Video: Zuhdi Jasser on how to separate mosque and state in the Arab Spring

posted at 6:30 pm on September 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Perhaps the most intriguing speaker at the DurbanWatch conference was Zuhdi Jasser, the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. People wonder why more Muslims don’t speak out against the Islamists, but Jasser does just that — and did so at the conference as well. In fact, he sounded a lot like John Bolton in his desire to export democracy to the Arab Spring countries, as well as his derision of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other corruptocrats in the region. I asked Jasser to discuss his call to Muslim nations to “separate mosque and state,” and how the US can avoid both isolation and discrediting organic democratization in the region:

Jasser insists that the US cannot sit on the sidelines while the region convulses, as the people of the region needs to have the Western, Reformation model demonstrated and promoted. As I tweeted during his speech, Jasser sometimes sounds a bit neocon-like (his speech included this quote: “I’m offended that Durban III is taking place near Ground Zero”), but Jasser says the US has to learn to use a more subtle touch than we have shown so far. But we also have to know that we won’t solve this problem overnight — it might take two generations to rid the region of the effects of the decades of “nuclear political winter” these people have suffered under the dictatorships. We have to engage the Islamists just as we engaged the communists, and perhaps focus on the generation to come.

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I’ve heard this guy on BOR. believe he is a MD. Always seemed pretty westernized.

a capella on September 22, 2011 at 6:35 PM

I think I saw him on Glenn Beck once.

TheQuestion on September 22, 2011 at 6:38 PM

He’s been on Glenn Beck also. He’s a good guy.

mizflame98 on September 22, 2011 at 6:39 PM

I asked Jasser to discuss his call to Muslim nations to “separate mosque and state,”

He was actually talking about the separation of mosque and state in the west. Maybe I missed it but I didn’t hear him discuss that with regards to Muslim states at all.

sharrukin on September 22, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Too bad other Muslims don’t listen to him. When they refuse to speak out, the extremists take over.

lonestar1 on September 22, 2011 at 6:44 PM

What a reasonable, thoughtful man.

This will never be tolerated by the Mullahs; Fatwa declaration in 3…2…1…

VastRightWingConspirator on September 22, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Good man…but possibly a dead one. I’m sure the fatwas will fly.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Makes me think,of Mosque Seperation from Ground Zero in NY!

Jus say’n!

canopfor on September 22, 2011 at 6:48 PM

When we actually do hear the sound of Korans being flushed down the toilet, then, and only then, will we know that Islam is finally going through it’s long awaited Reformation.

ardenenoch on September 22, 2011 at 6:52 PM

I’ve heard this guy on BOR. believe he is a MD. Always seemed pretty westernized.

a capella on September 22, 2011 at 6:35 PM

He’s westernized because he was born/raised in Wisconsin and now lives in AZ. He’s also a former Lt. Cdr. in the USN.
Jasser is a mensch.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 22, 2011 at 6:53 PM

A what, “A Muscular Type Liberalism”!!

canopfor on September 22, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Mosque and state can not be separated in Islam. To say they can be is a lie.

Lon Chaney on September 22, 2011 at 7:05 PM

He’s probably a manchurian

tomas on September 22, 2011 at 7:08 PM

“Islam reformed is Islam no longer.”

Lord Cromer, British consul-general in Egypt from 1883 to 1907

novaculus on September 22, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Jasser makes some very good arguements…

… He must be made and example of immediately.

/

Seven Percent Solution on September 22, 2011 at 7:10 PM

I believe Dr. Jasser is the real deal. He has been consistent every time I have heard him speak. I wish there were more like him.

d1carter on September 22, 2011 at 7:10 PM

In true Islam there is no separation of Church and State. Everything, EVERY THING is one in Islam. Turkey tried it under Ataturk and it was a holding operation not a trans-formative thing. But now, thanks to western fools who helped Erdogans Islamic faction neuter the military of secular officers, Mosque and State are about to be unified once more. You have to leave your western mindset at the door to deal with Islam.

If you don’t understand Islam there is now way to deal with it. Jasser should know his faith better than he pretends. He muddies the water for those who are Islam ignorant. Islam is no secret and the truth is out there.

BL@KBIRD on September 22, 2011 at 7:17 PM

ardenenoch on September 22, 2011 at 6:52 PM
novaculus on September 22, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Hear, hear!

DrMagnolias on September 22, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Jasser is a follower of Mohammad. There is no, nor shall there ever be, any such thing as a “reformed” Islam. There is no, nor shall there ever be, any such thing as a “moderate” Islam.

Lon Chaney on September 22, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Lon Chaney on September 22, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Jasser is a good man and a true patriot.
I despise Islam-but I really like Dr. Jasser.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 22, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Jasser is a good man and a true patriot.
I despise Islam-but I really like Dr. Jasser.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 22, 2011 at 7:23 PM

He may have a good “bedside manner” but what he is selling is snake oil.

Lon Chaney on September 22, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Jasser is a good man and a true patriot.
I despise Islam-but I really like Dr. Jasser.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 22, 2011 at 7:23 PM

I think he is just a man desperatly trying to believe that his faith isn’t exactly what it has proven to be for 1,400 years. He cannot reconcile his citizenship and his faith so he just pretends. Doesn’t mean he’s a bad man, but it also doesn’t mean he’s right either.

sharrukin on September 22, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Jasser is a good man and a true patriot.
I despise Islam-but I really like Dr. Jasser.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 22, 2011 at 7:23 PM

He is the kind of man your mother warned you about when you were a little girl.

Lon Chaney on September 22, 2011 at 7:30 PM

There is no such thing as moderate Islam but there are moderate Muslims. Just like half the country says they are Christian but don’t fully believe all of the Bible or even the New Testament.

I’m sure he’s one of those or something … Maybe?

preallocated on September 22, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Just like half the country says they are Christian but don’t fully believe all of the Bible or even the New Testament.

I’m sure he’s one of those or something … Maybe?

preallocated on September 22, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Heh. Nicely done.

a capella on September 22, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Mosque and state can not be separated in Islam. To say they can be is a lie.

Lon Chaney on September 22, 2011 at 7:05 PM

If you are familiar with his writings you know that he has been talking about Islam needing a reformation akin to what Luther brought to Catholicism. It was that reformation that ultimately separated church and state in Europe and led to it being championed in our constitution.

patrick neid on September 22, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Makes me think,of Mosque Seperation from Ground Zero in NY!

Jus say’n!

canopfor on September 22, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Indeed! It may have escaped some notice, but that mosque opened up today – just in time for the weekly Friday indoctrination sermon.

honsy on September 22, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Meh.

Islam is a cancer, if we won’t openly discuss this, there’s no point.

KMC1 on September 22, 2011 at 9:02 PM

If you are familiar with his writings you know that he has been talking about Islam needing a reformation akin to what Luther brought to Catholicism. It was that reformation that ultimately separated church and state in Europe and led to it being championed in our constitution.

patrick neid on September 22, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Don’t forget, the Lutheran Reformation was a movement to redeem the faith from the corruption of the Roman Church, not a movement to corrupt it with a set of alien secular mandates like Jasser is discussing. Remember all of those Protestant sects that sprang up in the wake of Martin Luther were Utopian attempts to purify and redeem the faith, and in that sense the “Reformation” of Islam may already have happened, and the Taliban may be merely the latest expression of the reforming and purifying impulse within Islam.

Lew on September 22, 2011 at 9:59 PM

…the people of the region needs to have the Western, Reformation model demonstrated and promoted.

Dr. Jasser is a good man, and I wish him well, but I have to ask how much of Islam he’s willing to jettison to reform it? The imperative to wage jihad to impose sharia on everyone else, the hatred of Jews, the misogyny, and so much more — it’s woven throughout the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the learned commentaries by Islamic scholars from the founding to the present. Really, I sometimes think everything written since Muhammad fled Mecca for Medina and became a warlord would have to be tossed.

Does Dr. Jasser really think that’s possible?

irishspy on September 22, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Dr. Jasser’s position is that what is called true Islam today is not the Islam as written in the 7th century. Language interpretations in particular. He believes the idea of 72 virgins in heaven was always translated wrong and the book was talking about 72 ripe grapes (as in a feast) in heaven. I like the guy and listen to him whenever he’s on. I am surprised they haven’t issued a fatwa against him.

lonestar1 on September 22, 2011 at 11:35 PM

Isn’t it ok for them to lie to us? Actually they are supposed to lie to us. Where would he like the reform to begin, Iran or SA?

Kissmygrits on September 22, 2011 at 11:36 PM

Does Dr. Jasser really think that’s possible?
irishspy on September 22, 2011 at 11:24 PM

He has said as much, but knows in the islamic mindset of today, it could not happen.

lonestar1 on September 22, 2011 at 11:36 PM

Don’t forget, the Lutheran Reformation was a movement to redeem the faith from the corruption of the Roman Church, not a movement to corrupt it with a set of alien secular mandates like Jasser is discussing. Remember all of those Protestant sects that sprang up in the wake of Martin Luther were Utopian attempts to purify and redeem the faith, and in that sense the “Reformation” of Islam may already have happened, and the Taliban may be merely the latest expression of the reforming and purifying impulse within Islam.

Lew on September 22, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Sad but true.

AH_C on September 22, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Dr Jassar is a good man and he really believes he is a Muslim. But anyone who has educated himself on Islam knows that he can’t possibly have the views he has and still be a Muslim.

VBMax on September 22, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Zuhdi Jasser belongs to a sect within Islam that is persecuted in Islamic countries such as even the liberal Indonesia. As such, he has little, if any, credibility with mainstream Muslims.

davod on September 23, 2011 at 6:40 AM