Connect with us

Israel

Muslim Reformer Discusses Hamas, Israel, His Run For Congress

Published

on

zuhdi jasser headshot scaled

Follow Steve Postal @HebraicMosaic

I have interviewed Dr. M Zuhdi Jasser multiple times on a range of topics including Islamism and what he believes is its antidote, the Muslim Reform Movement. Dr. M Zuhdi Jasser is founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM) and the CLARITy Coalition, and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.” He is a practicing Muslim. He is also an active primary care physician in private practice and a former U.S. Navy officer whose parents fled Syria in the 1960s, and hosts of the Blaze Radio Podcast “Reform This!”.

 

I interviewed Dr. Jasser about Hamas’ war with Israel and his recent run for Congress:

Postal: Many are wondering how Hamas had the motivation to pull off such a depraved attack. How did we get here? What does Islam say about whether its attack was justified?

Jasser: Their motivation is no surprise to anyone who understands Islamists. Hamas is part of a larger group of global Islamists around the world waging a global religious war against the West. So, Hamas is not just fighting Israel and their bigotry is not just against the Jewish people. Hamas’ door-to-door genocidal pogroms were a terror designed to drive fear into non-Muslims and non-Islamists alike. They divide the world into the “Land of Islam” (Dar-al-Islam) and the “Land of War” (Dar-al-Harb). To them, all non-combatants not in their Islamist movements are fair targets.

A relative pause of jihadism was in part due to the decimation of ISIS by the Trump administration. The Biden administration’s discarding of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” deterrence against Iran contributed to Iran’s acceleration of Hamas’ military capabilities in the past three years.

There remain dominant interpretations of Islam that justify the savagery of the acts committed by Hamas on October 7. Many Western university students, progressives, and anti-Semites, as well as clerics, religious leaders and heads of state in Turkey, Qatar, Iran, Afghanistan, Jordan, Syria and others serve as force multipliers for this genocidal movement.

Postal: How have reformers in the Muslim Reform Movement and the CLARITY Coalition responded to Hamas’ attack?

Those in the Muslim Reform Movement have written and spoken about the need to counter the moral depravity of Islamist terror movements’ use of various interpretations of scripture. For example, Hamas’ Charter states, “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: “O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him” (Article 7).

Members of the Muslim Reform Movement have repeatedly asserted that no grievances can justify the savagery of Hamas. We have been outspoken about the need to free Gaza and the Palestinians from Hamas and militant Islamism. See my initial response on October 8 here, this piece here from Raheel Raza on how the defeat of Hamas is a “win” for Muslims, this interview here from Asra Nomani, and this here from me among many others.

The Clarity Coalition has similarly expressed concern about the fecklessness of the Biden administration financially rewarding the openly genocidal and anti-Semitic Iranian regime, and the need for a real public relations campaign for reform in the Muslim world toward celebrating liberty and Western national sovereignty like Israel. Instead, the West let jihad fester, and then advance against our greatest ally.

Postal: There has been a significant increase in anti-Semitism in the United States and Europe since the attack. To what extent do you attribute this to Hamas and other Islamist groups fanning these flames?

Jasser: Hamas lit the match into the dry brush of a radically progressivist, neo-Marxist activist network that was already teaming with anti-Semitic, anti-American, anti-Western, and anti-Israel hate. Many of us in counter-jihad movements have been calling for a confrontation of these networks. I testified to Congress on the global Islamist network of anti-Semitism and the threat it poses to all faith communities in 2013 and have spoken and written about it extensively.

We are finally starting to see universities begin to stand against grotesque, long festering antisemitism. Think tanks like the Middle East Forum begun exposing the unfathomable amount of money from Arab and Islamist regimes including over $8 billion to Ivy League schools. Divesting from Qatar would be a welcome offensive strategy against Islamism.

Postal: To what extent should we be worried about Hamas and Iranian-aligned terror cells in the United States, and what can the United States do to combat this issue?

The global radicalization of Muslims toward jihadism is a real threat with hundreds of Islamist terror organizations and thousands of sympathizing Islamist organizations. Mass movements support Hamas in the streets of London, Paris, Istanbul and across the West. Muslim reformists have been warning about the millions of Muslim refugees, an estimated 10-15% of who are sympathetic to ISIS, that have immigrated to the West. Many more who are sympathetic to violent Islamism have likely come through our hemorrhaging border.

Postal: What is your reaction to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who has refused to retract her false claim that Israel bombed a hospital in Gaza, and who, according to The Canary Mission, has founded Black4Palestine, a group that has worked with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization in the United States?

Jasser: Ahead of Congresswoman Tlaib’s visit to the Valley of the Sun here in Arizona, I openly called her out for her radicalism and her tacit support of Hamas. Her radical statements, including her trying to defend the statement that “Palestine is from the river to the sea” is a call for the complete elimination of Israel.

Recent reporting has exposed connections between Tlaib and Hamas over many years. The connections include groups founded by Tlaib, various allied groups, and fundraisers for her campaign including one co-hosted by Hamas-activist, Salah Sarsour. Recent reporting also uncovered that Tlaib is a member of a hidden pro-Hamas Facebook group, where members have mocked Israeli hostages and glorified the savage actions of Hamas terrorists on October 7.

Last week I was one of the very public voices in our district calling for the cancelation of her welcome to our tax funded university Arizona State University. I have also called for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) to be decertified due to their open support of Hamas and its terror activities. No place should permit SJP’s fundraising, especially tax funded universities. ASU ended up blocking Tlaib’s in-person speech at the last minute, but allowed her to give it via Zoom instead. ASU also defended its decision due to inadequate registration, insurance and other scheduling problems rather than the fact that it was likely violating Arizona and federal anti-terror material support laws.

Support of terrorism and October 7 by groups like SJP and Tlaib actually compromise free speech rights through terror and intimidation. They are the enemies of free speech, not defenders of it.

The current representative for our district, Cong. Greg Stanton (D-AZ) voted against Tlaib’s recent censure in Congress, and was silent on her visit to the Valley. Here is a short clip of my unapologetic position on Israel, and my arguments against the radicalism of Tlaib.

Postal: CAIR has called Israel’s retaliation against Hamas a “genocide.” Is such a false claim resonating with American Muslims? Do you think American Muslims can or will turn against Hamas and Islamism?

More than half (57.5%) of Muslim American respondents to a new survey agreed that Hamas was at least somewhat justified in attacking Israel “as part of their struggle for a Palestinian state.” That group was about evenly divided between those who somewhat agreed (29.3%) and those who strongly agreed (28.2%), while 88.5% of Jewish Americans said that Hamas was not even somewhat justified. This according to the general population survey that Cygnal (a top rated polling firm according to FiveThirtyEight) conducted between October 16-18 with 2,020 respondents according to JNS. However, I believe the numbers of Muslims supporting Hamas is diminishing as the truth of October 7 and Israel’s response come to light.

By definition, Hamas’ door-to-door pogroms of searching for, terrorizing, and slaughtering Jews was genocidal. Additionally, as John Spencer noted, Israel’s military response is upholding the rules of war and Geneva Conventions. However, the first casualty from the Islamists is truth. Islamist media intentionally misleads, fabricates and pushes a false narrative that the Israel Defense Forces commit war crimes.

The Palestinian people have been long overdue for an Arab awakening against their primary true oppressors, Hamas, the other radical Islamist movements, and their benefactors in Iran. But instead, they are led to blame everything on the “Jews” and Israel. This is derived from deep-seeded, theologically driven anti-Semitism.

Postal: What is your reaction to the failure of many US universities to condemn the Hamas attack, and like in Cornell and GW, faculty and students who outright support Hamas? Would you support Sen. Tim Scott’s call for deporting foreign students that support Hamas?

Jasser: The reaction in universities to Hamas’ October 7 atrocities shows the complete erosion the values of American institutions of higher learning. Wokeism and the exaggeration and obsession on identity politics and victimization associated with anti-Americanism, anti-Westernism and anti-Semitism are fueled by the Chinese Communist Party, Iran, Russia and Qatar.

Those of us long on the front lines of the anti-Hamas and anti-Islamist movement in America see that finally many on the left are awakening to what’s going on in universities as we see board members and trustees finally resigning from Ivy League schools. The first step is simply upholding our existing rule of law: material support of terror and terror organizations is prohibited by law in all states and in the federal system. Groups like the SJP should be decertified as Florida has been done at GW and a few other universities have begun to do, as SJP is a radical supporter of terror groups like Hamas. It is time to begin to invest in re-creating the bulwark of foundational values that should be taught to our next generations at university and the importance of Americanism.

I agree with Sen. Tim Scott who has said that for those students who are here as guests coming to school and have sympathies for Hamas should’ve never been let in based on their ideology. We need to correct that wrong and deport them as their visitor status is a privilege not a right, and their material support of terrorism violates the basis of their visa.

Postal: Before Hamas’ brutal attack that killed 1,400 Israelis, there was increased momentum around a possible deal between the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel to normalize relations. How do you think the attack has influenced these developments?

Jasser: Saudi Arabia will likely retreat from this initially. But this will have little to no impact on the long-term trajectory of normalization of relations between several Arab Gulf states and Israel. Israel will strike a significant blow to jihadism once Hamas is defeated and the hostages are hopefully saved. Among the kleptocrats that have rejected Islamist movements and political Islam, there is an increasing number that will continue to seek a new future in economic revitalization and cooperation with Israel, with or without the Palestinians.

Postal: Turkish president Recep Erdogan had openly achieved a form of détente with Israel, but now said that “Hamas is not a terrorist organization, it is a group of mujahideen defending their lands.” Qatar plays “arsonist and firefighter” by flaming anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments by funding Hamas and Al-Jazeera, and then now negotiates with Hamas to release Jewish hostages. What should the Biden administration do to influence these countries’ behaviors?

Jasser: The way we approach Turkey will ultimately define the way we approach the most effective of Islamist movements: the nonviolent civilizational jihadists.  It is our ability to dissolve this Islamist “farm team” that holds the keys to whether our future will be one of global stability or forever chaos in war.

Turkey’s AKP is an Islamist movement parallel to the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt that produced Hamas. Serious considerations need to be made for removing Turkey from NATO, even if this means dissolving NATO and then reconstituting without them. In every conflict, Turkey sides with Islamists against Western democracies, especially the United States and Israel. Towards the end of the Trump administration, during an incursion into Syria, Turkey slaughtered hundreds to thousands of Kurds, one of the few pro-American groups in Syria and Iraq.

America is deeply compromised with Islamist Turkey as we are with Qatar as well. Despite our very large military base in Qatar, the US allows the Qatari royals to house most of Egypt’s exiled Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood spreads its hate out of Qatar’s hugely popular Al Jazeera, which is viciously anti-American and anti-Semitic.

We need leadership in Washington that unapologetically defines the firewalls that exist (see our Muslim Reform Movement Declaration) between Islamist movements that are theocratic and sharia supremacist in their foundations and Western secular liberal democracies which are entirely incompatible at every level.

Postal: You’ve recently helped found the CLARITy coalition. Can you talk a little bit about its aims and the work you do with that coalition?

Jasser: In 2015 a group of us in the Muslim community across the West came together and formed the Muslim Reform Movement and united under a declaration that became our proverbial firewall against Islamists and their ideological fervor. We see the CLARITy Coalition as a broader coalition, an expansion of the Muslim Reform Movement, now including our allies outside the Muslim community who recognize the threat of Islamism and believe that the advancement of liberty and freedom is the only way to counter Islamists.

The CLARITy Coalition launched officially in Austria in October 2022 and has positioned itself as a platform of cooperation among anti-Islamist, anti-jihadist, and pro-liberty activists, think tanks, and thought leaders. My hope is that it will become commonplace that any time Islamists are featured in media, many of us from CLARITy will also be seated at the table. I also hope that these coalitions show that not only are anti-Islamist Muslim reformers needed at the head of their collective spear but that their Muslim colleagues, compatriots, and fellow citizens are a necessary and valued part of their societies.

Postal: You are now running for Congress in Arizona. Why did you choose to run, and what is your platform?

Jasser:  I’m running for Congress because I have a deep faith in Americanism, be it in healthcare, national security, religious freedom, free markets, and free speech. Abraham Lincoln called the faith in our Founding and Declaration of Independence our “political religion.” That’s Americanism to me. I think challenges to Americanism include China, Iran and progressivism/Marxism. Our campaign is about “Restoring America’s Promise.” See our launch video here.

I believe I can begin to play a serious role in helping to re-calibrate and rebrand the reality of what American conservatism represents. The Republican party holds the keys to the conservative principles that truly lift up a color blind American society with real ideological diversity, free speech, and economic freedom. I’m running to renew that American promise that my parents fled Syria to enjoy.

I believe Americans want someone who has courage. From public critique in my own local mosque in Arizona, to being nationally targeted by Muslim grievance groups, to standing up for religious freedom on our US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) against petro-theocrats and Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, I drove ahead for American values. In the end even with all of that, I will also be the long overdue antidote to the Islamist radicalism which Rashida Talib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) represent as the “Hamas Caucus.”

The author would like to thank Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser for participating in this interview.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Israel

Good Riddance to UNRWA as it Supports Hamas

Published

on

United Nations HQ

Follow Steve Postal: @HebraicMosaic

————-

The head of UNRWA recently accused Israel of waging an “expanded, concerted campaign” to destroy the UN agency. The leader of UNRWA does have a cause for concern, as Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated that UNRWA has “lost legitimacy and can no longer function as a UN body.” UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer stated that “The rot is systemic, and that’s why we’re holding a conference…to replace UNRWA.” And now Congressional Republicans are probing the Biden administration’s decision to restore US funding to UNRWA in 2021, following the Trump administration’s suspension of that funding in 2018.

Good riddance to UNRWA if it ends up folding under pressure; UNRWA and the UN are Hamas apologists at best, and facilitators at worst. For example, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator actually insisted that “Hamas is not a terrorist group for us,” but merely a “political movement.” And the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories, in a rejoinder to the French president calling the October 7 attack “the largest anti-Semitic massacre of our century,” stated that “No, Mr. Macron. The victims of [the October 7 attack] were not killed because of their Judaism, but in response to Israel’s oppression.”

UNRWA Employees Provide Material Support to Hamas, PIJ

Israeli Defense Minister Galant has named 12 specific UNRWA employees who “actively participated” in Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, and also stated that Israel has “significant indications based on intelligence” that implicates “over 30” additional UNRWA employees. Gallant stated that of UNRWA’s 13,000 staff in Gaza, “1,468 workers are known to be active in Hamas and PIJ, 185 UNRWA workers are active in the military branches of Hamas and 51 are active in the PIJ military branch.”

Additional to those numbers are the 30 UNRWA teachers known to have celebrated the October 7 attacks on a UNRWA Telegram group that had 3,000 members.

Hamas’ “Data Center” Found Underneath UNRWA Headquarters

Israel also found a Hamas “data center” under UNRWA’s headquarters in Gaza, equipped with an electrical room, computer servers and rooms where Hamas operatives could work and sleep, and that there were power lines connecting UNRWA’s headquarters to this data center. And surprise, some of the equipment found was made in Iran and China. Interestingly, while the Hamas “data center” contained electronics, a server room in the above-ground UNRWA headquarters had most of its electronics missing, which appears to be indicative of “actions of someone who knew the army was coming and wanted to hide the evidence,” according to Col. Benny Aharon of Israel’s 401st Armored Brigade. After the head of UNRWA denied that UNRWA knew of this data center ahead of time, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) tweeted “Oh, you knew,” and stated that Israel had warned UN officials about the data center but those officials chose to ignore those warnings.

Additional Evidence of Strong UNRWA/Hamas Partnership

Additionally, UN Watch cited instances of UNRWA/Hamas synergy, including that Israel found:

  • At the UNRWA headquarters above ground, weapons and “documents that indicated that the same offices were also used by Hamas”;
  • UNRWA aid bags in Yahya Sinwar’s bunker;
  • UNRWA concrete in Hamas’ tunnels that housed hostages;
  • Missiles and rockets under UNRWA equipment;
  • That Hamas stashed ammunition, explosives, and weapons in UNRWA bags, and that Hamas also had UN vests;
  • That Hamas stored weapons in and fired weapons from a UNRWA school; and
  • That Hamas’ “Ministry of Health” stole 24,000 gallons of fuel from UNRWA.

And to further emphasize the scope of how seriously UNRWA is compromised by Hamas, every single UNRWA “site, school, mosque, [and] kindergarten” that Israel has inspected had weapons, according to Israel’s commander of the 646th Reserve Paratroopers Brigade.

Calls to preserve UNRWA merely deflect away from the “systemic” “rot” found in the organization. Israel should make sure that UNRWA does not operate in any post-war Gaza, as the organization compromises the security of the Jewish state.

Continue Reading

Trending