Militant Islam Monitor > Weblog > 14 Self Proclaimed "Moderate Muslims" Launch "Muslim Reform Movement" To Promote Dangerous Fallacy That Islam Is Peaceful
14 Self Proclaimed "Moderate Muslims" Launch "Muslim Reform Movement" To Promote Dangerous Fallacy That Islam Is Peaceful
December 13, 2015
14 Westernized Muslims out of a population of 1.5 billion worldwide have trumpeted the launch of a Muslim Reform Movement along with a much hyped declaration and press conference. This pathetic attempt at trying to convince non Muslims that Islam is really a religion of peace is negated by the 14 individuals who are signatories of the "Declaration" many of whom blatantly distort Islamic teachings to suit their agenda and others who have documented ties to Islamists. This information can be viewed below the declaration.
Declaration of the Muslim Reform Movement / Signed by AIFD (December 4, 2015)Posted on Sunday, December 6th, 2015 at 3:05 am. Written by AIFD
MUSLIM REFORM MOVEMENT(VIDEO: Press Conference of Launch)
PreambleWe are Muslims who live in the 21st century. We stand for a respectful, merciful and inclusive interpretation of Islam. We are in a battle for the soul of Islam, and an Islamic renewal must defeat the ideology of Islamism, or politicized Islam, which seeks to create Islamic states, as well as an Islamic caliphate. We seek to reclaim the progressive spirit with which Islam was born in the 7th century to fast forward it into the 21st century. We support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by United Nations member states in 1948. We reject interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice and politicized Islam. Facing the threat of terrorism, intolerance, and social injustice in the name of Islam, we have reflected on how we can transform our communities based on three principles: peace, human rights and secular governance. We are announcing today the formation of an international initiative: the Muslim Reform Movement. We have courageous reformers from around the world who have written our Declaration for Muslim Reform, a living document that we will continue to enhance as our journey continues. We invite our fellow Muslims and neighbors to join us.
DECLARATIONA. Peace: National Security, Counterterrorism and Foreign Policy
We stand for peace, human rights and secular governance. Please stand with us! Affirmed this Fourth Day of December, Two-Thousand and Fifteen By the founding authors who are signatories below
#MuslimReform Twitter: @TheMuslimReform Instagram: @TheMuslimReform Facebook: Muslim Reform Movement Email: [email protected] Website: www.MuslimReformMovement.org Please sign our declaration at www.change.org
Tahir Gora, Author, Journalist, Activist, Toronto, Canada
Tawfik Hamid Islamic Thinker and Reformer, Oakton, VA, USA
Usama Hasan Imam, Quilliam Foundation, London, UK
Arif Humayun Senior Fellow, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Portland, OR, USA
Farahnaz Ispahani Author, Former Member of Parliament, Pakistan, Washington, D.C., USA
M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D. President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Phoenix, AZ USA
Mohamad Jebara Imam, Cordova Center, Ottawa, Canada
Naser Khader Member, Danish Parliament, Muslim democracy activist, Copenhagen, Denmark
Courtney Lonergan Community Outreach Director, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Professional facilitator
Hasan Mahmud Resident expert in sharia, Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Toronto, Canada
Asra Nomani Journalist, Author, Morgantown, WV, USA
Raheel Raza Founder, Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Toronto, Canada
Sohail Raza Vice President, Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations
Salma Siddiqui President, Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations, Toronto, Canada
…affirmed at 8 AM this Fourth Day of December, Two-Thousand and Fifteen PDF FILE OF DOCUMENT
1) MIM: In 2013 Tahir Gora's group the Progressive Muslims Institute Canada held an anti terrorism rally in Toronto.Two dozen people showed up a number of them non Muslims. When asked why the turnout was so low Gora lamely replied:
2)Tawfik Hamid is an author from Egypt. A self-described former member of the militant al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Hamid claims that he advocates a peaceful understanding of Islam that is compatible with universal human rights and intellectual freedom. Wikipedia
MIM:A peaceful understanding of Islam?
Assuming Hamid has read the Koran one can only conclude that he is practicing taqiyah. Hamid disingenuously claims that violent jihad is a distortion of the Quran.According to his bio page " he has written new interpretations of the texts" this only serves to lull gullible Westerners into the dangerous fantasy of believing Islam is essentially benign.http://www.tawfikhamid.com/
3) Usama Hasan is an Imam at the faux moderate Kuwaiti funded Islamist think tank the Quilliam Foundation. The 2008 Quilliam Foundation "About Us" page is fraught with religious references and calls upon Muslims to" revive Western Islam",states that they and their "progeny" belong in the UK and lauds two radical clerics. It also says that Quilliam leaders remain "committed Muslims". http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/6998
"...At a Quilliam Foundation "outreach" event in 2013 entitled "Do We Need An Islamic State?" (Sheik) Usama Hasan their "senior researcher of Islamic studies" who is involved with "developing the Sharia in keeping with the original Prophetic spirit of mercy, and away from rigid ritualism" stated the following: Dr. Hasan argued, based on Islamic scripture and its mainstream, normative interpretation, that an ‘Islamic state', if such a thing existed, would be a just state, respecting basic human rights, freedoms and democracy. Furthermore, it would be obliged to help provide for people's basic necessities such as food and drink, housing, education, jobs and healthcare. Dr. Hasan stated that in this sense, " Britain is far more ‘Islamic' than many so-called ‘Islamic states'. http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/events/do-we-need-an-islamic-state-dr-usama-hasan-addresses-bristol-university-multi-faith-chaplaincy/
Hasan is working together with the head of the OIC Ekmeledden Ihsanoglu. The OIC is the Organisation of Islamic Conference which became the Organisation of Islamic Council in 2011. The OIC is a radical Islamist organisation which seeks to impose sharia law on the West. In 2013 he wrote:
"Bismillah. I have been working on the report for the "Islam & Science – The Big Questions" (of science and Islamic theology) Task Force that I convened in Istanbul in February 2015, chaired by Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, by the grace of God. The Task Force report will be published in a few weeks, God-willing." https://unity1.wordpress.com/
In 2007, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, widely considered to be a "moderate" Muslim professor from Turkey, used the UN's "International Day of Tolerance" to assert that freedom of speech was unacceptable if it was used to criticize Islam. He said:
"[M]uslims around the world are the first victims of intolerance. They are facing a campaign of hatred and prejudice, what is otherwise known as Islamophobia. This growing trend of Islamophobia has subjected them to discrimination including religious profiling and stereotyping. The right to freedom of speech is being used to defile the sacred symbols of Islam…. [I]t is high time that the international community considers enacting legal measures against defamation of religions and religious beliefs. I would urge the Alliance of Civilizations and the Human Rights Council to take pro-active action in this regard." http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/printgroupProfile.asp?grpid=7453
In 2018 Hasan proudly asserted that his fighting in the Afghan jihad was "legitimate".
"...Usama alluded to the importance of the war in Afghanistan, where he participated in what he still considers as legitimate jihad. This is where, he said, the jihad business began – where British men started to get involved in jihad abroad..." https://www.
4) Arif Humayun is listed as a senior fellow at the American Islamic Forum For Democracy.
MIM:Arif Humayun's vacuous and insipid "kumbaya" -approach to whitewashing Islam is aimed at non Muslims is reflected in his Circle of Peace website.
Provide information about each faith community and serving as a forum for enhancing interaction that highlights the commonality of all people."
MIM: In 2018 Humayun posted a disingenuous screed entitled "Violent Jihad: A False Doctrine" which put him at odds with his Muslim Reform Movement colleague and jihadist Usama Hasan.
"...The core of Islamic faith is the Five Pillars and the Six Articles of Faith. Jihad is neither one of the five pillars of Islam nor is it an article of faith. Jihad is no more than a comprehensive training tool for self-reformation..." http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/7643
5) Farahnaz Ispahani was spokesperson for the President of the. Islamic Republic of Pakistan at the time when her country was sheltering Bin Laden.
6) (Mohammed) Zuhdi Jasser is the President of the American Islamic Forum For Democracy. For a lengthy expose on his radical agenda see:
"Devout Moderate Muslim" Mohammed Zuhdi Jasser Whines About Being "Bullied" By His Radical Mosque With CAIR Imam
MIM: In a recent fawning puff piece we learn that Jasser was instrumental in getting a radical mosque
"While living in Glendale, Jasser took another page from his father's book and was instrumental in helping a mosque get built during trying times.
Jasser acted as spokesman for the project, argued in favor of it before Scottsdale's Development Review Board in early 2002, vowing to move his family to Scottsdale to attend. He told the media that, contrary to the opinions of naysayers, the timing for the new mosque was perfect and showed the resilience of the American way of life. " http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/muslim-phoenix-doctor-seeks-to-save-america-and-islam-from-isis-inspired-extremists-788168
Jasser's claim that "the timing of the mosque was perfect and showed the resilience of the American way of life" is both obscenely cynical and a bald faced lie. In his book "A Mosque In Munich" Ian Johnson explains that "Helping to build a mosque is one of the greatest acts of piety a Muslim can perform". (pg 101)
MIM: In 2013 the self proclaimed "equality, justice and human rights activist" performed Umrah in 'Kuffarrein' (Muslims Only) Mecca.
Jasser often speaks of receiving threats yet seemed to be unfazed by travelling to Saudi Arabia to mingle with millions of his coreligionists.
His book is pretentiously entitled: "A Battle For The Soul Of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot's Fight To Save His Faith" and sports a picture of an Arabic document above that of the Declaration of Independence.
7) Mohamed Jebara Imam of Cordoba Center, Ottawa Canada
MIM: In a recent piece in the Ottawa Citizen which was an edited version of a sermon he had delivered Jebara expertly played the 'Muslims as victims' card and trots out the canard that 'extremists are hijacking their faith'.
"We live at a time when being a person of "faith" is not an easy feat. I am not oblivious to the suffering, and aggression, which much of the Muslim people have endured, especially in the last century. From invaders raping their lands, ravaging their resources, destabilizing their economies, toppling their social institutions, to extremists hijacking their faith, and oppressive tyrants crushing their hopes and violating their honour and self-respect. Yes, all these do hurt, and naturally they may lead people to feel a sense of resentment and displeasure.
To compound the pain and irritate these deep wounds, repugnant vulgarity is guised as "free speech" to further aggravate a demeaned people. Indeed, it is not easy, but how can we deal with relentless belligerence against what is most dear to us: our faith?..." http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/mohamad-jebara-true-strength-is-not-rage
8) MIM: In a recent interview "moderate" poster boy Naser Khader misleadingly stated that
9) Courtney Lonergan is a convert to Islam - In an piece aptly entitled "Muslim Reform Movement and Zuhdi Jasser Declare 'Jihad Against Jihad' Lonergan absurdly stated that the MRM was "the civil rights movement of our time". The claim is also eerily similiar to the CAIR mission statement which promotes itself as a "civil rights group" for Muslims.
"...In an interview with New Times, Lonergan admits that sometimes it's difficult for people to understand the difference between Islam and Islamism.
She calls the latter "a political extremist movement," which is "using Islam" for its own selfish ends.
The reform movement that she, Jasser and the others are working for is necessary to free the religion she loves from its extremist elements.
"It's the civil rights movement of our time," Lonergan.says." http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/muslim-reform-movement-and-zuhdi-jasser-declare-jihad-against-jihad-7890208#!
10)Hasan Mahmud has a website which greets visitors with this message:
Welcome not to an Islamic State but in the peaceful State of Islam.
CHECK OUT HASAN'S WORKS ON SHARIA & MORE
11) For a lengthy expose on Asra Nomani and her phony claims of moderation see:
Asra Nomani - At Home with the Pak Jihad
In At Home With the Taliban, a piece written for Salon magazine, we find her uncritical take on the brutal jihadist group, just a few weeks after 9/11. She even engages her host and his polygamous family in the exchange of trinkets. http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3737
"Nomani's mosque the Islamic Center of Morgantown lists their email address as the Muslim Student Association . The MSA is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood."
When Nomani attempted to "feminize" the mosque she called upon Islamist Louay Safi to mediate the dispute.Some of Nomani's detractors at the mosque insist they don't necessarily have a problem with her gender politics. Their problem is with her. "Asra is a loner," says Louay Safi, executive director of the Islamic Society of North America's Leadership Development Center in Plainfield, Ind., an umbrella organization for Islamic groups. Safi came to Morgantown in December at Nomani's request to mediate the dispute. Other women in the mosque he interviewed are also unhappy with the way the mosque is run, Safi says, but Nomani is far from finding a common front with them. "She does not have the experience of engaging the community, negotiating and trying to change things gradually. . . . She came to the community after a long time of being away and then immediately wants to change things overnight. . . . It's quite a conservative community."
MIM: Nomani also called upon The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to help her in her efforts to push her feminist agenda on her local mosque.
"...Nomani took her complaints to outside organizations. One was WVU -- on the grounds that some of the offending preachers were students or faculty. Another was the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which investigates complaints of discrimination against Muslims.
Normally, CAIR does not intervene in intra-mosque disputes, said spokesman Ibrahim Hooper. But because this case has become so public, CAIR is investigating with an eye toward possible mediation..."
MIM: In 2006 Nomani was a speaker at an event organised by The American Society for Muslim Advancement. ASMA is a false moderate organisation aligned with the Wahhabi funded Cordoba Institute. Ingrid Mattson the head of the Islamic Society of North America was also a speaker.
MIM: Nomani, who promotes herself as a champion of human rights,feminism and equality went on hajj to 'Kuffarrein' Mecca and like Jasser (see #6) appears to have had no problem being among millions of her coreligionists despite claims of receiving death threats for her activities.
Both she and Jasser have pretentiously touted their books as a struggle/battle "for the soul of Islam".
"....through the unique lens of the hajj. Interweaving reportage, political analysis, cultural history, and spiritual travelogue , this is a modern woman's jihad"..."https://books.google.com/books/about/Standing_Alone.html?id=ZKUdnhVLwRcC&hl=en
Nomani also wrote a book/paper entitled "Milestones for a Spiritual Jihad: Toward an Islam of Grace (Essays on Exploring a Global Dream, Essay Number 3"
The title references Milestones the seminal work of Sayyid Qutb whose work is fundamental to Islamist thought to this day. In Qutb's "Milestones" "The author speaks about the unique Quranic generation, the nature of the Quranic method, the characteristics of Islamic society, jihad in the cause of God, and a Muslim s nationality and his belief among other things"
"...In his book, Qutb seeks to set out "milestones" or guiding markers along a road that will lead to the revival of Islam from its current "extinction...Following these principles the vanguard will fight Jahiliyyah with a twofold approach: preaching, and "the movement" (jama'at). Preaching will persuade people to become true Muslims, while the movement will abolish "the organizations and authorities of the Jahili system by "physical power and Jihaad"..."
12) Raheel Raza is the founder of the innocuously named 'Muslims Facing Tomorrow'. She promotes herself as a "Diversity Consultant" and considers herself to be a devout Muslim. Her claim that "What I do is essentially "damage control." speaks volumes to the disingenuous campaign she is waging on behalf of Islam.
Raza wrote a book which is entitled " Their Jihad... Not my Jihad"- A Muslim Canadian Woman Speaks Out with a picture of Bin Laden and weapon toting terrorists on the cover which disingenuously purports that jihad can be a non violent struggle and that she is herself waging jihad by her actions. http://www.amazon.com/Their-Jihad-Muslim-Canadian-Speaks/dp/0973508728
"Distressed by the challenges facing Muslims living in North America, author Raheel Raza has engaged her own jihad in her adopted homeland."
"...The first theme is "Political Jihad - A Struggle for the soul of Islam". The second theme is "Gender Jihad - A Struggle for Women's Rights", while the last one is "Spiritual Jihad - A Struggle to Know Each Other"
MIM: After the initial publication Raza changed the cover to a picture of herself and subtitled it"How Can You Possibly Be An Anti - Terrorist Muslim?" which begs the question if this is intended to be rhetorical given her self proclaimed jihads.
"Raheel has made a documentary film called "Whose Sharia is it anyway?" dealing with the sharia debate in Ontario, Canada."
"A fervent advocate for human rights, Raza is the first Muslim woman in Canada to lead mixed gender prayers."
MIM: On her website resources page Raza links to the radical Islamist Muslim Woman lawyers organisation http://karamah.org/ "KARAMAH's primary mission is to educate both Muslims and non-Muslims about the just, gender equitable foundation of Islam" http://karamah.org/about/vision-and-mission
She (Azizah Al-Hibri) is also the founder and executive director of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights. This organization is heavily funded by the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation, which was established by Al-Hibri's brother Ibrahim, who earned a fortune from his business transactions with Saudi Arabia. Another major donor has been Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, whose $10-million-dollar check for post-9/11 disaster relief was famously rejected by then-New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani when the prince suggested that U.S. policies in the Middle East had provoked the al Qaeda attacks.http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2566
http://www.raheelraza.com/resources.htmMIM: In a newspaper interview Raza claimed that Islam has nothing to do with violence and condescendingly stated that "uneducated beliefs" and non familiarity with Muslims lead to the association of Islam with it.
"Every faith has had people at various times who have done acts of violence but we don't associate them with the faith," Raza said. "Unfortunately in the case of Islam and Muslims, they seem to be under a microscope and every time there is a violent act it's associated with the faith."
She said similar uneducated beliefs damage the reputation of the Islamic faith, especially for Muslims living in North America. Raza enjoys speaking in communities where the knowledge and understanding of Islam is not as widespread. She regularly speaks out against television media who in her opinion present only a skewed view of the Islamic faith.
"People in Canada, especially those in small towns like Chatham, who are not exposed to Muslims on a day-to-day level, learn their Islam, unfortunately, from things like CNN." She said television media like to focus on the downside of society as they present the negative view which makes for good news..."
MIM:In an article on her website entitled "Two Faiths Unite At One Pulpit" jihad obsessed Raza disingenuously and dangerously claimed that Bin Laden and other terrorists were not true Muslims and that "battling misconceptions and stereotypes is actually a form of jihad".
"...Jihad, she said, has many meanings; not one of them amounts to murder. "Jihad is a word that has been mis-used and mis-represented by a few wrongly minded people," she said, calling it an oft-used cloak to "legitimize criminality."
Battling misconceptions and stereotypes, she added, "is actually a form of jihad..."
"...Osama bin Laden is part of a trend in contemporary Islam that is far from mainstream," she said. "The people that committed this ghastly crime were definitely not people of God or people of any religion."http://www.raheelraza.com/
MIM: Raza does pro Muslim propaganda work which makes one think of CAIR and has published a book on how Muslim women can manipulate the media to promote a pro Muslim narrative:
"...Raheel also works with various Boards of Education on raising awareness of diversity and working towards a more inclusive curriculum; her name is included in the Community Role Models Resource Inventory developed by the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario. Raheel has co-produced a publication titled "Muslim Women and the Media" - a report and media contact list of "Muslim women professionals in the GTA". The publication has been sent to print and electronic media as an educational tool for accessing a large section of the community. She also produced a media handbook titled "Managing Media" for The Canadian Council of Muslim Women and conducted workshops in many provinces to help the Muslim community in dealing with media issues..."
MIM: Raza sees herself as the poster girl for Muslim moderation and stated in an interview that:
..."Tell me when have you last seen the image of an educated Muslim woman. The images you mostly see are dark and dreary, you see images of terrorists. You very rarely see progressive upper-class people on media."...
..."I build bridges between not only the faiths, but between the cultures as well."
MIM: For someone who constantly proclaims that ISIS,Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia among others 'have nothing to do with Islam and have hijacked the religion',Raza, who is head of the group "Council For Muslims Facing Tomorrow" can't bring herself to write the words Islam or Muslim when condemning the attacks in Nice. Instead she writes that "once again evil has struck at the heart of Europe" as if some sinister alien entity perpetrated the Nice jihad attack.
COUNCIL FOR MUSLIMS FACING TOMORROW
July 14, 2016
MIM: Raza can be proven a liar (surprise!) in this exchange regarding the wearing of the niqab and burqa by Muslim women.First she said its "cultural norm" and woman should do whatever they like.Proclaiming that:
An untiring struggle for gender equality and world peace
TNS: Burqa is viewed as a symbol of oppression against women. Do you agree with this perception?
RR: It depends. In old days women wore burqas, but it was a different time and place. If they are forced to wear burqas, then it's a problem. It is important that women know it is not an Islamic requirement, but a cultural norm. Then they can do whatever they like. It's a free world.
MIM: In an article in the Huffington Post she inadvertantly admits that the niqab and burqa have everything to do with Islam claiming that; "They're the political flags of the Muslim Brotherhood,ISIS, the Taliban and Saudi Arabia". Last time we looked all of the groups and countries mentioned were considered "Islamic". In fact Saudi Arabia is the location of Mecca the most sacred place for Muslims, something the self proclaimed "devout" Raheel Raza should know.
Excerpt from: "As a Muslim, I Think Canada Should Ban the Niqab and Burqa in Public"
"...But in the 25 years I have called Canada home, I have seen a steady rise of Muslim women being strangled in the pernicious black tent that is passed off to naïve and guilt-ridden white, mainstream Canadians as an essential Islamic practice.
The niqab and burka have nothing to do with Islam.
They're the political flags of the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaida and Saudi Arabia."...
MIM: In a screed entitled "Whose Shari'a Is It Anyway?" Raza claims that shari'a can be made compatible with Western democracy.
"... It's not Sharia that is flawed but the way in which dictatorial and oppressive regimes have used it to suppress the rights of women and minorities. These are countries where religion is used as a bait to gain power or vet votes. Stoning, flogging and honor killings were never a part of Sharia and it's up to us to see that it never happens here. There's absolutely no reason why Sharia can't be updated and brought to par with life as it is in Canada today and be in sync with the Canadian charter of rights and freedom.
13) Sohail Raza is Raheel Raza's husband. When their two sons announced plans to marry non Muslim women both he and his "diversity consultant" wife were appalled. One 'consolation' however is that Islam is patrilineal and all the children are Muslim. Both daughters in law are studying Islam.
"When it came to reconfiguring their own family, however, the Razas had their doubts: "You can't betray your religion," they told their sons.
Sohail acknowledges that he's "lost" both his sons to interfaith marriages, but also gained wonderful daughters-in-law.
MIM: Sohail Raza is director and and media and communications coordinator of the Forum For Learning which promotes interfaith activities aka Jihad through dawah and is funded by the government of Canada.http://www.forumforlearning.org/interfaith.html
"FORUM 4 LEARNING is a Canadian organization founded by Raheel Raza to promote knowledge and learning in the fields of cultural and religious diversity and interfaith harmony and to create opportunities for open and honest dialogue, discussion and understanding between all people of the world, and especially immigrants who call Canada home." http://www.forumforlearning.org/home.html
For more on Raheel Raza see: "Raheel Raza "Devout Moderate Muslim" Waging Jihad Through Taqiyya - Says That Islam Has Nothing To Do With Violence" http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/7350
14) Salma Siddiqui is Vice President of the Muslim Canadian Congress. She appears to lament the fact that non Muslims have failed to embrace the narrative that "jihad means peace".
In "What Jihad Really Means" she writes (together with Tarek Fatah)
"Unless the leaders of Canadian mosques as well as the Islamic organizations denounce the doctrine of jihad as pronounced by the Muslim Brotherhood, and distance themselves from the ideology of Mr. Qutb, Mr. Banna and Mr. Maudoodi, the propaganda that "jihad means peace" will be meaningless..." http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=32f4a299-fce2-4830-a392-15e2b895b0d2&p=1