Why is this past President of the Arizona Medical Association — a Phoenix cardiologist — so concerned about radical Islamic extremism? Is it because Dr. Jasser served his country for 11 years in the US Navy where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander while earning the Navy’s Meritorious Service medal?  That’s only part of the explanation.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser is a devout Muslim who knows the subject of Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism and political repression all too well because his parents were among the victims. After escaping Syria’s repressive Islamic regime when Zuhdi was a child, the Jassers soon discovered for themselves America’s unparalleled freedom to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And they loved the America that they found.

So when the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) claims to speak for American Muslims when it says Muslims are victims of American hatred, bigotry and oppression, Jasser exposes their lie to the world. And he does so with the power and conviction that gets people to listen.

In both his parents’ home and the small Wisconsin mosque where his family worshipped,  Dr. Jasser learned to love America’s priceless freedoms and opportunities, even as a young child. And he couldn’t keep silent when supporters of the traitorous terrorist, US Army Major Nidal Hasan, tried to blame America for that traitorous  massacre at Fort Hood by saying that Hasan’s evil was just his driven response to a culture of anti-Muslim hate in the US Army. It was Dr. Jasser who was seen on TVs  throughout the world to give lie to that claim.

But that’s not all. Jasser also confronted Islamic fanaticism and lies by  founding the American Islamic Forum for Democracy  (http://www.aifdemocracy.org ). AIFD’s mission statement is persuading  Muslims and other loyal Americans “to advocate for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom.” It looks to American democracy as the world’s best hope against repressive Islamic regimes. In doing so, it insists that the “devout practice of Islam” — in its truest form — is wholly compatible with American democracy. It even argues that the Koran itself demands equal respect and equal justice for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It targets Muslim extremists, political opportunists and theocrats as the world’s greatest threat. It pledges that “as United States citizens we support our American armed forces, .. absolute and literal adherence to our citizenship pledge … and support for American interests, domestic and foreign.” It pledges to foster “a special relationship between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam” and the “economic principles of free markets and capitalism.” It condemns terrorists and all their justifications for violence, and “the targeting of civilians and non-combatants.” It also proclaims its “support for and unqualified recognition of the state of Israel” and calls for a Palestinian state that will be committed to peacefully “living side by side next to the established state of Israel.”

Jasser has been described as a conservative Republican. He makes frequent appearances on Fox News and the Glenn Beck channel but is also often featured on MSNBC’s Chris Matthews’ Hardball , CBS and CNN as well. He has expressed impatience with the Obama White House for doing too little to support Syrian moderates who oppose the Assad regime.

Jasser makes no effort to conceal his disgust for American Muslims who see themselves as an oppressed minority. He supported an Oklahoma referendum against sharia law, calling it an important response to “draconian sharia law systems around the world in places like Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia” that have perpetrated harms “against Muslims and non-Muslims around the world in the name of sharia law.”

Jasser also defended Catholic University when “a leftist attorney” filed a lawsuit against the University, contending that the civil rights of the University’s Muslim students are violated by the presence of crucifixes in rooms where they pray on campus. Instead, Jasser praises the University for giving Muslim students a private place to pray on campus and expresses thanks to Catholics for giving his family and other Muslims a room so they could pray on the premises of a Catholic Church in Wisconsin while they were building their own mosque elsewhere.

Dr. Jasser is not alone in organizing moderate Muslims to confront Muslim extremism. Throughout America and also other parts of the world, radical Islamic fanatics are being challenged by Muslims who love democracy and hate terrorism and who accuse terrorists and jihad fundamentalists of     willfully distorting what the Koran says by taking passages out of context and  by ignoring both historic context and also other passages that directly condemn their fanaticism.

Some of these other Muslim voices against extremism include:

  • KARAMAH (see karamah.org ) — an Islamic organization that promotes the rights of Muslim women under Islamic and civil law, opposing those who interpret the Koran in ways that intimidate and demean women. Karamah espouses “equity among all ‘children of Adam’, regardless of gender or other differences.  Through education, legal outreach, and advocacy, KARAMAH tries to contribute to the understanding and promotion of human rights worldwide while opposing extreme interpretations of the Koran.
  • Prof. Asma Afsaruddin — of the University of Indiana at Bloomington and Chair of Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy.  She is a feminist and a Muslim champion of gender equality.
  • Prof. Muqtedar Khan — a professor at the University of Delaware and a scholar of the Koran and Sufi Islamic mysticism.  A devout Muslim, he is a leading intellectual voice for democracy, equality and pluralism in the Islamic world.
  • The Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA) — a Muslim religious organization in the United States that uses traditional Islamic scholarship to rebut Wahhabi Islamic extremism in addressing contemporary issues. Using traditional Islamic spiritual and legal rulings, it confronts Islamic perpetrators of violence in Saudi Arabia, the Taliban, and many terrorist organizations.
  • Hamad Ahmad Chebli — is a Koran scholar, Imam and spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Central Jersey in New Brunswick who often works with Christians and Jews in confronting terrorism. In doing so he is representative of most — but, sadly, by no means all — imams throughout the United States.
  • Masjd al-Saffat mosque — one of many Muslim mosques in the United States that have confronted extremists in their own ranks. When Imam Sabur Abdul Hakim  tried to impose Wahhabi/ Salafi extremism at the mosque by naming his son-in-law as ameer with no democratic consultation, the congregants at the mosque resisted, even bringing suit against him in New Jersey Superior Court to prevent his extremist ideas and anti-democratic usurpation.
  • Manda Ervin — American Islamic Scholar and women’s rights leader who rebuts fanatics with anti-jihad (“ijtihad”) interpretation of the Koran.

Nor are Muslims in America alone in fighting Islamofascist extremism and fanaticism within their Muslim community. Other Muslims doing the same elsewhere include:

  • The Muslim Canadian Congress — Unlike some of the groups above, this is a secular organization made up largely of former Muslims, including Tarek Fattah, a staunch opponent of sharia law. Unlike Dr. Jasser and many other Muslim opponents of Islamic extremism who are staunch political conservatives, Fattah and the MCC hold leftist political views.
  • Iraq- Nibras Kazimi (fights jihadists in military)
  • Bengladesh — Shahriar Kabir
  • Jordan — Shakeral Nabusli
  • Iran (now in Netherlands)– Dr. Afshin Ellian
  • Palestinian — Nonie Darwish
  • Syria — Wafa Sultan
  • Turkish (in USA) — Zeino Baran

In short, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser does not stand alone in the Muslim world as an outspoken critic of Muslim extremism. Those non-Muslims who oppose Muslim extremism will do well to support Muslim moderates in battles against religious fanatics and political tyrants that are well under way.

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About Ray Noble

Deus et Patria -- A Website for Americans Who Enjoy Being Catholic ... and Vice Versa. ABOUT ME: Retired lawyer-law professor-author. Raised in NJ, now living in Florida. Widower and Father. EDUCATION ACHIEVEMENTS: Summa Cum Laude, Undergrad debating scholarship, Fulbright scholarship, Campion Scholar at Oxford University, Presidential Scholar at Boston College Law School, law review editor. DIVERSE PROFESSIONAL LIFE: Corporate lawyer, state (NJ) Deputy Atty General for Civil Rights, Law school associate professor (St. John's University), legal writer, author of guide for women at the request of the New Jersey League of Women Voters, state judiciary's chief of long range planning, state bar association's chief counsel, USIA law reform rep in Gaza and the West Bank, co-founder and overseer of 9/11 Mass Disaster relief program for World Trade Center victims. In 2001, after 33 years of marriage and 8 children (6 living daughters), Alice, the love of my life (my high school sweetheart), died when she was only 55 years old. I still miss her deeply and always will. But in 2002, an unexpected, new chapter began when I left the practice of law and became a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal for 3 blessed years. I served in the Hispanic apostolate and the pro-life ministry, counseling outside abortion mills in Manhattan and the Bronx. I loved the CFRs' radical commitment to poverty. I also treasured the abundant daily prayer that included Mass, the Divine Office, daily Eucharistic adoration and rosary, and both communal and private contemplative prayer. But in 2005, while I was still in temporary vows, one of my daughters was hospitalized, with long term needs. It became clear to others and to me that my 3 years as a friar.was to become a prelude to other things. Retiring to central Florida, I continue to see my daughter's needs as my first commitment. I also work to combat human trafficking. In my parish ministries and in my life as a single senior citizen, I try to continue the life I knew as a friar as much as I can. This website is a recent development. I hope you find it helpful and, at least occasionally, fun. I do.
This entry was posted in Afshin Ellian, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Asma Afsaruddin, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Hamad Ahmad Chebli, Islamic Center of Central Jersey, Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA), KARAMAH, Manda Ervin, Masjd al-Saffat mosque of Trenton New Jersey, Muqtedar Khan, Muslim Canadian Congress, Muslim dissidents, Muslim moderates, Muslim moderates, Muslim students at Catholic University, Muslims in America, Nibras Kazimi, Nidal Hasan, Nonie Darwish, Salafi, Shahriar Kabir, Shakeral Nabusli, sharia law, Tarek Fattah, Uncategorized, Wafa Sultan, Wahhabi, Zeino Baran, Zuhdi Jasser and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Well thought out viewpoint – makes a refreshing change from all the regular hyperbole most commentators post on this topic.

  2. deckert says:

    Can I just say what a reduction to search out somebody who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to carry an issue to gentle and make it important. More folks must learn this and understand this aspect of the story. I cant consider youre no more common since you definitely have the gift.

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