PRESS RELEASE: AIFD Commends US Senate Committee on Homeland Security on Study of Homegrown Threat of Islamist Terror and Calls Upon Muslim Organizations to Assist Rather than Obstruct

For Immediate Release NEWS Media Contacts: Susan Assadi Angela Jamison Gitenstein & Assadi PR 800 922 8792 AIFD Commends the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs for its Contribution to the Study of the Homegrown Threat of Islamist Terror and Calls Upon Muslim Organizations to Assist Rather than Obstruct Phoenix, AZ ヨMay 16, 2008ラThe American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) announced today that it congratulates the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on the release of its timely and insightful Report on モViolent Islamist Extremism, The Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat.ヤ The report lays out insightful research of the majority and minority staff and clearly lays out the reality and the vulnerability of the United States to Homegrown Islamist Terrorism citing several credible examples. モAIFD has previously not only agreed with the conclusions of the NYPD Report upon which this Senate Committee report builds, but AIFD has also previously called upon American Muslim organizations to begin the work of countering the ideologies which feed homegrown terrorism,ヤ M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D, founder and Chairman of the Board, The American Islamic Forum for Democracy. The Senate Committee report cites many examples of homegrown terror threats. For example, AIFD has commented on the local Phoenix case of Hassan Abujihaad recently convicted of treason in federal court after a raid in London discovered that he was providing a terror cell with classified information on the whereabouts of his U.S. Navy ship to aid an act of terror against American troops. The reportメs description of ムthe path to radicalizationメ, ムthe terrorist internet campaignメ and ムthe virtual terrorist training campメ is an especially valuable contribution in the setting of mounting evidence of the threat of cyberjihad. The committeeメs investigation and identification of ways in which the Internet campaign can play a significant role- from ムpre-radicalizationメ to ムindoctrinationメ to ムjihadizationメ to ムthe Lone Wolvesメ is also a particularly valuable contribution to the body of knowledge available today on this subject. The reportメs description of the vulnerability of the U.S. and the potential of Islamists to モerode the effectiveness of our national defensesヤ should provide a particular warning to Americans to step-up our efforts at counter-radicalization. AIFD would like to highlight the reportメs recognition of the need to coordinate a communications strategy against the homegrown threat- especially that flourishing on the internet. We would especially bring forward, the reportメs comment that モno longer is the threat just from abroad, as was the case with the attacks of 9-11; the threat is now increasingly from within, from homegrown terrorists who are inspired by violent Islamist ideology to plan and execute attacks where they live. One of the primary drivers of this new threat is the use of the internet to enlist individualsナヤ AIFD is especially flabbergasted and chagrined as Americans and as Muslims by the scurrilous attacks upon this report and the Senate Committee under the leadership of Sens. Lieberman (CT) and Collins (ME) by the signatories to a letter of protest. This letter of protest does little other than expose the obstructionist techniques of the signatory organizations and their refusal to openly address necessary areas of ideological reform necessary in the Muslim community. If these Muslim organizations are unable to grasp the central ideological theological root causes of Islamist inspired terror, they are either participating in a grand denial, protecting the Islamist mindset, or simply obstructing the contest of ideas against political Islam. Americans should ask – why isnメt the work this committee completed not being done by Muslim NGOメs? Rather than address the problems which reports like this address, many American Muslim and Arab organizations prefer to exaggerate their own victimization and ignore their own responsibility in countering the movements which this report fairly exposes. It is particularly alarming that four of the largest Arab-American and Muslim-American advocacy organizations in the U.S (CAIR, MPAC, ADC, and Muslim Advocates) are discounting this valuable report and actually attempting to impede and delegitimize any honest attempt by Americans to dissect the ムrealメ causes and threats of homegrown Islamist terror. They cite the NYPD Report as モcontroversialヤ and モwidely disputedヤ and モdiscreditedヤ without any supporting evidence or credible sources for such an ad hominem assertion. By brushing off the N.Y.P.D. Report as モshoddyヤ and モnow discreditedヤ by モcounter-terrorism experts and federal law enforcement officials ナ who have [privately} rejected the reportメs content and methodologyヤ they operate in the typical Islamist fashion of using ムprivateメ ムunnamedメ unidentifiable sources with no substantive ideological counter arguments. Where is the personal responsibility and regard for American security of these Muslim organizations that rather than focus their efforts on counterterrorism recklessly state: モso far ナ any potential terrorist threat involving Muslims has failed to materialize here in the United States ナヤ They are entirely discounting the tireless and dedicated work of our intelligence and security agencies that have thwarted some thirty plus attacks against America. It seems that the facts in the report they criticize are of no use to them. If our Homeland Security had this type of lackadaisical attitude of denial, we would have most likely seen catastrophes greater than 9-11. When will Muslim organizations become part of the solution against militant Islamism rather than obstacles in any legitimate effort to study and understand its causes? To deny that political Islam and its permutations on the internet from Wahhabism to salafism to Al Qaedism to run of the mill Islamism have nothing to do with homegrown terror is patently absurd. These four Arab and Muslim American advocacy organizations allege that there are sharp contrasts between integration and radicalization levels in the U.S. as opposed to Europe. Do they not realize how lack of integration and radicalization are gradual processes that take years to reach boiling points? While Muslims may be more integrated in the U.S., the growing examples of homegrown terrorism which continue to virally spread demonstrate that the only difference with Europe may be our trajectory toward radicalization. The end may be the same, but just delayed due to factors unique in America versus Europe. How can studying a radical political ideology which cloaks itself in religion and which is separatist, violent, and theocratic be an act of discrimination? To us at AIFD, itメs a noble necessary act of science, societal analysis, and of national security. The N.Y.P.D. Report on Homegrown Terror before this Senate report was also a timely wake-up call to all Americans, and particularly to truly moderate Muslims who need to accept ownership and responsibility of this growing threat to Islam and to America. Press releases and letters of complaint like that submitted by CAIR, MPAC, ADC, and Muslim Advocates on May 14, 2008, actually further the entrenchment of Islamist ideology on behalf of Muslims in the public square. Rather than distance themselves from Wahhabism, salafism, and other Islamist ideologies which feed the radicalism that this report illustrates, these organizations are acting in denial which only obstructs real reform and makes Muslims appear to be in support of these backward ideologies. In their joint letter these organizations persist in their fear mongering, victimology, and divisiveness stating that the report is, モinaccurately labeling American Muslims as a suspect class ナヤ when referring to the N.Y.P.D. Reportメs noble aims of protecting all Americans ヨ Muslim and non-Muslim. In fact, if there is any appearance that Muslims are a suspect class, which has yet to be proven, it is most often because victim oriented organizations like CAIR, MPAC, ADC, and Muslim Advocates stay silent against the ideologies which threaten U.S. security. If Muslims were to lead the charge to reform our community and counter Islamist ideology no such label could ever stand in the court of public opinion. Rather than moving toward accepting Muslim responsibility and ownership of the issue, and becoming the Muslim frontline to terror, the focus of these four large Muslim organizations, within the Muslim community, is on stifling all criticism of political Islam, squelching all contradictory ideas, and most of all permitting no dissention. They prefer to label the critic of Islamist movements as outside what they set as the de-facto Muslim mainstream which in reality leaves them outside the American mainstream. The only area of agreement we have in their entire rant concerns American Muslim input into the Senate report. Certainly, it is also our hope that these types of investigations and reports solicit more Muslim input in order to get as many Arab and Muslim American organizations on record as possible about these central ideological issues. It is more important now than ever to get Muslim organizations on record regarding their stances on Wahhabism, Islamism, Salafism, governmental sharia and Caliphism, to name a few. モAIFD would also finally recommend that Muslim input to such investigations include anti-Islamist and anti-Wahhabi Muslims ready to ideologically counter the real sources of Islamist radicalism,ヤ adds Dr. Zuhdi Jasser. For more information about the American Islamic Forum for Democracy please see

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