American Muslims Show Support for NY Police
"Some of you may not have heard of us," Dr. Zuhdi Jasser stated, "because we don't fire off (constant) press releases. We are pro American Muslims. We are compelled after the relentless pummeling of that the NYPD (New York City Police) has received to come here."
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, founding member American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC) www.americanislamicleadership.org said his words at a podium in front of New York Police Headquarters to voice his support for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and dispel the politically correct trope that the police are spying on mosques. A Google search on "spying on mosques" brings 3,950,000 results, but Dr. Jasser, a devout Muslim and U.S. military veteran physician, had brought his own group of speakers -- accompanying Congressman Peter King -- to reply to that charge. And Jasser wasn't finished with his own reply. A group of news outlet video cameras and press, from Fox News to Long Island cable television to a Hispanic station were joined by twenty still photographers and a crowd of about seventy people on a Monday morning were at One Police Plaza to hear and see.
"This is not about spying. It is about monitoring. Over 80 percent of arrests for terrorism have been Muslims. The more we ignore the problem, the worse it is. The Muslim Brotherhood is a political party, not a religious group."
Another charge answered from the podium by Dr. Jasser was the complaint about showing the film "The Third Jihad" to New York police, a film that prominently features Jasser on camera.
"The New York Times called it a hate film. These are not racist - these are reality films. Any Muslim who celebrates the freedom we enjoy here (knows this). We need to build a think tank and data base in our community to watch for Islamists."
The next speaker was Tarek Fatah, founding member of AILC and the Muslim Canadian Congress, who stated:
"We are Muslims. We never gave you (CAIR) the right to speak on our behalf. The main victims of the Islamists are Muslims and their children. I came to North America to savor the freedom, the rights, the gender equality. The fight is between Islam and Islamism. The Muslim Brotherhood has said their goal is to destroy Western Civilization. It ain't (sic) gonna happen."
Although not present, Nonie Darwish, in several of her books, talks about extremists following Muslims who seek a better life in North America and intimidating other Muslims into silence or compliance with their extremist aims. The speakers in New York came to tell everyone that there were people who would not put up with this. In fact, before the speakers began, I had asked Gregg Edgar, who handled public relations for the event, why this group of Muslims wasn't afraid to speak. Having worked with them, he quickly replied that they felt they had no choice and could no longer live in such fear, i.e., they were just compelled to speak publicly about their opposition to the oppressive way of life they left overseas.
The next speaker had seen her high school principal murdered in the Iranian revolution because she was a woman and the Secretary of Education. Manda Zand Ervin, Founder of the Alliance for Iranian Women, took to the podium to say,
"I ran away from Islamists to experience the freedom of America. But what we have experienced is the opposite."
Taking those who look the other way in America to task, she than said, "The American feminists have sided with the Islamists. Academia is being financed by petro-dollar countries in the Middle East. American lawmakers have given in to pressure so that they (Islamists) can continue beating their wives up. The only sincere friends that Muslim women have are the American law enforcement. That's why Islamists are attacking them. Thank you, NYPD, for your selfless service. Peace Be Unto You All."
The next speaker, C. Holland Taylor, Chairman and CEO of the LibForAll Foundation, had two interesting insights.
"The NYPD has been better at identifying threats than the federal government. In Christian history, there was a Grand Inquisitor. The Islamists are the Grand Inquisitor now."
Mr. Taylor also recommended the audience read a book about Indonesians' successful resistance to Islamism called "The Illusion of an Islamic State: How an Alliance of Moderates Launched a Successful Jihad Against Radicalization and Terrorism in the World's Largest Muslim-Majority Country."
The last speaker was Congressman Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who said:
"I'm especially proud to stand here today for Ray Kelly. No one has done more to protect all religious groups. The NYPD is not spying. They are carrying out effective surveillance. The attacks on New York City stopped because of the NYPD, Thank God.
"The New York Times (writers) are left wing rumor mongers. It's not the job of the Police Department to pick up the bodies but to stop the attacks before they happen."
During and after the speeches, I noticed a number of other public figures in the crowd who are active in fighting Islamists. Tim Brown, a New York City firefighter who was assigned to the Office of Emergency Management on 9/11 and is still very involved in security matters, was there. I've seen Tim at many demonstrations against the Ground Zero mosque.
Phyllis Chesler, noted feminist author who has criticized the New Left for not supporting Muslim women -- and for their growing anti-Semitism, could not stay away either. When I asked her the stock interview question, "Why are you here today?" she smiled at me and said, "Are you kidding?"
After the speeches were done, I got to talk to one more public figure who came from out of town: Fred Grandy, former U.S. Congressman and television actor, Harvard graduate conversant in Arabic, and current Executive Vice President of the Center for Security Policy www.securefreedom.org in Washington, D.C. Mr. Grandy told me that his organization wants to establish that the population of Muslims is as diverse as the black, Jewish or any other population in America, that they are not all Islamists -- but they have been up to now largely co-opted by the extremists. And he repeated his support for Commissioner Kelly.
"The Department of Homeland Security is promoting new guidelines. We've taken law enforcement through a filter of community outreach. (Police Commissioner) Kelly is not letting CAIR define his role.
"Let the Muslim community have some kind of freedom. How do you define freedom without security? That's why Rep. King and Zuhdi (Jasser) are here today. Hopefully this is the first of many such events. The Center for Security Policy is helping to underwrite and build capacity for this group to be on a par with CAIR (in terms of effectiveness)."
Photos by Jack Kemp.