The mosque that the Cordoba Initiative is planning to build near Ground Zero has generated a substantial amount of attention across the country. Exemplifying the ire of many Americans, a recent poll showed that 53% of New Yorkers were opposed to the mosque. And while that majority may not include as many Muslims as we'd like, more and more are speaking up in opposition to the mosque. These Muslims offer many Americans a vital interpretation of the Islamic religion as a whole and show that Islam is not in fact a monolithic faith.
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), is one of these devout yet patriotic Muslims. A former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander with 11 years of service as a medical officer under his belt, Dr. Jasser has made it clear that "until anti-Islamist Muslims wage the intellectual battle against Islamism within the Muslim consciousness, we will make no headway against 'the narrative.'"
Jasser founded AIFD in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in order to provide a Muslim American voice that would genuinely advocate and defend the founding principles of the U.S. Constitution. He has taken the fight against radical Islam to heart and sees it as a responsibility of all "true" Muslims. Where many U.S.-based Islamic organizations, such as CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America, claim to support the U.S. Constitution but provide dodgy answers and shoddy excuses for terrorism when the rubber meets the road, Dr. Jasser's AIFD is based on the founding principles of the United States. Where CAIR's rhetoric tends to create a tension between Americans and its Muslim members, the rhetoric of Jasser and AIFD refers to Americans as an "us" and not a "them."