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Excerpts from A Battle for the Soul of Islam, by Dr M Zuhdi Jasser, 2012
“The most important American Muslim you’ve never heard of.” — Washington Post
As a Navy veteran, I have wondered at times what it was like for my country when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor … It was not until 9/11 that I had any real sense of what that day must have been like … I believe that history will view the 9/11 attacks as far worse than Pearl Harbor [which] was military in nature and largely targeted our US Navy … while 9/11 was an attack by terrorists on civilians … by men who claimed to so do so in the name of God. As a Muslim, it is hard to put into words just how horrific this is, how deeply I believe it betrays my faith.
Once the shock of the attack wore off, my next response was pure rage. I wanted to get even with the bastards who had done this, and what added to my fury was that they had done this in the name of my faith of Islam … make it clear to my fellow Americans that true Islam, our Islam, was not what was represented by these madmen. I had no idea what a big job that would really be … to make the world aware of the difference between Islam and Islamism. To that extent, President George W. Bush was right; they do hate us for our freedom.
The very idea that one could invoke and blame US foreign policy for what these men did on 9/11 is absurd … How could civilized American Muslims, rather than put the blame squarely on their supremacist ideology, find excuses and explanations for them?
In the immediate weeks after 9/11, it soon became obvious to me that I needed to make my own voice heard as someone loves both his faith and his country and wanted to draw a clear line between the Islamists’ interpretation of Islam and mine [but] the apologetics from Muslims began to flow.
Unfortunately, the current paradigm of the organized American Muslim community would inevitably lead them to Islamists, groups that politically or tribally organize under the banner of “Islam” and “Muslims.” [I published this op-ed in The Arizona Republic, Nov 9 2011:]
“The seditious and treasonous rantings and ravings from a few ungrateful Palestinians bring an unspeakable revulsion from me … If I had been aboard the USS Cole, I would have no problem with sending the approaching murderers to their martyrdom.”
To my disbelief, there were actually those in the local and national Muslim community who were opposed to what I had to say, who put Islam (specifically its global political movement) above their country. I was at a loss to understand how they could do this, since it was actually the United States, more than any other nation, that gave them the right to worship in whatever way they choose. Who could argue with that? The Islamists, that’s who.
CAIR … is one of a number of American Muslim groups of Islamists that sprouted from the ideas of political Islam as embodied in the teachings and platform of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas came out of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in the Middle East and thus shares its vision of political Islam and its goal in government.
For them there is no real difference between Islam and Islamism which … calls for Islamic states across the world.
I want America and the world at large to understand why violence and extremism are only part of the problem … The bigger problem is Islamism, a belief system that holds Islam superior to all other world religions and political systems and seeks for it to dominate the world … they seek to establish sharia law as a separate legal system for Muslims in the West … This is every bit as dangerous as terrorism, in its own way, because separatism is part of what drives a true Islamist. Islamism must be defeated because it is completely at odds with Western values of liberty and separation of church and state.