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March 18, 2011

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser: 'Democracy and political Islam can't coexist'

Topics: Political News and commentaries, Understanding Islam

Dr. M. Zuhidi Jasser, Arizona-based doctor of internal medicine and nuclear cardiology, formerly a lieutenant-commander in the US Navy and attending physician to the US Congress ... and a self-described devout Sunni Muslim ... has much to say about the compatibility of political Islam and democracy. Simply put - the two cannot coexist!

From the Jerusalem Post:

[...] As founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, he is also one of the most controversial Muslims in the United States.

Jasser, raised in Wisconsin by Syrian immigrant parents, describes himself as a devout Sunni Muslim, but his organization's unyielding battle against political Islam has placed him in the crosshairs of groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Center of America, which he says have failed to adequately address the "insidious separatism" of political Islam.

In a phone interview from Phoenix with The Jerusalem Post, Jasser offers no apology for testifying in this month's contentious House of Representatives hearing on Muslim radicalization in the US. He says the committee chairman, New York Republican Rep. Peter King, "provided an opportunity for Muslims to talk about how we are going to solve our own problems."

Of the last 220 arrests by the US Department of Justice on terror charges, Jasser notes, more than 180 of the suspects were Muslims.

"You have 1.5 percent of the population that is over 80% of the arrests," he says.

"And the arc has been increasing."

Rather than remain on the defensive, Jasser says, the US and the West at large must take a muscular, offensive approach toward promoting the ideals of liberalism. Those who say democracy and political Islam can peacefully coexist, he says, are ill-informed.

"They don't understand democracy. My devout Muslim parents and grandparents understood Sharia. They understood that Sharia, while it means God's law, is actually man's law -- once it is implemented in any fashion, it becomes man's law."

[...] "We need to start having a conversation about what exactly we mean by democracy," says Jasser, a firm proponent of what he refers to as "separation of mosque and state."

Read more ...

While I'm not as optimistic as Jasser is about democracy in the Middle East (as he goes on to express in his interview), Muslims themselves have so far proven him right about political Islam and democracy being unable to coexist.

Posted by Richard at March 18, 2011 11:38 AM

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