Today, a leading American Muslim physician and expert on radical Islam, expressed disappointment at President Trump’s “business as usual” approach to extremism in his speech on Afghanistan and terrorism last night. Rather than a full-throated condemnation of Islamism, the totalitarian theo-political ideology behind violent jihadi terror, the speech was merely a commitment to more military action: something that is no doubt often necessary, but that is not the solution to the root cause of Islamist violence. However, it does appear that Trump is offering a welcome change to the last 8 years that had our troops serving in Afghanistan with their hands tied behind their back. President Trump’s empowerment of our troops and trust in the plans recommended by his generals for Afghanistan should be applauded.
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, said the following: “I approached last evening’s speech with some hope that President Trump would introduce a plan to fight the root cause of violent jihadi terror, Islamism. Unfortunately, he did exactly the opposite: vowing a bold military approach without the on-the-ground work to defeat radical ideology at its source. This is both troubling and dangerous. To commit to only military action without a holistic approach to Islamism is like arresting a drunk driver and dropping him off at the bar. A strong military threat against terrorists is warranted, but not enough: without the muscular liberalism required to support reformers and squash Islamism, the threat of Islamist violence will never vanish. Further, it is essential that we do more than fight against terror. We must fight for our country, for our values, and for our people.”
Dr. Jasser also published today an article in Asia Times entitled “Radical Islam: we Must Talk about More than Just ISIS.” It can be read here.