A Battle for the Soul of Islam

The American medical doctor-turned-political activist Zuhdi Jasser has recently published A Battle for the Soul of Islam:  An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save his Faith.  This autobiographical account describes how a first-generation Syrian-American living and loving the American Dream felt called after September 11, 2001, to contend with aggressive and authoritarian elements seeking primacy among his Muslim co-religionists worldwide.  Jasser offers a sympathetic tale of a Muslim seeking acceptance among his co-religionists of his dual devotion to faith and freedom.  Jasser discusses that a rational understanding of religion allows the possibility of strengthening peace and prosperity for all in the face of often nihilistic Muslim groups demanding submission to specifically sectarian sharia norms.  While freedom’s friends should welcome Muslims like Jasser as valued allies in their fight against militant jihad, the extent of Jasser’s future success remains as yet uncertain.

Jasser begins his narrative with his family background in his ancestral Syria.  Jasser’s grandfather, Zuhdi Al-Jasser, led a prominent vegetable oil company and was a strong public proponent of a free society in Syria following French colonial rule’s end in 1946.  Analogous to his grandson, Al-Jasser as a “devout Muslim” combined with his faith an admiration of the West’s freedom.  This admiration rubbed off on his son, Mohamed Kais Jasser, Zuhdi’s father, who completed his bachelors’ degree at London University in the early 1960s before studying medicine in Syria.  Intermittent repression from successive “thugs of the month” dictators, though, ultimately made life in Syria intolerable for Al-Jasser with his regular newspaper columns. Beginning in 1963, he and his family began a migration via Beirut, Lebanon, to the United States.

Born in 1967 in Dayton, Ohio, Jasser grew up with his family and grandparents in Appleton, Wisconsin.  Like “many midwestern kids in small towns,” Jasser spent childhood “laughing a lot and generally just having a very good time.”  Jasser’s boyhood friendships, many of them still ongoing, with Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists showed him “how cultural and religious differences are so often accepted in America.”  In this environment Jasser’s grandfather found ironic the greater freedom of religion to practice Islam in the United States than in Muslim-majority Syria.  This “reality of personal faith” made the Jasser family’s worship “more purely Islamic and closer to God in Wisconsin” than in Syria.

Along with a “spirit of liberty and of Islam,” Jasser’s family imbued in him “at a very early age an intense love for the American military.”  Accordingly, Jasser sought to emulate his father’s medical career via a scholarship from the United States Navy.  After medical school, Jasser completed his naval training and deployed in July 1993 for ten months aboard the amphibious cargo ship U.S.S. El Paso.  Jasser’s Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, and Jewish “best friends in the Navy” recall the diversity of the infantry squad in Steven Spielberg’s film Saving Private Ryan or the proverbial World War II American “bomber crew.”  The Navy gave Jasser a “sense of unity that transcended where one was from, one’s politics, or one’s religion.”

After the El Paso tour, Jasser completed various training and service assignments at Bethesda Naval Hospital near Washington, DC, until retiring from the Navy in 1999. Jasser’s final two service years placed him in the sensitive Office of the Attending Physician (OAP).  This office provides care for Congress and Supreme Court members as well as emergency response for the Capitol Hill police jurisdiction.

During these years around the turn of the 20th to the 21st century a “dream American life” came together for Jasser.  After a long, involved personal search, Jasser finally found an intelligent, independent-minded Muslim Syrian-American woman capable of sharing Jasser’s life as a full partner.  Jasser celebrated a traditional Islamic wedding with his wife Gada on Valentine’s Day 1998, a day decried by many orthodox Muslim as a “corrupt Western tradition” but nonetheless the “favorite holiday” of the romantics Jasser and Gada.  Among others attending the nuptials were Jasser’s commanding officer, Admiral John Eisold, and Representative J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ).  Subsequent to the Navy, Jasser joined his father’s established practice in Phoenix, Arizona, and Gada became pregnant with the couple’s first child in 2001.

The 9/11 attacks disrupted this idyll, evoking in the Navy veteran Jasser thoughts of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor sixty years earlier.  Jasser felt “pure rage” and sought “to get even with the bastards” who invoked Islamic faith in the name of terror.  Jasser discerned a “second calling” to show the world that such “madmen” did not represent “true Islam, our Islam” and that there was a “difference between Islam and Islamism.”

Jasser distinguishes thereby between Islam as a “spiritual and personal way of life, not a political belief system” and Islamism as a “theo-political separatist ideology” seeking “to dominate the world.” Jasser rejects the Islamist wish “for laws to be based not on secular agreement but purely on shariah” with its “fourteen-hundred-year-old religious laws” such that, for example, “women are second-class citizens” and “punishments tend to be extremely brutal.” In support of this agenda, “terrorism is merely a tactic” alongside a “propaganda war worthy of the Nazis or the Soviets.”  Indeed, Jasser analogizes the 21st struggle against Islamism with the 20th century struggles against secular totalitarianisms, for, regardless of source, “fascism is fascism.”

Jasser admits to being “very much unaware of political Islam” during his “own protected life in Wisconsin and then the Navy” where Jassser was “able to maintain an idyllic perception of my own faith and culture and its compatibility with the West.” Jasser first encountered this phenomenon before 9/11 as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. There Jasser gravitated towards Muslims of Malaysian and Indonesian origin generally interested in the “spiritual aspects of Islam” as opposed to the “obsession with political movements, anti-Semitism, and foreign policy” present among “Muslims of Arab origin dominated by Palestinians.”

Jasser similarly avoided the “Islamists” of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and left the Islamic Society of Milwaukee mosque.  Listening to the imam’s anti-American “vitriol”, “theo-political drivel”, and “deep-seated anti-Semitism” made Jasser “ill.” All such views alienated Jasser as a “conservative Republican” and “passionate supporter of President Reagan” who engaged in conservative journalism in both high school and college.

Later in 1995 an incident with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) exposed Jasser to the “organized threat” of “Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups” in the United States.  A fellow Navy doctor invited Jasser to present a research paper at a convention of the Islamic Medical Association (IMA).  There Jasser discovered that the IMA was intimately linked to ISNA, whose convention followed the IMA convention and was open to its attendees.  Jasser’s only previous contact with ISNA had been a 1991 letter calling for conscientious objection from active-duty American military personnel to the Gulf War, provoking a “visceral response” from Jasser.

Staying for the ISNA convention’s opening day, Jasser heard the keynote speaker Imam Siraj Wahhaj advocate the long-term goal of replacing the Constitution with Islamic law. During the subsequent audience participation, Jasser in his Navy whites dress uniform expressed before a microphone his offense at Wahhaj’s apparent advocacy of sedition.  Jasser then indicated to all other military members in the audience that they should follow Jasser in disassociating themselves from ISNA and any other affiliated groups like IMA, as military personnel swear to uphold the Constitution.  Although the ISNA convention made a deep impression upon Jasser, “as in Milwaukee” he “held out the hope” that “Muslims in a generation or so” would resolve such Islamist controversies (Jasser confesses to being an “eternal optimist.”).

The manifest continuing relevance of Islamism after 9/11 led to Jasser to found the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) in his living room with eight Phoenix area Muslim families on March 3, 2003.  With the “primary mission” of advocating “separation of mosque and state”, AIFD applies the “true meaning of jihad” to wage, in the words cited by Jasser of Tarek Fatah from the Muslim Canadian Congress, a “jihad against jihad” conducted by Islamists. Not without logic, Jasser argues that Islamism is a “Muslim problem that needs a Muslim solution” in a formulation of Islam compatible with freedom appealing to Muslims.

Yet Jasser notes the scorn of Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) that AIFD’s “supporters could all fit in one phone booth.” Jasser in turn dismisses Ellison as an “apologist” for Islamists and writes of AIFD growth in the face of various social pressures on American Muslims against public opposition to Islamism.  Yet fellow Islamism opponent Robert Spencer similarly critically comments at his website Jihadwatch that “Jasser has long held to his own private Islam that has nothing to do with traditional, mainstream Islam.”  Ironically indicative of Spencer’s doubts, readers seeking to explore further the inherently extensive themes of Islamic reform broached by various passages of Jasser’s book under the eponymous link at the AIFD website currently receive merely the advisory “Section still under construction.”

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • Mary Sue

    This guy sounds like the Tarek Fatah of USA.

  • MikeWood

    Learn about the conduct of Muhammad. If you're happy with massacre, rape, torture, and slavery then you'll be OK with Islam. Otherwise, just leave. Islam is not reformable. This is pure fantasy. I note that Jasser describes himself as "an eternal optimist". Well, optimists can be notorious for failing to look at the evidence and the logic that contradict their optimism – we could call it the "Audacity of Hope".

  • Chanameel

    Islam is Pure Luciferian Doctrine.

    It's dark soul is soon to receive the Light.

  • Marty

    It's impossible to reform islam; it has to be eliminated by consistently exposing its penchant for misery. Most of the koran is nothing more than a call for violence and brutality. Decent muslims are fighting an uphill battle against a totalitarian death cult. communism and fascism could not be reformed. Each had to be destroyed. islam is no different and its ideology is too absolutist and genocidal to be moderated. islam will always remain sinister, viciously genocidal, and hostile to western civilization.

  • Alex Kovnat

    That at least some followers of Islam have become disillusioned, comes as no surprize to me. In the early years of the 20th century, we had some socialist-feminists who at first embraced the Russian revolution (particularly when 100 or so young women perished in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, 100 years ago last year), and then became disillusioned with the direction in which Lenin was taking the Bolsheviks.

    On and after September 11 2001, I often wondered if Osama Bin Laden was a secret admirer of Lenin (and/or, Fidel Castro or Ho Chi Minh) and wanted to be the Lenin of a modern-day world-wide Islamic movement to conquer the world. Perhaps this might have been true. But we need to ask ourselves if Islam long ago, had their Lenin: Mohammed himself.

  • cjk

    So when do we get the Nazi reformation? Should be quite a bit easier.

  • Gloria Stewart

    Let us assume that Dr. Jasser is exactly as he presents himself. Unfortunately, Islam is not reformable. The Koran is believed by Muslims to be the literal word of Allah, and Muslims believe that the Prophet Mohammed was the perfect man whose example should be followed. Islam has no degrees – there is no moderate Islam or extreme Islam. There is only Islam. There are really two parts to the Koran. The first part was written when Mohammed was in Mecca with a small following and no power. In it you will find the chapters that mimic Christianity and Judaism and are often quoted in an ecumenical setting. The second part was written when Mohammed was in Medina and began to grow in power. These are the war like chapters. Islam is not a Chinese menu – one does not get to choose one from column A and one from column B. Islam uses the principle of abrogation. Muslims are told that when there is a conflict between some chapters, the latter – the Medinan or war like chapters prevail.

    More important, Western civilization is base on the rule of law. That is the bottom line. In Islam blasphemy is defined as such if a Muslim perceives that Mohammed, Islam, or Sharia has been insulted. Our legal system is objective and quantifiable and conclusions can be reached through linear reasoning. Sharia – which must be the basis of any Muslim society – is none of these things. Also, under Sharia, a Muslim has an obligation to kill an apostate on sight – a call for vigilante law.

    It is not a good idea for conservatives to seek out moderate Muslims. Regardless of how one defines a moderate Muslim and regardless of the sincerity of that person, he is looking for a unicorn. He can offer nothing to an anti jihadist movement but to send it down a false path.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Let us assume that Dr. Jasser is exactly as he presents himself. Unfortunately, Islam is not reformable.

      If Jasser is a Muslim reformer as opposed to a shyster duping gullible useful idiots like the credulous writer of this garbage, where are all his followers? Believing that Islam can be reformed is about as intelligent as spending billions of dollars and wasting the lives of thousands of patriotic Americans to attempt to democratize it, as reforming Islam is about as impossible as democratizing it. Especially when you consider the fact that Islam far from being a religion is more than anything else a supremacist totalitarian ideology.

      • US Muslim

        I happen to be on Dr. Zuhdi Jasser's mailing list. He's got more brains and is far more qualified to talk about Islam than a million of the likes of you.

      • http://twitter.com/AEHarrod @AEHarrod

        Gosh, I am a credulous writer of garbage. I understand your skepticism, but the point of the article is to present a balanced presentation of one person's attempt to offer a rational view of Islam. I do not wish to whitewash anything.

        • ObamaYoMoma

          I do not wish to whitewash anything.

          Well you did.

  • Ghostwriter

    Judging by the incredible and quite natural hatred the Muslim world has for this country,Dr. Jasser has a lot of work ahead of him.

  • Infidel Prime

    Gloria you are incorrect. Islam is reformable. However, it would take a forced reformation imposed by a conquering force or mass disillusion because of living conditions imposed by sharia law. a great spark for the latter would be Iran. Many don't realize that 90% of Iran's population was born after the 1979 revolution and despise the Islamist regime of what they refer to as the "mad mullahs". The vast majority of Iranians under 40 want a secular, Western-style country. most want to throw out the name Iran and become Persia again. the only thing standing in the way is the powerful and ruthless Iranian military who take their marching orders from the Islamist, Mad Mullahs. When Israel has no choice but to attack Iran there is a chance that something good might have a slim chance to come out of it if the Israelis target command/control and leadership as well as the nuclear sites. the overwhelming majority of under age 40 Iranians have favorable opinions of America & Israel. a similar demographic exists in Egypt. if certain events happen to overstress the Islamist regimes in those two countries [hell, Egypt is roiling from within now and might take care of itself if Obama keeps his pie-hole shut] a true Arab /Persian spring might just set the stage for an Islamic reformation to start. The early Surrahs in the Koran are for the most part peaceful and benevolent and would be a sound foundation for a reformed Islam. it is the latter Surrahs and Hadiths that give life to radical Islam and all the evil they produce. when a conflict occurs between the older and newer chapters in the Koran, the newer,evil one supersedes. The newer chapters would have to become an area of embarrassment and set aside and light reforms to the older chapters could make Islam compatible with civilized society.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Just because lightening struck once with respect to Christianity doesn't mean it will strike again. What is it with you wishful thinkers? First of all, Christianity is a true religion. On the other hand, Islam is anything but a religion. Learn what Islam really is and you will stop putting your foot in your mouth. It is about as possible to reform Islam, as it is possible to democratize Islam; that is it is impossible! Reform and democracy are abominations in Islam that must be obliterated.

      Moreover, Republicans how is endless nation building missions to establish democracy in the Islamic world somehow peace through strength? It's not; it's leftwing idiocy and it is impossible. So stop getting our patriotic troops killed for your insanity!

  • Gloria Stewart

    Dear Infidel Prime,

    You talk about a forced Reformation. A Reformation in the classic sense does not necessarily mean a movement toward liberalism (also using that word in the classic sense). We think of the Protestant Reformation as liberating because it fought a monolithic institution and formed a new religion that created many sects. A Reformation actually means a return to basic doctrine – the Protestant reformers went back to the Gospels. What would Islam go back to? They would go back to the Koran, the hadiths, and the sira. There we are at square 1 again.

    Regardless of the squalid conditions in which a Muslim finds himself, he believes he has God's Law, and that will trump man's law any day. He has the promise of eternal life if he obey's God's Law. How do you trump that?

    What makes me a pessimist is the nature of Islam and the type of mind it creates. I mentioned in my previous posting that it cannot achieve the rule of law and underwrites vigilante law in addition. The Koran does not foster critical thinking – only blind obedience. To add insult to injury, Mohammed is considered to be the perfect example of a man, to be emulated in all aspects of behavior. The problem with Muslim countries basically is Islam.

    As for Iran, that country had a leader who tried to Westernize it with supposedly the support of his people. Then the Shah was overthrown with the acquiessence of our President. I hope the Israelis attack Iran and soon for their sakes and ours, but I do not xpect any basic change in giovernmnet to comeout of it.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Zuhdi Jasser is a stealth and deceptive jihadist and his game is to dupe useful idiots into believing in the myth of moderate and extremist Islam and moderate and extremist Muslims. The truth is Islam in all of its incarnations is radical as the fundamental purpose of Islam is to make Islam supreme. Meanwhile, all Muslims are jihadists, a tiny minority of Muslims are violent jihadists, while the vast overwhelming majority of Muslims in the world are stealth and deceptive jihadists, and they are all striving for one thing and that is to make Islam supreme.

    In fact, the most prevalent form of jihad in the world is taking place today totally under the radar and completely unopposed. What is it? It's mass Muslim immigration to the West and other non-Islamic societies where the Muslim immigrants like clockwork refuse to assimilate and integrate and instead form Muslim enclaves that in due time morph into Muslim no-go zones or Muslim sovereign statelets within the greater infidel states. For instance, the government of France has counted more than 700 no-go zones in France alone and France is just one Euroloon country out of many that will soon fall victim to Muslim demographic conquest in the second half of this century.

    As a matter of fact, today this phenomenon is taking place all over the world. Indeed, I challenge this useful idiot admirer of Zuhdi Jasser to cite just one example in the world where Muslim immigrants actually assimilated and integrated and matriculated into contributing members of their new infidel societies. Indeed, the very act of assimilating and integrating is blasphemous and an act of apostasy for which the punishment is death. How does Jasser seemingly get away with his blasphemy? He's a stealth and deceptive jihadist and an accomplished taqiyya artist!

    Why doesn't the writer of this garbage consult with Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller to see if they too are as taken in by that shyster as much as he is? Way to make a fool out of your gullible self, but don't feel too bad because most Republicans are gullible useful idiots and as ignorant of Islam as you are. Especially those two morons Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

    • US Muslim

      You're nothing bt a pseudo-intellectual who thinks he's soooo smart…

    • http://twitter.com/AEHarrod @AEHarrod

      I am perfectly happy to critique Jasser. I would not describe myself as a useful idiot admirer.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        I am perfectly happy to critique Jasser. I would not describe myself as a useful idiot admirer.

        Okay…maybe not an admirer, but the useful idiot part is undeniable. Although you must admire him to a certain extent, after all you wrote the article for him and therefore were used by him to spread his dishonest garbage.

        • http://twitter.com/AEHarrod @AEHarrod

          I did not write this article "for" Jasser, but merely to report on an interesting phenomenon. Given what I have seen and read of Jasser, I certainly think that Jasser is a decent person, and respect his Navy service. To what extent, of course, that Jasser's desire for acceptance of Islam as he practices and understands it is capable of winning mass Muslim support is a significant question that the article leaves open for future facts. Why do you dismiss Jasser's book as "dishonest garbage"? How is Jasser being dishonest, as opposed to mistaken?

          • ObamaYoMoma

            I did not write this article "for" Jasser

            You never would have written the article if Jasser hadn't penned his book. I respectfully disagree.

            Jasser is a stealth and deceptive jihadist and his mission is to dupe gullible useful idiots into believing that most Muslims are moderate and that Islam is primarily a moderate religion with the exception of the so-called radicals. The truth is the sole purpose of Islam in all of its incarnations is to make Islam supreme throughout the world via the imposition of sharia. In addition, all Muslims are jihadists, a few are violent jihadists, while the vast overwhelming amount of them are like Jasser, i.e., stealth and deceptive jihadists, and the few that are neither are blasphemous apostates that per the dictates of Islam must be executed. The latter, of course, are no longer Muslims but infidels instead.

            Islam is not a religion in the way that the West defines and recognizes religion, as all Muslims first and foremost must submit totally, completely, and unconditionally to the will of Allah, i.e., sharia, and Islam enforces that dictum via the penalty of death. Thus, Islam is a death cult that masquerades as being a religion and a very draconian form of totalitarianism.

            Indeed, can you point to just one Western style democracy in the Islamic world, or to one place in the West where Muslims have migrated in mass and where the vast overwhelming majority of Muslim immigrants have actually assimilated, integrated and matriculated into becoming contributing and productive members of their newly adapted societies, instead of forming Muslim enclaves that eventually morph into Muslim no-go zones ruled by sharia and that form tiny independent Islamic statelets within the greater infidel state? In fact, a few years ago the government of France counted more than 700 Muslim no-go zones in France alone.

            You see Muslims don't migrate to assimilate and integrate; they migrate instead to one day subjugate and dominate. To see what it will be like living under Muslim draconian totalitarian rule as a non-Muslim dhimmi, just observe the way that non-Muslim dhimmis, i.e., Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. are treated today living under Muslim rule. How are those various Christian communities doing these days in Iraq? What about the Christian Copts in Egypt, how are they treated? What about the Christians in Nigeria and the Christians in the north of Sudan, are they treated as equals? Are Muslims not murdering the Buddhists in the south of Thailand? Are Hindus and Christians in Pakistan not persecuted by Muslims?

            Indeed, how did Bush's naive and idiotic quest to democratize the Islamic world turn out? It inevitably turned into the two biggest strategic blunders ever in American history and Bush destroyed the credibility of the Republican Party at the same time. Yet Republicans still to this day can't come to grips with those strategic blunders and continue to insanely propose more strategic blunders in places like Syria.

            America and the West must separate themselves from the Islamic world ASAP before its too late and stealth and deceptive jihadists like Jasser must be exposed and punished for their treason.

          • http://twitter.com/AEHarrod @AEHarrod

            Not even Robert Spencer, quoted in the article and often similarly critical of Jasser as being a marginal Muslim figure, has referred to Jasser as a "stealth jihadist", a very serious charge, along with your assertion of treason meriting punishment. I guess Robert Spencer is just another gullible idiot. According to your analysis, there are simply no decent Muslims whatsoever. You would disrespect as well, for example, Tawfik Hamid, a man whom I have met at several anti-jihadist meetings who, like Jasser, advocates a rational, reformed understanding of Islam. By all criticism of Islam and doubts about its capability for reform, I think that any rigid position of "the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim" or, perhaps, converted Muslim, is wrong.

          • http://twitter.com/AEHarrod @AEHarrod

            I read Robert Spencer every day and have corresponded with him on occasion after meeting with him. Spencer has always critiqued Jasser and others like him as lacking support among Muslims around the world given the historically unorthodox nature of Jasser's understanding of Islam. Spencer has also expressed these views in public meetings with Jasser, at times in conjunction with Andrew C. McCarthy. Neither McCarthy or Spencer, though, have ever called Jasser a "stealth jihadist", although Spencer has rightfully noted how other Muslims pursue such stealth agendas. I have written numerous articles concerning aggressive and authoritarian agendas of Islamists worldwide, and through my studies of Islam have come to understand when any given Muslim poses a threat to freedom, however much they might try to hide their agenda. Your condemnation of Jasser is simply based upon an unsubstantiated understanding of him as a Manchurian Candidate sleeper agent, who merely leads a benign life while waiting for a moment to strike.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            Look it's not that complicated…every Muslim in the world is a jihadist or otherwise a blasphemous apostate, and if they are the latter then they are supposed to be executed per the dictates of Islam.

            On top of that, every Muslim is a stealth jihadist that is when they aren't flying jets into skyscrapers while yelling Allahu Akbar, in which case they are violent jihadists.

            Moreover, while I consider Spencer to be an authority on Islam, I hardly consider McCarthy to be an authority, because he is not.

            In addition, typical of most PC blinded Republicans you also can't accept the fact that astronomically far more jihad in the world takes place totally undetected, completely below the radar, and totally devoid of any violence whatsoever. For instance, mass Muslim immigration to the West is stealth and deceptive jihad and if you can prove me wrong then point out to me all the Muslim communities in the world where the mass majority of Muslim immigrants eagerly assimilated, integrated, and matriculated into productive and contributing citizens of their newly adopted homes. Ask yourself why just like clockwork Muslim immigrants always refuse to assimilate and integrate.

            Hence, Jasser is a stealth and deceptive jihadist since he isn't violent, or at least hasn't resorted to it yet. If he were a genuine blasphemous apostate, on the other hand, he would be spilling his guts about Islam, but he isn't doing that. In other words, he is duping gullible useful idiots like you and McCarthy.

          • http://twitter.com/AEHarrod @AEHarrod

            Jasser does, indeed, "spill his guts" about the aggressive and authoritarian aspects of orthodox Islam rejected by him and all other Muslims seeking to express their piety in a rational manner in Islam, the faith of their fathers. Your demand that all Muslims in the name of decency become "blasphemous apostate[s]" ignores that a faith like Islam can be for its adherents more than just an idea, but also an integral part of their identity, such that the believer will strive to interpret the faith in a benign manner before outright abandoning it on the ash heap of history. Were a person to abandon this ancestral affiliation and allegiance with a faith, it would indeed provoke an identity crisis, to say nothing of a crisis among a person's community relations. I have heard as much from an Indian individual who once abandoned the Sikhism in which he was raised.

          • http://twitter.com/AEHarrod @AEHarrod

            Similarly, many individuals like Mitt Romney might very well want to continue as Mormons, irrespective of any logical objections to the theology of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Who can know the human heart? I understand as well the concerns of lacking assimilation among Muslim immigrants, but this is a separate issue from any individual formulation of faith.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            Give me a break, don't defame Mormonism or the Church of Latter Day Saints by comparing them with the death cult of Islam, because it only exposes how incredibly ignorant of Islam you actually are. Indeed, you were the perfect gullible useful idiot for Jasser's purposes and he is laughing behind your back all the way to the bank! You were used and abused and now you are too naive and stupid to know it or admit it. Sucks to be you.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            Spare me Jasser's idiotic brain damage…I'm not gullible enough to believe any of his absurdities, especially when there are more than copious amounts of evidence to prove unequivocally that he is a lame taqiyya artist and not a very good one at that.

            Moreover, I didn't make up the stringent rules of Islam, Muhammad did as I'm not a 7th century barbarian. So don't try to lay that garbage over on me.

            In addition, I wouldn't exactly classify Islam as a faith; it's more like a cult as there is no freedom of conscience whatsoever in Islam, and let me state again it's not my rules. A Muslim first and foremost must submit to the will of Allah, i.e., Sharia, which commands him or her to become a jihadist in the cause Allah or otherwise calls for his or her death if they elect otherwise. Hey, I didn't invent or make any of this crap up. I'm not that smart. That's the rules. It was the rules way before I was ever born and it will also be the rules long after my death, I suspect. Indeed, if you don't believe it is the rules, then please by all means confirm it with Spencer, but don't claim it is my demand. That's utterly ridiculous! Apparently, you haven't studied the evolution of Islam and aren't even aware of the doctrine of abrogation which governs Islam in all of its incarnations. Yet, you were gullible enough to get suckered in by Jasser and now to help him promote his book.

            If you want to redeem your stupidity, then write an article exposing Jasser for the Jihadist fraud and snake oil salesman he is. Otherwise accept your faith: the fact that you are a gullible useful idiot and Muslim apologist as charged. You thought you knew enough about Islam to write an article about a Muslim jihadist you admire, but it couldn't be more obvious you really don't know crap.

          • http://twitter.com/AEHarrod @AEHarrod

            I just finished talking with an American woman who is one of my neighbors and is married to an Indian man from a Muslim family. They are both very nice, well-educated individuals with Harvard law degrees. I guess according to your analysis I should have nothing to do with these people, as they are probably both "stealth jihadists." This is just too ridiculous.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            The Islam you think you know and the real Islam are two very different things. Hence, if you want to continue believing in fairy tales while apologizing for an Islam that doesn't even exist, go right ahead, but also at the same time you are helping Islam to subsume the world and that is the very definition of being a useful idiot. Indeed, you've proven yourself to be extremely ignorant of Islam, which was exactly what Jasser was looking for, that and someone who is full of himself, and you fit the bill perfectly. You are also a leftwing loon.

            Again, you've never pointed to any place in the world where the majority of Muslim immigrants assimilated, integrated, and matriculated into productive and contributing members of their newly adaptive societies. Hell, I bet you can't point to just one place anywhere in the world where a non-Muslim infidel country like Israel, for instance, borders an Islamic country and isn't under assault by the Muslim country it shares a border with. Yet in your mind if not in reality, you believe in an Islam that is moderate and peaceful. Some people just have an extremely hard time dealing with reality. You happen to be one of them.

          • http://twitter.com/AEHarrod @AEHarrod

            I have never denied any of the aggressive and authoritarian aspects of Islam confronting Israel or countries dealing with deficient assimilation among Muslim immigrants or anywhere else. I have never denied the rooting of sharia and militant jihad in the canonical core of Islam. I have never said that Jasser or any of the individuals of Muslim background whom I have met are necessarily representative of the some 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide. I just do not believe that you have any evidence to define Jasser or similar individuals as "stealth jihadists". I cannot continue to deal with such blatant simplifications and falsifications.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            You not only don't have the first clue about Islam, but you also have been totally 100 percent duped by Jasser and his ilk. If Jasser weren't a stealth jihadist he would be spilling his guts about Islam. Instead, he is spreading misinformation and lies to dupe gullible useful idiots exactly like you.

  • US Muslim

    All those of you being critical of Dr. Zuhdi Jasser are completely missing the mark, as is Robert Spencer.

    There is far more to Scripture than what you read. Revelations from God were dictated in languages that are either no longer spoken nowadays or are not spoken or understood as they were during the days when they were revealed. Misunderstandings of Scripture and selective interpretations of them were used to oppress peoples and hamper the advancement of science.

    Perhaps it is not religions that need to be "reformed" but our understanding of the purpose of Scripture in the light of rational, logical reasoning and the laws of nature. The medieval Muslim philosopher Ibn Rushd (Averroes) once said something like "If Scripture appears to say one thing but logical reasoning comes up with something different, then follow logical reasoning". I happen to agree with him on this…he was a devout Muslim all his life, and so am I. And so is Dr. Jasser.

    • Infovoyeur

      Yes Averroes did, say such, but by my imperfect understanding, he was exiled and the opposte school of thought the Asherites (sp?) triumphed with non-logic which won the day, some say (R. Reilly, others). If Islam had bright positive periods in past, maybe can go back to that?

  • Ghostwriter

    What about those devout Muslims screaming for the deaths of Americans and Israelis? What about them,US Muslim,or are all those images I saw on the TV news growing up fake?

  • Infovoyeur

    –I have actually read Dr. Jasser's book, reflectively… To me he sounds sincer-like. HOWEVER…
    –He claims often that Islam is for him a personal spiritual guide toward life-guidance betterment, etc.
    –Well, that would be the Greater Jihad as against the Lesser of more like external defense/conquest etc.
    –HOWEVER, nowhere in the book does he not just claim, but actually demonstrates, shares, reveals, describes–just what and how that spiritual richness is!
    –For this, I do not reject the man as false etc. as some people here do. HOWEVER:
    –Does true spiritual Islam and Muslims actually exist?
    –Can you see why I wonder and want to know?
    (*****) I would like to see an account, "A Week In The Life of a Spiritual American Muslim."
    –If true, think how this would for instance help good true Christians and other devouts, relate!
    –I think this sums up my concern, I get hints and senses of a devout ethical side of Islam, but I never get to see inside the door etc.
    –What do others think about this?

  • Fida Marvat

    Terror in all its forms should be strongly condemned. But we should highlight one thing, such incidence make Islam, Muslims as whip boy, punching pad for local and international media.

    There is no single political authority to control, answer or deny the charges of terrorism. Almost Muslim countries (backed by West/US) are corrupt, inept, tyrant to core and at the best they protect their US/Western Master's interest.

    Who is reaping the benefits from this? It is now a fact that mercenaries and pseudo-jihadists are nurtured to keep the pot boiling.

    Sometimes impressionable minds are drawn into violence due to political issues by such forces that provoke them in the name of God and Islam, and provide them with logistics for the bombing attacks. Which in turn give US justification for bombing Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

    Why such suicide bombings are occurring regularly in Muslim countries like Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan? Were there such suicide bombing before 9/11?

    Who plants bombs in cars, carts and luggage of unsuspecting individuals, and then projects them as suicide bombings?

    There are many things to answer before we generalise. Looking for conspiracies behind everything seems absurd, but something is fishy down there.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Terror in all its forms should be strongly condemned.

      I agree but Muslims aren't terrorists buddy. Indeed, all peoples and societies around the world perpetrate terrorism for various political causes and purposes, but Muslims only fight jihad in the cause of Allah to make Islam supreme. Furthermore, terrorism is always only violent. However, the vast overwhelming preponderance of Islamic jihad that takes place in the world today takes place via stealth and deception and for the most part almost completely undetected. Jihad is almost always conflated as being terrorism, because it deflects the focus off of Islam and onto terrorism that is perpetrated by all peoples and societies alike. However, jihad, which is holy fighting in the cause of Allah to make Islam supreme, is something else altogether different from terrorism, and that is what most people fail to realize, as all Muslims in the world are jihadists or otherwise they are blasphemous apostates that per the dictates of Islam must be executed.

  • Carl Goldberg

    Dr. Jasser suffers from many contradictions which cannot be resolved. He continually refers to his private Islam, the way he was raised; and he conveys the false message to the public that his Islam is somehow representative of normative, standard Islam when it is no such thing. He is roundly rejected by the Moslem community, even in his own mosque.

    He claims to be a reformer, but it is absurd to think that a physician from Phoenix without any training in Islamic law is going to reform Islam which has been pretty well fixed since the time of Muhammad.

    To his credit, he rejects some core tenets of Islam such as unity of religion and state, the sacred and mandatory nature of sharia law, primary loyalty to the worldwide Moslem community (ummah), the eternal jihad against non-Moslems and the leadership of the recognized Islamic religious authorities (ulema). Therefore, according to Islamic law, which the entire Islamic religious community follows, Jasser is an apostate. He does not represent Islam in any way, and he has no following among Moslems. Ellison is right about this.

    Unfortunately, Jasser pretends to the public that he does have a following among Moslems, that Islam can be reformed and that he is the reformer who can do the job. This is simply dishonest. It is also dangerous because he raises false hopes in the ignorant non-Moslem public that Islam can be reformed and that we should not consider Islam itself to be the problem. This blinds the public to the threat from sharia and leads to an inability to identify the enemy. Jasser himself has no program for reform at all. Check out his website, http://www.aifdemocracy.org and click on his menu bar choice “Islamic Reform”. There you will see his plan for
    reform. The page is blank.

    Dr. Jasser has one foot in America and one foot in Islam, and he is being torn apart because the two are incompatible. Jasser himself, in an article for the Wall Street Journal in August 2011 cited the highest Islamic religious authority in America which plainly said that there is an irreconcilable contradiction between allegiance to Islam and allegiance to America. Indeed, there is.

    Dr. Jasser’s book is mistitled. It should read: “Battle for the soul of Zuhdi Jasser.”

    • mezcukor

      I agree with you. Islam cannot be reformed.

  • Hunt4life

    Great book by a great American patriot.