Mr and Mrs Z heard Dr. Jasser speak Monday night at a Republican Women's group dinner. I held the same view that many of you hold, that all Muslims must be mistrusted if for nothing else but to err on the side of safety. I hated feeling that way, my heart told me that not all Muslims could possibly want all non Muslims, we infidels, dead, but my brain has ingested the work of excellent writers and thinkers whom I respect and who feel quite differently, and I must admit I had been persuaded. Then I heard Dr. Jasser speak.
He started to talk and I felt tense and defensive and expected I'd leave this evening's lecture still angry and fearful, not trusting anything he had said. I listened carefully while he mentioned how Ronald Reagan, whom I came to realize he greatly admired, had called "the evil empire an evil empire" and how we should call today's Islamist enemies the same thing and not shirk from calling them 'jihadists', 'terrorists', 'radial islamists' because we won't be able to fight an enemy we're afraid to correctly identify; I heard him say that even family he'd never met back in Syria had been threatened by Islamists for the work he's doing here in America. I heard him talk with pride about how the navy had made it possible for him to earn his medical degree and how he rips pages out of stories for his children because the only publishers of children's books with well known Arabic stories in this country are Wahabists and he in no way supports the philosophies they purposefully intermingle into the well known children's tales. He spoke about how badly Islam needs reform and how the "battle within Isalm is a battle between centuries."
He insisted that we ask any Muslims who say they're against radical Islamic groups to name the groups they don't agree with; he said that if a Muslim says he's on board for fighting radicals, ask him if he supports rights for women "if he isn't, he's absolutely not on board", he warned.
He reminded us that Islamism is not his Islam of morality, values and ethics, the things he is teaching his children as good Americans who want to quietly and faithfully practice the religion of their ancestors. He cherishes the American constitution and our legal system and warns that our children must be better educated to understand and appreciate those things if we expect to survive as the America we know and love.
Dr. Jasser says we must stay in Iraq and Afghanistan and we must do that so we can fill the void that radicals will fill if we leave. He reminds us that Islam is still in the 15th century and needs to be helped to divide faith from government. The void now is filled by Imams promoting theocracy instead of issues like free speech and equality.
I have since come to find that Steve Emerson, the well known expert in terrorism most of you have read and appreciate, trusts Dr. Jasser and Emerson is so careful and so informed about the very real threats that this made a big impression on me.
With not a little hubris, I thought I'd tell you here all about Dr. Jasser's views and I took copious notes, writing furiously so I'd miss nothing important to share with you. But, while researching on the internet to confirm the abbreviations I'd so quickly written down, I ran across an article written by Dr. Jasser and I realized his own words would be far more effective and clear and compelling than anything I could write about him! I strongly encourage you to read this article, I beg you to read it, and I know you will not be sorry. I think you will be impressed and, maybe, even a little relieved? "If there ARE 'good Muslims' or 'nominal Muslims', where ARE they? Until they speak out, I don't believe there IS one!" You've all heard these things, I've said them myself and I believed them. But, these people do exist and Dr. Jasser is a leader in the cause and I urge you to look more into him and his group, The American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Here is another really excellent piece he wrote where he tells us, with emotion, how desperate he has felt as a Muslim America when he's seen the terrible things Islamists have brought on our great country.
I thought the following paragraph was important enough to quote here: "Through these founding principles of constitutional, secular (religious freedom free of theocracy and government coercion, and Islamic hegemony), AIFD would also serve as an example of an American Islamic institution which can be a leading voice for liberty-minded Muslims in America in the war on terror. Through regular commentary AIFD will intellectually stand against the religious fanatics who exploit the religion of Islam for a nihilistic, anti-American anti-Western war. In fact a major component in the war on terror is the intellectual deconstruction of the claim Islamo-fascists have upon the religion of Islam. AIFD was formed as an unmistakable expression of American liberty and freedom in an attempt to take back the faith of Islam from the demagoguery of the Islamo-fascists."
So, now that I've introduced you to Dr. Jasser, I urge you to do yourself a favor and research this man some more. He is an American we can be proud of and respect. As we walked out that night after the lecture, I turned to Mr. Z and said "God help me, but I trust this guy......." Support his cause, I think it's ultimately one of the most important causes in America today.z