Press Release: Upholding our Islamic Responsibility: Countering the Ideologies which Fuel Terrorism

AIFD President, M. Zuhdi Jasser, to address Columbus Muslim Community WHAT: モUpholding our Islamic Responsibility: Countering the Ideologies that Fuel TerrorismWHO: M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D, AIFD President WHEN: Saturday July 26, 2008, 7 pm WHERE: Noor Islamic Cultural Center, 5001 Wilcox Road, Dublin Ohio. Background: AIFD is a think tank and activist Muslim organization founded upon the separation of spiritual Islam from the political. AIFD openly engages all American Muslims to proactively be in the forefront of the domestic and foreign struggle against the primary driving force of militant Islamism and its terrorist offshoots. Militant Islamists are fueled ideologically by a radicalization of the faith of Islam. This radicalization is fueled by both militant components and a more central political desire (Islamism) to establish Islamic states. Islamists view pluralistic societies like America as an anathema to Islam. AIFD rather seeks to build coalitions of Muslims which not only reject the means of terror as an anathema to Islam but more globally reject the ends of the Islamic state which Islamists seek. AIFD welcomes the opportunity to bring our message of modernity, ijtihad, pluralism, and personal responsibility to the Muslim community of Columbus. AIFD believes that the only way to genuinely wage the contest of ideas and counter the root cause of terrorism is for Muslims to be given ample opportunity for debate between one another– especially within the mosques. AIFD believes that the outcome of these debates between political Islam and non-political Islam will ultimately be one of the primary reasons globally for the decrease in the threat of homegrown terrorism. The struggle over the question of whether the mosque should only be a place of worship and spirituality versus a home for political movements and political Islam is at the core of the battle of ideas and effective counterterrorism and counter-radicalization. Without Muslims leading the effort to reject the ends of the Islamic state and defend societies like America which are rooted in universal religious freedom and the separation of religion and government, we will not see the ultimate defeat of militant Islamists. AIFD believes that the contest of ideas needs to begin, first, in the mosques if there is to be any hope for the domestic and global Muslim community to marginalize the militants, depoliticize the ummah (faith community), and promote a spiritual theology immune from radical militant anti-national interpretations. AIFD is founded upon the premise that it is primarily a Muslim responsibility to foster ijtihad (modern interpretation of Muslim scripture). Today that ijtihad must be focused on the rescue of spiritual Islam from the clutches of political Islamists. We reject political Islam regardless of whether Muslims are a minority or a majority, and we believe that when given the opportunity to bring this discourse to the mosque most Muslims will agree that the most sacred and pure practice of Islam is one which is wholly free and unencumbered by coercion or any mandate from the state or government. AIFD believes that Islam, like any faith, is no longer a faith but becomes a coerced autocratic system when its laws and belief system are in any way enforced by government. It is this debate over the role of sharメia (Islamic jurisprudence) and the Islamist desire of imposing the faith of Islam in government which AIFD believes needs to be raised. With the ever-increasing threat of militant Islamist terror, it is imperative that the activist Muslim community wake up and direct their valuable resources toward fighting the root cause of terrorism which arises from dreams of political Islam. The reality is that our security is not threatened as much by the tactic of terrorism as it is by those individuals who are driven by the political ideology that feeds the mind-set of radical Islamism and the regeneration of terrorist networks. ________________________________________

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