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8 questions with Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy
by M. Zuhdi Jasser
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is the president and founder of the American Islamic
Forum for Democracy (AIFD). A Syrian-American and devout Muslim, Jasser is one of the most outspoken, nationally recognized opponents of political Islam and Islamist organizations. As a former lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, Jasser served 11 years as a medical officer. In addition to heading AIFD, Jasser is a practicing physician specializing in internal medicine and nuclear cardiology.
Jasser recently spoke with The Daily Caller and answered some questions about the need for reform in Islam, the silence of moderate Muslims, and his view of the "Ground Zero" mosque.
1) Why did you start the American Islamic Forum for Democracy? What do you hope to accomplish?
We founded the group in 2003. After 9/11 there was really no sense of ownership of our problems within the Muslim community. All the groups that spoke for American Muslims were of the victimology mindset and only looked at terrorism as a problematic tactic rather than looking at the core problem, the root cause, which was an ideology that was pre-modern, that had not gone through a phase of enlightenment as we had in the West. These groups continued to promote their own platform of political Islam and took no responsibility for reform. My struggle against political Islam and Islamist imams and organizations was one I had my whole life, but the struggle could no longer wait generations. So we felt we needed to create an organization that systematically looked at and engaged political Islam in all of its manifestations as the problem in order to reform our faith and stop terrorism, which was only a symptom.
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