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Dr. Zuhdi Jasser: Engage Muslims to Counter Jihadism

By    |   Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 05:16 PM

The United States needs to do more to counter jihadism and that starts with engaging the Muslim community, says Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

"The Muslim community has really not been engaged in countering the ideology that creates these monsters," Jasser told Ed Berliner on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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"We are still doing a whack-a-mole program where we're dealing with that final step, where right before they are going to commit an act of violence or join ISIS as active members, that's when we find them," he explained.

"The continuum of radicalization starts long before where they get pulled into this Islamopatriotism, where they feel an allegiance to the jihadist movement, the Islamic State, or not only that Islamic State but all Islamic states against the West, against the secular nation state of America, of Canada, of those states that aren't based in Islamic law," he said.

He contends that Muslims can help by countering the "Islamopatriotism versus American nationalism" ideology, but "we're not doing that."

"Our organization has some programs for that, but we're not being engaged by government, media, or other entities," the head of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy said.

Jasser says that its "nonsense" if Muslims are too afraid to speak up, especially considering what Muslims "families are suffering in Syria and Egypt and elsewhere."

He explained that part of the problem is that the current "narrative" about combating terrorism is a problem because "it's about violence" and "combating violent extremism," without acknowledging the ideology behind it.

"It's sort of like trying to counter drunk driving and ignoring the alcoholism, which is political Islam and this ideology," he explained.

The other problem, he says, is that "too many of the leaders in our community are actually apologists in part of this [Muslim Brotherhood] network, the Islamists, that really believe the Islamic State is supreme."

According to Jasser, some moderate Muslims wrote a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi saying that while they disagree with his methods, "the Caliphate is necessary for Muslims" that it needs to happen "in a moderate, democratic way."

However, he explains that "there's no moderate way to do an Islamic theocratic state."

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The United States needs to do more to counter jihadism and that starts with engaging the Muslim community, says Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
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Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 05:16 PM
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