Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is an American patriot. He is also a Muslim. And he is trying very hard to prove to his fellow Americans that these two central features of his life are as compatible as they are self-reinforcing. In fact, Dr. Jasser, who is a Phoenix physician, is trying so hard that he has taken it upon himself and his organization, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), to stage a rally tomorrow in downtown Phoenix. Appropriately, it will be held at Patriots Square Park.
Summoning Muslims and other members of the interfaith community, Dr. Jasser and AIFD implore their neighbors to "stand with Muslims against the targeting of innocent civilians and to denounce those who would exploit religion to do so." In a recent essay he penned for the Arizona Republic, Dr. Jasser explained why he felt compelled to organize the rally. In an era characterized by increasing attacks targeting innocent civilians across the globe, Dr. Jasser lamented that "[i]t is impossible as an American not to feel the growing, palpable distrust toward the Muslim community." What is especially disturbing to him is the hate-filled rhetoric emanating from Muslim groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations, whose executive director has declared he is "in support of the Hamas movement," which the U.S. government has condemned as a terrorist organization.
"What increasingly troubles Americans," Dr. Jasser perceptively observed, "is the absence of any palpable mass movement in the American Islamic community condemning outright the targeting and killing of innocent civilians." It is that void that the Phoenix rally seeks to fill. Dr. Jasser's organization seems perfectly poised to meet that challenge.
While Phoenix may be thousands of miles from Washington, AIFD's Web site (aifdemocracy.org) is only a few clicks away. For an enlightening message, we invite our readers to peruse the organization's core principles and goals. AIFD's gratifyingly positive mission declares: "We proud citizens of the United States of America join together as devoted and patriotic citizens and as devout Muslims in this forum in order to serve as a vehicle for the discussion and public awareness of the complete compatibility of America's founding principles with the very personal faith of Islam which we practice."
We salute Dr. Jasser, American patriot.