FRANK GAFFNEY: Welcome to Secure Freedom Radio, this is Frank Gaffney, your host and guide for what I think of as an intelligence briefing on the world for the free world. In the course of that war, there are few men that I have come to admire more and been more proud to consider both a friend and an exemplar of those who are standing up for freedom, than our first guest. He is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, the President and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a medical doctor by training, served including in the rank of a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy, providing medical care, among others to members of Congress. He is the author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith, Dr. Jasser, you are always welcome here, good to have you, Sir, thanks for joining us.
Dr. ZUHDI JASSER: Always great to be here, Frank, thank you.
FRANK GAFFNEY: So, Zuhdi, let me ask you about Brussels. One of the things that I think is slowly beginning to dawn on people, is that it wasn’t just this most recent attack, it’s that, as we’re seeing with raids taking place again and again and again, in Molenbeek and other parts of Brussels, that there’s not just a network, but there’s really a community upon which these jihadists are drawing. Is that a correct analysis of what we’re seeing there, and to what extent do you think, that it, you know, has important insights for us as to what might be developing here as well?
Dr. ZUHDI JASSER: Absolutely. I mean, there’s so much to be learned there, and that people should realize that these cells are protected by organisms, and the nucleus of that cell might be the act of terror, and the group that actually commits that act, but it’s protected by a bigger cell of ideology, which would be this state of mind of being in the land of Islam, versus the land of war, and these families that come to live in the West, if they’re Islamists, they see themselves living in the land of war, the enemy is anyone that is non Muslim, so even though they may not necessarily agree with the act of terror, they will protect the terrorist from being, as we saw, even some were throwing stones at police as Abdel Salam was being arrested, and as we see now, one single cell has committed multiple acts of terror, four months apart because they were being protected. So, I hope that the West and America can wake up to the fact that these are insurgents. This is an insurgency movement, an insurgency ideology, as [inaudible] and many of the member groups of our Muslim reform movement have been trying to wake up people to understand, they don’t wake up as militants over night, there is an imam, ideologies, that push them in that direction and we have to be following that.
FRANK GAFFNEY: Over the weekend, Bill Bratton, former commissioner of the New York Police Department, then went off to Los Angeles is now back at the NYPD, had a rather harshly critical piece in the Daily News, attacking Senator Ted Cruz for observing basically, I think what you’ve just said, Zudhi Jasser, and arguing that we need to have a law enforcement presence in these communities to try to help moderate Muslims like yourself prevail in the struggle over the direction of those communities. He, Bratton, talked about there being no room basically, in counterterrorism for ideology, for understanding, it would seem, or addressing ideology. From what you’ve just said, that sounds to be absolutely antithetical to what we need to be doing. Is that right?
Dr. ZUHDI JASSER: That is, I meant that is the ultimate example of why we are losing this war. America was founded on ideology. Whether it be religious or political, you cannot follow and use your police resources correctly unless you use the public resources. I mean, what are we doing now on social media on anywhere if we can’t follow those who are declaring war on America, who are leaning towards a Salafi Jihadist mentality? This is a conversation we need to have. Every every media outlet needs to have a debate about, because if Americans cannot, I’m not saying to violate privacy, to violate privacy, to do wiretaps, just use information in the pubic domain. I went to my own mosque, and taped the sermon that was attacking me and transcribed It and put it on online, didn’t violate any privacy, I was there as a regular public citizen and used that to teach our community how our imams are radicalizing and targeting moderates. So, if police are telling us Muslims that they’re not going to monitor, and they’re just going to wait until those last few days when they put on vests and become suicidal and militant, this is suicide. We are going to die on the vine, liberty will not survive a police force that does not protect our ideas from fascism. Be it in the Cold War, the Communists fascist, or now, Islamist fascists.
FRANK GAFFNEY: I ask this, Zuhdi, knowing you have long experience with various entities that have been associated with or are part of the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in the United States. And, one of them, featured a round table with Hillary Clinton last week, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and I’d be very interested in your take on that group, and what it is saying to Muslims in your community and more broadly that a would be Presidential candidate, representing the Democratic Party, would be trafficking with an entity like MPAC?
Dr. ZUHDI JASSER: Yeah, I mean we saw that not only a round table, but MPAC has on it’s own page now that it is working closely with Hillary, so if you look at most of the verbiage about countering violent extremism, rather than what we wanted, which is countering violent Islamism, that CVE verbiage came from MPAC over the last eight years and their close relationship with Obama. So we know that the Muslim Brotherhood sympathies are going to continue with a Hillary administration if that were to come to fruition, and MPAC’s history is probably one of the more of savvy Islamist groups in America in that they claim not to take foreign money. But yet you look at their roots, the Hathout brothers that were educated and allies of the brotherhood leadership, al-Banna in Egypt, and Syed Qutb and others. The other thing is to look at their ideology, they never condemn political Islam, they’ve never called for reform, against the Islamic State ideology, against Wahabism, yes, they do condemn terrorism and have condemned Al Qaeda, but the bottom line is, is they are very slippery and are part of the Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups, and even al-Marayati, their founder was on the radio right after 9/11 saying that 9/11 was an Israeli operation, touting conspiracy theories and other wacky things that now he’s walked back, but the bottom line is this is the fruit of their tree, it’s one of, part of that stealth insurgency if you will.
FRANK GAFFNEY: Our guest is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, the President and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, also the author of the A Battle for the Soul of Islam. Two things I wanted to talk to you about in your neighborhood. One is, about Jihadists living there in Phoenix, and also the rising challenge that we’re hearing law enforcement is having with a Somali community in Phoenix, that seems to be in the process of trying to sort of establish, not a ‘no-go zone’ exactly, at least areas that authorities are reluctant to enter. Can you shed light on both of those please?
Dr. ZUHDI JASSER: Yeah, I mean, it’s amazing to me. I know it’s been a heavy few news weeks, but the fact that we have the first conviction of Malik, who was assisting in the Garland ISIS terror, and convicted by a jury, and a couple week trial, convicted a man who had attended the Islamic Center of Phoenix here, and had actually been veiled out by the Council of American Islamic Relations back in 2010 and touted in the Muslim Voice newspaper here as being a victim of law enforcement etc. Our own community outreach director at the American Islamic Forum, Courtney Lonergan is on the record with the local newspaper interviewed a month ago, saying how she had talked to authorities and others about his friends and how radical they were and how she was ignored. And all of this, we talked to local anchors and NBC and others, and they just dismissed it. We told them, doesn’t this tell you, go back to CAIR and ask them why they didn’t put a press release out about the mea culpa about defending this man who’s now a convicted terrorist and nothing. The media blocks it and it’s just sort of the sad state of affairs we’re in when we finally have teaching moments. The Somali community as you mentioned, it’s concerning in that there are no programs to assimilate them, to work with them in reform, to teach them what it means to be an American. There are some good organizations that work with them, that are communities, but unfortunately the Islamists have much more resources and have been dominating the communities, letting them feel that they’re victims and turning them away from law enforcement programs, here locally and we need more attention to what’s happening there.
FRANK GAFFNEY: Indeed we do, and we appreciate enormously the attention you’re giving all these matters. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, your leadership at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and also the Muslim reform movement, which we didn’t get a chance to speak about today, but we will in the future, is extraordinarily impressive and important and I hope you will keep up with those and come back to us very soon.