Press Release: Sentencing is a stark reminder of the global Islamist threat.

American Islamic Forum for Democracy

Contact: Mischel Yosick
480 225 7473

May 10, 2017

Sentencing of Indonesian Christian Governor of Jakarta on blasphemy charge is a reminder of the rising global Islamist threat.

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) condemned the sentencing of an Indonesian Christian politician, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, for “blasphemy.” The sentencing of Mr. Basuki, the Jakarta governor, also known as “Ahok” was heavier than what prosecutors asked for – rather than the two years probation they requested, he was sentenced to two years in prison.

M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., founder and president of AIFD, released the following statement:

“The fact that Mr. Basuki was even brought up on charges of ‘blasphemy’ – a truly invented ‘crime’ – is horrifying. The reality of his sentencing should alarm all people, not just Christians, and not just Indonesians.

Indonesia has long enjoyed the reputation of being a model of Muslim moderation and pluralism, yet its problem of Islamism is real: from soaring rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) to violent protests against authors and artists for ‘blasphemy,’ the country is undergoing an ugly and dangerous radicalization that will hurt, kill, and traumatize its citizens and leak across its borders, threatening global security. Mr. Basuki was a governor whose election had only improved Indonesia’s global reputation. His sentencing proves that those who are loyal to Islamist forces no longer care about upholding this image for Indonesia, instead they seek a more sinister role in the world.

Ahok’s case again proves that the nation is on the front lines of this global existential battle against Islamism.

We urge Indonesian citizens to challenge their religious establishments – particularly the Nahdlatul Ulama – to take swift and bold action to condemn and dis-empower those who support and promote punishments for blasphemy, and to demand that their government do the same. I visited Indonesia during my time on the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, and know that this evil does not represent them. Their government must do better to protect and represent the will of its people.”

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M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D. is a guest on Arizona Originals with Jason Issak

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser – American Islamic Forum for Democracy and Physician

Today’s guest, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, has served as a US Navy physician, was hand selected to serve for two years as one of three attending physicians for the US Congress (including the US Supreme Court Justices), and has practiced medicine in Arizona.

Click here to listen to the podcast.




5/5/2017 : M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D. joins Fox Business’ Making Money discussing refugees and how the influx into the U.S. has decreased under President Trump and the importance of ideological vetting.

5/4/2017: M Zuhdi Jasser, M.D. joins i24 News’ discussing the recent meeting of President Trump and Mahmoud Abbas and the anti-Semitic programs on Palestinian TV and other outlets.

5/4/2017 – M. Zuhdi Jasser sounds off on the female genital mutilation case.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser on FBI Director James Comey addressing the arrest of two doctors accused of female genital mutilation


John Walker Lindh: A Terrorist Manipulating Islam, Aided by Western Islamists and their Sympathizers


John Walker Lindh

John Walker Lindh, infamously serving a 20-year prison sentence for aiding the Taliban, is now seeking new ways to insult the United States, including insulting the many liberty-minded Muslims who value our nation’s freedoms.

The prison where Lindh is held has had a generous policy for its many Muslim prisoners. Until they were disciplined for not responding to a fire alarm, the prisoners were permitted to gather in congregation for three of the five daily prayers. Now, the prisoners are only permitted to gather for the Friday afternoon “jummah” prayer.

Lindh is not satisfied with this accommodation of his religious beliefs and practices. He has asserted that the prison’s restriction on gathering for prayer is an infringement on his religious rights, and that he must gather with other Muslims for the daily prayers. He has even brought his case to court, suing the Federal Bureau of Prisons for the right to pray in congregation more than once per week.

Islam does not require Muslims to perform their daily prayers in congregation, and allows for Muslims to miss the Friday prayers if circumstances make attending them impossible. Imam Ammar Amonette of Richmond, Virginia has commented on Lindh’s case, affirming this widely-known Islamic guideline. Despite this, Lindh continues to insist that he receive special treatment.

This kind of arrogance is no surprise coming from a notorious terrorist convicted of numerous crimes against the United States and innocent people everywhere. It is also a hallmark of the Islamist mindset, which seeks to use the freedom and reason of the West in its quest to defeat it. Islamists relish the opportunity to demand even accommodations well outside of mainstream Islamic practice: niqabs (face-veils) in the courtroom, extra congregational prayers for terrorists. Islamists make these absurd demands with full knowledge that they act against both non-Muslims and the majority of Muslims worldwide. They view their mission as a holy war, in which they seek to defeat all people who believe in freedom and the preservation of human rights. To them, no sacrifice is too great – and those Muslims who won’t fight alongside them are primary targets.

This is not the first time Islamists in the prison system have petitioned for special privileges: in 2009, Randall T. Moyer (a former spokesman for the Muslim American Society, or MAS and member of the “Virginia Jihad Network”) was housed in the same prison as John Walker Lindh, and also sued the Federal Bureau of Prisons for additional congregational prayer rights. Louay Safi, former director of leadership development for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), backed Moyer’s request, saying that Moyer’s demands followed the “prophetic tradition,” and that Muhammad promised greater rewards to those who pray in congregation. (Read more about Safi and his career in ISNA’s leadership here and here.)

The ACLU is defending Lindh, and they may be well-intentioned in doing so. We certainly support protecting civil rights for all Americans.  By choosing to support Lindh, however, the ACLU seems to be trying to support an identity group – Muslims – but are instead supporting Lindh’s Islamist interpretation of Islam, which actually subjugates individual Muslims and restricts their rights. Islamism doesn’t value individual liberty, freedom of expression, or civil rights.

As liberty-minded Muslims, we are intensely grateful for the freedoms granted we enjoy in the United States, where we are freer to practice our faith than we would be anywhere else in the world. We believe that John Walker Lindh’s demands for greater privileges are not just unreasonable, but also dangerous. He, like other Islamists, seeks to define Islam as a faith utterly incompatible with modernity, freedom, and human rights. We urge those who may be swayed by Lindh’s argument to recognize that they may be setting a dangerous precedent by helping to advance a jihadist’s interpretation of Islam, which seeks to strip us of the very liberties that make us who we are.


Disturbing: a jihadi song in in honor of John Walker Lindh, aka Mujahid Sulayman al-Faris.

Malala, the Nobel, and Meaningful Peace

“And now I know that you must not be afraid of death. And you must move forward. You must go forward, because education and peace are very important.”– Malala Yousafzai

It’s not every year that the Taliban weighs in on the decision of the Nobel Committee. This year, however, the decision to award the prestigious award to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons delighted the Pakistani Taliban. In fact, Islamists the world over have made condemnation of Malala a near-viral trend. Assed Baig, formerly of Islamic Relief in the United Kingdom and a prolific commentator on all things he perceives to be anti-Muslim, doesn’t see Malala as a young Muslim woman defying stereotypes and fighting against those most often responsible for the oppression and murder of fellow Muslims — the Taliban and their Islamist compatriots. Instead, he paints Malala’s story this way:

This is a story of a native girl being saved by the white man. Flown to the UK, the Western world can feel good about itself as they save the native woman from the savage men of her home nation. It is a historic racist narrative that has been institutionalised…The story of an innocent brown child that was shot by savages for demanding an education and along comes the knight in shining armour to save her.”(Huffington Post, July 2013.)

Also appearing in the Huffington Post was this piece by a young woman named Sofia Ahmed, writing from the UK. To Sofia, Muslims who speak out in support of Malala and against Islamism are “nefarious” attention-seeking propagandists, and the West’s “feminist crusade” is responsible for the abuses of women so rampant within our own Muslim community.

As American Muslim blogger Meriam Sabih ­so capably pointed out, Assed Baig and Sofia Ahmed’s attacks on Malala dismiss her personal bravery, ignore the universality of her message, and perpetuate the misogynist honor culture responsible for the silencing and brutalization of Muslim women worldwide. It doesn’t matter to Baig and Ahmed that Pakistani doctors were in part responsible for saving Malala’s life. In the eyes of Baig, Ahmed, and others like them, when Muslim women speak out their efforts are nothing but Western fabrications, imperialist conspiracies, and sources of shame for Islamist men. Sabih highlights, and we agree, that these condemnations of Malala and the West are eerily similar to comments made by the Pakistani Taliban’s Adnan Rasheed in a letter he wrote to Malala this summer. Ultimately, while many Islamists don’t share the violent tendencies of the Taliban, their disdain for women, individual liberty, and dissent is part of the same dangerous supremacist ideology of political Islam.

Sadly, the Nobel Committee seems to share the same views about who should “represent” Muslim women. In 2011, they awarded Tawakkol Karman with the Nobel Peace Prize for what they call her “struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” Ms. Karman has declared Mohamed Morsi the “Arab world’s Mandela” and is a senior member of Yemen’s Muslim Brotherhood affiliated al-Islah party. How can a leading figure within a movement seeking to restricts women’s most basic liberties, including that of freedom from genital mutilation, be awarded such a prestigious award in the name of women’s rights?

When the Nobel Committee dissented with the chorus of voices calling for Malala to be honored, did they do so because they truly believe that the failed effort to obliterate chemical weapons represents successful peace? Or, were they reluctant to take on the threat of Islamism by supporting the teenage girl who strikes fear in the Taliban? Not having participated in their discussions, we will never really know. What we do know is that supporting young women like Malala and young men who share her commitment to individual liberty is the only way that the world will achieve a meaningful and lasting peace. Regrettably, Western governments (including the Obama administration) have often failed to ally with liberty-minded Muslims and have instead placated Islamists and their sympathizers.

It is certainly true that liberty-minded Muslims have a difficult road ahead. Not only do we face vicious onslaughts from Islamists and their supporters, but we must also work against a suffocating tide of cultural relativism and decades-old policies which stifle those voices calling out for freedom. Granting Malala Yousafzai the Nobel Peace Prize would have been the right thing to do, signaling to the world that those who stand with courageous voices for reform understand that the key to peace is courage in the face of monsters like the Taliban.

Of course, Malala’s courage is not diminished because it was not recognized by the Nobel Committee. Millions of young Muslims, girls and women in particular, are emboldened by her example and inspired by her message. People of all religions and none have been inspired to make positive change. Ultimately, that is the greatest prize any activist could hope for.