Back in 2007, Pamela Geller interviewed Zuhdi Jasser (which is still available online) which in my opinion also proves (among other things) Jasser’s views on Islamic Jew hatred (antisemitism) does not differ too much from that of the former Secretary-General of the OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu’s. He denies it has any Islamic backing.
From Pamela Geller’s interview of Jasser:
Pamela: Listen, Islamic anti-Semitism is irrefutable, Dr. Jasser, it really is.
Zuhdi:Well, it is certainly part of the behavior of many Muslims and especially the Islamist, but I will not accept that that is part of Islam.
Also, I recently had a run in with Jasser on Twitter (before he blocked me).
It degenerated from there, with him accusing me of being an ”alt-jihadist’, an asinine label if there ever was one.
Zuhdi Jasser endorses pro-Sharia Islamic supremacist, says “no greater jihadists” than foes of jihad terror
There has for many years been a difference of opinion among those who are aware of the reality of the jihad threat. There are those who believe it very important, indeed, crucial to the success of our efforts to resist the global jihad and Sharia supremacism, to include reformist Muslims in them, and to support their efforts in any way we can. Some even enthusiastically play along with the Left’s identity politics, and highlight reformist Muslims as the hallmark of their work’s legitimacy. Last summer I was at a meeting of several organizations discussing collaborative efforts when one man looked around the table and said: “All of us here are middle-aged white guys. We’re going to need to get a Muslim to be the spokesman for this initiative.” I was stunned: isn’t the truth true even when a middle-aged white man says it? Are we now voluntarily assuming the role of dhimmis whose word is worthless unless a Muslim validates it?
That’s the thinking of one camp. The other camp notes that Muslim reformers have had little to no influence on the Islamic community in the U.S. or around the world since 9/11, and isn’t likely to do so, given the nature of Islamic doctrine and jurisprudence, and so we cannot rely on them and don’t need them to validate our work. After all, the armies that repelled the jihadis of the past at Tours and Vienna and elsewhere didn’t think of themselves as less legitimate unless they had a Muslim regiment.
Still, there have always been a few of us who have never jumped onto the “moderate Islam is the solution” bandwagon. We have recognized, often with regret, that Muslim reformists have had scant success. I myself have always invited Muslims who sincerely reject jihad and Sharia supremacism to join with me, but I’ve never gone out of my way to court Muslim reformers or considered my work illegitimate if it didn’t have their imprimatur. And so we come to Zuhdi Jasser, whom I debated a few years ago about the prospects for Islamic reform; you can see the debate here. Recently I ran a piece here at Jihad Watch by Stephen M. Kirby, noting the failure of Jasser’s overtures to mosques in the U.S. Although he acknowledges the truth of its main point, this article has enraged Jasser, and so he has taken to his show at The Blaze to record an hour-long rant entitled “Alt-Jihadists: Useful Idiots of the Global Islamist Establishment.”
“Rant” is an overused word these days; any statement that someone doesn’t like is a “rant.” But Jasser’s show really is one. It has to be heard to be believed. He can scarcely contain his hot rage as he rambles, with a tendency to repetitiveness that rivals that of the Qur’an itself, through this hour-long broadside against the people on his enemies list. Now mind you, he is doing this on his Blaze radio show; none of his detractors, as far as I know, have a radio show on The Blaze. He is regularly on Fox News and other media outlets, is inundated with speaking invitations, and is the darling of the conservative establishment. His detractors appear only sporadically on Fox or elsewhere, and when we’re invited to speak somewhere there are usually protests and attempts, sometimes successful, to get cowardly authorities to cancel our appearances. Jasser is a man who is regularly fawned over by those who love what he represents for them: a Muslim who is indeed a loyal, patriotic, anti-Sharia American. His detractors are routinely mocked, defamed, and vilified in the establishment media, and seldom defended in the conservative media. In other words, “Alt-Jihadists: Useful Idiots of the Global Islamist Establishment” is the lashing-out of a privileged man, determined to destroy those who have dared to challenge him.
Anyway, Jasser announces that he is “going to coin a new term…And I’m going to call it alt-jihadism.” The “alt-jihad is exploiting the idea of jihad in order to become powerful and in order to marginalize any solutions within the house of Islam.” Indeed, “there are no greater jihadists than the alt-jihadists when it comes to living in the land of freedom. Because they seem to be wanting to kill us and knock us off at the knees.” Who are these horrible alt-jihadists? Jasser names Stephen Kirby, John Guandolo, Diana West, Clare Lopez, Andrew Bostom, Pamela Geller and me. We are, he says, “channeling Wahhabis, by channeling the Muslim Brotherhood supremacists, by channeling the Khomeinists and saying this is what they would say, they basically dance on our graves.” The graves, that is, of Muslim reformers.
How are we doing this? By noting that they have had little success, and that their view of Islam is outside the Islamic tradition and mainstream understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah. But Jasser is somewhat confused: he acknowledges that to say that “Dr. Jasser’s interpretation would be apostasy in Saudi Arabia…would be fact.” He also admits that his view “would be apostasy in Iran” and that “the Brotherhood would marginalize.” But he is angry that Kirby has the “temerity” as a “non-Muslim” to say that Jasser’s interpretation of various Qur’anic passages is incorrect. He adds later that there are “scholars that have written about interpretations of Islam that can be modernised, that can be held compatible with Western thought. Do they have influence in al-Azhar or Saudi universities? No. But far be it for the Shura Council of Geller, West, Kirby, Spencer, Bostom and others to tell us Muslims how to read the Koranic Arabic or interpret it.” This reflects the Islamic supremacist view that only Muslims can truly understand the Qur’an and Islam. It also raises the question of where the Saudis and Iranians and Muslim Brotherhood would get the idea that Jasser was an apostate and a heretic, if not from the Qur’an and Sunnah. But for Jasser, to point this out is to claim that there is only “one form of Islam, which is jihadist Islam,” and to deny the Islam of reformers such as “King Abdullah, General Sisi and others.” (Jasser doesn’t mention the fact that Sisi’s call for reform in Islam has not come to anything whatsoever in the years since he issued it.) It is, he says,
NOTE: Here is something I wrote about Zuhdi Jasser published by Pamela Geller in 2009, of which she states:
KGS wrote a response concerning the brouhaha that I thought boiled it down to its essential oils brilliantly. He distills what was revealed about Jasser in my radio show interview with him. By Jasser’s own description of his faith, he is a “hypocrite”. The word of the quran is allah’s word. Uncreated (unlike the Bible). You cannot reform or reinterpret the word of the quran. It is immutable. Reformation or reinterpretation is punishable by death according to the Quran.
KGS writes in his post: Clarion Foundation Seeks Honest Answers Why Geller, Spencer Are Not Thrilled With Zhudi Jasser…….
Now that I’ve returned from my trip (to Copenhagen) and have had a chance to resettle back into my regular routine, I can now devote some time and effort to your question. I believe that many who follow these issues are willing to throw their support behind any Muslim who is genuine and wants to reform Islam, but that they must be also willing to accurately depict the truth about Islam, warts and all, and not hide for an example, the fact that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are indeed anti-semitic and hate Israel. And that they refuse to point to passages in the Koran to point out exactly where the jihadis are “getting it all wrong”, and that their prophet’s lifestyle should not be imitated in every respect in this day and age.
Many believe that Jasser provides a fantasy for Jews and others who want to believe that the majority of Muslims are really peaceful like him. I know for a fact that indeed, the majority of Muslims in the States as well as here in Finland, take a negative approach to both, while claiming all along that they have nothing against Jews…”it’s just about Zionism”, which is anti-semitic all by itself. Elie, I honestly believe that it’s all a ruse. I had listened to the Jasser interview from a while ago on Geller’s show, and being a person who is always willing to give any person (no matter what the background) the benefit of the doubt until proven wrong, I too was more than happy to think the best of Jasser.
I maintain good relations with the Muslims Against Sharia group, having them come from time to time to my blog registering comments, but I deem their outlook to be a bit more than naive and “spitting against the wind”. Having blogged some very critical posts of their prophet, the MAS still maintains links with the Tundra Tabloids and for that I tip my hat to them. But make no mistake, the MAS is very open about what Islam, in its present form, is all about, and that they want to change it no matter how up-hill that will be.
They are under no illusion that when push comes to shove, the majority of Muslims will side with their co-religionists, in that they’ll refuse to condemn the killing of Jews and Israelis simply because they’re Israelis, they’ll speak about “the murder of the innocent” as being bad, but Jews and Israelis never factor into their views as being innocent. Then there is the overtly anti-semitic passages of the Koran and the Hadiths that keep the Jew hatred burning…to the best of my knowledge, Jasser has not condemned these holy Islamic texts as being wrong and anti-semitic.
Now I wonder what Zhudi Jasser thinks about the Dutch politician Geert Wilders showing of Fitna to Congress? Does he think Geert Wilders is a populist politician who hates Muslims? What about the Mo-toons, does Jasser support the right to defame or criticize religions? Does he think that the Rights of Gods outweigh the Rights of Men? What does he think of Wilders’ call for Muslims with dual citizenship who support the introduction of sharia into the West, as well as actively push for it…not be allowed to remain as citizens in the West, or be repatriated?
Very well said, I’d say.