WASHINGTON – The face of radical Islam is no longer limited to gun-toting, bomb-strapping, plane-hijacking terrorists. Now it takes on more subtle forms.
It infiltrates the highest echelon of American education; recruits the social rejects in U.S. prisons; and teaches American Muslim children to hate infidels, warns a new documentary that features a devout Muslim American, a former terrorist, and some of the nation's top national security experts.
"This is not a film about Islam," clarifies the documentary "The Third Jihad" at the onset of the film. "It is about the threat of radical Islam. Only a small percentage of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims are radicals. This film is about them."
Over the course of 72-minutes, the film pulls together TV footage aired on Islamic broadcasting stations, secret documents that shows U.S. Muslim groups' connection to terror organizations, and interviews with former CIA, FBI analysts and radical Islam experts to introduce the concept of "cultural jihad" – a new jihad method that uses the laws and rights of a society to undermine the freedoms it offers and to overthrow its social system.
The film focuses on the FBI's discovery in 2003 of a 15-page document believed to be a "Grand Jihad Manifesto" authored by the Muslim Brotherhood in North America. The document outlines goals and strategies on how to infiltrate and dominate America from within. It also identifies Muslim organizations, previously thought to be moderate by the U.S., which it could work with to achieve its goal of weakening western culture and impose sharia (Islamic) law in North America.
"There is an ideology we are fighting. You can't say that it is all Al Qaeda," said Dr. M. Zuhidi Jasser, who was the film's narrator, at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. "There is Hamas, Hezbollah, there is Islamic jihad, groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Taliban, the Iranian theocratic movements, and the only thing they share is not the tactic but the goal and the end, which is the establishment of the Islamic state."
Jasser is founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), an organization founded to promote the combination of the Muslim faith with American values of democracy, freedom and liberty. He is a devout practicing Muslim American who was a former physician to the U.S. Congress and served in the U.S. Navy.
In addition to partnering with "moderate" U.S. Muslim groups, extremists are also carrying out their cultural jihad in America through the U.S. education system, the film asserts.
Saudi Arabia has given huge endowments to the Middle East Studies departments at the nation's top universities such as Harvard and Georgetown University, which alone have received $20 million each. The students at these schools will be America's future leaders and diplomats, the film explains, and will make future decisions based on their "slanted and radical" Saudi interpretation of Islam.
The form of Islam practiced by Saudi Arabia is Wahhabism, considered the most fundamentalist and extreme out of all the versions. The Saudi legal system based on Wahhabism calls for the hands of thieves to be cut off and for adulterers to be killed.
But not only is Saudi Arabia teaching its Islamic worldview at higher education institutions, it is also disseminating its extreme-version of Islam in mosques across the U.S. to impressionable youths.
A study by Washington-based Freedom House Center for Religious Freedom in 2005 analyzed Saudi-supplied textbooks given to children at U.S. mosques. The study found that the books contained texts and teachings about non-Muslims that could be considered hate speech. The report maintains that such teaching has the potential to radicalize young Americans Muslims.
Besides universities and mosques, U.S. prisons are also proving to be fertile ground to spread radical Islam. Islamic activists, imams, and prison chaplains are reportedly finding success in recruiting inmates by "feeding off the discontent and resentment" these men and women feel toward society.
Jasser wants Muslim Americans to speak out and against radical Islam.
"I think it's important for American Muslims to lead this effort because if we don't fix our problems from within the faith, this movement to create an Islamic state is going to ultimately affect our way of life," Jasser said at the press conference.
"I think the only way to defeat this movement is for Muslims from within to say this is not Islam. This is theocracy."
But sadly, instead of joining him many Muslims have labeled him an enemy or remained quiet.
"The saddest thing to me is this (the documentary) isn't the project that was done by Muslims period. It should have been done just by Muslims," Jasser said. "They (Muslim Americans) focus on victimology, and I think Americans are tired of hearing about victimology and want to hear solutions."
Dr. Emir Caner, a former devout Muslim and now president of the Baptist college Truett-McConnell in Georgia, is doing his part to help promote the film among Christians. He has traveled across the country to screen the documentary to local pastors and talk about how Christians should respond to radical Islam.
Caner told The Christian Post after the screening that he hopes thousands of churches will screen the film to their own audience and Christians will be the "salt and light" and "prophetic voice" to alert the nation on the growing threat.
He acknowledges that Christians might be labeled Islamaphobes, but says, "We can't coward to that and worry about those nomenclature given to us. We have to stand for what is right."
He also joked being called an Islamaphobe is "sort of on a weekly basis for me being a former Muslim."
"The Third Jihad" is released by The Clarion Fund, a non-profit organization that was founded in 2006 to educate Americans about issues of national security. In 2006, the organizations released the documentary "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West."
The name of the film is based on the history of Islamic jihad. The first jihad took place between 622-750 AD (from Arabia to Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, India, Syria, Egypt, North Africa, Spain, Portugal and Italy). The second jihad occurred between 1071 to 1683 AD when the Turks invaded the Balkans and all the way to Vienna. And now, the film suggests, the third jihad is the current conflict with radical Islam by America and Western Europe.
On the Web: www.radicalislam.org