Friday, December 07, 2007

M. Zhudi Jasser Speaks Out

In an interesting article in the Middle East Quarterly, M. Zhudi Jasser, a Muslim activist against radial Islamists, describes his contacts with teh Flying Imams. At the end of the article, Mr. Jasser echoes my own thinking on what needs to be done by Muslims and non-Muslims:
Countering Islamism and combating Islamist terrorism should be a greater public responsibility for the organized American Muslim community than the obsession with civil rights and victimization in which current Islamist organizations engage. Americans living in fear for their security are looking to moderate, traditional Muslims to lead this fight. The credibility of the Muslim community suffers because groups such as CAIR, ISNA, and the North American Imams Federation deny the interplay between Islamism and terrorism.

Non-Muslims also have a role. Both the U.S. government and mainstream media often give Islamists and their organizations exclusive voice to speak on behalf of American Muslims, which creates a cycle of apparent, if not real, empowerment. Seldom do they turn to non-Islamists and anti-Islamists who may represent far more American Muslims. The recent refusal of PBS to air the ABG Films, Inc. documentary Islam v. Islamists is a prime example of the manner in which media producers and executives shield Islamists from criticism.

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