PHOENIX (April 4, 2013) – Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith” issued the following statement on behalf of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) on the prosecution and persecution of Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef.
“The Egyptian government’s decision last week to arrest Bassem Youssef, the “Egyptian Jon Stewart”, has once again clearly displayed the threat posed to the people of Egypt by an Islamist Constitution and Islamist ideologues leading.
Youssef was arrested for criticizing Egyptian President Morsi and for criticizing Islam, despite the fact that he is a devout Muslim himself and professes a deep love of his faith and his country.
Morsi’s allies in the Muslim Brotherhood are using the tool of religion and blasphemy to hammer dissent into submission. The arrest of Youssef and several other comedians is just the latest example of political Islam in action. The ideology is based in a supremacist mindset that holds the Islamist interpretation of Islam higher than any individual right to freedom of thought, expression or faith. It quickly becomes the tool of the dictator to secure power through intimidation. Youssef himself appeared with CNN’s Christian Amanpour labeling the brotherhoods actions as “fascistic”.
At long last the American Left appears to be stepping to the plate in condemning these actions and awakening to the threat of Islamism upon every citizen. Youssef, a heart surgeon turned comedian, and television host comes from within their ranks. His arrest sparked Jon Stewart to do a 10 minute monologue that highlighted some of Morsi’s direct statements calling Jews ‘descendants of Pigs and Monkeys’ and Morsi’s hypocrisy on religious freedom.
The Obama Administration continued to falter on the principle of defending religious freedom, when it initially condemned the arrest and actually tweeted the Stewart monologue from a US Embassy Cairo twitter account, only to have Ambassador Anne Peterson soon thereafter remove the post and delete the twitter account. Peterson is the Ambassador who forbade US Marines from carrying live ammunition when US Embassy Cairo was besieged by protesters and the walls were actually breached.
We cannot condemn the actions of religious suppression and then send $190 million to the government to secure its infrastructure. We cannot stand with Bassem Youssef and send the Egyptian Government airplanes and tanks. We cannot call for greater tolerance of religious freedom and label President Morsi an ally in the region all the while his henchmen enforce some of the most repressive restrictions on free expression seen in Egypt in generations.
There is no ambiguity in the intent of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Their Constitution clearly lays out their vision for a new Egypt that does not embrace religious freedom or individual rights. Recent scores of arrests of Bassem Youssef and many others provide a stark reminder of this fact. The Administration needs to take the lesson that his brothers and sisters on the left side of the aisle are learning and stand on the principles that built this country.
It’s time to cut off all aid to our non-ally Egypt and let the Muslim Brotherhood fail, fall into the dustbin of history and make room for Revolution 2.0 in Egypt for our real allies–those who believe in and represent real freedom.
About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD’s mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website athttp://www.aifdemocracy.org/.