Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith, looked at the Berlin terrorist attack from the perspective of an Islamic reformer on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily.
Noting that the “lone wolf” Berlin jihadi is turning out to be a “known wolf” who was under surveillance by German authorities, SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam asked Jasser why more is not being done to thwart Islamist terrorism.
“Because the current axis upon which we focus is violence,” Jasser replied. “Currently all they’re looking for is when these guys get turned on to commit an act of violence, and most of them have no ability to demonstrate that they’re going to be violent.”
“But they are Islamists, they are insurgents,” he argued. “They reject Western systems. They’re very anti-Semitic, anti-Christian. They divide the world into the land of Islam and the land of war. But that ideology is not monitored. All we’re monitoring is trying to figure out when they’re all of a sudden going to become violent, and most of them only demonstrate that a few hours or, at most, a few days, before they commit the act.”
“That’s why we need to start monitoring the public footprint of political Islam, and what is that? It’s the grievance groups that say Muslims are discriminated against and that the West is Islamophobic,” said Jasser. “It’s the anti-Semitism. It’s the misogyny, where women are treated as second-class citizens, and you see them talking about the right to wear the veil, rather than the right for women to have independence and bodily autonomy.”
“All these things that the governments of France and Germany and Britain and the U.S. would perceive as simply shades of theology need to be monitored and looked at in a public footprint perspective. Then you’d be able to say, ‘Oh, these are the guys that could become militarized or operationalized.’ Otherwise, there’s no way to predict it,” he warned. “They’re using such unconventional means now, since ISIS is telling them to use trucks and knives and things that would not be able to be monitored, that we have to be looking at the precursor ideologies – which is the hate for the West, the hate for the system that really is out there.”
“As you know, in the work that I do, I attract most of these barbaric Islamists. Look at the Paris attacks. The Paris attacks occurred in November, and in March, the same cell committed a second act. These guys hid out in Islamist insurgent communities. Not militant communities, but insurgent communities that protected them from the police. That tells you how big the problem is. And this guy now is probably similar. I guarantee you he’s not hiding out in churches or synagogues,” Jasser said.
Kassam spotlighted the recent media frenzy over a Muslim prankster allegedly getting kicked off an airplane, allegedly just because he spoke in Arabic, although he has been called out for staging a hate-crime hoax. Kassam contended there were real acts of discrimination against Muslims, but their number is much smaller than activists and hoaxers claim.
“Does this make it easier or harder for everyday Muslims?” he asked.
“I can’t tell you how much harder it makes it,” Jasser replied. “We, right away, on my Twitter feed and on Facebook, exposed quickly that this guy was a prankster, and obviously, he had been outed as a hoax he had committed in 2014, and was just trying to get attention as a YouTuber. People may say he’s not an Islamist, but this is the first stage, 101 or 201 of Islamism, which is to exploit a non-Muslim society, to exploit its vulnerability – which is the protection of minorities – and then mock it, separate Muslims out of that society into our own consciousness.”
“So what happens is, by mocking it and exploiting it, and then saying. ‘Oh, he was discriminated and kicked off,’ but actually lying about it, not only is it a ‘crying wolf’ phenomenon, where those who may be discriminated against are going to be ignored, but it soaks up the bandwidth of what we should be doing,” he explained.
“I’ve always said, if you want to melt away any fear of Muslims, the best way is for Americans to see us leading the battle against radicals, for Americans to see us basically recognizing that this is a Muslim problem that needs a Muslim solution,” he advised. “Then they’d say, ‘Oh, wait a minute: these are our allies; they’re not our enemies!’ But until we do that, these guys are actually radicalizing our community by telling everyone, ‘Well, make it up or whatever.’”
“Grievances are our biggest problem,” Jasser mused. “The elephant in the room, even from the discussion you and I just had on Berlin, is that our so-called allies – the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, these huge cauldrons of tens and hundreds of millions of Islamists that believe in the Islamic State – want to separate the world into good and evil, Islam being good and the rest being evil. Unless we address that primary theocracy – which is a mentality that secular society is evil, and if you live here, then, well, Americans hate you, et cetera – those types of mentalities can’t be defeated.”
“We have to abandon that and say, ‘You know what? We’re done with the grievance mills. They are corrupt.’ We need to no longer identify as a collective as Muslims, but identify as Americans first. That’s the main core harm that’s happening with these types of wackos,” he said.
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