Imam Siraj Wahhaj comes to the valley
This weekend the Arizona Muslim Alliance (AMA) is having its first annual “Celebrate Unity Leadership Summit”. This summit is to be held at the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley in Scottsdale, Arizona on Saturday, November 23, 2019 for most of the day. The summit will feature the so-called “unifying” speaker and Islamic scholar–Imam Siraj Wahhaj. Wahhaj will also be touring other AMA affiliated mosques in the Phoenix Valley on Friday, November 22, 2019.
Wahhaj is a notorious, well known radical Islamist anti-American cleric whose dossier of Islamist and separatist ideologies is legendary in the United States, even for the dyed-in-the-wool Islamist Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups. The fact that this local upstart “coalition” of mosques –the AMA– is sponsoring Wahhaj and using his radical type as their first impression on the Valley and our Muslim communities is both very revealing and thus consequential in understanding the ideological underpinnings of various mosque leadership involved in this consortium of so called “unity” organization of many of the mosques in the Valley– the Arizona Muslim Alliance.
We call on Arizonans and especially our Muslim communities to speak out against the fringe ideas of Siraj Wahhaj and guard against his likes and radicalization under the guise of unity.
In fact, apropos to the subject of unity Imam Siraj Wahhaj famously said:
“A brother asked me yesterday. He said, ‘brother Imam Siraj, after you do all this traveling around the country, around the world, what would you like to focus on? What would you like to be your area of focus?’ I said working on the unity of the Muslims. Because you know what brothers and sisters, if we were united nobody could stop us. You wouldn’t have to vote for Bush or Clinton. No, you wouldn’t have to. If we were united and strong we’d elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. And the rest of the world, take my word, 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us” – October 1992. (IPT)
Wahhaj has never repudiated those remarks nor any of the troves of decades of speeches, work, commentary, and radicalization we are about to share with you.
The Arizona Muslim Alliance and its leadership must be held accountable to this man’s ideas and leadership- the man they chose among so many others in America to launch their “celebrating unity leadership summit”
What is this new organization, the Arizona Muslim Alliance?
After you learn below who and what Wahhaj stands for, you may get a better understanding of what the leaders of our local Muslim communities actually agree to have influence their followers and youth. In fact looking at the Arizona Muslim Alliance mission proves this synergy with Imam Wahhaj.
- Their motto is “AZ Muslims in Unison”. Are they intending to push the impression that Siraj Wahhaj speaks for all local Muslims “in unison”?
- Arizona Corporation Commission lists Arizona Muslim Alliance, Inc. with an address of the same address as the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley (in Scottsdale) [Arizona Muslim Alliance] and filed by Arizona Muslim Alliance Director Sarfaraz Sheikh. The following members as their Board of Directors: Kristy Sabbah, Ahmed Ewasha, Ahmed Hashim, and Salaheddine Tomeh. The Corporation commission lists the “known place of business” as the same address as the address of Salaheddine Tomeh of the Arizona Cultural Academy, a private Islamic K-12 school.
- Their posted Vision, Mission, Philosophy and policies:
- The AMA is a platform to “bring together the Muslim community in Arizona and act as a unified voice to address the religious, social, economic, and political needs of the Muslims in this land.
- Vision: “to be the unifying Federation of Muslim organizations in Arizona, the leading advocate of the diverse Muslim community, and a catalyst for enriching the society at large”
- Mission: “uniting the Muslim community in Arizona by establishing effective communication, enhancing cooperation, sharing resources, and correlating activities among Arizona’s Muslim organizations. Representing and defending the interest of Arizona Muslims. Enhancing Muslim participation in the public sphere; encouraging cooperation and partnership with other religious and civic groups for the common good; providing services not available nor provided by individual member organizations.”
- Philosophy and policies: they report complying by local state and federal government law. They “will not interfere with member organization procedures, operations, and finances.” They “will represent the interests of main stream [sic] Arizona Muslims who are integral part of the citizens of Arizona… a diverse community, not limited to certain race national origin or ethnicity”. Note that no mention is made of ideological diversity. This is a Islamist monolithic coalition of the Islamist establishment in Maricopa County.
- They define main stream [sic] Islam as:
- “a complete way of life guided by the authentic sources of Islam; the glorious quarter and in the authentic tradition of the Prophet Mohammed”
- “Other traditions, man-made rules, cultures and ethnic behaviors and traditions are not considered as sources of AMA however, reserves the right to follow a ruling agreed upon by the majority of Islamic scholars”– if this isn’t a central Islamist separatist doctrine we don’t know what is.
- Organizationally: it is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization apparently with an assembly of voting within a ‘House of Representatives’?
- The rest of their definitions and policies are noted at this link.
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy has previously done in-depth exposes on many of the local imams. It most notably included an in depth expose on “Exposing the ‘Flying Imams’” from the Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2008 edition. Therein, Dr. Jasser exposed the backgrounds, ideologies and track records of some of the leading local imams here in Arizona that led to the case, Ahmed Shqeirat et al. vs. U.S. Airways. Sure enough, the lead contact imam for Imam Wahhaj’s Celebrating Unity event here in Arizona is again, Ahmed Shqeirat of the Islamic Community Center of Tempe (ICCP).
Additionally, Dr. Jasser wrote this expose for the Arizona Republic on August 23, 2014: “Muslim: I was bullied for criticizing Hamas”. Dr. Jasser laid out how he became the subject of the Eid (Holiday) sermon on so-called Islamophobia by Imam Yaser Ali at the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley who in speaking against Dr. Jasser, said, “even Muslims can be against their own community”. Dr. Jasser further noted,
Even in America, leading Muslim organizations and clerics bully with threats of ostracism those Muslims who dare to dissent. Old-guard ideologues, too, used to monopoly control, make it crystal clear to their Muslim critics: Take us on and we will make an example of you as a traitor to the Muslim community (the ummah)… Intimidation and intolerance, from the bully pulpit by imams like Yaser Ali, are symptoms of a much deeper and broader conflict between political Islam (Islamism) and modernity — and more specifically, liberal democracy. Reform will not come easily. It must come from within, driven by both love for our faith and frank public critique of our leaders. But it cannot be done without the support of our non-Muslim allies, for universal human rights, freedom of conscience and, indeed, American security hang in the balance.
There has since been little to warrant exposure on our state or national platforms to goings on locally here in Arizona. However this weekend’s upcoming visit by the radical Islamist, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, brings home all of the areas, AIFD has been working to reform locally, nationally, and globally for years since our founding.
This new local coalition organization of the local Islamist establishment, the Arizona Muslim Alliance stands in stark contradiction to the principles of our reformist and anti-Islamist coalition- the Muslim Reform Movement. See our Declaration and compare and contrast what we stand for versus what the Islamists of the Arizona Muslim Alliance claim to stand for while living in this great land of freedom, the United States of America.
Who is Siraj Wahhaj?
When Dr. Zuhdi Jasser’s Simon & Schuster book, “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save his Faith” came out in 2012 he noted that Imam Wahhaj’s keynote speech at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America in 1995 was the entire reason he was moved to dedicating his life to defeating the Islamist ideology. Dressed in his Navy
uniform, having represented the National Naval Medical Center at the Islamic Medical Association that met in conjunction with the ISNA meeting, Dr. Jasser saw Imam Wahhaj hold up the Qur’an and declare his desire to replace the US Constitution with the Holy Qur’an and to make America into an Islamic state. Read the three page excerpt from his book about Siraj Wahhaj (Pages 85-87).
Eight years later, Dr. Jasser would found the American Islamic Forum for Democracy to fight that very insurgency of the Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the West.
Wahhaj is an Islamist imam with a long track record of separatism and anti-American anti-semitic vitriol. This imam has a long track record of vilifying America the society it citizens and its culture. The following is only a smattering of many of the radical comments he has made and while the Arizona Muslim Alliance (AMA) claims to be a “diverse” organization, they all seem to have agreed to bring one of the most notoriously radical imams in the United States. When all is said and done, the AMA leadership selected this leader to represent them and teach their population here locally while they claim to be a diverse organization. There are obvious reasons truly moderate, pro-American, reformist Muslim organizations locally are not part of this Arizona Muslim Alliance and will likely not only never be a member, but will continue to confront their Islamist separatism which they peddle under the rubric of pan-Islamic “unity”. This AMA is simply another Muslim brotherhood legacy group with a penchant to amplify the voices of anti-American separatism and radicalization of leading Islamist icons like Siraj Wahhaj.
Siraj Wahhaj Jr and the recent New Mexico 2018 terror cell
Court records identified that children in a camp were being starved and trained in jihad to imminently shoot up a school and a hospital. After the state of New Mexico incredulously dropped the ball and charges were dismissed as time ran out on them, the FBI and DOJ then moved in with their own charges against the cell leaders. The federal government now controls the fate of the cell. Following the initial raid, authorities confirmed that the body of the three-year old found in the compound was that of Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj. Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj is the grandson of radical Islamist preacher Siraj Wahhaj, Sr coming this weekend to teach Arizona Muslims how to unite. Out of the five suspects arrested in this case, one is Siraj Ibn Wahhaj’s son, and another two are his daughters.
This case and what happened with the younger generation of the Wahhaj family will likely demonstrate the pathways of how American Muslims are often radicalized. Granted, there is no evidence that the senior Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. had anything to do with the New Mexico compound and his children’s jihadi terror training camp. In a Facebook video the day after the story broke, he stated that he “want[ed] to find out what happened, what made [his] children act in such a dramatic way.” We at AIFD believe that his non-violent Islamist preaching spawned the separatist, violent Islamism that we saw in the New Mexico compound. The apples do not fall far from the insurgent, separatist tree of Islamism (whether or not imam Wahhaj taught violence or non-violent). But see his teachings below.
Since the New Mexico jihadi compound story broke, the mainstream media has gone to great lengths to avoid any in-depth coverage of this story. Clearly, the mainstream media is protecting the senior Wahhaj’s reputation as well as that of the major network of organizations to which he is tied. Had Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. not been related to this story, the coverage would have been very different. In cases of terrorism linked directly to the families of prominent Islamist activists and preachers, the American Muslim community finds itself at a defining moment.
How American Muslims learn and respond to the slippery slope of non-violent Islamism and its inherent separatism, as evidenced in the Wahhaj family, is critical. Will we remain in hopeless denial of the evils of Islamism? Will we as a diverse ideological community continue to allow the Islamist “establishment” to dominate and oppress our communities? Or will we finally garner the strength to stand up to Islamism and its separatism? The Wahhaj family patriarch planted the seeds of Islamist separatism for decades. His hateful rhetoric spreads both within his family and in leadership positions throughout our communities. We can stay silent and enable this radicalization process, or we can fight with every fiber of our being against Islamist brainwashing.
While CAIR offered condolences and support for the Wahhaj family in September 2018 when it was exposed that Imam Wahhaj’s children were involved in a terror cell his grandchildren were found in atrocious Third World conditions and a three-year-old died in an exorcism. Rather than acknowledge the role that the imam might have played and radicalization of his own children and thus his grandchildren, CAIR instead thanked him for his contributions and wanted Americans to believe that we still owe him a great debt. They even had the temerity “to condemn as hate groups those who will use this as an opportunity to smear the man”.
Wahhaj is a leading fundraiser for major American Islamist organizations
He is a leading fundraiser and preacher for major American Islamist organizations like CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America), MAS (Muslim American Society), and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America). , Abdulrahman Alamoudi, the head of the American Muslim Council (AMC) the organization that invited him to give the first Muslim invocation to the US Congress in 1991, is still serving time for trafficking over $300,000 cash from Libyan dictator Gaddafi in a plot to assassinate then Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in addition to other terror finance charges. This was likely an Al Qaeda operation. And Wahhaj still speaks highly of his time giving the first Muslim invocation to Congress, and conveniently ignores that the organization that made it happen has dissolved as its head joined the work of Al Qaeda.
Imam Siraj Wahhaj in his own words—a radical Islamist
- Supremacy of the Islamic state: Imam Wahhaj has a long history of endorsing the supremacy of his Islamic state over the United States or a Western country. He has told his followers according to Paul Barrett in the Wall Street Journal October 24, 2003, quote that: “a society governed by strict Islamic law in which adulterers would be stoned to death and thieves would have their hands cut off, would be superior to American democracy.”
- 9-11 truther: Referring to unnamed forces in the government and media he preached “these people want the destruction of Islam” Paul Barrett, WSJ “One Imam Trades the Path of Islam in Black America” October 24, 2003. He further said, “Why is even a truth or who brushed off evidence that Osama bin Laden’s involvement in 9/11 was obvious.” He dismisses bin Laden’s own video pronouncements claiming responsibility for the terror attacks and prefers to remain neutral. He thought it may be a media ruse: “I’m just not so sure want to be the one of the ones who say yeah he did it. He’s a horrible man”
- Wants the defeat of America: “if only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replaces constitutional government with a caliphate. If we were united and strong, we would elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. Take my word of 8 million Muslims united America the country will come to us.” Source
- Close to ’93 World Trade Center bombing master mind, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman: In the early 1990s he sponsored talks by Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman in mosques in New York City and New Jersey. Abdel-Rahman was later convicted for conspiring to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993 and Wahhaj was designated a potential unindicted co-conspirator. Source
- Close to Al Qaeda operative Alamoudi: As noted above, in that video clip, Wahhaj becoming the first Muslim to provide an opening prayer to the United States Congress. On that same day he was sponsored by the American Muslim Council and its executive director Abdulrahman Alamoudi, an Al Qaeda operative who was later convicted and is currently serving a 25 year sentence for conspiring with the Libyan government to assassinate the king of Saudi Arabia as well as on terrorism charges.
- Horrifically anti-Western. In an audio tape recording where Wahhaj was speaking on “the Afghanistan Jihad” on September 28, 1991 he said, “and he alone declared, ‘whoever is at war with my friends, I declare war on them’, ‘who is a friend of Allah your true friend is Allah, the messenger, and those who believe!’ Americans and Canadians? Hear it well hear what I’m telling you well. The Americans are not your friends, hear what I’m telling you hear it well. The Canadians are not your friends. Here what I’m telling you. Hear it well. The Europeans are not your friends. Your friend is Allah, the messenger and those who believe. Those people will never be satisfied with you until you follow their religion. They will never be satisfied with you.” Source
- America is the devil and these punishments are commanded: In this audio he says, “I swear by God, I swear by God, the American government is controlled by Shaitan (the devil)…no doubt about it… If you commit zina (fornication) the punishment is 100 lashes. If you commit adultery the punishment is death by stoning, capital punishment…When you steal, God is angry, cut off their hands”… Woww to the Muslims who take Kafirs as friends. Kafirs will take you away to the remembrance of Allah… surrounded by kafirs making the hearts of our children corrupt. Do not hang out with the non-Muslims. You talk just like them. They are corrupt.” Listen below to video or see full transcript provided by Middle East Forum here.
- On homosexuality:“Brothers and sisters, I don’t believe any of you are homosexual. This is a disease of this society. According to the Kinsey report, some 10% of the American people are homosexual. Over 25 million Americans, one out of ten. Men who prefer men, sexually, and women who prefer women. Now, there may be some who have some little tendency, maybe, among the Muslims, among us, allahu alam, I don’t think so, but hopefully today’s khutbah can get rid of that if you have it in your heart.And number two, I want you to be able to defend against these homosexuals, so you have good argument, Inshallah, and also to remind you last week what I told you, the news that we got from Toronto, supposedly of some Muslims coming out of the closet. Homosexuals, Muslims in Toronto, who want to establish a mosque over the land, for the gays, Muslim gays. We are against that 100%. We don’t accept it. We will never accept it, no matter how much the American government and the Canadian government legislate it in the laws that it is acceptable, it will never be acceptable by the Muslims.” See the full transcript of this video provided by the Middle East Forum here. Listen below:
- Why Muslims should get involved in politics: “I just want to say this. Brothers and sisters, in my opinion what the Muslims do in America will have a profound effect on Muslims everywhere on this earth. As long as you remember that if you get involved with politics, you have to be very careful that your leader is for Allah. You don’t get in politics because it’s the American thing to do. You get involved in politics because politics can be a weapon to use in the cause of Islam.” –source
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a Muslim led think tank and activist non-profit organization based in Phoenix, AZ, addresses the root cause of the domestic and international threat of radical Islamist terrorism. 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 and is dedicated to providing an American Muslim voice calling for genuine reform against Islamism and the ideologies which fuel global Muslim radicalization.
About M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.Dr. Jasser, president and founder of AIFD, and co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, is the author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith“, and is also founder of Take Back Islam. Dr. Jasser is an American Muslim and son of Syrian immigrants who fled Ba’athist oppression in 1966. Zuhdi is a physician in private practice and a former US Navy officer. He is a former commissioner and Vice-Chair of U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) appointed by the U.S. Senate serving from 2012-2016. An internationally recognized expert on Islamism, Dr. Jasser is widely published in the field and is featured in many top tier media. He regularly testifies to the U.S. Congress on the threat of global Islamism and domestic and foreign counter-ideology strategy. Zuhdi’s work is dedicated to championing universal human rights rooted in an American and Western identity from within the “House of Islam”. Twitter: @DrZuhdiJasser
Phone: 480 225 7473
CAIR Silent on the Death of ISIS Founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
On Sunday, President Donald Trump announced the death of Islamic State (ISIS) founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. While Americans celebrated the demise of this Islamist terrorist – who had brutally murdered many Muslims, Christians, homosexuals, and more – the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which bills itself as America’s largest Muslim civil rights group, remained strangely silent.
A PJ Media review of CAIR’s Twitter account and press releases found many tweets and press statements drawing attention to CAIR’s upcoming gala but not a single mention of Baghdadi’s death. Nihad Awad, CAIR’s executive director, has not tweeted in about a week.
The organization has not responded to PJ Media’s request for comment.
This seems particularly strange, given that even Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) – an outspoken Muslim congresswoman who works closely with CAIR – publicly celebrated Baghdadi’s death. “Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was an evil man and a terrorist, who terrorized the world with violence and a message of hate. The world is a safer place without him,” Omar tweeted. “We have deep gratitude for the brave men and women who carried out this dangerous operation.”
M. Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim reformer who is founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), drew attention to two statements shared by local CAIR leaders. Jasser, who fights Islamism and Sharia supremacy, champions American-style freedoms and the separation of mosque and state. He noticed an anti-American trend in the local CAIR statements and a tendency to whitewash the Islamist roots of the Islamic State.
Hussam Ayloush, executive director at CAIR Greater Los Angeles, used Baghdadi’s death as an opportunity to … blame America and Israel for terrorism.
“The death of Al-Baghdadi will reduce terrorism, but not end it. Here’s how we end it,” Ayloush began. “Baghdadi’s terror career started in a U.S. torture prison after an illegal and immoral U.S. invasion of Iraq. Baghdadi’s terrorism, for the most part, harmed the people of Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and others and their struggle for freedom. His ISIS terrorism served all the repressive governments that opposed freedom and democracy in that region.”
Ayloush warned that “unless the root cause of the problem is addressed, bloody symptoms such as Baghdadi, Bin Laden, and Joulani [a Syrian terrorist leader] will continue to surface and cause mayhem on innocent people. The root cause is the tyranny and abuses brought down by the autocratic regimes of people like Assad, Sisi, MBS, MBZ, Khamenei, and other dictators and by Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies against the people of that region.”
He warned that terrorism can only be eliminated when Western governments “stop supporting, funding, arming, and protecting such despotic regimes and their practices,” a status quo which involves “the brutal suppression of Muslims and Islam’s universal social justice order (driven by centuries of Western Islamophobia).”
That Islamic “universal social justice order” might be a reference to Sharia (Islamic law), and a desire to see governments in the region enshrine Islamic religious law as civil law. While Ayloush and CAIR interpret Sharia differently than the Islamic State, this Sharia supremacism actually inspired Baghdadi and ISIS to carry out their acts of terrorism. The Islamic State was an attempt to unite Islamic lands under Baghdadi as Caliph – who claimed to be the successor to Mohammed – and create a government run by Sharia.
Yet Ayloush was not the only local CAIR leader to address Baghdadi’s death. CAIR-Arizona Executive Director Imraan Siddiqi retweeted a long statement from Huthaifa Shqeirat (son of the Senior Imam of the Phoenix, Ariz.-area mosque), in which Shqeirat also blamed America for Baghdadi’s radicalism.
“Baghdadi was not a Caliph; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. A demon molded by the cruelty of US soldiers in Abu Ghraib and then set loose to terrorize the local population. As he was killing Muslims, those who created him kept pointing the finger of blame at his victims,” Shqeirat tweeted. He dismissed those who call Baghdadi a “product of Islam” as “fools,” saying the would-be Caliph was not a “Muslim scholar.”
“Bin Laden and Baghdadi are merely symptoms, and unless we seriously address the role of the US in cultivating environments that facilitate the growth and development of terrorism, we will relive this entire cycle again and again, with a worse villain each and every time,” Shqeirat concluded.
“Even when they speak up, they blame America,” Jasser told PJ Media. “I think it’s because their narrative is to blame America for Baghdadi, so their default is to say nothing.”
‘They don’t see ISIS for what it is – a natural manifestation of Islamism, Salafi-Jihadism, and Caliphism,” Jasser added. The messages from local CAIR leaders also confirm “their disgust for America and grotesque penchant to conspiratorially blame America for our own sharia supremacism.”
“They are so deeply anti-American that they can’t even celebrate a victory of the death of the greatest stain on Muslims in the world at the hands of American patriots,” the Muslim reformer told PJ Media. “Instead they again spew a narrative that further radicalized Muslims instead of proclaiming victory of good over evil. They basically claim that we are the source of the evil. That is Islamism.”
“That response is classic ‘Ikhwani,’ the Muslim Brotherhood ‘avoidance’ response to dealing with the salafi-jihadists like al-Qaeda and ISIS, from which they are ideologically upstream,” Jasser concluded.
CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding case, and wiretap surveillance reportedly captured proof that CAIR’s original mission was to assist “Sister Samah,” which the government claimed was its founder’s code-name for Hamas. CAIR opened its first office with a $5,000 grant from the Holy Land Foundation.
CAIR claims that the unindicted co-conspirator label is misleading and that it does not maintain connections to Hamas or any other terror group. This Muslim organization’s advocacy is notably different from the extreme positions of Islamist groups like Hamas – CAIR champions LGBT people while under Hamas homosexuality is punishable by death, for instance.
However, CAIR’s silence on the death of Baghdadi is troubling, as is the trend of local CAIR leaders condemning America rather than addressing the Islamist roots of ISIS.
CAIR’s history of attempting to silence critics is also troubling. Joining with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), CAIR has pressured charities to blacklist conservative nonprofits falsely branded “anti-Muslim hate groups.” Early this month, CAIR and the SPLC pressured Mar-a-Lago into cancelling an event with ACT for America, an organization Jasser and other Muslim reformers gladly partner with in the fight against Islamism. After that success, CAIR launched a second campaign against the Center for Security Policy.
Muslims should follow the lead of Zuhdi Jasser in condemning Sharia supremacy, rather than blaming America for the terrorist leader who died in a raid carried out by U.S. troops. American foreign policy blunders did allow for the rise of ISIS, but Muslims cannot overlook the Islamist inspiration of this terrorist group.
Fox News – Spirited Debate
October 25, 2019
One of the religious liberty cases the Supreme Court Justices won’t be hearing this term is the issue of Maryland High School student Caleigh Wood, who refused to take part in a school assignment to write the Islamic conversion prayer that states “… there is no god but Allah,” because she believed it directly contradicted her Christian faith.
The High Court denied a petition filed on behalf of the 11th grader, angering one conservative commentator who saw it as caving in to the indoctrination in schools and on college campuses.
“This is not just a violation of the First Amendment but an ongoing, albeit subtle, diffusion of Islam in our Western society,” the Rev. Mario Alex Protello wrote.
Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of Thomas More Law Center, which filed the petition on Wood’s behalf said, “The schools are promoting Islam over Christianity or any other religion, and you have a double standard, which we think is a violation of the establishment clause.” Thompson also said in the firm’s press release, “Under the pretext of teaching history or social studies, public schools across America are promoting the religion of Islam in ways that would never be tolerated for Christianity or any other religion.”
Thompson said that on top of getting an F in the class, Wood was also made to watch a pro-Islam “PowerPoint presentation that denigrated her religion and basically said that Christians are not as faithful as Muslims. So we strongly believed that this was a violation.”
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in February that the assignment to write the Islamic conversion prayer … did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Charles County Public Schools released a statement after the Supreme Court’s denial saying, “The decision reaffirms a favorable U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruling earlier this year that the school did not “impermissibly endorse any religion and did not compel Wood to profess any belief.”
One Muslim scholar strongly disagrees. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, said:
“They made this the student recite the Islamic call to call of witness a prayer, which makes her a Muslim. That’s absurd.”
Jasser said the High Court should have taken the case. He said it would have been an opportunity to challenge the ideologies of a brand of Islam that has produced ISIS and other terror groups.
“The theocratic interpretations of Islam are really what we need to defeat, which is the establishment of the Islamic leadership,” Jasser added, “and the Establishment Clause in America is really the … nuclear way to defeat political Islam.”
October 13, 2019
It’s been 18 years, but 9/11 is still affecting the lives of Muslims in the West. This week’s has a spirited discussion about sharia law, political Islam and Western colonialism in the Middle East.
In this episode:
On his trip to Australia earlier this year, American Muslim commentator Dr Zuhdi Jasser says Salafists and Wahhabis have too much influence over what is taught in mosques in the West, but Dr Yassir Morsi disagrees, saying Australian Muslims are much more diverse than they’re given credit for. They are joined by Dr Chloe Patton from RMIT University’s School of Global and Social Studies where she researches Islamophobia.
The idea of ‘creeping sharia’ persists in Australian political discourse — particularly around election time. But implementing religious law in civil statutes happens in Australia more often than you might think, to little concern at all. So what does that look like?
Islamism is a term so broad it covers everything from the theocrats of the Saudi Royal Family, to their sworn enemy Al Qaeda, to completely non-violent, democratic Islamist parties of South-East Asia. Religiously-inspired political parties are common across the world, but nobody can agree if they are a threat to democracy or the purest expression of it.
Dr Zuhdi Jasser is founder and president of the American Islamic Forum of Democracy. He’s the author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save his Faith, and he was in Australia on a speaking tour earlier this year.
Dr Yassir Morsi is lecturer in politics at La Trobe University and author of Radical Skin, Moderate Masks: De-Radicalising the Muslim and Racism in Post-racial Societies.
Dr Chloe Patton is an academic at RMIT University’s School of Global and Social Studies. She researches Islamophobia and was formerly research fellow at London’s Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations.
To achieve our mission we need your help, together we can lead the conversation and movement
We need your financial support to continue confronting the ideologies of political Islam
© Copyright 2016 American Islamic Forum for Democracy