Jasser to NYPD: Thanks for Spying on Us (+Video)

Many American Muslim groups, meanwhile, view Jasser as a reliable apologist for Republicans and anti-Muslim figures—one with little grassroots support in the American Muslim community. “He actually plays into the whole narrative that comes from the Islamophobia industry—that it’s not the extremists that are the problem, or Al Qaeda that’s the problem,” says Haris Tarin, director of the Washington, DC, office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. 

Muslim Group Leader to NYPD: Thanks for Spying on Us

Meet the right’s favorite Islamic activist (who shares a sugar daddy with Rick Santorum).

—By Adam Serwer

In early March, members of a Muslim group gathered for a press conference at Manhattan’s One Police Plaza to send a clear message to the New York City Police Department about its controversial surveillance program targeting Muslim Americans.

That message was: Thanks for spying on us.

“We are not here to criticize the NYPD,” declared Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), who was joined by House Homeland Security chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.), “but rather to thank them for doing the work that we as Muslims should be doing, which is monitoring extremism, following extremism, and helping counter the ideologies that create radicalization in our communities.” 

Jasser later said in an interview that he wanted to provide an alternative voice to the criticism of the NYPD coming from Muslim and civil liberties groups. “We just wanted the media reports to finally show balance, that there’s diversity, that some Muslims don’t have a problem with this.” Several news reports described attendance at the event as light.

An Arizona physician and Navy veteran, Jasser has lately become the right’s go-to guy when it comes to providing cover for policies or positions that many Muslim Americans contend are discriminatory. When controversy over the so-called Ground Zero mosque erupted, Jasser, a frequent guest on Fox News, accused the builders of trying to “diminish what happened” on September 11, 2001. He has supported statewide bans on Shariah law in American courts and has helped bolster conservative warnings that American Muslims seek to replace the Constitution with a harsh interpretation of Islamic law. “America is at war with theocratic Muslim despots who seek the imposition of Shariah and don’t believe in the equality of all before the law, blind to faith,” Jasser testified during hearings held by King’s committee last year on homegrown terrorism. There he also supported conservative allegations that many American Muslim organizations—and particularly the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)—are Islamists seeking to “advance political Islam in the West.” Jasser sometimes refers to other Muslim organizations as “Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups.”

Many American Muslim groups, meanwhile, view Jasser as a reliable apologist for Republicans and anti-Muslim figures—one with little grassroots support in the American Muslim community. “He actually plays into the whole narrative that comes from the Islamophobia industry—that it’s not the extremists that are the problem, or Al Qaeda that’s the problem,” says Haris Tarin, director of the Washington, DC, office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. “Mr. Jasser says that the Muslim American community, its institutions, and establishments are the problem. He might bring up some issues that are valid in terms of reform, but his approach is throwing the whole community under the bus.” Read the  entire article at source