Saturday, January 14, 2006
What evil crime could a Muslim physician living in Arizona commit and why would CAIR and an Islamic paper even care?
Jasser, a 37 year old internist co-founded the American Islamic Forum for Democracy http://www.aifdemocracy.org/. This Phoenix organization was one of the first created by Muslims to promote a tolerant form of Islam compatible with a secular, democratic nation.
So, wherein lies the rub? In a recent Islamic publication The Muslim Voice, Dr. Jesser was portrayed in a cartoon (see above left) as a dog devouring an Imam (one of the greatest insults in Islam). He is being held on the leash of the newspaper, The Arizona Republic, which is shaking hands with a Jewish caricature and some other un-identifiable characters.
But why? Insofar as I can tell, Dr. Jasser has done nothing wrong other than to promote his organization whose principles include http://www.aifdemocracy.org/pages.php/1013
- The support of the separation of religion and state as being perfectly non-contradictory with Koranic principles.
- As United States citizens we support absolute and literal adherence to our citizenship pledge.
- We will work to educate the public regarding the current threat to America of radicals who exploit Islam through militancy.
- We explicitly refuse to acknowledge the justification of any form of terrorism (the targeting of civilians and non-combatants).
What's the connection to CAIR? According to Dr. Jesser, CAIR-AZ and the Muslim Voice share office space and CAIR-AZ has been involved with ongoing criticism of the Arizonia Republic Newspaper. http://www.aifdemocracy.org/content_commentary_response_to_Marwan_Ahmad_HATE_Cartoon_120905.htm
Why should CAIR and the Muslim Voice feel so threatened by Dr. Jesser and his viewpoint? Read this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/13537233.htm. Personally, I feel that Dr. Jesser is one of the few moderate Muslims in America whereas the "Wahabbi Lobby" dominates most mosques, schools, and the political network. Unfortunately, Dr. Jesser and I part company on the issue of a "civil war" in the ranks of Islam. There isn't any and the Fundamentalists are ruling the day as Steven Schwartz, author of "The Two Faces of Islam" notes: http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=122105F