BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack, the latest violent outburst by a Muslim who had pledged allegiance to the so called Islamic State, one Muslim leader is insisting “there’s a problem in the house of Islam that needs to be addressed.”
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, the president of American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told a crowd in Alabama that the “disease” of radical Islam must be addressed by Muslims themselves.
“We (need to) start getting the message out that we recognize have a problem and (need to) reform the 13th century ideas that are still stuck and haven’t been addressed,” he said. “Then we can start to treat the disease at its core.”
Jasser said the Orlando attack was executed by an individual whose personality had been “hijacked” by the “virus” of “radical Islamism and theocratic Islam.”
“Until we Muslims counter that global virus, this will continue to happen over and over,” he insisted. “Until we deal with the core issues we will continue to have these radicals get through as they have in Orlando, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, and Fort Hood.”
“America needs to see [Muslims] leading,” he continued, “declaring war on jihad — that we want to jihad against jihad. There are Muslims being radicalized, lining up to fight for ISIS. Where are the lines of Muslims, not just to fire up press releases in to email and faxes? Where are the Muslims?”
Dr. Jasser’s message may have been refreshing to non-Muslims who have grown frustrated with Islamic leaders’ seeming refusal to take responsibility for eradicating the growth of radicalism within their faith, but some other Muslims did not appreciate what he had to say.
Ashfaq Taufique, President of the Birmingham Islamic Society, said in a statement to WVTM that Dr. Jasser is part of the problem and is doing little more than spreading Islamophobia.
By saying that the house of Islam is creating radical extremists, we are conveniently ignoring the massive ongoing efforts of American and International Islamic scholarship leading the charge against intellectually deconstructing the extremist ideologies being propagated in the guise of Islam…
Using Islamic scripture and sources, Muslim scholars worldwide have thoroughly refuted the ideologies of terrorists that claim to carry out their barbaric acts in the name of Islam… By claiming that Islam needs reform, what Dr. Jasser is effectively doing is conflating the fringe ideologies of radical groups that claim to be Muslim, with the normative Islam practiced by 1.5 billion peaceful Muslims throughout the world. If anything, Islam needs to be properly explained to the youth and uninformed Muslims who are the targets for recruitment by terrorists, so that they know that Islam does not condone terrorism.
Majority of the mosques in the United States follow the Islam of late boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who was a clear example of what American Islam looks like. There was no influence of Saudi Arabia or Iran there. To see how American Muslims practice their faith, a suggestion would be to please visit your local mosque and meet.