Muslim Patriot: Obama's Denial of 'Radical Islamic Terror' Actually Insults Muslims, Supports Jihadis
A Muslim American patriot attacked the Obama administration's penchant for removing references to Islam and Islamic terms in terror reports -- little things like editing Orlando shooter Omar Mateen's 911 call to remove references to the Islamic State and changing "Allah" to "God" -- as the real insult to Muslims. Paradoxically, denying the connections to Islam is patronizing, rather than honoring, to our Islamic fellow citizens.
"As a devout Muslim who loves my faith and loves my nation, the de-emphasis of radical Islam is the greatest obstacle to both national harmony and national security," declared M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Jasser testified at a Senate Judiciary hearing entitled "Willful Blindness" on Tuesday.
"Wholesale denial of the truth by many in our government and political establishment is not only dishonest, it infantilizes Muslims while lying to the American people," Jasser declared. He also warned that "it emboldens the extremists on both sides of this debate, because the radicals or their cauldrons of Saudi Arabia, Iran end up speaking for Islam."
He argued that "linking Islamism to Islam" is a serious error. Jasser made an important distinction between the Muslim faith and the political push for an expansion of Sharia (Islamic law) in countries across the world. His organization "was founded by the premise that terrorism, ISIS, Al Qaeda, are symptoms of theocratic beliefs" that Islam should ultimately reject.
"We formed our organization to counter political Islam and separate mosque and state just as the Founding Fathers fought against theocracy," Jasser declared. This Muslim also showed true patriotism in his response to ISIS' ideology. Rather than addressing terrorists as lone rogues, inspired by poverty or bad circumstances, he insisted that the Muslim community encourage a heroic dedication to American values in opposition to ISIS' theocracy.
"ISIS is reaching youth...who are growing up in the West wanting to die for the Islamic State," and "the only counter to that is not this whack-a-mole of countering extremism, but starting to teach our kids that it would be much more preferable to die for America."
"If we are on the side of Muslim dissidents, we would be on the sid eof having this debate" about what Islam is and how it differs from political Islam, also known as "Islamism." He noted that "America was formed on a debate verses theocracy," and argued that American Muslims "are adult enough to have this debate and do it functionally, without saying that we are having a debate in which we demonize 1.6 billion people."
While the Obama administration claims to be separating Islam from terrorists by avoiding the phrase "radical Islam," Jasser argued that the very act of doing so actually harms the Islamic community in the U.S. "I would tell you as a Muslim in this month of Ramadan that we demonize Muslims by letting the Islamists speak for our community," he said.
Next Page: The battle for the soul of Islam, and how the government's avoidance of the term "radical Islamic terror" gives the Islamists the higher ground.