American Society have become the community sources for politicians, academics and left-leaning journalists to obtain the “Muslim perspective.” Meanwhile, the real secular and liberal Muslims have been propelled to the fringe, cast off as “Islamophobes” and “native informants” merely for trying to root out the closet-extremists and theocrats in our midst.

Now, a second pseudo-progressive, Orwellian movement has emerged that, in the same spirit of modern Islamism, is perceived to be about one cause while fiercely committed to another. Having achieved confounding levels of deception by generating a moniker that is undoubtedly true, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is now at the top of the cultural food chain, uninhibited by moral and political constraints. Its self-appointed defenders in the media, universities, corporations and entertainment industry genuinely believe that ending police brutality and building a racially just and equitable society is all it seeks. But take a deep dive into BLM’s website, and the organization’s true objectives are plain for all to see.

BLM, like its American Islamist brethren, is avowedly neo-Marxist, anti-capitalist, anti-individualist, anti-democratic and anti-American. It wishes to erase and rewrite America’s history, destroy and rebuild her institutions, and overthrow her political system. In short, it seeks to remake the entire country in its own image. Both movements’ unwavering allegiance to identity politics, ideological conformity and totalitarian tactics betray the carefully cultivated image portrayed by their allies. Those who dare criticize the movements are publicly shamed or canceled and fraudulently charged with racism or Islamophobia, regardless of whether they are black or Muslim themselves. Look at the many individuals fired from their employment for questioning BLM over this past month in order to gauge the high priests of censorship at work.

Whether at the United Nations, where oppressive, despotic nations such as China, Venezuela, Iran, Syria and Qatar work against American interests, or in Congress, where the “Squad” shills for both the domestic radicals of BLM and the Islamist movements, the world’s “Red-Green Axis” has landed in our streets.

Though the masses are largely oblivious to the strategic doublespeak, the goals of these groups are explicit. “We’re trained Marxists,” co-founder Patrisse Cullors proudly admitted. Co-founder Opal Tometi considers the brutal and corrupt Maduro regime in socialist Venezuela a “participatory democracy” with a “fair, transparent election system.” “I use Assata’s powerful demand in my organizing work,” wrote Alicia Garza in referring to Assata Shakur, a violent murderer on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list.

And BLM’s list of demands, which reads like socialist code, is even more revealing. In its own words, BLM wishes to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” a demand that many black leaders have publicly decried and repudiated, pointing to the fact that absent fathers is one of the most pressing issues currently plaguing the black community. BLM’s coalition website, The Movement for Black Lives, lists a “radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth” as demand number one.

In the same spirit of dismantling free enterprise, Islamist activists such as Linda Sarsour, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) are not shy about their vision for restructuring America as a socialist state. Omar Suleiman, America’s leading Islamic cleric, who has been hailed as a progressive voice for political change, at one point admitted that Western notions of liberty, freedom, justice, mercy and fairness are “problematic,” as a Muslim.

Black Lives Matter protesters in Chicago
Black Lives Matter protesters in Chicago Scott Olson/Getty Images

Both BLM and modern Islamism are street-led movements whose members, whether clerics or activists, see themselves as grassroots revolutionaries—not modest reformers. They are akin to the Red Guards of Mao’s Chinese Revolution, or the citizens’ revolt of the French Revolution. Driven by nihilism, they tear down historical statues, ban book, and rename institutions. Global Islamist tyrants have been engaging in this behavior for decades, the most notable being the destruction of Palmyra and other ancient sites by ISIS and the Taliban’s bombing of the 1700-year-old, 8,200-feet Buddhas of Banyan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And while we were initially led to believe BLM only wished to topple Confederate statues, we have now seen abolitionists, Founding Fathers, Civil War Union heroes and former slaves themselves all come down at the hands of BLM activists. Similarly, TV shows are being canceled, movie scenes removed, names, logos and mascots of schools and consumer products changed. Ironically, as Islamists publicly cheer on these acts of vandalism, they ignore or rationalize our own history as slave owners, which includes the Prophet Muhammad. Jonathan Brown at Georgetown University trafficked in such apologetic polemics when he went so far as to defend the roots of Islamist slavery.

On a global scale, the most obvious link between BLM and modern Islamism is the embrace of anti-Semitism—from French anti-racist protestors shouting “dirty Jews,” to multiple anti-Semitism scandals plaguing BLM U.K., to the arbitrary and glaring anti-Israel clause inserted into BLM’s original charter. In the same way, anti-Semitism has been a defining feature of modern-day Islamists, from the Muslim Brotherhood to New York City’s notorious Imam Siraj Wahhaj. The overlap on this point is significant. Melina Abdullah, the head organizer of BLM Los Angeles, is also an Islamist supporter of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who famously compared Jews to “termites” and “bloodsuckers.” He referred to Hitler as “a very great man” and attributes gay marriage, abortion and anal sex to the “Satanic influence of the Talmudic Jews.” Speaking of Farrakhan, posting videos of this Jew-hating, misogynist homophobe on social media in support of Black Lives Matter has recently become a favorite hobby of Hollywood celebrities and major league athletes.

Anti-Israel organizations have been flooding their social media feeds with messages of BLM solidarity. American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a grassroots organization that the Anti-Defamation League has said provides a platform for anti-Semitism, promotes BLM protests and now hosts a monthly webinar series called, “Let’s Talk About BLM.” Ironically, AMP’s newest national development coordinator, Mohammed Habbeh, has repeatedly referred to blacks as abeed, the Arabic word for “slaves.” On social media, he has made racist jokes about Somalis and said that if he ever dated a black girl, his mother would think he had AIDS. Similarly, Islamist Samer Alhato was once invited to speak at a BLM protest in Chicago. Alhato’s social media is replete with racist content, including the vile claim that blacks are “monkeys” who lack “working brain cells.” So much for intersectional anti-racism.

Both BLM and modern Islamism are cut from the same cloth; they are victim-obsessed, ethnocentric struggles that frame every difference of outcome in terms of identity, whether race or religion. They are the commissars of the thought police, the connoisseurs of cultural demagoguery. Whether out of allegiance or fear, we have witnessed the entire Democratic Party and swaths of the Republican Party fall into lockstep with their narrative. The only way to fight them is to recognize their strategic similarities and recommit ourselves to authentic ideological diversity. No race should bend the knee to any other, for we are all equal in the eyes of God.

June 16, 2020: CAIR censors college professor

May 11, 2020 – AIFD Review of Facts on Scottsdale Community College handling of student quiz complaint and Islamist viral mob


Scottsdale Community College Teaches the World how Cowardice in the Face of Islamist Mobs Actually Radicalizes Muslims

By AIFD Research Staff

Posted May 11, 2020 (this will be updated regularly as the story evolves with additions and dates at the end of the piece)

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy is based in Phoenix, AZ. Our founder and president, M Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., lives in Scottsdale and has been a frequent speaker at the Scottsdale Community College (SCC) campus for a number of classes and events. For example, only a few months ago, he spoke there for Turning Point USA on the topic “Taking on the Islamist Establishment” and in addition back in 2010 he had a pivotal debate with the lead imam in Arizona from the Islamic Community Center of Tempe, Ahmed Shqeirat, on “Does Islam Need Reform? And if so, how?”.

With that background, a number of friends of our forum contacted us last weekend, May 2, 2020, in order to let us know about recent developments at SCC. They, including supporters as well as other faculty at SCC, were all very concerned about the following:

  1. The unprofessional and incompetent conduct of the school’s top administration in its handling of a very simple student informal, but rather public, complaint about three questions on a quiz.
  2. The safety of a professor who, within 48 hours of information regarding one of his quiz’s being made public, was receiving death threats from across the planet, while the school’s administration responses only added fuel to the fire.
  3. The overall impact this rapidly evolving case would have on academic freedom across the campus and even wider.
  4. Should the Muslim community be treated like adults or infantilized and coddled after every one of their tantrums? What’s the impact of that bigotry of low expectations upon general radicalization?

Dr. Jasser spoke to the professor last week and broke the story on his May 4, 2020 Episode 68 of his podcast, “Reform This!”. This investigative report in the following will remain a collection of the actual facts in this case apparently lost or of no concern to most Islamist keyboard activists, the school’s administration, and traditional media.

Who is Professor Nicholas Damask, Ph.D.?

Dr. Damask as been a professor at Scottsdale Community College for over 24 years. He hails from Dayton, Ohio, and received a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in political science and an M.A. in international relations from American University. His dissertation was on terrorism and its funding in the mid-90’s. He has been teaching this ever since and is a leading expert in this field in Arizona. A quick review of his public teaching scores from his students reveals impressive ratings. While AIFD had not had direct contact with Dr. Damask previously, he had come to a number of our presentations and events at SCC and is very supportive of our counter-terrorism and counter-islamism work.

In Dr. Jasser’s conversations this week with Dr. Damask, it is imminently clear that he is not someone who approaches Islam with prejudgment, bias or any hate whatsoever. His course is on political science and its history in the twentieth and twenty-first century. Only 15 percent of the curricula of the course in question, POS102, is related to terrorism and a part of that to Islamist terrorism. This is someone simply trying to teach his students what the root causes and underpinnings are for the Islamic militants. That is it. His is not a course in theology at all, but simply political movements.

Apparently all it takes for an anonymous student to take-down a professor and have his administration repudiate him reflexively while also diminishing the reputation of the entire College is a few publicly released snapshots of quiz questions with no other inquiries?

It is breathtakingly malicious and incompetent to conclude that he is a bigot based upon three questions out of context in a quiz. Let’s look at how this kerfuffle evolved?

Timeline of social media instigated cultural terrorism

  1. January 2020: Course opens and students can at their own pace work through the course curricula including lectures and study guides and then complete the quiz at each section. They have until May 1 to complete the entire course. The quiz questions can be reviewed later and the correct answers are provided for each section for the student to review. In this case the student finished the quiz for the section on Islamic terrorism on April 29th, 2020. This section was approximately 15% of the total curricula and the quiz in question was 25 questions total. Dr. Damask tells us that while he has a number of questions that he rotates through the course over the past many years these questions are not new. Dr. Damask also confirms that there is a honor code involved where other students taking the course online are assumed not to share snapshots and answers of the quizzes provided by those who finished them earlier.
  2. Wednesday, April 30th, 2020: the anonymous student took his quiz on Tuesday, April 29, 2020 then emailed the professor the next day (April 30) with a generic email saying that “you have insulted my religion” and “I am sick to my stomach”.

a. With no initial specifics, Dr. Damask responded kindly, saying, it certainly was not his intent, and he appreciated the students feelings and wanted the student to know that he was only trying to teach about international politics and in no way meant to insult him or his faith. Damask then later that day received a second email in which the student provided the screenshots of the three quiz questions that offended him out of the 25 total questions. He added that they “were distasteful to Islam.”

b. Damask then responded again that his course is not a commentary on religion and only about the ideas of the Islamic terrorists. He did note that the timeline of the emails makes it obvious that the student had obviously already sent the questions to the entire planet by sharing them on social media prior to his emails.

c. The student shared them apparently with an online comedian, prankster and general social media bully @g_dulla_mulla. He posted the following (post 1), apparently now a deleted post: “One of my followers sent me this. Look what schools are teaching now. SMH (shake my head) absolutely disgusting!!”. He has 239k followers. His YouTube channel is full of childish, if not thuggish pranks, some where he proudly accosts customers at Walmart and brags about getting kicked out of four Walmart’s So this is what appears to be the primary source (patient zero) of the viral spread of the three quiz questions.

  • Post 1

He then posts another question (post 2)  from the quiz, stating, “Wow, SMH! This class needs to be shutdown! Please don’t forget to report this disgusting school. I can’t believe what they are teaching those students”

His final post (post 3) was “This is the school. Please let’s all report this nasty ass school to the chancellor for racism! Let’s put them on blast.” Put them on blast is a rough translation for an Arabic colloquialism regarding loud, continuous protest and focus. Needless to say the comments under it were a clinic in Islamist radicalization, bullying and misinformation regarding the school, the professor, his course and the quiz. He identified the school to his followers and directed them to SCC.

3. May 1, 2020: If that wasn’t enough, the school likely began receiving a flurry of social media mentions and contacts through various channels. So what could be better than giving this Islamist mob a place to post their radicalism on the school’s Facebook and Instagram page under a groveling letter from the school’s head? Then, in barely 12-24 hours from the first viral posting, the school’s PR team led by Eric Sells had their Interim President, Chris Hines, post the following on both Facebook and Instagram. Thousands of comments later, the professor would be forced into hiding.

And then thousands of comments followed. Here are a few poignant examples the school has left up for over a week. The tenor of these comments speak to the incompetence of the school in giving platform to social media bullies and a student who bypassed professional avenues of complaint through his department and school.

  • Social media

There are thousands of comments like this now on the SCC social media.

The “comedian” @G_dulla_mulla that lit the fuse to this mess has since deleted his initial post but the next surrogate is also a comedian, Abdullah Jasim. He posts it with a video that essentially includes the next stage of radicalization—as is typical for Islamist agitprop—he invokes American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as morally equivalent “terrorism” to Al Qaeda, ISIS, HAMAS and other radical Islamist movements. He does this with a backdrop of SCC’s Instagram page and sarcastic, caustic commentary on the three quiz questions to another 125k followers who then proceed to make this “story”—a fuse lit from three quiz questions—go viral.

The facts about Dr. Damask’s course on “Political Science POS102” and the quiz

A section (about 15 percent) of Dr. Damask’s course is on terrorism. He shared a slide deck of his curricula with us and it is well referenced and rather balanced. He teaches about other examples of faith-based radicals from Jewish zealots to the Hindu thuggies. He also discusses what he describes as left and right wing terrorism and goes on to talk about how the constructs of faith can be used by militants in the abstract to drive terrorism.

He has taught this course for 24 years and has intermittently changed the questions and used similar ones, never having a complaint about his perspective regarding Muslims and terrorism. A couple quiz questions are not a barometer for evaluating anything let alone a conviction on bigotry.

Let’s look at the quiz questions:

And then the questions broadcast by the student?

Had the professor known his questions were going to be broadcast across the planet, to folks who hadn’t taken his course nor seen the other questions, Dr. Damask may have added more clarifying lines prior to the questions. Perhaps a phrase like, “For the terrorists…” or “the interpretation of Islam by the terrorists is…”. But that does not then mean that the questions were poorly worded or bigoted let alone the professor or the school being bigoted.

Clearly the context of the questions is related to the thought process of Islamist militants. As I’ve written about extensively in my book, “A Battle for the Soul of Islam”, and as we discuss almost daily at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, the great debate that needs to happen within the House of Islam is, “which Islam, whose Islam?” Dr. Damask’s course is not a theological discourse but rather this section of his course was about the root causes of terrorism and the underlying mindset of major global movements like Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, Nasrallah’s Hezbollah or Al-Baghdadi’s ISIS, or Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas. To release the above questions to the world as a measure of every Muslim’s Islam requires a breathtaking amount of dishonesty, deception and misinformation. This all sadly mattered little to any of the commenters who were too busy enacting a form of asymmetric cultural warfare – basically the same immoral construct as terrorism where the ends justifies the means. Like a bully, intimidation is not about the facts of a case but striking fear into the hearts of any and all that may question the Islam of theocrats like the massive global Islamist movements.

An appropriate question has to be, did the student even read the rest of the curriculum from the course? Did he even review the PowerPoint? See (link) The hundreds of thousands or more that were offended by the questions certainly did not. Dr. Damask talks about the radical’s own theo-political justification for terrorism?

This course is not about all Islam or all Muslims. Part of it was about terrorism and terrorists. It is not about the mosque down the street or the Muslims in his class or that we may know. In fact the penchant of grievance based Islamist organizations like the Council on American Islamic Relations to use manufactured incidents like this to condition (radicalize) Muslims that schools, professors, and Americans are anti-Muslim bigots.

Islamists laugh at how easy a mark SCC was

Nothing rewards a mob of Islamist bullies for their libel of a teacher, his school and Americans, more than an immediate response from the university president with a public apology. The Islamists from across the world were like sharks who saw meat in the water. The posts on the school’s Facebook page demonstrated how unleashed they all felt after the school’s top leadership posted a groveling apology with no due process. The power clearly lied with the Islamist grievance machine. Here are a few poignant examples:

Students should always be empowered to question teachers and schools. However that conversation does not begin with radical Islamists across the planet virally exploiting a couple of quiz questions. A social media mob and intimidation is not about academic freedom and it is far from supportive of freedom of speech.

Students should protest. Question. Raise their hands. But not start with a global mob of intimidation and their CAIR radicalizers. Sure enough. In this case, 10 days after it began, CAIR waltzes in to “take the student’s case”. Apparently their standards of operation have no problems with the fruit of this poisoned tree that went viral after a few comedians and pranksters took on the case first? The ambulance chasers of anti-Muslim bigotry will take any case that feeds their victimization narrative.

These legal “experts” at CAIR, like the top-level SCC administration, seemed to care little to nothing about due process or any facts in the case. They only cared about exacting punishment and retribution against anyone who ventures into teaching or discussing the connection between Islamism and Islamist terrorism.

Why shouldn’t the Islamists from CAIR or any group look at SCC and laugh at how easy a mark they were? Facts don’t matter. By the way, question #1 is there an honor code where you do things on line but you’re not supposed to distribute proprietary info?

Here’s the response again from the SCC President Chris Hines as crafted with Eric Sells, SCC’s PR lead. We remind you it was posted within 24 hours of the student’s very public mockery of the school and within 48 hours after he took the actual quiz:

Earlier this week, a student at Scottsdale Community College took a quiz as part of the class coursework. The student expressed concern over the wording of three questions related to Islam on the quiz. SCC senior leadership has reviewed the quiz questions and agrees with the student that the content was inaccurate, inappropriate, and not reflective of the inclusive nature of our college. SCC deeply apologizes to the student and to anyone in the broader community who was offended by the material. SCC Administration has addressed with the instructor the offensive nature of the quiz questions and their contradiction to the college’s values. The instructor will be apologizing to the student shortly, and the student will receive credit for the three questions. The questions will be permanently removed from any future tests. We applaud the student for bringing this to our attention – and encourage any student or employee to speak out. SCC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in our programs or activities. We value inclusiveness because we all benefit by embracing a diversity of voices, viewpoints, and experiences. SCC cultivates success when individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds are respected and empowered to contribute. — Chris Haines, Interim President. Scottsdale Community College.

This letter, its verbiage, its hurried dismissal of any due process, its weakness, appeasement and general tenor should offend any sensible American. This letter seems to address a heinous hate crime that never happened but President Hines wanted to believe the global Islamist bullies that it did.

President Haines promises an apology which Dr. Damask never agreed to. All he knew was that he was forwarded a letter of grotesque apologetics to fill in a couple blanks and sign his name. Here it is:

Nothing from the president on the student’s violation of process for complaints.

Nothing from the president on the student’s violation of honor codes by snap-shotting quiz questions for mass distribution.

Nothing from the president on the need to adjudicate this and have a hearing to hear both sides of the story.

She concluded the questions were “offensive”

She concluded the professor needed to apologize and more and in fact the student was lionized rather than taught.

Still as of May 10, 2020, there has been no formal complaint filed by the student. Nothing has been filed with the department chair.

On top of this disgusting letter from leadership, tossing their 24 year professor to the global Islamist wolves, Eric Sells, their public relations head asked the professor to fill out this apology letter above. In that letter, Dr. Damask is being coerced into signing a letter admitting that he wrote questions with “offensive material” and that he learned a new lesson in diversity and how to view his material. Never mind it is the leadership who let one monolithic movement of Islamist bullies speak for Muslims and threw away ideological diversity among Muslims with their obsequious apologetics.

This type of university action only radicalizes Muslims more

For the school to parrot the complaints of the student with no due process gives the Islamists the entire narrative. They have shaped what will be understood as the “facts in the case” others be damned.

Such a biased, one-sided approach to complaints about their faith representation from a Muslim (usually Islamists) implies that all Muslims should be coddled and given deference for any complaint with no need for due process or balance. In this month of Ramadan, the Islam we teach here at AIFD is not one of punishment and fear for those who may conflate militant Islam with our Islam, but rather one of humility, compassion and fairness.

This ‘bigotry of low expectations’ as an approach to any Muslim complaint actually radicalizes Muslims. It rewards their mob-like intimidation. Is that not what terrorism’s asynchronous warfare is all about? The cause of the university’s pathological response may be their cowardice, their inordinate fear of that Islamist mob. So in fact are they not then negotiating with cultural terrorists, bullies or a mob? So let’s review. A student gives three simple questions to a half-wit across the world to post and to unleash the global twitter mob. Now this professor is getting threats from around the world especially under the school’s cowardly post of an apology letter. In what planet does any of this make sense for an institution of any semblance of academic rigor, freedom and free speech?

The professor wasn’t even wrong. The questions’ intent is what matters. If you believe those questions are bigotry then you don’t understand anything of why there are 100’s of millions of followers of Islamist political groups all over the world. They are emulating their version of the Prophet Mohammed. They believe that their Islam is the only Islam. Their numbers are not insignificant and they dominate major theocratic regimes from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamist institutions in Egypt, Wahhabi ideology out of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and millions upon millions more.

Our work at AIFD is about reform against political Islam as a root cause of radicalism and its terrorism. The Unites States was formed on the defeat of theocracy. And in today’s America teachers that have the courage to teach that Islamic theocracies are currently normative Islam which many Muslims who are honest would tell you just like Christian theocracy was normative Christianity before the 17th and 18th Jeffersonian religious liberty and freedom were ideas that took centuries in the make and the same thing now with Islamic law. It has to go through the same reformation but simple questions about terrorism and responses like this are not offensive and anyone who thinks they are is either ignorant, in denial or flat out deceptive.

Legacy media pile on along with the global Islamist mob and cowardice of SCC Leadership

With little surprise, the local legacy media covered the kerfuffle and basically regurgitated the Islamist talking points and propaganda from CAIR. Here’s the breathtakingly one-sided headline: “Scottsdale Community College Apologizes after ‘inappropriate’ questions on Islam Surface on Quiz”. They included no other voices from academia or the Muslim community. Dr. Jasser addressed the Arizona Republic reporter here via twitter and the Gannett ‘diversity’ reporter, Lorraine Longhi, did reach out to him and did apologize for excluding our voice. A follow up report is promised after she interviewed him on May 10, 2020. She will hopefully also interview the professor. We will keep you abreast of further developments in this clinic on academic freedom, free speech, religious liberty, ideological diversity, Muslim reform, and the cowardice of the West in the face of global Islamist bullies—“cultural terrorists”.

May 12, 2020 UPDATE:

 

Arizona Republic Gannett reporter Lorraine Longhi provides a more balanced and updated report on the SCC kerfuffle here. We are not sure why the Islamists at CAIR need another round of airing of their radicalizing propaganda. But regardless, this was better than the first story.  See her story here titled: “District to investigate Islam quiz questions, criticizes Scottsdale college’s ‘rush to judgment’.

May 12, 2020 update, the College Fix reported on the impact of a legal warning from FIRE and the interim chancellor of SCC provides an impressively humble apology and defense of Dr. Damask. See their full report here titled: Public college backs off threat to censor professor’s course on Islamist violence after legal warning | The College Fix

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.

Media Contact
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April 24, 2020: AIFD wishes all a happy Ramadan Kareem

To all our Muslim friends and supporters:

Tomorrow, Friday, April 24, 2020, Muslims around the world will begin our observance of the holy month of Ramadan. During this month, the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar, all who are physically and mentally able to do so will abstain from all food and drink from dawn until sunset.

This fast is not one of sorrow, but of thankfulness: the month of Ramadan reminds us to give thanks for our blessings, while keeping the suffering in our prayers and doing what we can to help them.

Each Ramadan, we at AIFD are keenly aware 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.

This Ramadan, just as we do every year, we also will reaffirm our commitment to advocate for all those less fortunate, those ill, and those fighting to keep us healthy, prosperous, free, and secure. As our nation and all of our front-line healthcare providers confront the threats to our health of COVID19, on this Ramadan like so many other faiths, we will stay physically distant but spiritually connected as we find solace and renewal in our daily fast and worship practice of this holy month of Ramadan. We will pray for them all.

We also won’t forget those persecuted on the basis of their faith, their free choices and those suffering from gender and honor-based violence. We remain eternally committed to ending the suffering of those persecuted in Syria, and in other places where the diseases of fascism or of Islamist theocracy keep innocents oppressed. We remain keenly aware and dedicated this year to the sadly ever increasing demand to confront the root causes of radical Islamism and its jihad. We will continue to pray this month to strengthen our resolve and empower our advocacy for freedom within all our communities.

We honor and hold sacred the fact that Ramadan symbolizes equality among Muslims and among all human beings.

For all those who fast out of free will and with sincere intention, we find common goodness and reward in it, and for all those who choose any way to commemorate this spiritual holy month of Ramadan, we share with you in this communality.

May all your prayers and wishes for atonement that you seek from God through your fast and worship be heard and fulfilled.

May we pray to end forever the attacks against people of faith at home and across the planet. May our prayers and fasting build a wall of protection around all sentient human beings across the planet.

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

Blessing always,

From your team at the …

American Islamic Forum for Democracy

February 18, 2020: The Iranian protests and American Islamism: A Muslim reformer weighs in

Dear AIFD Supporters,

Below is another great interview by Steve Postal with AIFD president & founder, M. Zuhdi Jasser.

The Christian Post
By: Steve Postal
Date: February 18, 2020

The Iranian protests and American Islamism: A Muslim reformer weighs in

I interviewed Dr. M Zuhdi Jasser in January 2017, July 2017, September 2018, and May 2019 on a range of topics including Islamism and what he believes is its antidote, the Muslim Reform Movement. This is a follow-up interview.

Jasser is president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM), and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.” He is a practicing Muslim.

He is also an active physician and former U.S. Navy officer whose parents fled Syria in the 1960s, and host of the Blaze Radio Podcast “Reform This!” and founder of TakeBackIslam.com. Jasser and I discussed the developments in Iran and Iranian links to American Islamism.

Postal: Was the US right to assassinate General Qasem Soleimani?

Jasser: This was not an assassination, but a targeted killing of the leader of the world’s most dangerous terror network. The killing of Soleimani was at least as justified as the targeted killings of terrorists Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki. Soleimani had been responsible for over 600 dead American soldiers, and countless other attacks on U.S. citizens. Soleimani’s terrorism was more significant than others, as he was able to freely use Iran’s treasury, intelligence, and the military network of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah.

Soleimani’s IRGC had been officially designated a Foreign Terror Organization (FTO) in 2019 by the U.S. government. With that designation, the United States did not need an authorization of Congress to kill him. The IRGC is a major instigator of the ongoing massacres in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. It aided Bashar Assad in killing over 600,000 Syrians and displacing over 10 million Syrians. Killing Soleimani deters Iran from projecting its power and terrorism abroad.

Postal: Recent reports show thousands of protesters in Tehran calling on Ayatollah Khamenei to resign. Former Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi stated that the world is now seeing “the beginning of the end” of the Islamist regime in Iran. But he called the regime a “sinking Titanic” back in 2009. Why should the U.S. view the current protests in Iran as anything more than the failed protests in the late 1990s and 2009 in Iran?

Jasser: The recent protests are very different than anything before. First, as the post 2011 revolutions in the Middle East have shown, regimes ultimately cannot contain social media and its viral movements once they get to a critical mass. The Iranian regime is very scared of these trends, and in fear has shut down the internet for an extended period of time. Most importantly, this revolution is far more than simply against the government in Tehran. It has encompassed many major cities, including the academic centers of Islamist theocratic control like Qom. The demonstrators have protested increased fuel prices, Iran’s funding of genocide in Syria and Yemen, theocracy, and oppression. The protesters have also supported economic, justice, and feminist reforms.

Postal: News reports highlight instances of civil disobedience in Iran, with people openly protesting the regime, student protests, women refusing to wear headscarves, a taekwondo champion defecting in protest, and people refusing to walk on American and Israeli flags. How should the U.S. interpret and respond to these developments?

Jasser: The sheer diversity of the various groups rising up in civil disobedience against the regime is breathtaking. Frequent and open public displays of affection for America and Israel reveal deep and broad-based dissatisfaction with the theocrats. For a long time, the silent majority of Iranians have ignored and dismissed the demonization of America and Israel pushed upon them by state media and their rent-a-mobs. Now, the protesters are telling their oppressors that they love and emulate the West. When you have women in burqas on state media telling their people “if you do not enjoy the rule of Islam in society then you should collect your belongings and leave,” there is no better sign that the regime is on headed towards collapse. It could take months or years, but collapse is the trajectory. And global isolation and sanctions augment the will of the people.

Postal: Several members of Congress have called on the Trump Administration to investigate the National American Iranian Council (NAIC) for potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Among other things, the complaint condemns “NAIC’s relationship with the Iranian regime and its role amplifying regime propaganda.” Additionally, M. Hanif Jazayeri, news editor at Free Iran, alleges that a legislative assistant to Barbara Lee is NAIC’s “mole” in Congress, and that Ilhan Omar’s senior legislative assistant, one of Rashida Tlaibs staffers, and a member of the Democratic National Committee have NAIC connections. What are your thoughts on these developments? What is the connection between the Iranian regime and the Islamist movement in the U.S.?

Jasser: I have said for a long time that Islamist organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) frequently take the side of foreign Islamist regimes over our own government. Now with Iran in the spotlight, folks are finally paying closer attention to NAIC. NAIC’s protégés, like CAIR’s protégés, graduate into pro-Islamist information operatives for congressional offices. As PJ Media reported, yes, NAIC protégés now include Mahya Sorour in Omar’s office and Samira Damavandi in Lee’s office.

NAIC’s talking points frequently mirror the position of the Iranian mullocracy, be it their positions on the nuclear deal to the recent protests. NAIC has fought consistently against sanctions on the regime, and has never confronted the anti-American, anti-Semitic ideology of the Khomeinists. NAIC’s positions have always been on the wrong side of history, morality and humanity. In fact, when NAIC tried to intimidate its Iranian-American critics through lawfare in 2008, the court ultimately dismissed the case in 2012 and repudiated the tactics of NAIC and its President, Trita Parsi. Parsi has now re-located to the Quincy Institute, whose staff has been accused with multiple instances of anti-Semitism.

I can tell you as a Syrian-American, Syrian-Americans for decades have seen a similar network of Syrian government sympathizers shape pro-Assad positions through its foreign agents, useful idiots, and propagandists inside the United States. Prior to the Syrian revolution, it was conventional wisdom among Syrian-American expatriates that somewhere around one in ten Syrians in America provided information to the Syrian government on the activities of Syrian-American families. After the revolution began in 2011, some of that network became stronger and more entrenched. However, most of the network has since fallen apart and the United States was able to convict Mohamad Soueid of Leesburg, Virginia and others. Similar networks existed during Saddam’s Iraq, and a similar network exists for the current Iranian regime.

It is long overdue for us to investigate the tentacles of foreign Islamist regimes and movements in our government. The Islamist influence from many regimes of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation dwarfs any domestic intelligence threat we experienced during the Cold War.

Postal: Recent reports discuss that Iran has sleeper cells of terrorists in the United States as well as Central and South America. How should the U.S. respond to this reality? Should the U.S. fear reprisal attacks on its soil?

Jasser: The threat from Hezbollah has always been significant in the U.S. The only thing that has prevented Hezbollah attacks similar to what Sunni jihadists have done in 9-11, Fort Hood and San Bernardino has been the presence of sanctions against their benefactor, Iran. We should continue these sanctions, and continue to apply the rule of law against those that seek to harm us.

We won a major victory recently when the United States convicted Ali Khourani for 40 years for being “recruited, trained and deployed by Hezbollah’s Islamic Jihad Organization to plan and execute acts of terrorism around New York City.” An operative for Hezbollah’s Islamic Jihad, he was nabbed “[a]fter spending years conducting surveillance on the City’s critical infrastructure, federal buildings, international airports, and even daycare centers.” Politico also reported on Hezbollah’s major cocaine funneling operation in the U.S. that also included Central and South America, Africa and Europe. Their impressive investigation revealed how the Obama administration ditched over a decade of heroic agency work dubbed Project Cassandra exposing Hezbollah’s cocaine operation in the United States – as collateral damage of the nuclear deal. These Hezbollah drug runners are likely just the tip of the iceberg of Hezbollah operations in this hemisphere. The director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Nicholas Rasmussen, believes that “Hezbollah is determined to give itself a potential homeland option as a critical component of its terrorism playbook.”

Postal: The Muslim Reform Movement (MRM), which you co-founded, just celebrated its fourth anniversary last December. Do you see any possibility of the MRM arising in Iran?

Jasser: Our dream is for the MRM to gain traction in countries where people truly understand the threat of Islamist theocracy. One such country is Iran. There are currently thousands of courageous dissident leaders in Iran promoting many ideas central to the MRM. Their messages on social media sound like ours, and vice versa. But other Muslims in Iran that would be sympathetic to the MRM are trying to stay alive because their leaders are torturing, murdering, or disappearing those that openly express those ideals. As Iranian journalist and women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad said, “we are not fighting for a piece of cloth, we are fighting for our lives.” She also asserts that the legacy media is lying to Americans about the revolution now in Iran. “Don’t fall for Iranian regime propaganda,” she exclaimed on Fox News and in the Washington Post. I don’t understand how our “liberal” media, presumably champions of feminism, gay rights and free speech, marginalize the activists who share those values and the values of our MRM here in the U.S.

Postal: In our first interview, we discussed how Saudi Arabia In the last 30 years has spent more than an estimated $100 billion to fund the spread of Wahhabism worldwide (in contrast to the $7 billion the USSR spent spreading communism from 1921 through 1991). Does Iran have similar global ambitions for its own Islamism? What, if anything, should the U.S. do to counter this?

Jasser: There can be little doubt as to what the regime’s goals are. Through their words, ideologies, crimes against humanity, and their domestic, regional and global spread of terror, Iran’s regime is in no way content with only domestic oppression. They see themselves ushering in the 12th Imam and with him the End of Times. Their government, military, and economic is geared towards proselytizing an anti-freedom and anti-American mission. While Shia and Sunni Islamists may differ on many things, their raison d’etre is the same: establishing Islamic states across the world that would unite into a Caliphate to which the whole world will submit.

The only thing preventing Iran from building a similar global network as Saudi Arabia has been the vast resources the West has expended on effective sanctions and unraveling Iran’s global networks of terror, ideology, and drugs. In contrast, the Obama Administration’s nuclear deal, removal of sanctions and economic normalization for Boeing and others only served to enable the global spread of Iran’s Islamism and war machine. You can see Iran’s hateful propaganda they are spreading globally on PressTV or Hezbollah’s AlManar TV. To counter this, we need continue “maximum pressure” against Iran’s regime and also proactively engage in an information war against the theocrats and their Islamism. We need to support reform-minded Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenis, and Lebanese.

Your reference back to Saudi Arabia is timely. As Iran’s clerics try to prevent a growing revolution, Saudi Arabia recently announced that they would stop funding mosques beyond its borders. This is surrender, coming from the Wahhabis who believe in a mandate of global da’wa (proselytization) and offense. But perhaps even more importantly, this surrender presents an opening for ideological antagonists: Muslims who oppose the idea of any Islamic sharia state and promote liberty and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Perhaps changes like this will give the West momentum to support allies of liberty – Muslims who support freedom and the defeat of the theocrats – like our Muslim Reform Movement and its Declaration.

 

Steve Postal has been previously published in The Federalist, American Thinker, The Washington Post, The Times of Israel, and The Christian Post.