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Rabbi Kaufman will serve as Moderator for the call.
M. Zuhdi Jasser is a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander. He is the President of theAmerican Islamic Forum for Democracybased in Phoenix, Arizona. AIFD, founded in 2003, is a think tank and activist Muslim organization which provides a platform for an American Muslim movement to separate spiritual Islam from the political. AIFD seeks to build coalitions of Muslims which not only reject the means of terror as an anathema to Islam but more globally reject the ends of the Islamic state which Islamists seek. AIFD believes that the only way to genuinely wage the contest of ideas and counter the root cause of terrorism is for Muslims to be given ample opportunity for debate between one another-- especially within the mosques. AIFD believes that the outcome of these debates will ultimately be the primary method to defeat the ideology of political Islam which ultimately inspires radical Islamism. Dr. Jasser believes that it is essential for devotional Muslims to lead the ideological war against militant Islamism. This Muslim led effort seeks to establish the synergy of Americanism and our Constitutional democracy with a post-modern, pluralistic Islam.
Dr. Jasser is a respected physician currently in private practice in Phoenix Arizona specializing in internal medicine and nuclear cardiology. His highest military award is the Meritorious Service Medal. He recently served as the President of the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA) until June 2007. Dr. Jasser has served on the Maricopa County Board of Health since 2005. As ArMA President in early 2007, Dr. Jasser formed and now chairs a statewide Disaster Preparedness Task Force whose primary mission has been to inform and engage all Arizona physicians in disaster preparedness. Dr. Jasser chairs the bioethics committee and teaches nuclear cardiology in a major Phoenix hospital. He has been active in a number of interfaith efforts in Arizona including the founding of a Jewish-Muslim dialogue group in 2000 called the Children of Abraham.
He also was featured in the controversial PBS film,Islam v Islamistsproduced by ABG Films, Inc. This film was initially banned from distribution on PBS stations as originally intended in the Crossroads program but was then aired in a limited distribution to some affiliates. It received national acclaim in its release on the Fox News Channel in October 2007.
Dr. Jasser has also been an advisor on Islamic affairs to the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands. During his last visit in December 2007, he led an AIFD program on “Citizenship and Democracy” with Dutch Muslim youth, media, and political leadership. The program focused on strategies in countering the threat of political Islam to the west while engaging anti-Islamist Muslims.
Dr. Jasser was honored in October 2007 as a “Defender of the Home Front” at the annual Keeper of the Flame Dinner of the Center for Security Policy.. He was also one of five moderate Muslims who met with Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss the “Contest of Ideas with the Muslim World” at theHudson Instituteon December 5, 2007. In January 2008, Dr. Jasser was presented with the 2007 Director’s Community Leadership Award by the Phoenix office of the FBI.
Dr. Jasser was also recently featured inThe Third Jihad,produced by PublicScope Films. Dr. Jasser narrates this documentary about the threat of radical Islamism to the West which was recently released and will be shown and featured internationally in 2009.
Dr. Jasser is a regular columnist and contributing editor forFamilySecurityMatters.organdHudson New York. He appears frequently on the Fox News Channel and CNN appearing regularly on the Glenn Beck Show. Dr. Jasser has been published in theNational Review, Arizona Republic, Middle East Quarterly,Dallas Morning News, Washington Times, andBeliefnet. He is a frequent national radio and television commentator and featured speaker about Islam, Islamism, moderate Muslims, and counterterrorism.
David Jay Kaufman Rabbi Temple B'nai Jeshurun Des Moines, Iowa www.templebnaijeshurun.org www.rabbikaufman.blogspot.com 515-274-4679 firstname.lastname@example.org