M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.
President & Founder
“Life, Liberty & Levin – an interview with Zuhdi Jasser”
M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., is the Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) and the author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’ s Fight to Save His Faith (Simon & Schuster, June 2012). On March 20, 2012, Jasser was appointed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) where he served two terms both as a Commissioner and Vice-Chair until May 2016.
A first generation American Muslim, Jasser’s parents fled the oppressive Baath regime of Syria in the mid-1960’s for American freedom. A devout Muslim, he and his family have strong ties to the American Muslim community having helped lead mosques in Wisconsin, Arkansas, Virginia and Arizona.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, Jasser and a group of American Muslims founded AIFD which promotes Muslim voices for liberty and freedom through the separation of mosque and state. They believe the root cause of Islamist terrorism is the ideology of political Islam (Islamism) and a belief in the supremacy of the Islamic state. AIFD’s primary projects include the Muslim Liberty Project (MLP) and the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM) which was launched in December 2015 and is comprised of a coalition of over 15 Western Muslim Leaders from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The MRM has written a Declaration for Muslim Reform, a living document which was presented to all Islamic organizations, leaders and mosques across the U.S. in 2016, with hopes of using its principles to clearly separate radical Islamists from Muslims who believe in universal human rights.
Jasser regularly briefs members of the House and Senate on the threat of Political Islam and testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security on March 10, 2011 on “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response”, and again on June 20, 2012 on “The American Muslim Response to Hearings on Radicalization within their Community”. Jasser testified before the United States House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on “Anti-Semitism: A Growing Threat to All Faiths” on February 27, 2013, on December 10, 2013 on “Human Rights Abuses in Egypt”, on June 16, 2016 on “The Global Religious Freedom Crisis and Its Challenge to U.S. Foreign Policy” and on June 28 2016 to the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action,
Federal Rights and Federal Courts on “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts To Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism” chaired by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). On September 22, 2016, he testified before The House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency “Identifying the Enemy: Radical Islamist Terror.”
An internationally recognized expert on Islamism, Jasser is widely published on domestic and foreign issues related to Islam, Islamism, and modernity. His work is featured in The National Review, The Washington Times, The New York Post, CNN, CBS, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, BBC and other national and international outlets. In addition, Jasser has spoken on nationally syndicated radio programs and hosts a podcast REFORM THIS! on the Blaze Radio Network. He has also spoken at hundreds of national and international events including universities, places of worship, and government venues.
Jasser was presented with the 2007 Director’s Community Leadership Award by the Phoenix office of the FBI and was recognized as a “Defender of the Home Front” at the annual Keeper of the Flame Dinner of the Center for Security Policy in 2008. He is also a contributing writer to a number of books and is featured in four documentaries America at Risk, Islam v Islamists, A Question of Honor, and The Third Jihad.
Jasser earned his medical degree on a U.S. Navy scholarship at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1992 and served 11 years as a medical officer in the U. S. Navy. His tours of duty included Medical Department Head aboard the U.S.S. El Paso which deployed to Somalia during Operation Restore Hope; Chief Resident at Bethesda Naval Hospital; and Staff Internist for the Office of the Attending Physician to the U. S. Congress. He is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal. Jasser is a respected physician currently in private practice in Phoenix, AZ specializing in internal medicine and nuclear cardiology. He is a past-President of the Arizona Medical Association.