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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


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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  • khushboo

    Get off the crack pipe GW!

    Just so you know I and some others here are not liberal. We just know Zuhdi is the right wing extremists’ bitch. He’ll soon find out he’s just a tool only to be thrown away later. He and you scumbags will be balling your eyes out when you lose.

  • Benjamin Taghiov

    ‎”FBI Launches Unprecedented Attack On NYPD Over Muslim Surveillance Tactics”

    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The head of the Newark FBI said Wednesday the NYPD’s monitoring of Muslims in New Jersey has had a chilling effect on the feds’ ability to gather counter terrorism intelligence.

    In the annals of policing this is unheard of. Usually people in law enforcement hang together. If they have squabbles they keep it in the cone of silence.

    Not this time.

    “What we’re seeing now with the uproar that is occurring in New Jersey is that we’re starting to see cooperation pulled back. People are concerned that they’re being followed. People are concerned that they can’t trust law enforcement,” said FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge Michael Ward.

    Ward said the NYPD’s spying on mosques and Muslim businesses in the Garden State has caused sources to dry up and made the job of gathering counter terrorism intelligence much more difficult, reports CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer.

    “It’s starting to have a negative impact. When people pull back cooperation it creates additional risks. It creates blind spots. It hinders our ability to have our finger on the pulse of what’s going on around the state,” Ward said.

    Ward’s attack is the latest criticism of NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly’s decision to send cops way beyond the borders of the five boroughs to seek out people who might want to attack New York City.

    But it’s the first attack by a brother law enforcement official, and it’s the first public display of what appears to b a long-simmering resentment among federal officials of Kelly’s success in building a 1,000-member counter terrorism unit that rivals any unit anywhere.

    By comparison, the Newark FBI office has 100 agents.

    Police experts told Kramer the attack is unprecedented.

    “I’ve been in the field for 42 years and I can’t recall it happening before,” said Robert McCrie, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

    Ward kept his on-camera comments brief, but then leveled other criticism of the NYPD, charging that Kelly’s force keeps a close hold on any intelligence it gathers and only shares what it wants when it wants.

    “Law enforcement agencies don’t generally speak in the way this SAC did,” McCrie said.

    The NYPD vigorously defended its past and present surveillance tactics and pointed out that many terrorist operations, including the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and the 9/11 attack were masterminded in New Jersey.

    The Department also pointed to the present terror concerns involving Israel and Iran. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said: “…as the likelihood of military conflict between Israel and/or the United States escalates, understanding where an operative for Hezbollah, Iran’s terror ally, may try to meld in would be absolutely vital for the protection of New York City.”

    Continue reading after the jump

  • Glorfindel

    I can just imagine the meeting that made him and his group come out in support of spying…

    “Mr. Chairman, we have to do something about these allegations against the NYPD”
    “I second that motion”
    “I think we should organise a rally and invite comrade Fateh to the proceedings, that should give an international air about it”
    “All Agreed”

    All parts played by Zuhdi Jasser.

  • GW

    You loon watchers are truly pathetic bunch. This man chooses to speak out against jihad violence and you label him a right-wing hack. I guess the question is “Qui Bono” from your vitriol? Only a bunch of liberal self loathing scum or a stealth jihadi would take offense to a man who speaks out against the self-delusional superiotiry that Islamist have. I guess he hit a sensitive nerve. Get over your anachronistic maruadering superstition you call islam. It is truly a cult. If not, why the hyper-sensitivity to any logical look not its misguided history? If it is not a cult Danios can you please explain to me why there is a death penalty for leaving it?

  • Snoman

    Self-hating doesn’t mean you hate yourself, it means you hate your culture/religion/background/family/country etc.

  • Believing Atheist

    Here is another news concerning David Yerushalmi

    A Florida Senate panel’s hurried decision last week to pass a measure banning the use of Sharia law may, in practice, serve to prevent Orthodox Jewish couples from using Jewish religious courts to arbitrate their divorces.
    The bill, the Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases, is likely to pass the Florida Senate and, according to The Jewish Daily Foward’s Paul Berger, Florida Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign the bill into law.
    The language of the bill is largely modeled after a wave of legislation targeting Sharia, traditional Islamic law, that has swept the country in recent years as part of an organized Islamophobia campaign, detailed in the Center for American Progress’s report Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network In America. But the Florida bill — styled on model legislation drafted by David Yerushalmi, an Orthodox Jew who lives in New York — may have the unintended consequence of severely limiting the ability of Orthodox Jews to employ arbitration from Jewish religious courts in divorces.
    The Florida bill states that arbitration is unenforceable if a tribunal bases its ruling on a “foreign law, legal code or system” that does not give people the same rights as Florida or U.S. Constitutions. Speaking to The Forward, Anti-Defamation League attorney David Barkey warns that the bill will affect Jews seeking divorces in accordance with rabbinical courts.
    Barkey explains that because only a man can grant his wife a Jewish divorce, rabbinical courts could be seen as violating state and federal equal rotection prcinciples. “Any abritration or ruling based on such a law is, per se, invalid,” said Barkey. Orthodox couples frequently arbitrate divorces in accordance with rabbincal courts and, after agreeing to the terms of their divorce, petition a civil court to make the ruling a binding judgement.
    Islamic and Jewish groups, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union, challenge that the bill targets Islam, but the bill’s sponsors insist that’s not true. Both the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization Agudath Israel of America have vowed to fight the bill.
    “The notion that secular judges are being asked to decide whether religious law does or does not conform with ‘fundamental liberties’ is an intrusion on religious freedom and could be a dangerous precedent for more far-ranging efforts in the future that might well impact our community,” warned Agudath’s vice president, Rabbi David Zwiebel.
    The American Jewish Council’s general counsel, Marc Stern, slammed the bill as “all smoke and mirrors” in an interview with The Forward. “It’s a trap for the unwary and nothing more. But I know it will be seen as another great victory in suppressing extremist Islam,” said Stern. “It’s nothing of the sort.”

    Yerushalmi hurt his own people in his quest to hurt Muslims.

  • Believing Atheist

    Latest Islamophobic News:

    TLC has cancelled All-American Muslim, its reality series about an interconnected group of Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan. The show pulled relatively low ratings—even as the show’s buzz reached its height, fewer than a million people were tuning in on Sunday nights. And members of the cast told the Detroit Free Press that TLC explained that the ratings were the reason All-American Muslim wouldn’t be coming back for a second season.
    The show was also the subject of a campaign by prominent Islamaphobes. Pamela Geller insisted that the show was offensive because it refused to portray Muslims as extremists, terrorists, and criminals. The Florida Family Association, essentially a one-man front group with a history of running boycotts rather than advancing family values, convinced hardware giant Lowe’s and travel discounter Kayak to drop their advertising on the show. Lowe’s tried to hide behind claims of negative buzz for the show on social media, though there was little evidence of any such chatter that wasn’t inflected by anti-Muslim sentiment, and Kayak’s founder wrote an incoherent attack on the show in response to criticism. Both companies were subject to intense pressure to reinstate their advertising, and music executive Russell Simmons offered to buy up spots on the show, only to find that they were sold out.
    That All-American Muslim couldn’t find an audience is disappointing, and not just because the Florida Family Association and Geller will treat the decision as a victory. It was a warm, unsensationalistic show that featured serious debates about religion, obligation, and community norms—in other words, the best that reality television is capable of. This is a loss for quality television, as well as for tolerance.

  • Easiest solution to the “self-loathing/hating or not” question: You can’t be a self-hating Muslim if you’re not actually a Muslim at all!

  • Isa

    “The operative logic is: if a Muslim himsef says it, it must be true!”

    But then we can turn it around on them and say, “he’s just practicing taqiyya!”

  • rookie

    “truth” seeker says:

    “and the Muslims have to be prepared to pay the price of that atrocity eventually.”

    Is this an excerpt from Breiviks manifesto?1

  • khushboo

    Can you change “misguided” to “corpwhore” since the rightwing extremists seem to be okay with that word?

  • @Truth Seeker

    How much time have you spent actually reading the articles here on Loon Watch before commenting? There is no stealth Jihad, or even a significant domestic terrorist threat from American Muslims. Hence even if the things Jasser supports would be justified if either of those were the case, they are at the very least completely unnecessary because there isn’t much of a threat from Muslims living in the US or Europe. Yes you maybe able to find a few Muslim extremist organizations in the west, here and there, but that’s about it. Also the few that do exist, won’t be very effective in their attempts to radically change our societies.

  • Truth Seeker

    Jasser seems to be one of the SENSIBLE Muslims who can see the danger ahead for Muslims living in America.A wise person sees the danger and hides himself but the fool keeps going on.The Americans can neither forgive the Terrorist act by Muslims of 9/11 ,nor can they ever for get.The wounds can heal but the scars always remain.Humain lives can never be replaced at any price and the Muslims have to be prepared to pay the price of that atrocity eventually.People who remain hidden and and support them,they could easily disown them and mix with the crowd.Muslims are genrally emotionally deranged people and easily misled.They are never analytical by nature.

  • Danios

    I changed “self-hating” to “misguided.”

  • Al

    The Jasser NYPD rally reminds me of when Spencer went to Germany to speak… and only a modest handful of octogenarian Nazis showed up to support him. LOL!

  • Lawrence of America

    @Daniel I agree the “self-Hating” label is not accurate. Opportunists, con-artists, frauds, “house slaves”( and the the more politically incorrect version) are more fitting labels.
    I am very critical of my fellow Muslims within the US and abroad that are soo very extreme and backwards. I get particularly disgusted by salafis who are so extreme that even in a life-threatening situation will not touch a women even if it is to administer medicine. Its pure ignorance and is just as loony as any of our islamaphobic friends.
    However, as a muslim I know very well that these extremists are a minority and do not represent the Muslim community on a whole. I believe that any muslim should be aware of this, therefore for an Asra Nomani, Irshad Manji, Zuhdi Jasser to “speak out” and aid the islamaphobic framing of the Muslim community is extremely dishonest..more so even than the pamela gellers of the world who at least have the excuse of not knowing any better.

  • Stella

    Today I was reading over Monday’s and Tuesday’s editions of my small-town local paper (I’d neglected to pick them up in the previous days so had the opportunity to read them both today). Monday’s second page news story: “Chicago police chief pledges no NYPD-style spying” which describes briefly the CAIR banquet (which has, in past years, boasted turnouts of over 1500 people who pay for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Muslim community) and Chicagoans rejection of NYPD-style infiltration of their community; then I pick up Tuesday’s paper and read in the same section: “Islamic groups hold rally in support of NYPD” describing Jasser’s event, which, given the “about three dozen members and supporters” who showed up, hardly qualifies as news. I am confused–were each 12 of the three dozen ‘members and supporters’ part of different ‘groups’ that came out to support Jasser? I wrote the ETN regarding this editorial fallacy and how it complicates the issue by presenting a false notion of support across Muslim civil-rights groups and over-inflates the amount of ‘groups’ that welcome this selective spying by conflating a group of 30 ditto-heads led by Jasser to “groups” of some significant majority or influence within the Muslim community. I doubt they will return the favor. Feel free to contact them on the subject though:

  • Daniel

    Magyar, Arnold had ALREADY rebelled and was a General in the Continential Army. He even was considered a hero. So if rebelling against the King was a betrayal, what is rebelling, swearing allegiance to a new country, then betraying that country?

    There were many Loyalists in America, who proudly stood by their King. Many took up arms against their neighbors, friends and family. But to switch sides back and forth–especially for monetary and/or social gain–is never considered “loyal”. After the war, Arnold was even shunned by the English.

    As for Judas, not to nitpick either :o), I would say “some” rather than “many” believe it wasn’t a betrayal. The Bible had Jesus calling him one “doomed to destruction” and it would have been “better if he had not been born”. No Christian who believes the Bible considers what he did to be “Nobel” or “obedient”, even if Jesus used the betrayal to demonstrate His power over death.

    I know that some will point to gnostic texts like the “Gospel” of Judas–but in comparison to Christian believers, it’s an exceedingly small number.

  • NurAlia

    The bad thing about this whole mess…

    Whatever Americans belive about Muslims, they believe the same abuot Mr Jasser, and for him it is worse, he is being used to promote his own demise.

  • Aziz

    Zuhdi Jasser is actually a crypto-Islamist working deep deep undercover. Americans won’t know what’s hit them when he reveals his true allegiance to the Shariaocracy.

  • mjasghar

    Not to nitpick… but
    Benedict Arnold decided to stay true to his original allegiance, not to rebel. As for Judas, many commentators suggest his ‘betrayl’ was a deliberate setup for Jesus’s sacrifice i.e. jesus told him to do it.
    As for Jasser, there’s always self ahters like him. The immigrants who attack the idea of immigration. Heck, I’d put Baroness Warsi in that group.

  • Daniel

    …just so no one misunderstands me, though I believe that what Jasser is doing is despicable, I in no way wish him ill-will. Indeed, I strongly support his right to say whatever he wants–just as I strongly believe in my right to denounce what he is doing. Absolutely nothing that he is doing would ever justify using violence against him, or threatening to do so, or attempting to use the power of the State to silence him.

  • Daniel

    I really have never liked the “self-hating” label. I think it’s a false label.

    In reality, these individuals do not hate themselves; rather, they so love themselves and their own lives that they would gladly sell their fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters down the river for some material benefit–money, power, sometimes even survival or less-onerous oppression. Even some pseudo-admiration by some (“look at those ‘brave Muslims’ standing up against the radicals in their midst”) can motivate them.

    History is full of such Benedict Arnolds, Quislings and Judases, and history rightly considers them among the worst human beings that ever lived. I would really, really hate to stand before my Maker one day and have to justify such treason.

  • K Renner

    basically cowards and riff-raff who hate themselves.

  • They certainly do not represent me.

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