Moderate Muslim leader says he’ll defend passengers sued by flying imams

posted at 10:38 am on March 21, 2007 by Allahpundit

I hate when the left-coast night owls beat me to stories. Especially stories as sweet as this.

See-Dub’s right, though. The operative word here is “awesome.” Awesome enough for the red font, in fact.

Lawyers and a Muslim group say they will defend at no cost airline passengers caught up in a lawsuit between a group of imams and U.S. Airways if the passengers are named as “John Does” and sued for reporting suspicious behavior that got the Muslim clerics booted from a November flight…

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a Phoenix-area physician and director of American Islamic Forum for Democracy — a group founded in 2003 to promote moderate Muslim ideas through its Web site ( — told The Washington Times his group will raise money for legal fees for passengers if they are sued by the imams…

Gerry Nolting, whose Minnesota law firm Faegre & Benson LLP is offering to represent passengers for free, says the judicial system is being “used for intimidation purposes” and that it is “just flat wrong and needs to be strongly, strongly discouraged.”

“As a matter of public policy, the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] presently tells traveling passengers to report suspicious behavior as part of its homeland security program,” Mr. Nolting said. “This has nothing to do with race or ethnicity, but trying to intimidate and discourage reporting of suspicious behavior and [also discourage] the promotion of safe travel.”

FYI, Faegre & Benson is no boutique midwestern law firm. It’s one of the most prestigious in the country. And according to WashTimes, they’re not the only lawyers who have come forward and offered to work on this pro bono.

Here’s Zuhdi Jasser on Fox yesterday with Neil Cavuto.

You may remember him for his defense of “24” in NRO in January. Not only is he a patriot (and a CAIR critic of longstanding), he’s taking a very shrewd position here. The people who stand to suffer the most from this suit are Muslims, a point I’ve made repeatedly and which Jasser understands perfectly well as evidenced not only by the clip but by the press release his group issued yesterday. Quote:

While the six imams’ handlers, CAIR, and their lawyers may have some kind of obscure basis for their lawsuit, it is our belief that the fallout and publicity from such litigation is wrong for American Muslims, wrong for American security, and wrong for American freedoms. The greatest guarantor of our rights as American Muslims is the tenor of our relationship with the greater majority of American society. This type of litigiousness is divisive and achieves nothing but resentment and actually causes far more harm than good to the overall image of the Muslim community in the eyes of non-Muslim America.

Doesn’t CAIR see that? Sure — that’s the point of the suit. The more alienated Muslims are, the more receptive they’ll be to CAIR’s grievance theater.

Here’s the donation page for Jasser’s group in case you’d like to encourage his work. And here’s Mark Steyn on H&C last night discussing Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak’s decision to address CAIR at a banquet next month. I wonder where Jasser comes down on that.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


While the six imams’ handlers, CAIR

I like that, the “handlers” nails it all right.

We need to hear more of this guy, I, at least, have never heard of him before. So maybe it is just me, not paying attention.

CrimsonFisted on March 21, 2007 at 10:42 AM


bloggless on March 21, 2007 at 10:44 AM

This is good news. What CAIR and their imamas don’t seem to get is the more PR and publicity this gets, the more aware people are of CAIR and their agenda.

darwin on March 21, 2007 at 10:48 AM

Bravo! Mr. Zuhdi Jasser.

Bravo! You’re my hero and I’ll pledge my money. Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Step up, boys n girls. Let’s go.

~Watch your back, Mr. Zuhdi Jasser.

Gee…I wonder why I would need say that?

locomotivebreath1901 on March 21, 2007 at 10:50 AM

You mean “watch your throat”…

BirdEye on March 21, 2007 at 10:52 AM

Instead of calling him a moderate Muslim leader just call him a Muslim leader. Refer to CAIR as grievance theatre thesbians, islamists etc. Lets give the people we call moderates the legitimacy of dropping the moderate title, making their viewpoint the mainstream.

Theworldisnotenough on March 21, 2007 at 11:07 AM

Theworldisnotenough on March 21, 2007 at 11:07 AM

An excellent point. Too often “Muslim leader” has been preceded with “controversial” or “radical.” Muslims should take their name back.

This guy is a positive role model for Muslims. We should take every opportunity to shine a light on this guy.

JasonG on March 21, 2007 at 11:10 AM

Replace “Awesome.” under his image with “Marked for Death.”

rightside on March 21, 2007 at 11:12 AM

How about just calling him an AMERICAN.

ChrisIansNana on March 21, 2007 at 11:15 AM

Be careful…they have probably represented Haliburton

tomas on March 21, 2007 at 11:19 AM

Hopefully this will get some good press; I would think liberals would be happy to make Muslims look good too.

frankj on March 21, 2007 at 11:22 AM

Alan Combs is one of the worst talk out of your a** Libs there is. The more he speaks the worse he gets. His “logic and reasoning” are beyond normal comprehension. I undertand he is the resident dips**t lefty that FOX has for this program, but he contiues to decend with Mack 10 speed into the utterless gutterlessness of the Lib-tards in this country. You know, I liked the idea of the holding camps that FDR set up during WWII. It wasn’t like we were putting them in Treblinka, Auchwitz or Birkenau just to name a few.

We have a serious problem in this country with the “bastardization” of the “freedom of speech”. The Workers Socialist Party, with the help of the ACLU and Soros (and many of his Lib ilk) enlist anarchists which are the army for the whole anti-amerika crowd. They don’t have a “right” in this country when going beyond the pale of “cival discourse” nether do they have the “right” to stay here. Get the the f**k out of this country sooner rather than later. And screw all you leftards with your bulls**t “moral equivilancy” crap. Up your asses with it. I am mad as hell and I for ONE am not going to take it anymore.

auspatriotman on March 21, 2007 at 11:33 AM

The people who stand to suffer the most from this suit are Muslims, a point I’ve made repeatedly

Not that I doubt you, but I couldn’t find anything in your links that support this statement. There were a few broken links, so maybe that is where it was? Unless you are saying pelosi and other dems are muslims or I’m misunderstanding what you are saying?

csdeven on March 21, 2007 at 11:39 AM

Definitely deserves a red headline. I’m glad Jasser gets what’s going on with the CAIR grievance brigades and is doing the right thing.

Bad Candy on March 21, 2007 at 11:42 AM

A moderate Muslim! Great! Awesome! Fantastic! Now all we need are non-muslim americans to support him 100%.

Is it just me or does it seem that there have been a ground swell of moderate muslims speaking out lately? I’d like to see Hannity get several of these clear thinking muslims on his show at the same time. I think that would be a poweful showing that could motivate other moderate muslims and non-muslims alike.

Excellent story Allah.

csdeven on March 21, 2007 at 11:44 AM

Who defines ‘moderate’ here?
This physician, Zuhdi Jasser appears legit but he’s no lawyer. His agruments sound great and I like him and his cause celeb . . . but again, he’s not a lawyer and CAIR should be his intended audience.

The “John/Jane Doe” aspect is too sensitive to breach with muslim affiliated offers of assistance. Be very selective of the motives behind offers of legal assistance. What lies on the surface may just be lies. Send a gracious thanks but no thanks letter of acknowledgement.

heroyalwhyness on March 21, 2007 at 12:27 PM

Great, now we will have two Muslim groups arguing in an American court how the dhimmis should be acting……..just great.

P. James Moriarty on March 21, 2007 at 12:44 PM

A sleeping giant ever so slowly begins to awaken to the jihadist threat….

Stay tuned, to be continued

paulsur on March 21, 2007 at 12:46 PM

Faegre & Benson is also John Hinderaker’s firm.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on March 21, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Good for Zuhdi Jasser – we need more like him, and fewer Ibraham Hoopers and other sympathizers of grievance mongers and terrorists.

thirteen28 on March 21, 2007 at 12:55 PM


Ever consider the reason why he’d do it for free? What’s the best way for the plaintiff to win the case? Have a lousy defense lawyer who would do it for free?

Just saying….

Kokonut on March 21, 2007 at 1:03 PM


PRCalDude on March 21, 2007 at 1:06 PM

What are Jasser’s credentials in terms of cases he’s won? I assume that, as he works for a high profile firm, he’s quite good, but it wouldn’t hurt just to be sure. Trust but verify.

Assuming that he’s good, AWESOME is right. Now let’s hear from millions more moderate Muslims like him.

flutejpl on March 21, 2007 at 1:12 PM

Jasser’s just offering to raise money, I think, for the Does. Presumably they can get their own lawyers.

see-dubya on March 21, 2007 at 1:16 PM

I hate to be a wet blanket, but I don’t think we should get too exercised about supporting even a moderate Muslim. BTW, I think secular Muslim might be a more accurate term, idealogically. I don’t really want Islam of any shape or form to be politically prominent or influential in my country. I can’t watch the video here at work but the quotes above have more to do with style points and public presentation of the Islamic agenda than anything else. Anyone here want to know in detail what that agenda is before we go and bestow knighthood on this guy?

Furthermore, it’s likely that the strong public support of a bunch of infidels for a (probably) secular Muslim just further alienates him from the more devoutly Islamic crowd, which is who we would want him to influence. The only way it could be worse would be if the Jewish community gave him their blessing, too.

TexasDan on March 21, 2007 at 1:36 PM

I hope Rep. Joe Sestak will also be happy to speak at his local Ku Klux Klan banquet where a number of his constiuents will also be attending.

Concerning CAIR’s speaking out in a general way on terrorist acts is like members of the Mafia speaking out against vandalism in their neighborhood. But when it comes to organized crime you won’t hear one Cosa Nostra family speaking out publicly specifically against another family.

Mark Steyn said it well: CAIR is simply a front group for Jihad in this country. CAIR is hurting the moderate Muslims in this country by their bullying tactics. CAIR should be exposed for what they are.

Sestak should have a press conference and decline his invitation to speak lest he give CAIR any more credibility for which they deserve none. Hey, Let Allen Combs speak at the banquet where he can receive an award as a friend of CAIR.

Texas Mike on March 21, 2007 at 1:41 PM

I’ve read Jasser for several years. He may be more reasonable, but he is still a Muslim apologist.

Connie on March 21, 2007 at 2:20 PM

Only on Fox News,

Kini on March 21, 2007 at 2:49 PM

TexasDan, I agree, in that I cannot support Islam in any form. Jasser is an enigma of sorts, imo. He was born in America and he is a conservative. He understands that Islam is the antithesis of our Bill of Rights, although he uses the term Islamism, instead of Islam. He is actually working to monitor “radicals.” But his dream is to do the hajj and he is a devout Muslim. Therein lies the enigma. If one is going to choose a belief, why choose one that was created by a murderous madman to gain personal power and wealth by enslaving others?

Connie on March 21, 2007 at 4:44 PM

Anyone who calls themselves a “Muslim” cannot be moderate.

Mohammad was a pedophile terrorist assasination-approving warlord.

His Koran is an intolerant playbook of global domination and calls for the subjugation and/or annihilation of all who will not agree to its dismal anti-art, anti- music, anti-intellectual, misogynistic dogmas.

His deity, “Allah”, is a tyrant of the worst and most vicious Dark Ages vintage, boiling people in molten metal in Hell forever for not accepting how “compassionate” he is.

Get another lawyer.

This guy, if he agrees with this kind of “religion”, is just too dumb, or self-blinded, to get the job done right.

Give me a cunning Buddhist anyday.

profitsbeard on March 21, 2007 at 10:47 PM

Well, precious few Muslims think of themselves as having chosen a belief. They were born Muslim, and that’s that. All this nonsense of choosing a belief system is totally a Western construct, and they don’t get it. At all.

This is why the vast majority of Muslims think the U.S. is a Christian country. They’re born Muslim in XXX-istan, so we Americans must be…why, Christian, of course. Just like our cultural ambassadors, e.g. Britney Spears. Imagine connecting those dots.

Internally, sure, they debate and criticize and love to argue about their religion. But it’s like sports radio in Dallas the Monday after the Cowboys blow a big lead–no one is actually contemplating not being a fan anymore. Not really.

TexasDan on March 21, 2007 at 10:51 PM

Ummm what did he mean by “In a few months or so when we do have a civil rights problem . .”??

– The Cat

MirCat on March 22, 2007 at 12:16 AM

Well, precious few Muslims think of themselves as having chosen a belief. They were born Muslim, and that’s that. All this nonsense of choosing a belief system is totally a Western construct, and they don’t get it. At all.

Yes, I understand that. Jasser is a bit different. He believes we were given free will. Therefore I do question what he has done with his.

Connie on March 22, 2007 at 8:37 AM

Ummm what did he mean by “In a few months or so when we do have a civil rights problem . .”??

– The Cat

You caught that too, huh? I don’t think he actually meant anything specific, but it did give me pause.

Connie on March 22, 2007 at 8:39 AM

Yes, I understand that. Jasser is a bit different. He believes we were given free will. Therefore I do question what he has done with his.

Interesting. Ain’t no way to square free will with Islam, is there?

TexasDan on March 22, 2007 at 2:24 PM