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- Written by Eman Jueid
- Category: World News
• Jasser sits on the advisory board of the shadowy group, Clarion Fund, that was responsible for distributing nearly 28 million copies of the documentary Obsessions: Radical Islam’s War Against the West in September, 2008 to swing states. Jasser narrated their second documentary, “The Third Jihad,” briefly used to train NYPD officers on counter-terrorism. After seeing the video, an NYPD officer remarked, "It was so ridiculously one-sided. It just made Muslims look like the enemy. It was straight propaganda.”
• Jasser testified as a credential-free expert witness for Rep. Peter King’s divisive and unnecessary hearings on the "Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community,” which was derided by law enforcement officials, counter-terrorism professionals, civil rights organizations, interfaith leaders and political commentators as being misguided, ineffective and potentially dangerous.
• In his self-proclaimed capacity as an “expert,” Jasser validates and parrots the manufactured paranoid claims of Islamophobia leaders who mainstream Muslim organizations and leadership have been infiltrated by radical Islamists with an agenda to replace the Constitution with Sharia. He has frequently appeared on Fox News, often as Glenn Beck’s guest, and consulted elected officials, government agencies and the intelligence community. Despite his active association and partnership with the Islamophobia Network, Mr. Jasser was appointed to serve as one of the Commissioners on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Jasser Quotable Quotes
• “America is at war with theocratic Muslim despots who seek the imposition of sharia and don’t believe in the equality of all before the law, blind to faith. They detest the association of religious freedom with liberty.”
• On his protest against the Park 51 community center in NYC: “I stand to make sure that my children's religious freedom will be determined by the liberty guaranteed in the American Constitution and not by clerics or leaders who are apologists for shar'iah law and will tell me what religious freedom is.”
• “AIFD is horrified that the nation's leading expert on counterterrorism (President Obama’s advisor John Brennan) would allow himself to become a shill for the very political movement (Islamism) which ultimately fuels the radicals from which he is expected to protect the United States.”
• “And the Muslim Brotherhood in America is the nonviolent Islamist political groups that we all know that you talked about. The Islamic Society of North America, CAIR, et cetera, that are nonviolent, but within their own programs have not been about reform and the separation of mosque and state, which is what our organization is about, about First Amendment, the establishment clause. But rather, they're about just using the concept of minority status to anesthetize America to real issue of us of Islamism and Sharia.”
• “But their [Muslim American organizations] patriotism involves taking the American flag and adding a little crescent - and, of course, turning America into an Islamic state.”
• Professional Islamophobe and hate-monger Pamela Geller on Zuhdi Jasser: “Jasser’s Islam does not exist. He does not have a theological leg to stand on. His mosque threw him out. Whatever he is practicing, it’s not Islam, and he speaks for no one but himself.”
The Industry’s Favorite Credential-Free Muslim
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a credential-free expert and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), is the beloved Muslim talking head of the Islamophobia Network.
His greatest asset is his affirmation of the Islamophobia Network’s hate speech that deflects valid criticism they are indeed anti-Muslim. After all, if a practicing American Muslim agrees with them, how can they be indicted for hate-mongering and bigotry?
Since he is a practicing Muslim of Syrian descent, Dr. Jasser is effectively used by leading Islamophobes to authenticate, validate and promote the paranoid, conspiratorial and fear-mongering meme that American Muslim organizations and leaders have been infiltrated by a radical Islamist agenda.
American Islamic Forum of Democracy: The Sole Voice of Moderation
Despite having a resume that lacks any community leadership roles, any policy or academic expertise, Dr. Jasser has valiantly stepped up as the redeeming voice of “moderate Isam.” Through his organization, the AIFD, which only claims to have 1,500 members, of which about 15% are Muslims, he profits as “a nationally recognized expert in the contest of ideas against Political Islam and American Islamist organizations.”
Defending the Home Front By Spreading Misinformation About Muslim Americans
Jasser, who once anecdotally claimed that 3-5% of Muslim Americans are militant and nearly 40% do not approve the principle of the separation of church and state, was honored in 2007 as a “Defender of the Home Front” by Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, the think tank responsible for mainstreaming “the sharia threat.”
This “honor” was previously bestowed upon Pamela Geller, founder of the hate group Stop Islamization of America, who has publicly excluded Jasser from her Islamophoia brethren. His crime was to allegedly refer to Israel as an “occupied territory.” Their petty and public feud is a rare moment of internal dissent within the largely incestuous and self-affirming Islamophobia Industry.
Parroting Frank Gaffney and the Manufactured Islamophobia Talking Points
For example, Jasser has repeatedly parroted Gaffney’s claims that mainstream Muslim groups are fronts for Islamist groups wishing to advance Sharia and political Islam within America. He has stated the Congressman Keith Ellison, one of 2 elected Muslim American congressmen, is in league with the Islamist agenda because he appeared as a keynote speaker for CAIR, the Muslim American advocacy association.
Jasser explained, “As an American-Muslim I am deeply offended that the nation's highest elected Muslim official openly supports Islamist groups…Ellison's support of Islamist groups like CAIR, which believes in the Islamic state, is in direct conflict with his oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Did You Hear the One about President Obama’s Administration Being Pro-Islamist?
Jasser also stated President Obama’s administration “pander(s) to groups that are clearly Islamist” simply because White House advisor Valerie Jarrett was the keynote speaker at ISNA’s 2009 annual conference, which was also attended by evangelical titan Rick Warren, whose participation Jasser conveniently ignores.
Jasser has also stated Counter-terrorism Advisor John Brennan “deserves honorary membership in the Muslim Brotherhood” and that he is acting as a “shill for the very political movement which ultimately fuels the radicals from which he is expected to protect the United States.”
Friend to a King
Due to baseless, paranoid, fear-mongering assertions like these, Jasser has emerged as the “Muslim face” for Islamophobia propaganda. Jasser was invited to give expert testimony at Congressman Peter King’s controversial hearings on radicalization that focused only on Muslim Americans. Specifically, King said Jasser had criticized Muslim leaders as not being cooperative enough with law enforcement, a claim that was categorically denied by actual law enforcement experts and counter-terrorism officials. In early March 2012, Jasser held a press conference in New York with Congressman King supporting the NYPD’s controversial and criticized widespread surveillance of American Muslim communities
Friend to Newt Gingrich
Jasser appears in Newt Gingrich’s 2010 documentary, America At Risk: The War With No Name, warning of the impending threat of radical Islam and enforcement of Sharia in America. Former Presidential candidate Gingrich, who has helped mainstream the manufactured “sharia threat” as a political wedge issue, has called Jasser a “courageous, moderate Muslim.”
Doctor By Day, Anti-Muslim Documentary Narrator By Night
Jasser sits on the advisory board for the anti-Muslim organization Clarion Fund that releases inflammatory documentaries warning of the “Muslim” threat. The New York City-based nonprofit organization dedicated “to educate Americans about issues of national security” focusing on “the most urgent threat of radical Islam.”
He narrated their The Third Jihad film that claims a fifth-column of radical Muslim extremists have infiltrated America with the nefarious purpose of establishing a theocracy. After seeing the video, an NYPD officer remarked, "It was so ridiculously one-sided. It just made Muslims look like the enemy. It was straight propaganda.”
Frank Gaffney recruited Jasser to star in his documentary propaganda Islam vs. Islamists, which was rejected by PBS. They explained their rejection by stating the film was “flawed,” had “a limited focus that does not adequately corroborate the film's conclusions,” and possessed “a general lack of attention to the obligation of fairness.”
A Trusted Voice For Glenn Beck
Thankfully, Jasser has never been rejected his “friend” Glenn Beck, the right-wing, conspiracy peddling media personality who once anecdotally claimed 10% of Muslims were terrorists. Beck calls Jasser the “one Muslim that we were all searching for after 9-11" and "a voice that I trust” because he confirms Beck’s worst fears of the Muslim Brotherhood and their infiltration of America. Beck has also stated the political left is working in tandem with Islamists to implement Sharia in America, and “they are united to destroy the West.”
It Pays to Be a Muslim Islamophobe
As a result of his loyal parroting, Jasser has published an article for leading Islamophobe Daniel Pipes’ think tank, Middle East Forum. Radical Islamophobe Brigitte Gabriel, “whose views are in line with a growing field of groups that use community concerns about Islamic extremism to stoke fear toward the Muslim community at large,” invited him to attend an ACT! For America event in Florida. Steve Emerson has praised his commentary on his Investigative Project on Terrorism website. Recently deceased right-wing media Mogul, Andrew Breitbart, invited Jasser to contribute to his “BigPeace.com” website, which also features Frank Gaffney’s blog.By Wajahat Ali
Wajahat Ali is a playwright, attorney, new media journalist and consultant. His play, "The Domestic Crusaders", is one the first plays published about Muslim Americans. He blogs at Goatmilk.
*Photo Credit: marsmet544
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