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The Third Jihad Kerfuffle

The Third Jihad Kerfuffle

A second look at the controversial documentary.


Did the New York City Police Department use "terrible judgment," as Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, when it showed a documentary about Islamist extremists -- The Third Jihad -- to more than 1,400 officers undergoing counterterrorism training?

You might think so if you took your cues from a New York Times editorial calling the documentary a "hate-filled film about Muslims," or from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which declared that it "defiled our faith and misrepresented everything we stood for."

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser fervently disagrees.

Jasser is a former US Navy officer and a past president of the Arizona Medical Association. He is also an observant Muslim, a Wisconsin-reared son of Syrian immigrants deeply grateful for the freedom and tolerance his parents found in America. Ever since 9/11, he has been fighting the Islamist extremists whose goal is to destroy that freedom and tolerance.

"As a devout Muslim I saw it as my responsibility to expose the radicals," Jasser says in The Third Jihad, which he narrated. "I resented that they were exploiting the religion I love."

After al-Qaeda's murder of 3,000 Americans, Jasser recalls in the film, "I had expected to see Muslims in America taking to the streets and protesting against [Osama] bin Laden. Instead, in the years that followed, we saw many Muslim leaders standing up to defend or support the radicals." So he launched the American Islamic Forum for Democracy to defend American values, promote the separation of mosque and state, and expose the Islamist agenda behind certain influential Muslim organizations.

The best-known of those organizations, CAIR, describes itself as a civil-rights group. In reality it is anything but. Its founders were linked to the terror group Hamas and several of its officials have been convicted or deported on terrorism-related charges. In the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding trial, as former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and former CIA Director Jim Woolsey recounted recently, CAIR was designated by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator. The Third Jihad shows news footage of CAIR's national legislative director refusing a reporter's request to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah. That is par for the course -- CAIR wouldn't even condemn bin Laden until more than two months after 9/11 -- and helps explain why the FBI severed its ties to CAIR.

Far from being an indiscriminate attack on Islam or Muslims, The Third Jihad consistently distinguishes between Islam's peaceful, moderate mainstream and the totalitarian jihadists who seek a global Islamic theocracy. The documentary's opening lines are unambiguous: "This is not a film about Islam. It is about the threat of radical Islam. Only a small percentage of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims are radical."

But where those radicals hold sway, liberty and pluralism are endangered. "Have you ever stopped to think about what would happen if the Islamists won and their version of Sharia law was put into place?" Jasser asks. The 72-minute film depicts the chilling consequences: Subjugation of religious minorities. Abuse of women. "Honor" killings. Anti-gay brutality. Stifling of free speech. Support for terrorism.

Related Video: The Third Jihad

Bin Laden may be dead and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed behind bars, but a key message of the film is that jihadists pursue their goal of a West dominated by radical Islam with undiminished fervor. "On my website we talk about the Islamic state of North America by 2050," says Imam Abdul Musa, a prominent Islamist interviewed for The Third Jihad.

Radical groups like CAIR use the calumny of anti-Muslim bigotry to defame those who warn of Islamist militancy. Fear of being smeared has intimidated too many politicians and journalists, which is why the Zuhdi Jassers of the world -- devoted Muslims who are pro-American, pro-democracy, and anti-Islamist -- are inestimable allies in the war against the jihadists.

Happily, he is not fighting alone. During the recent furor over the film, New York City Councilman Robert Jackson, a Muslim, refused to toe the CAIR line. "I initially thought from reading about it that it cast a negative image on all Muslims," he said. "In my opinion it does not. It focuses on the extreme Muslims that are trying to hurt other people." Similarly, the American Islamic Leadership Coalition issued a strong statement defending The Third Jihad as "factually accurate and important."

You needn't take their word for it. Watch the film for yourself at, and gain crucial insight into one of the central struggles of our time: the war of ideas within Islam.

This article originally appeared in The Boston Globe.

February 13, 2012

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Visitor Comments: 8

(7) Imran Ali, February 25, 2012 9:52 PM

Maimonides, Islam and Jews

Maimonides, a great Jewish personality was born in Cordoba, spent much time in Muslim lands and died in Egypt. He was a product of the golden age of Jewish civilisation in Muslim Spain. Jews were accepted and even served as advisors in the Islamic government. More recently, during the world war, Muslims of Bosnia hid Jewish scriptures and age old artefacts under the floorboards of the mosques. On many occasions, Jews found sanctuary in the Islamic Caliphate, Ottoman or Moorish. Maimonides himself argued that Islam was not idolatrous as it firmly rejects anything but monotheism. I do not dispute that Jews under the Caliphate were not equal to the Muslims, however, they were more widely accepted, tolerated and integrated into the social, economic and political fabric of life - compared to life under Christian rule. True peace starts with searching for common ground. Prophet Muhammad was a statesman - and just like any other statesman he went to war, defensive or offensive. He was also a father, a dear friend, a community leader and a husband. In the Qur'an there are more references to peace relative to war. In no way is it a pacifist faith - otherwise it would not have survived. Judaism has had to fight for it's survival, Isreal has army dedicated to protecting the national interest, it Jewish civilisation and it's future. For those who comment "read the Qur'an yourselves" - I too, as a Muslim encourage you, but read with an open heart, not selectively to justify a stereotype. There is much in the past that binds together Jews and Muslims and to suggest that Islam encourages "killing and enslaving of infidels" is nothing short of sheer misunderstanding. Infidels is not a term in the Qur'an - it was a term used by Pope Urban 2 to describe the Saracen Muslims and "Christ-Killing Jews" during the Crusades. There is more that keeps us together, than keeps us apart, if only we choose not to ignore it. Shalom.

Lou, March 5, 2013 4:56 AM

We can read

your book tells you it's your duty to convert infidels by force or behead them. 9-11 murders, Fort Hood shooter, Army recruiting shooter, world trade bomber,time square bomber all Muslim.

(6) Ruth, February 16, 2012 10:48 AM

great DVD

I have watched this DVD many times. It contains essential footage of extremists making chilling statements of their intention to take over the West, and evidence of recruitment of violent prisoners through their conversion to Islam.

(5) mark, February 14, 2012 8:40 PM

read the koran-see for yourself...

see that a good muslim MUST kill, enslave and/or rule non believers. The docter is a good guy,but a bad muslim by their own definition. Muslim koran re - writes or reformation is a tanget Islam will, out of fear ,not take .How God will end their chapter in history is a puzzle so far,but they are a mess right now. The west is their biggest challenger and test(for them). . The world is watching and so too is our creator......

(4) Mark Goldberg, February 14, 2012 6:35 PM

Re: Kerfuffle

The problem is that Mohammed taught everything that the 'Jihadists' use and quote, as do all the legal schools of Islamic jurisprudence, which call for the submission of all infidels as a muslim obligation for all time, everywhere, forever. Now... the fact that most people are people and if they grow up in another land where there are such rights for others, they don't go out and bomb, slaughter or merely submit infidels. Just as most national socialist supporters in germany didn't either, but their theology, philosophy, like Islam commands dominion so the good folks who just want to belong to something for family and nation are soon either silent or dead. And so it is with muslims. Yes... there are nice fine people who are muslims. And they will never march against the atrocities of Islam because they KNOW,,, that by Islamic law... they are next. So. Zudi Jasser if fine, but there are no such moderate movements anywhere because Islam does not allow such to even exist without being tortured. Ala, the Ahmadiyas, who are burnt and beaten to death for being ... apostates, or others who've arisen over the last couple hundre years. They have no authority. Period. Witness finally, what Thomas Jefferson was told by the muslim north african ambassador as to why the muslim attacked the first american ships in 1789 that went thru the straits of Gibraltar: "     … that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise." did you read that? Do you think he wasn't a moderate?

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