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,

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.

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February 4, 2020: United Islamists of America

February 4, 2020

United Islamists of America
by: David Swindle

One of most prominent Muslims in America today is the cleric Omar Suleiman, founder and leader of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research. This Salafi theologian and improbable progressive activist is one of many radical preachers who have exploited the rise of identity politics in America to move beyond their roles as minor religious voices and to appoint themselves instead as a representative voices of all Muslims. Suleiman’s incongruous ability to combine his hardline theology with progressive activism has gotten him far. In 2019, he was given the opportunity to deliver the invocation for the opening of Congress, invited by Nancy Pelosi in spite of his well-documented extremist positions.

But Suleiman’s odd brand of “theo-progressivism” can only get him so far. Now, he is (successfully) seeking the support of other clerics and community leaders from rival Islamic sects. This new-found unity among Islamic communities stands in stark contrast to the internal politics of Islam and Islamism in the past, in which religious disagreements have long divided potential partners.

Clerics of two theocratic movements in particular – Arabia’s Salafis and South Asia’s Deobandis – have spent over a century denouncing each other’s theologies, only pausing, occasionally, for tactical alliances. Over the past few years, however, ecumenical attitudes have begun to change among Western Islamist clerics. As an increasing number of modernist preachers from both movements have stepped forward to establish new forward-facing organizations, cautious longer-term partnerships between the clerical components of the two movements have begun to emerge – providing us with a glimpse of American Islamism in the years to come.

This new-found inclusiveness was recently evident in September 2019, when a Deobandi Islamist seminary, the Institute of Knowledge (IOK) hosted its “Ilmspiration” Conference in Anaheim, California. The purpose of the day-long event was to bring together 14 Islamist scholars and imams from the IOK and two other like-minded, leading institutions: the Qalam Institute, a wildly popular Deobandi religious training organization led by Abdul Nasir Jangda; and the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, a project of Omar Suleiman.

What makes these schools and their leaders so dangerous? Whether Deobandi or Salafi, both movements are adherents to the broader political idea of Islamism, which seeks to impose an Islamic state run under Islamic law. These clerics provide much of the arguments, propaganda, and most importantly, the theology, to persuade Muslims into believing in the supremacy of a medieval religious legal system. This ideology sows the seeds of terrorism both at home and abroad.

In their methods, the new social media-savvy generation of Deobandi and Salafi clerics in the West are very different from the insular, ascetic preachers of the previous generation, but not in their core beliefs. Qalam’s Deobandi leader Abdul Nasir Jangda, who commands a social media following of hundreds of thousands, defends female sex slavery and advocates the death penalty for apostasy. Meanwhile, Yaqeen’s Suleiman, a media darling for his involvement in progressives’ protests against Trump administration policies, warns young women they may be killed by a “jealous dad” if they commit adultery.

So what influence will these organizations exert on American Islam over the next few years? And how will these once hostile sects work together?

In a packed, segregated ballroom, filled with hijab-clad women on the left, men on the right, and families in the middle, the founders of IOK, Qalam, and Yaqeen described their institutions’ goals and methods.

Suleiman went first introducing Yaqeen as a voice of “authentic” American Islam and claiming that his organization’s goal is “to be a think tank with a megaphone.” This “megaphone,” Suleiman explained, was working to change Google search results using search engine optimization (SEO) tricks to direct readers to Yaqeen’s research, videos, and info-graphics. On such search inquiries as “Islam and Apostasy,” “Was Islam spread by the sword?” and “honor killings in Islam,” Suleiman bragged that Yaqeen is now the top result after Wikipedia. He also noted Yaqeen’s ability to influence mainstream media, from the Dallas Morning News to CNN.

In other words, Yaqeen is not just about influencing the public’s perception of Islam; but is also an attempt to impose Yaqeen’s very particular strain of Islam on both the American public and American Muslims.

In fact, Suleiman promised “that all of the organizations in the Muslim community” can use his material for free – from children in weekend schools and teens in private Islamic schools, to adults watching on YouTube and entire congregations making use of his “masjid [mosque] resource kits so the whole masjid can be empowered.” Yaqeen is working to ensure the next generation of American Muslims adheres to a united Islamist creed, “We’re also piloting Islamic school curriculum at 20 different schools right now and it’s going to be free, inshallah, for all Islamic schools to use, Sunday schools or otherwise.”

Jangda went next, explaining that Qalam’s goal is to educate the Muslim ummah. “Every single person should have access to the education and the understanding of Islam,” he said before laying out the broad range of training courses Qalam offered including a seminary for full-time students, “intensives” that last a few weeks, online classes for part-time students, and, for those on-the-go, podcasts – to which 8 million have already listened.

In a pledge familiar to a Salafi audience, the Deobandi cleric spoke of teaching the form of Islam first heard by audiences of Islam’s early leaders, and expressed his hope that Qalam’s “authentic” Islam will consequently be passed on “from generation to generation.”

None addressed the rather important fact that Suleiman’s “authentic” Islam differs on questions of jurisprudence to Jangda’s “authentic” Islam. More important for both, it appeared, is the concept of a united Muslim ummah [global community] – a vital condition of Islamism. In fact, one of the few precursors to the new-found Salafi-Deobandi partnerships in the U.S. can be found in Haitham Al-Haddad, a British cleric who – despite the theological disparities – claims to representant both Salafi and Deobandi ideologies, for the sake of a “united ummah.”

Nomaan Baig, the IOK’s founder and director, went next, thanking his “brothers” Jangda and Suleiman and praising their institutions. Current IOK programs include a K-10 school, pilgrimage services, a Saturday school and after-school programs, and a successful series of podcasts. Echoing the others’ belief in the supremacy of the ummah, he declared that his own efforts at the IOK are “only doable and possible because of our collaboration.” In other words: only by putting theological differences aside can Islamism succeed.

And so with this understanding of the three groups’ differing areas of emphasis and target audiences, the utility of their collaboration becomes clear. As a united Islamist front, the three organizations create a chain of custody: Yaqeen creates the materials for schools and mosques; the IOK then teaches this material at schools and graduate programs, while Qalam works with young adults and future clerics.

The collaboration and its future prospects went so well that near the end of the day, Baig said: “So imam Omar suggested, and Shayk Abdul Nasir and I conferred that inshallah, we’re going to try and make this an annual thing here in Southern California.” Baig described the groups’ strategy as “‘complementation.’ We complement one another… because our propagation is that knowledge.”

Such ‘complementation’ would have been extremely unusual just a few decades ago. Deobandis and Salafis follow different madhahib [schools of jurisprudence]. The founding Deobandi seminary in India urges its students to read books of “deviant” Salafis in order to refute them. In the United States, websites sympathetic to Deobandis are devoted to challenging and denouncing the Al Maghrib Institute, a Salafi religious training organization with which Suleiman has long been involved. Salafi clerics and preachers, meanwhile, denounce Deobandis as “deviants.” Suleiman’s own teacher, the Salafi cleric Salah As-Sawy, criticizes Sufism (in which the Deobandi school is technically rooted), while Salafi activists have established dozens of social media pages and websites to “speak against this SUFI demonic cult who misguide innocent muslimeen.”

It is also important to note that these Deobandi institutions are relatively new – Qalam and the IOK did not exist some years ago, because Deobandi institutions were almost only found in American mosques and madaris [traditional seminaries]. Qalam and IOK are the result of a wave of new modernist Deobandis, likely taking their cue from the modernist Salafis who have rejected the political and theological isolation of the past, instead embracing social media, pan-Islamist activism and even some social justice rhetoric. Omar Suleiman (with his 318,000 Twitter followers) is perhaps the most notable example.

Suleiman does not just ignore the theological divisions of the past; he deliberately obscures his own affiliations, once writing, “Don’t let people box you into a group because they’re too narrow minded to think outside of their own cultish mind barriers.”

“When you talk to [sic] much about politics and social justice, you’ll be deemed ‘Ikhwani.’ [Muslim Brotherhood] When you stress the importance of the Sunnah too much and show aversion to innovation, you’ll be deemed ‘Salafi’ or ‘Wahhabi.’ And when you speak too much about spirituality and how the Ummah is in need of the hearts being rectified as much as it’s [sic] outwardly affairs, you’re a ‘Sufi.’”

Suleiman encourages this new generation of Muslims to “[S]leep peacefully while others waste their days and nights trying to ‘figure you out.’” At the IOK conference, what was once merely talk of a united ummah is no longer speculation, but a working model. Islamic division is being forgotten for the sake of Islamist unity.

And the impact of this alliance? As the last session of the conference began after the three leaders introduced their organizations, the moderator noted: “Inshallah, before we begin I just wanted to make one quick announcement, alhamdullilah, our registration numbers indicate one thing here today: that there are more students here than adults.”

David M. Swindle is a fellow for Islamist Watch and the Southern California associate of the Counter-Islamist Grid. He also works as the Director of Research for The Israel Group. Follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle

November 20, 2019: “Arizona Muslim Alliance” brings to the Valley radical Islamist, Siraj Wahhaj

Imam Siraj Wahhaj comes to the valley

This weekend the Arizona Muslim Alliance (AMA) is having its first annualCelebrate 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:
    1. 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.
    2. 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”
    3. 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.”
    4. 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.
    5. They define main stream [sic] Islam as:
      1. “a complete way of life guided by the authentic sources of Islam; the glorious quarter and in the authentic tradition of the Prophet Mohammed”
      2. “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.
    6. Organizationally: it is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization apparently with an assembly of voting within a ‘House of Representatives’?
    7. The rest of their definitions and policies are noted at this link.

Local History/Background

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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”
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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:
  9. 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

    END

     

     

    About AIFD

    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

    Contact US

    Email: info@aifdemocracy.org
    Phone: 480 225 7473

October 30, 2019 CAIR Silent on the Death of ISIS Founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

CAIR Silent on the Death of ISIS Founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

By Tyler O’Neil October 30, 2019

 

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.

October 13, 2019: God Forbid – Islam and the West — who controls the story?

Radio National

October 13, 2019
James Carleton

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.

Guests:

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.

Presenter:

James Carleton

Producer:

Rohan Salmond

October 9, 2019: Las Vegas Review Journal – Turkey invades northern Syria, but Trump stands firm

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump stood by his decision to move U.S. troops out of harm’s way Wednesday as Turkish forces invaded northern Syria.


“The worst mistake the United States has ever made in my opinion was going into the Middle East,” Trump told reporters during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

Trump then heaped scorn on his critics, who he said have not had to meet face to face with U.S. troops who have been wounded on the field of battle. Trump recalled giving out Purple Heart medals at Walter Reed National Medical Center last week.

“I get that we want to remove troops and that it’s not our war,” responded Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a former Navy doctor and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. “However, even one soldier in that area was preventing Turkey” from trying to wipe out Syrian Kurds, allies who helped U.S. forces defeat ISIS.

Jasser, usually a Trump supporter, faulted Trump for giving Turkey a “green light” to invade Syria as “Islamist hegemony.”

During an interview with Judy Woodruff of “PBS News Hour,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied that Trump gave Turkey a “green light.”

“On the phone call on Sunday night, it became very clear that there were American soldiers that were going to be at risk and the president made a decision to put them in a place where they were out of harm’s way,” Pompeo countered.

Economic threat

For his part, Trump, who announced Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit the United States on Nov. 13, warned that if the Turkish leader allows his troops to commit atrocities against the Kurds, “I will wipe out his economy.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a usual Trump supporter and constant golf companion, has tried to change Trump’s mind on the matter. “Most members of Congress believe it would be wrong to abandon the Kurds who have been strong allies against ISIS,” Graham tweeted this week.

Graham and fellow Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., quickly released a plan to impose “severe” economic sanctions on Erdogan himself, as well as other Turkish political leaders and entities that support Turkish energy interests.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposed the decision in a statement, “The president’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Northern Syria is a deeply disturbing development that betrays our Kurdish allies who have been instrumental partners in our mission to eradicate ISIS.”

When a reporter asked Trump if the U.S. will appear to be an untrustworthy ally in the future and if that will hamper future foreign policy initiatives, Trump responded, “Alliances are very easy.”

A moral wrong

Bradley Bowman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Center on Military and Political Power called Trump’s acquiescence to Erdogan “morally wrong.”

The United States provided air cover for the Syrian Democratic Forces while Syrian militia did the bulk of the fighting and dying on the ground against ISIS, Bowman said. Trump’s announcement “undercuts America’s reputation as a trustworthy ally.”

“This is something that people in the Middle East will remember for years, or even decades, to come. This is something that Americans will hear told back to them, 10, 20, 30 years from now,” Bowman warned.

As Syrian militia move to fight Turkey, they will be less able to prevent the escape of some 11,000 ISIS jihadis held in Syrian Democratic Forces detention facilities. “The most likely outcome is massive numbers of ISIS militants escaping and regrouping,” according to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Aykan Erdemir, a former Turkish lawmaker.

Kilic Burga Kanat, research director for the Turkish think tank SETA, defended Trump’s actions. “This is Trump’s position from the very beginning, to pull out troops from endless wars,” he told the Review-Journal.

“I’m not sure what they mean betrayal of the Kurds,” Kanat added, as the Turkish military will be focused on Kurdish militia that advocate for an autonomous Kurdish state.

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

09/05/2019: AIFD Commends Governor Doug Ducey for his selection of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to the Arizona Supreme Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2019
Media Contact:
Mischel Yosick
Phoenix, AZ: The American Islamic Forum for Democracy today applauded Governor Doug Ducey for his selection of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to the Arizona Supreme Court.
As an Arizona based American Muslim organization founded in 2003 and dedicated to the defense of the United States Constitution, freedom and liberty, Mr. Montgomery has been a long-time friend of our leadership and our counter radicalization and counter-ideology work at the forum.
AIFD President, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser said,
“The people of Arizona could not be better served by the selection of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to the bench of the Arizona Supreme Court. He is a great patriot and an unparalleled civil servant. We have had the honor of working with Mr. Montgomery on issues related to interfaith relations, counter-radicalization, counter-terrorism, national security and a host of other issues in Arizona and nationally. We have always been proud to know and work with now Supreme Court Justice-select Bill Montgomery. We can think of no one with a more impressive record of honorable service to the United States and the people of Arizona and who more embodies the trust and confidence Arizonan’s need to have in our highest court than Maricopa County Attorney, now Supreme Court Justice select Bill Montgomery”.
Mike Kassab, AIFD board member, business leader and entrepreneur, in Tempe AZ, stated,
“We applaud the Governor for having the courage to rise above the noise of some of the defamatory claims made by fringe groups against County Attorney Montgomery. We are thankful that he recognizes that the American Muslim community is in fact very ideologically diverse and that there are many of us dedicated to the US Constitution who have long time found a very good friend in now Supreme Court Justice select, Bill Montgomery. We pray for his success and know that the Arizona Supreme Court will continue to be in very good hands”.

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July 25, 2019: Muslim Reformers Warn of Islamists’ Political Designs

Muslim Reformers Warn of Islamists’ Political Designs
by Benjamin Baird
July 25, 2019

The Middle East Forum has launched its Islamism in Politics (IIP) project to monitor and challenge Islamist political activity, and to promote moderate Muslim interests in its stead. The significance of that mandate was made clear this week, when Muslim politicians, activists, Imams, and scholars gathered in Washington D.C. to convene the inaugural “Muslim Collective for Equitable Democracy,” hosted by the 501(c)3 nonprofit Muslim Caucus Educational Collective.

Held on July 23-24, 2019, the conference made headlines after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) denounced Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) President Ani Zonneveld for asking a question about efforts to combat the illegal practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Omar called the question “appalling” and said she was “disgusted” that she should have to repeatedly condemn the procedure, which reportedly affects 99 percent of Somali women at trauma centers in the congresswoman’s own district.

“Even though Muslims are questioned constantly about things by non-Muslims with ill-Intent, the same should not be assumed for Muslims who are genuinely trying to advocate for issues of deep concern to our community,” Zonneveld later wrote in a public statement. “We are not the enemy.”

Nevertheless, the Muslim Collective was promoted in the press as a unifying event that would bring together a broad spectrum of political and religious views. Event organizers promised “to bring to light the many political and ideological differences between various American Muslim constituencies.”

However, critics contend that the conference was merely a platform for existing Islamist groups to organize with a new generation of Muslim politicians and activists. Reformist Muslims complain that they have been politically excluded in favor of a hardline Islamist minority which falsely claims to represent all Muslims.

These moderates and reformers, who reject Islamism and hold diverse political opinions, have been politically marginalized by Islamist-controlled Muslim institutions. Following the conference, several of these Muslim reformers have issued public statements warning of the unrepresentative nature of the Muslim Collective and the underlying Islamist agenda it served to advance:

Rabia Kazan, President, Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition, award-winning women’s rights activist, and author of The Angels of Tehran

The first annual “Muslim Collective for Equitable Democracy” conference promised to “highlight the broad spectrum of our community and the issues that impact us on a daily basis.” In reality, this event was designed to legitimize and empower a very specific political and religious worldview that is at odds with many Muslim Americans and Middle Eastern immigrants. These are the same Islamist actors and organizations that consistently claim to speak for Muslim and Middle Eastern communities in America, but in fact represent an extremist minority.

The issues that are central to the Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition — Sharia Law, child marriages, Christian persecution, genital mutilations, anti-Semitism, and honor killings — were intentionally disregarded by the conference participants. When asked to comment on just one of these issues, Rep. Ilhan Omar responded by calling the question “appalling” and scolded the attendee who dared to pose it.

A Muslim Caucus that fails to address some of the most salient needs of Muslim women cannot claim to be a “collective.” The Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition condemns this conference and its extremist participants.

M. Zuhdi Jasser, President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy and co-Founder of the Muslim Reform Movement and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam”

I see political activism in Washington and on my local level here through the lens of my American identity, infused by my personal morals, ethics, and values. Certainly, faith plays a role in that but never as a “collective” identity. That faith-based collectivization of any lobbying effort only serves to fuel Islamist movements which I see as our primary cancer in radicalizing our co-religionists.

Now, when the our government, media, or other faith communities, for example, seek input from American Muslim activists, that should be ideologically diverse across the spectrum of American Muslim ideological diversity. Thus, that should include Islamist and non-Islamist activists with equal seats at the table. This collective conference seems to be led predominantly — if not exclusively — by Islamists.

I reject the Islamist collectivist lobbying premise whether it is on the Right or the Left. When I lobby my representatives, my faith identity is of no consequence. And when I go to pray at the mosque, the political identity of those with whom I pray side-by-side should also be of no consequence.

In essence, I reject the entire premise of this Collective conference, and I find their effort to proclaim “Muslim power” to be offensive and antithetical to both my faith values and my Americanism.

This conference and its verbiage could have been lifted from the founding documents of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan, the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia, and the Khomeinists of Iran.

Shireen Qudosi, National Correspondent, Clarion Project, Muslim Reformer

It’s alarming to see organized American Islamists continue to push into political engagement through the filter of religious identity. We are Americans first and foremost, and faith should always remain a private matter. This holds especially true for Congressional leaders like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who as elected leaders have a duty to represent their districts. Neither they, nor the individuals or organizations participating in the theatre that is the Muslim Caucus, are an honest representation of American Muslim voices.

In fact, these speakers and the Islamist-supremacist interests they represent go out of their way to crush minority and dissenting voices within the American Muslim community. This is a known fact in our communities. Events like Muslim Caucus Day offer a two-pronged strategy for Islamists. First, it presses into the public mind the monolithic view — the Islamist propaganda — of what it means to be Muslim. Second, the politicization of our faith churns future protest opportunities for Islamists when policies inevitably address Islam and Muslims.

Islamism is a parasite that needs Western democracy as its host. In America, they’ve found a willing host that through its own desperate need to be tolerant and inclusive, is willing to be depleted by entertaining crafted, well camouflaged extremists.

Soraya M. Deen, Founder of The Muslim Women Speakers, international activist, community organizer, and interfaith advocate

It is sad to see that we are dividing and building walls around us. We must be an American National Caucus. Any party based on religion, ethnicity and identity spells gloom and doom. A peek into history will reveal that such dangerous trends emboldens Islamists.

What’s next — American Islamic Caucus? The founders of this organization must focus on reform in the Muslim world. That might ensure democracy and an end to violent extremism that is rocking our world.

Benjamin Baird is the Islamism in Politics project coordinator at the The Middle Forum.