Dr. Zuhdi Jasser’s Testimony on Islamic Radicalization

Dr. Jasser has long been a pro-American, pro-constitution voice in the Muslim community fighting hard to stop the spread of Islamism in America. His new organization American Islamic Forum for Democracy has been making great strides both within and without the Muslim community in spreading the message of freedom and combating Saudi-funded radicalism in this country.

Here’s an excerpt from his testimony before U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security Hearing:

Peeling the onion of denial that some form of a “theo-political” problem exists has not been without its challenges and landmarks. The public and private fallout from these hearings alone have been a clinic in exposing some of the pathologies hampering the progress of homeland security and genuine long-lasting counter-radicalization. Ten years after 9-11 our heroes at the Department of Homeland Security remain occupied predominantly with a highly sophisticated whack-a-mole program that is entirely dependent upon finding and capturing radical Islamists when they are in the final steps of their long Islamist journey having chosen a militant path of Islamism and on the verge of committing an act of terror.

As Mr. John Cohen stated last November before members of this committee, the Department is “not using ‘radicalization.’ [Its] focus is not to police thought but to prevent violence.”[1] For me as an American Muslim this is not about just treating the symptom of violence, it is about fighting the disease that leads so many of my co-religionists down a path that ends in violence. Would we not be smarter to develop programs that keep them from stepping out on to that Islamist path much earlier on in their radicalization before they get to the violent endpoint? It is not about policing thought. It is about demonstrating to a vulnerable part of our society that American values and freedom is the better pathway for their faith practice and in no way conflicted with our beautiful faith of Islam.

In my first testimony[2] before you, I laid out examples of that continuum of radicalization from the insidious, non-violent separatist Islamism to that militant more aggressive Islamism which directly threatens us. Our humble experience in the wake of these hearings has been that given the right environment, the vast majority of Muslims welcome assistance in confronting that subset of Muslims who are Islamists so that we can then better prevent the fueling of that subset of Islamists that are militant. The communications we received from so many Muslims a few of which I shared with you confirm this. If we cannot undertake in these halls the development of a strategy against the Islamist ideology that exploits America, exploits the faith of Islam, and exploits our freedoms to avoid critique, then we have shirked our responsibility as Americans and I submit also as observant Muslims.


As a faith community, focusing on the militants and violence alone is an exercise in futility which gives non-violent Islamists the ability to appear mainstream. Focusing only on violence forces non-Muslims to approach the issue of radicalization in an overly simplistic binary approach of— good Muslim nonviolent, bad Muslim violent. The reality is that Muslims who are violent extremists do not become so overnight. They come to that endpoint along with common travelers within the global supremacist political movement which is Islamism or political Islam. Islamism defined is the desire of some Muslims to create Islamic states or societies based in the interpretation of Islamic law (shariah) by faith leaders where the Muslim community (ummah) is also synonymous with the “Islamic nation-state”. These quasi-oligarchical leaders can be imams, clerics, or Islamist scholars who believe that their expertise gives them the right to determine and impose their interpretations of religion upon Muslim masses. Thus, Islamists ensnared in the theo-political movement of Islamism are inherently unable to identify with and bond positively to our own American concept of a nation based in an Establishment Clause, the separation of mosque and state, a manmade Constitution and reason. .

If you witness the public response of Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups in the United States to these hearings you will see the lengths they go to in vilifying anyone who dares address the threat at its source-Islamism. An observant Muslim becomes labeled by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as “astro-turf” or “Uncle Tom.” The term Islamophobia is used incomprehensibly against devout Muslims as a battering ram to shun us within our own local faith communities for having the audacity to say that we have a problem and they are contributing to it. These groups wrap themselves in the blanket of my faith and imagined civil rights abuses in an attempt to deny Muslims like me a voice in this argument. Imagine Ranking Member Thompson if Republicans were able to remove your voice from the debate. Despite accusations to the contrary, our fight against Islamism is not about denying someone a seat at the lunch counter it is about fighting a political construct that is at complete odds with the Constitution of the United States.

The entire testimony can be read here.

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