An American Muslim’s View – Why Our Community Needs the King Hearings On Radical Islam

M. ZuhdiJasser

M. Zuhdi Jasser

Yes, yes I know it’s Fox News, but let’s at least hear what he has to say [Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a medical doctor and a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, is the founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix, Arizona]:

Representative Peter King’s (R-N.Y.) decision to hold hearings on American Muslim radicalization has presented an incredible opportunity to American Muslims.

The course of radicalization over the past two years makes it exceedingly difficult for anyone to assert with a straight face that America is immune to the global Muslim radicalization problem. American Muslims must take the lead in creating solutions to the radicalization of our own.

These hearings will provide the long overdue platform for us to step away from the standard denials and apologetics in order to reclaim our Muslim identity from the terrorists and redefine ourselves within the framework of the American pantheon.

The attacks of 9/11 brought the fight to our shores and woke us up to the reality of the global threat to American security and our very way of life. The attacks also redefined what it meant to be an American Muslim.

For me, the attacks led to the creation of our American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) and mobilization of a lifelong mission to contribute to building the future of Islam for our children through liberty and freedom and the separation of mosque and state. The biggest obstacles to that legacy for American Muslims are Islamists, domestic and foreign advocates of the platform of political Islam. It is time for our diverse Muslim communities to reclaim our faith from the control of Islamists.

Without a paradigm shift in the way we address the issues of Islamist terror and ideology, I am ever more fearful of what lies ahead for American Muslims. Radicalization and terror are but a symptom of an underlying ideological conflict between modern western liberal democracy and the false dream of the Islamic state and its instrument of shar’iah law…

For more information, see original article.

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  • Adaugeo

    Sorry but it sounds like 1984 double speak to me. “American Muslims must take the lead in creating solutions to the radicalization of our own” is very reminiscent of “suspicion breads trust”. It’s the criminal acts of terrorism that have laws and agencies in place to protect the public. Asking any group to police itself is a lot like watching your neighbors and reporting on them. D.A.R.E. anyone? It’s a kind of a guilty until proven innocent paradigm. While I agree self control is the best control, a group cannot be considered a self. There are still personalities that will want to gain on each other within the group, much like the McCarthy hearings in Hollywood.

  • Adaugeo

    Sorry but it sounds like 1984 double speak to me. “American Muslims must take the lead in creating solutions to the radicalization of our own” is very reminiscent of “suspicion breads trust”. It’s the criminal acts of terrorism that have laws and agencies in place to protect the public. Asking any group to police itself is a lot like watching your neighbors and reporting on them. D.A.R.E. anyone? It’s a kind of a guilty until proven innocent paradigm. While I agree self control is the best control, a group cannot be considered a self. There are still personalities that will want to gain on each other within the group, much like the McCarthy hearings in Hollywood.

  • WhiteRose

    The more hate and fear shown to Muslims the more radical they become. This has all been done before with other races, religions blah blah blah

  • WhiteRose

    The more hate and fear shown to Muslims the more radical they become. This has all been done before with other races, religions blah blah blah

  • emperorreagan

    Peter King would be in a far more advantageous position to determine who funded terrorist organizations in Northern Ireland.

    Or perhaps he could ask about who funds Muslim terrorist organizations Hint: it’s not unsuspecting, middle-to-lower class American Muslims. It’s the US’s fucking allies. It’s the rich assholes who donate to political campaigns.

    Perhaps the one thing he could do to most immediately contribute to the security of the United States is to immediately resign and go hang himself in his closet back home in NY.

  • emperorreagan

    Peter King would be in a far more advantageous position to determine who funded terrorist organizations in Northern Ireland.

    Or perhaps he could ask about who funds Muslim terrorist organizations Hint: it’s not unsuspecting, middle-to-lower class American Muslims. It’s the US’s fucking allies. It’s the rich assholes who donate to political campaigns.

    Perhaps the one thing he could do to most immediately contribute to the security of the United States is to immediately resign and go hang himself in his closet back home in NY.

  • 5by5

    Peter King is a colossal douche who’s holding what amounts to a McCarthy-esque witch hunts. The fact is, he only has a problem with terrorists, if they aren’t HIS terrorists. This is the same guy who was a big supporter of the IRA just a couple decades ago. He has no credibility on this issue at all.

    If he was serious, he’d be investigating the terrorism on his side of the aisle which has absolutely exploded (pardon the pun) since 9/11.

    Full-on 63 domestic terror attacks have been committed by the radical rightwing since that time, and a whopping 1,000 new hate groups have sprung up due to irrational fear of the black man in the White House.

    There’s a great article about this over at Alternet:

    http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/150218/a_recent_history_of_violent_right-wing_extremism%3A_neo-nazis_and_other_white_supremacists_are_most_dangerous/

  • 5by5

    Peter King is a colossal douche who’s holding what amounts to a McCarthy-esque witch hunts. The fact is, he only has a problem with terrorists, if they aren’t HIS terrorists. This is the same guy who was a big supporter of the IRA just a couple decades ago. He has no credibility on this issue at all.

    If he was serious, he’d be investigating the terrorism on his side of the aisle which has absolutely exploded (pardon the pun) since 9/11.

    Full-on 63 domestic terror attacks have been committed by the radical rightwing since that time, and a whopping 1,000 new hate groups have sprung up due to irrational fear of the black man in the White House.

    There’s a great article about this over at Alternet:

    http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/150218/a_recent_history_of_violent_right-wing_extremism%3A_neo-nazis_and_other_white_supremacists_are_most_dangerous/

  • 5by5

    As for what needs to actually happen in the Muslim community on this issue, they do need to be honest about two things:

    1.) Violent rhetoric DOES exist in the Koran, and NO is isn’t just there if you “take things out of context”. The Koran is not a flowery book. I’ve read it cover-to-cover, and for the most part, it’s pretty blunt. And that language IS problematic. Yes, radicals may “use” that language improperly to do bad things, but the language is still there. And as long as it is, Islam will have this problem.

    2.) To combat this, Muslims need to acknowledge that the Koran is a lot more like the Bible than they’ve previously been willing to admit. Muslims frequently claim that every single word of the Koran is unchanged since the time of Muhammad. It is seen as the DIRECT word of God, as opposed to the kind of compiled-by-humans document that the Bible is, which because it has changed over time, is therefore subject to interpretation, and can’t be taken literally. But the TRUTH is, back in the late 1990’s during a construction project inside the Saa’na mosque in Yemen, they uncovered a cache of the oldest Korans ever discovered. And one thing that was discovered was that these Korans had re-writes, Whole passages crossed out, re-written… When you eliminate the infallibility of the Koran, when it becomes something that men made, they not only are “type-os” possible, so are cultural re-writes that might have improperly disadvantaged women, or encouraged violence while the faith was under attack as a new religion, or simply been misquoted from the oral tradition it came from. And if that is possible, then so is DOUBT. Doubt as to whether Allah is really the one telling you to blow yourself up, rather than this radical schmuck in a cave. Which is why the Yemeni gov’t have locked those Korans up, and hasn’t let any scholars touch them ever since that first discovery. It amounts to a Martin Luther moment for Islam. And this is a religion that’s been in need of a reformation since like the 1100’s. Back then, only the Sufis really woke up. The rest of the Muslim world started their march into their own Dark Ages then when the literalists won, and they won’t come out of it until the literalists are defeated.

    Doubt, simple THEOLOGY – the act of DEBATING the document’s veracity and meaning is what talked Christianity off the ledge from the Dark Ages.

    Fundamentalism is incompatible with such things, and weakened by them. Literalism doesn’t work when you’re not certain about the author.

    THAT would be a REAL discussion about how to eliminate (or at least marginalize) radicalism within Islam, BY MUSLIMS.

    But that has to be a discussion among Muslims. They have to face themselves. They can’t be cajoled into it by some dork prejudiced Congressman.

    • please guess

      IF YOU TOLD THAT KORAN LANGUAGE IS A PROBLEMATIC, ACTUALLY THAT IS ONLY YOUR PROBLEM, BECAUSE YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND AND YOU DON’T WANT TO LEARN ABOUT IT, TRY TO LEARN AND UNDERSTAND IT, SO YOU WILL FIND THAT KORAN LANGUAGE IS SO BEAUTIFUL, AND NO HUMAN OR ANYTHING CAN COMPETE IT, BECAUSE IT CAME FROM ALLAH.

  • 5by5

    As for what needs to actually happen in the Muslim community on this issue, they do need to be honest about two things:

    1.) Violent rhetoric DOES exist in the Koran, and NO is isn’t just there if you “take things out of context”. The Koran is not a flowery book. I’ve read it cover-to-cover, and for the most part, it’s pretty blunt. And that language IS problematic. Yes, radicals may “use” that language improperly to do bad things, but the language is still there. And as long as it is, Islam will have this problem.

    2.) To combat this, Muslims need to acknowledge that the Koran is a lot more like the Bible than they’ve previously been willing to admit. Muslims frequently claim that every single word of the Koran is unchanged since the time of Muhammad. It is seen as the DIRECT word of God, as opposed to the kind of compiled-by-humans document that the Bible is, which because it has changed over time, is therefore subject to interpretation, and can’t be taken literally. But the TRUTH is, back in the late 1990’s during a construction project inside the Saa’na mosque in Yemen, they uncovered a cache of the oldest Korans ever discovered. And one thing that was discovered was that these Korans had re-writes, Whole passages crossed out, re-written… When you eliminate the infallibility of the Koran, when it becomes something that men made, they not only are “type-os” possible, so are cultural re-writes that might have improperly disadvantaged women, or encouraged violence while the faith was under attack as a new religion, or simply been misquoted from the oral tradition it came from. And if that is possible, then so is DOUBT. Doubt as to whether Allah is really the one telling you to blow yourself up, rather than this radical schmuck in a cave. Which is why the Yemeni gov’t have locked those Korans up, and hasn’t let any scholars touch them ever since that first discovery. It amounts to a Martin Luther moment for Islam. And this is a religion that’s been in need of a reformation since like the 1100’s. Back then, only the Sufis really woke up. The rest of the Muslim world started their march into their own Dark Ages then when the literalists won, and they won’t come out of it until the literalists are defeated.

    Doubt, simple THEOLOGY – the act of DEBATING the document’s veracity and meaning is what talked Christianity off the ledge from the Dark Ages.

    Fundamentalism is incompatible with such things, and weakened by them. Literalism doesn’t work when you’re not certain about the author.

    THAT would be a REAL discussion about how to eliminate (or at least marginalize) radicalism within Islam, BY MUSLIMS.

    But that has to be a discussion among Muslims. They have to face themselves. They can’t be cajoled into it by some dork prejudiced Congressman.

  • please guess

    IF YOU TOLD THAT KORAN LANGUAGE IS A PROBLEMATIC, ACTUALLY THAT IS ONLY YOUR PROBLEM, BECAUSE YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND AND YOU DON’T WANT TO LEARN ABOUT IT, TRY TO LEARN AND UNDERSTAND IT, SO YOU WILL FIND THAT KORAN LANGUAGE IS SO BEAUTIFUL, AND NO HUMAN OR ANYTHING CAN COMPETE IT, BECAUSE IT CAME FROM ALLAH.

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