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Zuhdi Jasser’s Astroturf Muslim Groups Behind Rally to Support NYPD Spying

The American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC) and the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) recently held a joint rally to express support for the NYPD and the tactics it uses (including racial profiling and spying on American Muslims).  Media reports used the following sorts of headlines:

Muslim group rallies to support NYPD spying

Islamic leaders support NYPD

Islamic Leaders Plan Pro-NYPD Rally in Support of NYPD

Muslims Rally In Support Of NYPD Mosque Surveillance Program

etc.

The issue is now being portrayed as: Some American Muslims oppose the NYPD’s tactics but others approve of them.  Now that there is an equivalency, whose to say which side is right?  In spite of the embarrassingly low turnout for the pro-NYPD rally, some elements are even insinuating that this misguided handful of individuals somehow represents the “silent majority” of the American Muslim community.

In reality, American Muslims as a whole oppose the NYPD’s tactics of racial profiling and spying.  Finding a few token Muslims on the other side of the divide doesn’t change that.

In fact, these are astroturf Muslim groups, with absolutely no grassroots support in the American Muslim community itself, which explains why they had such a paltry showing at the rally.  The American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC) seems to consist of only twelve members; of these, most are inactive–they contribute nothing to the AILC and their only purpose seems to be to create some semblance of a “group.”  Three of the individuals in the list of twelve aren’t even American Muslims.

In reality, the AILC is really just one man, who is the group’s founder: Zuhdi Jasser, every right-winger’s favorite Muslim and the narrator of the anti-Muslim film, The Third Jihad.  The contribution from many of the other members in the group seems minimal to non-existent.  One of the exceptions might be Tarek Fatah, who is not even an American Muslim to begin with.

What of the second group, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD)?  If you click on their “leadership” tab, only one man’s name comes up: you guessed it, it’s Zuhdi Jasser, who “is the Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD).”  Who else is a part of this astoturf group is a mystery.

The AILC site claims that it is “representative of the overwhelming ‘silent majority’ of Muslims in America.”  Yet, the group itself revolves primarily around one individual with no grassroots support, evidenced by the lack of turnout to their scheduled rally: only about twenty-something people showed up for it.  Is that what they mean by the “silent majority” of Muslims in America?  How is it that Zuhdi Jasser, Tarek Fatah (who is not even an American Muslim), and a small group of nobodies decide to call themselves the “leadership” of the “silent majority” of American Muslims?  They in fact lead nothing but astroturf groups with no real membership or support in the community they claim to represent.

Zuhdi Jasser and his astroturf groups are fake in another way too: they claim to be “liberal and progressive Muslims”, and yet they “pal around” with far right-wing elements.  Just a few days ago, for instance, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy–which is, of course, little more than Zuhdi Jasser–issued their/his undying love for and praise of the far-right wing extremist Andrew Breitbart.

I have nothing against dissenting voices in any faith community critically challenging tradition, especially if this is done to further liberalism, tolerance, and peace.  But, don’t be fooled by the AILC, AIFD, and whatever other acronym/astroturf group they create next.  Their central figure is a man who doesn’t have a liberal or progressive bone in his body.  He’s as right-wing as they come.  And he certainly doesn’t speak for American Muslims.

Zuhdi Jasser is just a token Muslim figure who the far right-wing anti-Muslim bigots can prance around to say all the things they believe with the only difference being that he proudly carries around his official “Muslim card”; this “I’m a Muslim” routine gives these loony, bigoted, and simplistic ideas a modicum of credibility.  The operative logic is: if a Muslim himsef says it, it must be true!

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.  

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  • http://moslembazaar.com Natasha Shahar

    Libya outbreak the anti-US demonstrations , the US ambassador was killed by the rocket attacks , how do you think about this accident ?

  • Pingback: Islamophobiapalooza Dispatches: Rep. Peter King’s 5th Hearings on American Muslims and “Homegrown Radicalization” | Islamophobia Today eNewspaper()

  • http://www.lornasalzman.com Lorna Salzman

    More revelations about AIFD fund sources: it got $60. from an extreme left anti capitalist
    radical environmentalist who has publicly called for an end to global industrial corporate capitalism; who ran for the US Green Party presidential nomination in 2004; who wants to put environmental criminals like Exxon executives in jail; who wants to shut down all nuclear, coal and oil burning power plants; who wants to nationalize
    the banks; who favors universal single payer health care, who wants to tax corporations at 50%…….in other words a dangerous extremist. Her name? Lorna Salzman. Me, that is. Clearly Jasser is a dangerous man and his organization suspect if they take my money.

  • Pingback: 9. Zuhdi Jasser (American Islamic Forum on Democracy) |()

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  • Franczeska

    @”GW”: Is English your first language? Ar kalbate angliškai? Yes, of course you speak English. Just not very well. In English, we have these things called Definite Articles, capitalisation of proper names, punctuation, proper spelling etc; Please do look into them. Iki!

  • Pingback: Zuhdi Jasser’s Astroturf Muslim Groups Behind Rally to Support NYPD Spying | Islamophobia Today eNewspaper()

  • Abdul-Rahman

    Oh yeah you know a group is just a bunch of metaphorical Uncle Tom’s or frauds claiming to be from the group in question when they state “please spy on me!” I’m sure there was some group of Uncle Tom’s back in the day that were asking the FBI during the COINTELPRO days “please spy on the African-American community” when the Black Panther Party was politically active for social justice back in the 1960s and 1970s.

  • Believing Atheist

    @Kahn,

    I agree with you. But Yerushalmi doesn’t. That’s why I attacked Yerushalmi with the Think Progress article and I sought to expose him for the bigot and that he is.

  • I. Kahn

    Believing Atheist does not understand American law. Parties can arbitrate their differences under Martian law, Orthodox law, Islamic law, or whatever. However, when the results are presented to an American state or federal court to be reduced to a judgement , the holding must be consistent with state or federal law. For example, if a Will is drafted under Islamic law and then probated in the American courts, it must be consistent with various Probate Codes. Otherwise, the Will would not be recognized, and the estate would be required to go under Intestacy law (an estate without a Will). Where third-parties are involved, this could produce significant problems to the intent of the Testator (Will maker).

  • Believing Atheist

    Latest Islamophobic News

    OSLO – The Norwegian anti-Muslim militant whose bomb attack and shooting massacre shocked this small country last summer was charged on Wednesday with terrorism and the premeditated murder of 77 people as officials prepared for a trial to start next month.

    Prosecutors said they would initially seek a sentence of psychiatric care for the admitted killer but might demand 21 years in prison – Norway’s nominal maximum – if an initial diagnosis of psychosis is contradicted by a second opinion.

    Anders Behring Breivik, 33, has admitted carrying out a July bomb attack that killed eight people at government headquarters in Oslo and a gun massacre hours later that killed 69 people at a Labour Party summer camp.

    His targets were “traitors” with immigrant-friendly attitudes, he explained at a preliminary court hearing.
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/07/anders-behring-breivik-charged-with-terrorism-for-norway-shooting-rampage/

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