In the second half of our interview, Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum on Democracy and Save Syria Now!'s most prominent American of Syrian descent, talks about the battle against Islamic extremism, the toxic co-dependency between Muslim victim-mongers, the theological debate within the American Muslim community, and the effort to promote pluralism and constitutional values among Muslim youth.
At a panel at the Heritage Foundation last week, Zuhdi and other participants talked about the unfortunate prominence of certain Muslim groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) that promote victimology and excuse Islamic radicals. I asked Zuhdi to explain why administrations of both parties continue to cultivate such groups. He explains that these groups "make money with a siege mentality." They promote the notion that American Muslims are in constant danger from Islamophobic Americans while promoting extremist rhetoric and carrying water for Islamic radicals. In turn, the government and the media — which "are so anxious not to be labeled as Islamophobic" — reach out to these groups and give them undeserved prominence. That victim-mongering, Zuhdi says, is dangerous for the average American Muslim. "They may look at their donation to Gaddafi and say, 'Hey what's going on there,' " he says. "But they get sucked in. 'We're just going to stand with them because they protect Muslims.' "