TESTIMONY OF M. ZUHDI JASSER, M.D, President, AIFD, "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and the Community's Response"
Dr. Jasser's full testimony to the House Homeland Security Committee.
His oral statement today will be a brief overview of this.
"...This is not about Muslim civil rights. We must protect Muslims like all faiths. Are we that dysfunctional as a nation that we cannot have healthy discussions about a religion and pathways within it toward radicalization versus pathways toward modernity and America?
We have got to be functional enough as a nation to be able walk back Muslim radicalization without labeling all Muslims and fostering a climate that increases fear of Muslims. Our founding fathers had healthy critical debates about religious diversity within Christianity and it built this great nation. We should be able to do the same. And as for Muslims that repel this honest debate because they fear stigmatization, they have little faith in our national maturity to deal with political Islam while empowering reformist Muslims or they live in a culture of denial like the end-stage alcoholics and their enablers.
Defining the Muslim identity as an Islamist, a salafist, a jihadist or a wahhabist can no longer be acceptable to a moderate Muslim at home with American liberty. We Muslims must step away from history and redefine the moderate Muslim to our youth as someone who embraces Islam and liberty. The future of American Security depends upon Muslims mustering the courage to dissect the Islamic ideas that fuel volatile separatism from a modern Islam that we want to leave our children.
Our nation's attempts at counter-radicalization have proven so far ineffective because it has lacked a strategy and a forward ideology into Muslim communities. We have been so fixated on preventing the next attack that we have neglected to develop the tools necessary to defeat the ideology that drives the attack. It is malpractice for us to believe that by eschewing violence we solve the problem. As we have watched the long overdue changes in the Middle East, at long last the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood poses to security around the world has been brought to the forefront. The Brotherhood is the leading Islamist organization in the world. It has also over the past century hatched many of the most violent Islamist organizations in the world. We have not transitioned this newly understood concern to the operations of the Brotherhood and like-minded organizations and leaders within the United States. Our domestic and foreign policy should be the same on this issue.
Muslims are long overdue for an ideological counter-jihad. Please help me wake up our communities to that American and Muslim responsibility we have..."
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. (www.aifdemocracy.org). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org