The Great Coverup: The Murder of Mahsa Amini

To our friends at MRM and AIFD:

You are invited to join Dr. Jasser who will be moderating a conversation webinar,
tomorrow Wednesday, October 5, 2022, from 3:30 pm ET to 4:30 pm ET.

The Great Coverup: The Murder of Mahsa Amini

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Join leaders from the Muslim Reform Movement for a webinar conversation you will not find anywhere else.

Zuhdi Jasser moderates a conversation with heroes of the women’s rights movement around the world from inside and outside the House of Islam. The men with beards are finally on their heels in Iran.

Listen to what leaders of the Muslim Reform Movement, Asra Nomani, Raheel Raza, and Soraya Deen, joined by special guest Saghar Erica Kasraie have to say about this amazing time in history in Iran and across the “Muslim world”!

 

M. Zuhdi Jasser is president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix and the co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. He is a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander and former Vice-Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. He is the author of the book, “A Battle for the Soul of Islam.”

 

 

Asra Nomani is an American author and former Georgetown University professor. She is also a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. She is co-director of the Pearl Project and the author of “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam”.

 

 

Raheel Raza is President of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, founding member of The Muslim Reform Movement, Director of Forum for Learning, award-winning journalist, public speaker, and advocate for human rights, gender equality, and dignity in diversity

 

 

Soraya M. Deen is a Lawyer and an award-winning international activist, and a community organizer. She is the founder of the Muslim Women speakers movement.

 

 

Saghar Erica Kasraie is the Executive Director of LIVING WATER Productions. Fluent in both English and Farsi, she is an Iran-born American and Middle East expert, human rights activist, and voice for vulnerable religious minorities, especially women and children.

 

 

 

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About MRM
The Muslim Reform Movement is a dedicated coalition of diverse western Muslim leaders founded in December 4, 2015. The MRM focuses on opposing a very real interpretation of Islam that espouses violence, social injustice, and political Islam.

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.

2/22/2022: Enes Kanter Freedom struggles against hypocritical elites

Enes Kanter Freedom struggles against hypocritical elites

by Zuhdi Jasser & Karys Rhea

It’s generally believed that the richer and more famous you are, the more power and influence you yield. Enes Kanter Freedom has proven that premise false.

For years, the NBA star has been desperately trying to draw attention to human rights abuses committed in China as well as his motherland of Turkey under the Islamist Erdogan regime. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has banned him from Turkey and is reportedly harassing his family.

Freedom himself identifies with the heterodox Gulenist movement of Turkey, an admittedly concerning and peculiar sect of Islam tied to the personality of Fethullah Gulen, who has been the subject of a number of investigations during his exile in Pennsylvania. That being said, Gulenist adherents in no way deserve the persecution they have endured at the hands of the Turkish government, which includes Erdogan’s official designation of them as a “terror” organization.

Last month, Freedom called out another Democrat, this time a Silicon Valley billionaire and part-owner of the Golden State Warriors, for dismissing human rights abuses in China. While the Celtics player may not be likely be characterized as a conservative, he is, to be sure, pro-freedom, pro-Western, and anti-Islamist (at least of the highly problematic Sunni Muslim Brotherhood and Shia Khomeinist varieties). The persecution of heterodox sects of Islam, from the Ahmadiya to the Ismailis to the Gulenists, reveals the deep-seated oppressive forces that dominate the global Islamist establishment and its autocratic facilitators that heroes such as Freedom have the courage to expose.

The answer could be found in plain view during a Lakers/Celtics post-game press conference in which LeBron James was confronted about his hypocritical ties to China that Freedom had criticized.

“He’s definitely not someone I would give my energy to,” James responded. “He’s trying to use my name to create an opportunity for himself. I definitely won’t comment too much on that.”

James’s patronization is telling. Self-serving hypocrites like him reveal the collective narcissism of the elites, already presumed to be on the right side of politics because they are towing the cultural party line. The narcissism is rancid when placed at the feet of the crimes against humanity they excuse from Xingang to Turkey.

In attacking the messenger, not the message, James is openly signaling that certain human rights issues do not garner followings based on celebrity status and that being famous doesn’t automatically lend credence to a cause being promoted. This is because the relationship by which people align themselves on popular cultural issues is a superficial one; they are not interested in the actual underlying ideology or principles at stake but in whether they can serve their narrow commercial and political interests by conforming to a view that has the presumption of a moral high ground. Virtue-signaling to movements that appear to be righteous allows them to gain cover for protecting and advancing their financial status.

This is why James does not have to address Nike’s use of Uyghur Muslims as slave labor or Turkey’s imprisonment of more journalists than any other nation. The only crimes against humanity that popular leftist culture rallies against are those not in conflict with their own interests. Picking up the issues of Uyghur slave labor will never become a cause celebre because corporate and Hollywood elites make millions off the Chinese economy and are motivated, above all, by self-preservation on the shoulders of genocidal tyrants.

Big corporations such as the NBA, the NFL, Apple, and Coca-Cola move where the market seems to give them the greatest benefit. They don’t have to support the interests of the black community; they can merely pay homage to the underlying ideology, and the masses will fail to detect the lack of evidence pointing to a heartfelt conviction.

Across the globe, dissident Muslim voices are marginalized by the bullying mobs of the red-green axis. This axis is a marriage of convenience between the dedicated liberals and illiberal Islamists, who have been successful in exploiting identity politics to further their goals. Enes Kanter Freedom, on the other hand, will have to continue to jump through hoops to get his honorable message out.

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, and a former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander. Karys Rhea is a writer and researcher living in Brooklyn.

December 21, 2021 “Combating International Islamophobia Act

AMERICAN ISLAMIC FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s “Combating International Islamophobia Act,” a first of its kind, recently passed the House of Representatives (219-212) in a strict party-line vote.

Established as a hysterical response to Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert’s no doubt rude and ill-advised “Jihad squad” remark, the bill dangerously calls for the establishment of, wait for it, an “Office to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia” in the Department of State. Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has now introduced the companion bill in the Senate.

While some critics believe this legislation is pure theatrics and won’t even be brought up for a vote, others surmise that senators will make changes before sending it back to the House, making it very possible that anti-blasphemy will now be codified into American law. This is not hyperbole.

The freest nation on earth is now unbelievably on the verge of creating a position in our State Department charged not with protecting inalienable human rights, but with protecting a faith ideology. This will be celebrated by our theocratic Islamist enemies across the world. The U.S. government will have a sanctioned “American Grand Mufti” who will determine what is, and what is not, Islam. Every American Muslim, especially anti-Islamist (anti-theocratic) Muslims, will be marginalized by the new US government arbiter on Islam.

To grasp how dangerous this bill is, it’s important to understand the origins and history of the term “Islamophobia.” It was operationalized by Islamist movements in the West, like the Muslim Brotherhood, in the late 20th century in order to silence western debate where Muslims are a minority, and prevent ideological diversity within emerging institutions of Islam. It was popularized by the ruthless theocrat Ayatollah Khomeini and his movement in 1989, when he issued a fatwa that imposed the death penalty on British author Salman Rushdie for his famous dissident novel “The Satanic Verses.” The term was then also repurposed internally within most Muslim majority countries under the “neo-caliphate” umbrella of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) where autocratic regimes would extinguish domestic dissent through torture, imprisonment, or death, under the guise of protecting God and His faith of Islam. In other words, it is a term that is used to jail critics of shariah tyranny and call them blasphemers.

Back here in the west, the charge of “Islamophobia” is wielded against anyone who criticizes the religion or its Islamists and Jihadists counterparts. As a result, the crimes of Islamist terrorists and their sponsors are whitewashed and obfuscated around the world in favor of political correctness. Pause. Reflect on what such an outpost in our Department of State will be serving?

Do not forget that the radicalized American Left is now pushing this theocratization of American Muslim identity. The Democratic Party just spent the last few years ripping America apart via the racialization of our nation and the foundations of our American principles. With this new Act, they are taking the weaponization of the label of “bigot” globally and handing it to Islamists to use with the full blessing of the American imprimatur. This is exactly what the global Red-green (Progressivist-Islamist) Axis does and has been doing at the United Nations for 80 years.

Never mind that Muslims like myself, who stand up against Islamist religious extremism, and who criticize imposition of shariah law and the abysmal treatment of women, gays and minorities in Islamist countries, are consistently and bizarrely also branded “Islamophobes” for doing so. On the contrary, we are the greatest defenders of genuine Muslim and non-Muslim rights. We at the pro-liberty, anti-Islamist Muslim Reform Movement are doing the actual work fighting anti-Muslim bigotry. This Orwellian office at the StateDepartment would only empower a look at the world through the binary Islamist lens of “Muslim and non-Muslim.”

We reformers constantly speak out against the atrocities committed throughout the world by Muslims against Muslims. So what will Congress do now, having passed this bill, when it confronts the uncomfortable fact that the vast majority of global attacks on Muslims are clearly committed by other Muslims?

The space that Omar’s bill creates for the suppression of countervailing ideas of liberalism is striking upon reading it. Its language reads like an OIC state manual, and even the statistics that are used to cite anti-Muslim bigotry in the bill’s press release are highly misleading, including referencing websites that have been thoroughly debunked as containing fraudulent data.

Not only did those who wrote it fail to consult with the State Department, but they do not even define what would apparently constitute “Islamophobia,” leaving open the possibility of reproval for anyone who says something negatively associated with Islam. Of even more concern is the repeated dangerous references to “incitement” language, which is code for an Orwellian control of free speech and protection of any “ideas” within “Islam” no matter how theocratic or repulsive they may be. Americans have already seen how this weapon is deployed by the “Establishment” against conservative thought. Now it is being weaponized globally on behalf of the “Islamist Establishment.”

This “anti-Islamophobia” position in the State Department will become a massive liability for our foreign policy. It will fulfill no other purpose than attacking western democratic nations (and of course Israel), while leaving millions of Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others to continue suffering at the hands of their tyrannical regimes. In other words, the supreme danger of this legislation is that it will give Islamists and Jihadists a free pass to commit genocide and ethnic cleansing against their fellow Muslims because it doesn’t fall under the purview of the Office of the American “Grand Mufti” of Islamophobia.

And given the foreign policy views of those who support this legislation, it will surely put the U.S. government in a position to withdraw protections granted by the First Amendment, as it will be increasingly difficult to draw attention to real human rights abuses by jihadists or Islamists without fear.

It is unthinkable that congress has come to this. Real anti-Muslim bigotry exists. But “Islamophobia” is a manufactured virtue signal that allows one to appear on the right side of social justice. This new and un-American position at State is named and founded on the racialization of an ideology, a faith — Islam. A party, the Democratic Party, that has repeatedly exaggerated the label of “bigotry” in order to suppress critical thinking now has the temerity to create a perch within our foreign policy apparatus that will weaponize the same Orwellian racialization of the faith of Islam that Islamist tyrannies do across the planet.

History will show that the Democratic Party of the 21st century has become the platform of Islamists, for Islamists.

Zuhdi Jasser is the founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, based in Phoenix, Arizona, and the co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. He is also a senior fellow for the Center for Security Policy and a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander. He is a former Vice-Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and author of the book, A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith. He is also a physician in private practice. Find him on Twitter: @DrZuhdiJasser.

December 1, 2021: Press Release – Muslim Reform Movement Opposes the Biden Administration’s Appointment of Rashad Hussain to Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

PRESS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Media Contact:

Mischel Yosick
Muslim Reform Movement
480 225 7473
mischel@zliberty.com

 

December 1, 2021

Muslim Reform Movement Opposes the Biden Administration’s Appointment of Rashad Hussain to Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

PHOENIX, Ariz. –  The Muslim Reform Movement, representing a global network of Muslims from the United States to Afghanistan, opposes the Biden administration’s appointment of Rashad Hussain to the position of U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, arguing that Mr. Hussain’s years of support for Islamist theocracies and autocracies rooted in Islamism, or political Islam, sends a dangerous message to Muslims around the world who oppose the hateful, divisive and bigoted ideology of Islamist governments and organizations.

The Muslim Reform Movement has long valued the importance of the U.S. State Department’s focus on international religious freedom across its diplomatic portfolios. As a diverse international coalition of Muslim reformers dedicated to defeating political Islam, many of us have long and very productive relationships with members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.

The position of Ambassador at-Large for International Religious Freedom is especially important since the person sets the agenda for religious freedom advocacy globally for the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. State Department.

The Muslim Reform Movement is concerned about President Biden’s appointment of Rashad Hussain to the post of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. While we certainly, as a Muslim coalition, welcome the appointment of a Muslim to the position, such an appointment, especially if a Muslim, should be filled by an individual with established credibility in fighting vigorously for the freedom of each and every individual persecuted for their faith beliefs by regimes across the planet. While Mr. Hussain may have given lip service, in his previous positions as “Special Envoy” from the U.S. to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in supposedly trying to protect the rights of non-Muslim minorities in the Muslim majority autocracies and theocracies that are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, his painful silence about the dangers embodied in Islamist movements, Islamist governance and their theocratic instruments of shariah, or Islamic law, underscores why he is not a sensible choice for this position.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and a cofounder ot the Muslim Reform Movement, said, “I served on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom USCIRF for four years from 2012 to 2016, and American Muslim organizations that serve as legacy groups for the Muslim Brotherhood are celebrating. They vociferously protested my appointment and now strongly support Rashad Hussain’s appointment as Ambassador at-Large for International Religious Freedom, just as they cheered his work as ‘Special Envoy’ to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. He paved the way for the inroad of Islamist groups, governments, and radicals to the United States, in his position as Organization of Islamic Cooperation Envoy and Observer for the United States under the Obama administration. There, he failed to be a voice for Muslims fighting the Islamist establishment, its ideology, and its crimes against Muslim dissidents across the world.”

As Muslims, we are dedicated to countering the idea of political Islam and its theocratic instruments that permeate the Islamist establishment globally. Mr. Hussain has been revealingly silent about the persecution of Muslim dissidents, including feminists, writers, poets, and artists, in Muslim majority nations where they face persecution, harassment, imprisonment, and even death. Mr. Hussain would have had to express the dangers of an Islamic theocracy and its shariah state, and to date he has failed to do so, instead pandering to those nations as “Special Envoy” from the U.S. to the OIC.

Asra Nomani, a cofounder of the Muslim Reform Movement, said, “With the rise of Rashad Hussain within his administration, President Biden is sending a dangerous and troubling message to the brave Muslim men and women around the world who are defenders of human rights for the LGBTQ+ community, women, artists, dissidents and others. Mr. Hussain has protected and advanced the illiberal values of Islamic theocracies that perpetuate a disturbing and hateful ideology of Muslim supremacy, male supremacy, privilege, racism and misogyny, denying most of the citizens of its societies fundamental human rights, equality, and dignity.”

The Muslim Reform Movement is concerned that a Muslim placed in this post as an Islamist apologist for theocracies will send a troubling message to Islamist states, governments, and movements across the world, from Pakistan to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, and Turkey, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami, to name just a few threats to America’s values of secularism and human and women’s rights. 

The U.S. will send a message to Muslims around the world that the United States supports global Islamist movements, not the individual human rights of Muslims in Muslim-majority countries. 

Raheel Raza, a cofounder of the Muslim Reform Movement, said, “Certainly, if President Biden is seeking to appoint a Muslim to this position, he can find a Muslim who has established a coherent track record against the ideologies of Muslim supremacy, ‘Islamic Republics’ and their state-sponsored terrorism against even Muslims who dare to challenge their tyranny. Mr. Hussain had many opportunities during his previous positions to reveal his positions against the global threat of Islamism and not only did he not do so, but he in fact also often gave lip service to Islamist groups and ideologies that our Muslim Reform Movement knows are the root cause of Muslim radicalization against Western secular liberalism.” 

This appointment will undermine the United States’ national security and further the agenda of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, its radicalization of Muslims and its support for Islamist anti-West establishments.

As Muslims who love our faith and our country, we at the Muslim Reform Movement would like to call attention to the fact, particularly, as Muslims are appointed to positions often because of their faith and beliefs, it is incumbent upon them to be leading the advocacy of freedom and liberty for all, not just Islamists. 

Also, as leaders, they must have demonstrated a track record against the theocratic ideology of Islamism as they work to advance the ideas of secular liberal democracy from which our U.S. constitutional system is derived. To put in place an Islamist sympathizer and apologist, like Rashad Hussain, who simply checks the box of Muslim diversity for the Biden administration is frankly offensive to Muslim dissidents and non-Muslims across the world, and it compromises our security.

We must appoint to U.S. leadership Muslims who affirm the values of secular governance and human rights for all members of a society, regardless of gender, sexuality or other identity markers.

Zuhdi Jasser – President & Founder, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Phoenix, Arizona
Asra Nomani – Journalist & Communications Consultant, Washington, DC
Raheel Raza – President, Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Toronto, Canada

 

ABOUT THE MUSLIM REFORM MOVEMENT

In December 2015, a number of reform-minded American Muslim organizations convened and launched the Muslim Reform Movement, a diverse coalition of over 15 Muslim organizations and leaders dedicated to reform for values of peace, human rights and secular governance. While each has their own Muslim organizations, work, and advocacy, together they form a diverse coalition defined by the values enshrined in their founding “Declaration of the Muslim Reform Movement” (See full document here). The founders are listed here.   

Find the coalition on social media at:
#MuslimReform
Twitter: @TheMuslimReform
Instagram: @TheMuslimReform
Facebook: Muslim Reform Movement

 

Hardwired interview with Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President and Founder of AIFD, November 3, 2021

Dear supporters and friends,

Recently, Dr. Jasser spoke with Tina Ramirez, Hardwired Global’s Founder and President, to discuss how he has promoted universal human rights in his community – including gender equality, freedom of conscience, religion, speech and expression – and stood against the politicization of his faith. He has faced many challenges but has stood firm against any attacks on these freedoms and his ability to defend them.

May 12, 2021 Blessed Holiday of the Feast ( Eid Mubarak) on Eid Al-Fitr

Eid Mubarak! – AIFD wishes all of our friends a Blessed Holiday of the Feast ( Eid Mubarak) on Eid Al-Fitr, May 12, 2021As the month of fasting, reflection and atonement of Ramadan ends tonight at sundown, we at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy would like to wish Muslims around the world “Eid Mubarak”(a blessed holiday) as tonight and tomorrow, we celebrate Eid al-Fitr, (the holiday of the feast) the celebration marking the close of Ramadan.
We hope and pray that this month has allowed each of us to discover a renewed sense of spiritual solace. With global and domestic strife sadly aplenty, this past year since last Ramadan has been especially trying in often isolation and pressures on all fronts. We hope that you all join us in rededicating ourselves to our families, our purpose, our humanity, our faith in our country, our duty to protect our nation, and our duty to protect our world from the radical savagery of militant Islamism. May our prayers for all those who suffer in conflict and in need in our nation and abroad also be heard.
AIFD has had many opportunities to share our mission during this time of sacrifice, reflection and spiritual growth, and we thank those of you have offered your blessings and wishes for continued success and to those who continue to support our efforts through donations, with whom without, we could not exist.
Yours forever in liberty,

All of us at the,American Islamic Forum for Democracy

 

March 16, 2021: Europe’s Experience on Islamism Is a Cautionary Tale for the United States

Newsweek
March 16, 2021
by: M. Zuhdi Jasser, President & Founder, AIFD

 

Is anyone paying attention to what’s happening in Europe? If you care about freedom in the West, take a look now. Fault lines between Islamists and the secular West, etched over generations and deepened and fortified by failed post-9/11 policies, have tectonically shifted. Nearly written off by some, European nations are suddenly taking serious and significant action to push back in earnest against encroaching Islamist separatism and radicalization. And the United States, as an observer, stands to learn a lot.

In 2020, as the world remained deeply embroiled in the pandemic, France, Austria, and much of the rest of the European Union (EU) began to confront the Islamist ideological monster within their borders. Led by French President Emmanuel Macron and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, European leaders seem to have woken up from their slumber and realized it wasn’t just the militant Islamist acts of terrorism that they needed to defeat—rather, it was the ideas that incubated them, political Islam or Islamism.

The importance of this moment in history and the accuracy of Macron’s diagnoses of Islamism within his country’s borders is highlighted by the fact that some of the world’s leading Islamist demagogues, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called for the boycott of French products in late October. Macron swiftly and defiantly responded, “We will not give in, ever.”

France’s 2020 front in the cultural war against Islamism was sparked by the October 16 beheading of Samuel Paty, a middle school teacher who had the courage to simply discuss what happened in the massacre of the Charlie Hebdo staff in 2015, when the magazine staffers showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

After Paty’s murder, Macron responded swiftly by defending free speech and defending France’s character and values. He sped up his plans for a coordinated, all-of-government approach against “Islamist separatism.” Macron has thus begun to lead his country in a long-overdue conversation that targets the root cause of the Islamist threat to France—”Islamist separatism.” Many of us dedicated to Muslim reform against Islamism have been actually calling for such an open conversation for a long time.

In a series of speeches since Paty’s murder, Macron has laid bare why Islamism is inherently separatist and “rejects freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and the right to blaspheme.” He correctly laid the diagnosis and blame at the feet of leaders across the globe who are in “crisis” and fomenting “jihad.” He has called for the de-“ghettoization” of Muslim communities. Macron introduced legislation reawakening France’s “republican principles” and directly confronting Islamism’s incompatibilities. He lifted up “laicite”—France’s dominant constitutional principle and consciousness of secularism—as the nation’s “cement.” Macron essentially declared war on foreign influence in Muslim institutions, blocking funding while surveilling mosques and imams as well as other professions.

To be clear, Islamism is the religio-political-cultural belief system that the state should have an Islamic identity and be guided only by shariah law (Islamic jurisprudence). Islamists are part of a global political movement that ultimately seeks power and international hegemony. Like all totalitarian systems, Islamism is not compatible with Western secular democratic ideals. Not all Muslims are Islamists, but all Islamists are Muslims. And while Muslim migrants in Europe are not a monolithic bloc, among them are innumerable Islamists and Islamist-sympathizers.

Macron rightly stated that the “republican reawakening” could help nourish a form of Islam compatible with Enlightenment values. It is this kind of tough love that is essential to embracing Muslim immigrants with dignity, as adults—rather than with a bigotry of low expectations that leaves them vulnerable to radicalization.

In parallel, Austria’s 2020 front in its cultural war against Islamists was sparked by a terror attack conducted by an Austrian ISIS supporter in Vienna on November 2, 2020, which left four dead and 23 injured. The attack spurred Austria into action, as Chancellor Kurz almost immediately announced a new policy:

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“In the fight against political Islam, we will create a criminal offense called ‘political Islam’ in order to be able to take action against those who are not terrorists themselves, but who create the breeding ground for such. There will be further possibilities for the closure of places of worship, the introduction of an imams register…and measures will be taken to drain financial flows for terrorist financing.”

This is a culmination of programs that began when Kurz took office. Austria had already implemented a hijab ban in primary schools, as well as a face veil ban. Austrian law enforcement raided the offices of 60 Hamas- and Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations last November, following the Vienna attack, and shut down some mosques connected to the terrorist ideology. On December 9, President Macron and Chancellor Kurz met with fellow EU leader German Chancellor Angela Merkel in order to develop a pan-European strategy of decreasing the infiltration of radical Islamist ideology into their nations.

Hany Ghoraba wrote for IPT News that these leaders looked to apply “swift removal of terrorist content online and establish one common instrument for all member states to this effect. …This would give the European Parliament authority in EU member states to order service providers to remove terrorist content or disable access to it.”

But Europe—and Austria, in particular—should take note here. “Bad ideas”—like political Islam—will only be defeated by “better ideas.” The U.S. legal system has long upheld a very narrow definition of incitement of violence (Brandenburg v. Ohio), lest the government head down the slippery slope of censorship that violates our unalienable right to freedom of expression

The outlawing of “hate speech” historically never works well. Time and again, the suppression of Islamist movements has only empowered them as they flourished underground and were shielded from the antiseptic effect of public exposure and competition from more appealing movements.

Will this cultural war declared by Macron and Kurz work? In the end, there is no other option. The sooner they confront political Islam, the better. Continuing the prior policy of appeasement will only invite continued attacks on our secular and liberal way of life.

Europe is a cautionary tale for the United States. We must not continue the course that France and Austria are now only attempting to alter at great cost. We must also recognize that Americanism is uniquely situated to be the West’s “last best hope” against Islamism.

We must stand together against foreign ideas that are incompatible with our social and constitutional compact. Mobilize our greatest weapons against separatism and theocracy—Americanism on every plane and every front we can. Lead with an offense of reform-minded Muslims who would die for our secular republics and reject the supremacist appeal of the jihad. The sooner we stand up for our shared American values, the better off we will all be.