American, European Muslims Establish New Organization to Fight Extremism

The Muslim Reform Movement calls for jettisoning 'political correctness' and fighting ISIS for the 'soul of Islam.'

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Shi'ite Muslims demonstrating against the Islamic State and Islamic terrorism outside the White House in Washington D.C.on Saturday.
Shi'ite Muslims demonstrating against the Islamic State and Islamic terrorism outside the White House in Washington D.C.on Saturday.Credit: AFP

A group of American and European Muslims has established a new organization aimed at countering the beliefs of Middle East terrorist groups like Islamic State and “battling for the soul of Islam.”

The first activity of the new organization, called the Muslim Reform Movement, was to post a declaration on the door of the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. last Friday. The declaration rejected the Islamic State and denounced the “ideology of violent Islamic extremism,” the Washington Times reported.

The move recalled Martin Luther's posting of his "Ninety-Five Theses" on the door of a German church in 1517, the act that sparked the Reformation

The movement grew out of a summit last week of leaders of Muslim groups opposed to extremism. Held at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, the summit took on new urgency after the deadly terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists in Paris and San Bernardino, organizers said.

Muslims need to "get rid of political correctness and grab this problem by the root," said Naser Khader, a conservative member of Denmark's parliament, at the summit. "It is important to draw a line between the Islamic religion and Islamism."

The movement's declaration of principles, also released on Friday, calls on Muslims to reject violent jihad and endorse religious freedom for all and secular government.

It says that the movement will "name and shame" supporters of extremism within the community.

“Ultimately, the reason why we, as Muslims, stood on Friday and went to the mosque and took the risks on our own lives, is because we’ve had enough,” Asra Nomani said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think the world has had enough.”

The readiness of the new group to take responsibility for Islamic extremism counters the efforts of the Muslim establishment in the United States to place the blame for the San Bernardino massacre on anything but radical Islam.

In a press conference on Friday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced “rising Islamophobia in America” and called for a hate crimes investigation into a threat against a Virginia mosque.

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the council's Los Angeles chapter, condemned the San Bernardino attack in a CNN interview on Friday but said Americans themselves share some of the blame for terrorist violence.

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