This is a rush transcript from "Life, Liberty & Levin," June 17, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARK LEVIN, HOST: Hello America. I'm Mark Levin. This is "Life, Liberty & Levin." Zuhdi Jasser, pleasure to see.
ZUDHI JASSER, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN ISLAMIC FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY: It's great to be back you great to with you, Mark.
LEVIN: Zuhdi Jasser, you're a medical doctor.
JASSER: Yes, sir.
LEVIN: Practice in the private sector. You founded and are President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. You're a first generation American Muslim. Your parents fled the oppressive Baath regime of Syria in the mid-1960s for American Freedom. You're a patriot. You earned your medical degree on a US Navy scholarship at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1992. You served 11 years as a medical officer in the United States Navy. And you're the author of "A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot's Fight To Save His Faith."
Now the reason I wanted to have you tonight is not only because you're a superb expert on this whole issue, not just of Islam and geopolitics and so forth, because it's very quiet right now. And when it's very quiet, I get very nervous.
LEVIN: Particularly when it comes to our enemies and while we're focused rightly so on North Korea and some of the other challenges that we have in this country, Al-Qaeda is not quiet, ISIS isn't quiet, Hamas isn't quiet, Hezbollah isn't quiet, the Muslim brotherhood is not quiet. They're all operating, they're all plotting their next attack on our allies and next attack on this country. What happens is people say, "Well, why weren't we talking about this? Why weren't we thinking about this? Why weren't we ready?"
I want to talk about it, but let's start at the beginning. Sharia law. What is Sharia law?
JASSER: Mark, it's great to be with you, and you know the Sharia is Islamic law, Islamic jurisprudence, one of the reasons my parents escaped Syria and came here was they viewed the American experiment, the American laboratory about the ability for individuals to define their faith, define which of the laws in their faith they'll accept or reject as being the type of society, the type of nation they wanted to belong to.
So, they rejected their Syrian nationalism which has failed and has now - continues to prove to be one of the worst tyrannies in the world, to come to embrace an Islam that was their own making, their own practice.
So Sharia is the Islamic jurisprudence that is the laws that have evolved from 7th Century Islam.
So, I would be deceptive or lying to you if I said Sharia was compatible with American law. My Sharia is the Islam of American patriots that I know that are Muslims that reject political Islam is, but the Sharia of Saudi Arabia, of the Pakistani Islamic law, of Egyptian law, of the Muslim brotherhood, of Hamas, those Sharia theocracies are incompatible with American law.
So ultimately, now, as we are finishing up the holiest month of Ramadan, we just finished, it it's our holiday this weekend. My personal Sharia tells me how to pray, how to fast, how to follow my personal pietistic laws, but then there is Sharia that gets involved in criminal law, that gets involved in prohibiting siege.
JASSER: And governance and punishments and the inequality of men and women. The torture of dissidents and all these other things that are done under the name of Sharia in Iran, in Saudi Arabia and other theocracies or quasi theocracies. So, as Americans trying to get their head around what is Sharia, I would tell you look at our own history.
America was founded on a rejection of theocracy. Islam is in that time in its history right now. We're basically in the 16th, 17th Century of what Christendom was in at that time. And right now, as it is quiet, as you said, the Muslim world is not quiet, the Iranian people are revolting in the streets in the thousands against their theocracy.
My family in Damascus and Aleppo are dodging chemical weapons and helicopter gunships and a genocide from the Syrians from Hezbollah, from Iran, from Russia.
The Muslim Brotherhood is growing. ISIS may have been decimated in Syria, but Jihadism, global Salafi Jihadism, which is this ideology of anti- westernism, of theocracy, is growing faster than it ever has.
LEVIN: Do you think the American media, the American media chases shiny objects, pretty much. Do you think the American media is substantive enough to understand that these threats remain out there because they do a very poor job of covering them?
JASSER:I think the honest portions of the American media, whether it be conservatives like yourself or others that are willing to talk to Muslims with a tough love, I think, are addressing the issue.
I think we've seen like our organization and our Muslim Reform Movement leaders have shifting the needle, where after 9/11, no one would talk about Islamism and Islamists and now, we are starting to see a conversation where we recognize that it's not just terrorism.
I mean, I am a doctor, as you said, and I treat disease, I don't treat symptoms, and the disease of what we're facing is not just terrorism. That's a symptom. That's a whack-a-mole program.
The disease is political Islam - Sharia states. The concept that our identity as Muslims is wedded to a national identity of Islamic governance. There may be many Muslims in America that are here that reject sort of secular society.
So the American media, and I think especially on the left now, if you get away from their 95% Trump derangement syndrome where they are focused too much on completely ignoring the global issues that are continuing to evolve. The rest, because of the influence of foreign governments, Islamic states and their funding of think tanks, especially on the left, the Clinton Foundation and their money from Qatar and the Saudis and others and we see also this problem on the right, we are unable to have an honest conversation about the influence of Islamics' movements and Sharia-type movements in our country and the influence on changing the narratives.
And until we look at that problem and fix it, we're never going to treat the disease.
LEVIN: That's a problem I want to get to in just a second. You talked about the founding of American. John Locke, the enlightenment, religions most have gone through this reformation period, so there isn't this, a conflict between the enlightenment and people of faith and religion.
You're saying not so with a lot of the Muslim world. In the United States, we have this First Amendment. It's really quite brilliant. The free exercise of religion, but no establishment of religion. And it was based on like much of the Constitution, Judeo-Christian concepts, but not just that.
Aristotle. Cicero - Cicero wasn't a Christian, per se, I mean, it was the Romans who killed Christ. And yet, so basically our First Amendment says, "Look, if you're not out to destroy the Constitution. If you're not ideologically driven to eviscerate the society, then have at it. You could be an atheist, you can be a Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Christian - whatever you want.
Isn't that the genius of the First Amendment?
JASSER: Absolutely, and I have to tell you, this is why America and American-Muslims especially have the responsibility by being blessed. If I had grown up in Syria or Saudi Arabia, I would not be the man who sits before you today respecting and learning from authors like yourself and having the opportunity to be on "Life, Liberty & Levin" and talk about freedom, right?
I would be a different consciousness because I would be fighting for my freedom in Syria, I probably wouldn't be alive today or if I lived in Saudi Arabia, I would have been influenced by more anti-western conspiracy theories, et cetera. So, America needs to get out, especially the left, needs to get out of its ethnocentrism and obsession with what's happening in Washington and Hollywood and start look at the world and saying, "You know what? A quarter of the world's population is Muslim. It's a 1400- plus year-old religion that now is going through a time in history which it's beginning to move against dictatorships and against theocracy.
We can take sides in that or we can continue to work with just the strong horse and pretend that somehow through a bigotry of low expectations that Arabs and Persians and Muslims in general want to be run by dictators and theocrats and that could not be further from the truth. Every human being wants to be free, and people say, "Well, Islam needs a Martin Luther."
You hit the nail on the head. It's too early for a Martin Luther here. We need John Locke, James Madison. We need Jeffersonian religious freedom papers to begin to start to teach our youth.
I mean, one of the things I teach my three young children is the only thing I would ever want to die for, and this is the reason I joined the Navy, is America and our Constitution. I was taught by my parents that while we love and pray to God and we read our scripture in the Arabic Koran, I never want to die for that because God doesn't need me to die for him.
And my scripture is between me and God. I don't need the state to have that as a Constitution. What the state needs to do is protect my individual rights to speak, to practice or reject any parts of the faith that the men in beards and long robes want to ram down my throat.
So, that's the beauty of the American experiment. We have a responsibility in this country, living in blessed freedom to give back to the world and start to put forth a form of Islam and that is what our Muslim Reform Movement is about is, it is using the free market of ideas that exist here to begin to have critical thinking and pushing back against - right now there's only four schools of Sharia in Islam, of Sunni Islam and only a couple in Shia Islam.
Back at the beginning of Islam, there were thousands of schools of thought. How do people expect Islam to do away with ISIS and its Muslim brotherhoods if there is no critical thinking and in the laboratory where we can do it, the left wants us with the red green axis of the left and the Islamist to not have critical thinking and say anyone that looks critically Islam is a bigot, is an Islamophobe in this victim grievance narrative that dominates who I am as a Muslim, when, in fact, we need tough love to say, "You know what, if you know Muslims that are your neighbors and your friends, ask them what they think about theocracy and what they are doing to change the consciousness for their children and what their legacy will be?"
LEVIN: Why do you think that reporters, so-called journalists, many of whom are the left, why do you think they don't want to have that conversation?
JASSER: Because every minority group to them is a tool for pushing forth a collectivist movement. Whatever it is they exploit it. The Muslim minority which is barely 1% in America, they don't look at it as a quarter of the world's population where you have 56 countries that are Muslim majorities where we would have an influence on that.
They would say, "Well, you know what, we can check the box that we protect Muslim minority rights. We will call it a Muslim ban," even though it is not. We will talk about and use folks like Keith Ellison. You remember the Pelosi incident where she's whispering behind the microphone, "Tell them you're Muslim. Tell them you're Muslim." That's all that matters to them. It's an identity politics. They exploit identity politics in order to use us as a hammer against the right, so that they can obsess into saying they are the answer to bigotry and et cetera on the right, which could not be further from the truth.
It is part of the left's demagoguery where they actually in a bigoted sense use race, they racialize Islam - Islam is an idea, it is not a race, but yet, they racialize it. So they prevent critical thinking within communities, individual thought as they've done with the African-American community, the Hispanic community, and they have no interest in looking globally at how Muslim women are treated in Iran, how they're treated in Afghanistan, in Saudi Arabia because feminism to them is really also a tool for how to get to the right, rather than actually being about principles.
LEVIN:Could it also be that there are organizations that push the narrative that the left wants pushed? Organizations like CAIR as an example. Organizations like CAIR that are domestic organizations with a foreign influence that really are the counter to your organization and this reformation that you're talking about, take a much more fundamentalist approach to Sharia law, and they are seen in the media and they are seen in government all the time.
I want your opinion on this, in one moment.
Ladies and gentlemen, you can join us almost every week night on LevinTV at crtv.com, at crtv.com. I hope you'll join us. We'll be right back.
Zuhdi Jasser, I want to get to this group CAIR in a moment. But thinking about what you said, if the American media is so objectionable to a discussion about Islam, how do we expect the foreign media, much of which is state controlled in these other countries, to even consider discussing reformation and Islam and so forth?
JASSER: They become basically tools of foreign media, because let me give you an example. When President Trump decided to withdraw from the Iran deal, CNN backed - hour after hour started to show demonstrations in Iran and how this was making unrest. They were basically showing exactly what Iranian-state media wanted them to show which is the staged rallies that were happening, the burning of the flag and other things which is what our enemies want, so at the end of the day, our media, when it doesn't have a compass about constitutional principles and about universal human rights, now all of a sudden we're hearing about all that with North Korea when, in fact, when Obama was selling the farm to Iran and handing them billions to do genocide in Syria and propagate terrorism around the world, nobody talked about human rights.
But now, all of a sudden they're doing it because to them, the axis of their ideas is all about how to get the right and how to demonize everyone who is against their party, when in fact, it's not about principles.
So, I hope ultimately as we've proven in the last election, the American people are not stupid. They understand what the realities are, who to trust and who not to, and the left is going to continue to wither on the vine of false narratives because a candidate who is elected by fighting the establishment, which is, I know what we're going to talk about with CAIR, the establishment in the Muslim community is evil, it is theocratic and are not friends of America.
LEVIN: Let's go there. This organization, CAIR, was established in a meeting in Philadelphia, wasn't it? Give us a little bit of history, because CAIR shows up everywhere.
In the Obama administration it showed up at the Department of Justice, it showed up at the White House, it showed up at the Defense Department. It's frequently referred to as the leading Muslim civil rights group in America. That's self-proclaimed and regurgitated by the media.
They show up constantly on MSNBC and CNN and so forth. What do we know about CAIR.
JASSER: You know, they are C-A-I-R, I prefer to call them pejoratively the Council on American-Islamist Radicalization because that is really what they do, is they are an offshoot, you know, basically the Islamic organizations in America started in the late '60s with the Muslim-Syrian Association fed by Saudi funding and also by Muslim Brotherhood immigration into the United States.
And that evolved into some major organizations, like the Islamic Society of North America, the Council on American Islamic Relations, your alphabet soup of basically Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups and in '91, this is part of the FBI Holy Land Foundation Trial in 2007, documents that were shown to be real documents from '91, they had an authoritative memorandum that said that they had certain organizations that are part of the evangelical movement of the Islamist movement to try to shape western opinion, shape western policy so that it favors Islamist interests and CAIR is one of the groups.
CAIR actually evolved from a group called the Islamic Association for Palestine. They found that the Palestinians weren't enough for constituencies so they broadened it to hijack the Islamic community as part of the Palestinian movement and some of my friends call them sort of the Hamas on K Street.
LEVIN: Hamas on K Street because they have ties to Hamas, don't they?
JASSER: They do. Their founders have been linked to them, and at the end of the day, don't take my word for it, see how much they say against Hamas, when Hamas launches missiles into schools, when America starts saying we are going to stop funding to Hamas, which we should never have been doing to start with, which is helping what appears to be social and medical programs that end up actually getting money into Hamas's coffers, they start protesting.
At the end of the day, CAIR reveals its stripes by who it supports and anti-Semitism, it's promotion of the BDS. I mean, just a few weeks ago, the Argentineans had to pull out of a soccer match in Jerusalem because the BDS movement ended up terrorizing them.
LEVIN: What is the BDS Movement?
JASSER:BDS is the Boycott Divest Movement that basically is trying to globally oppress the free markets of Israel by telling companies to divest from investment in Israel. And it basically reveals that they're trying to use all of the economic power of Islamic regimes from Turkey to Saudi Arabia to the Palestinians and others to try to put pressure on Israel, and I think Americans, this is another thing we're missing, is that it is a front for anti-Semitism and Islamic movements that we need to stand by our ally, Israel and push back against.
LEVIN: This anti-semitism you bring up, it's spreading in America, isn't it? On college campuses, universities, and do you think these organizations, these Islamic organizations or Palestinian organizations, do you think they're promoting this sort of an attitude?
JASSER: They are, because they come across as being the only voice of Muslims, but I will tell you that's changing. I mean, from when you and I started talking after 9/11, today I just spoke at Duke a couple of months ago, and for days the students association were protesting me coming in. I was being brought in by a number of the freedom based associations, college Republicans and others, and they simply pushed back and said, "Oh, because the title of my talk was American-Muslim identity, patriots or insurgents?"
They said, "Oh, that's demonization, there's no binary," and the Muslim students protested. They had a sit-in, et cetera. But then, after I gave my speech about how much I love my faith and how much it is patriotic to push back against Islamists, the coverage from the student newspaper was actually pretty positive, even though it was horrifically negative before I got in there.
So, all I can tell you is that when we're given a platform, they can't, at the end of the day, honestly call me an Islamophobe after they listen to what I say and the narrative of what I really believe in as a god-fearing, patriotic, American-Muslim who feels that our community has globally been hijacked by these political Islamist movements.
And the universities, I think is ground zero of the speech debate. As so many have seen, the Islamists and the left suppress free speech and create this climate where we can't even have an ability to disagree with one another because they call you a hater, a bigot, et cetera, and they shut down any type of critical thinking.
LEVIN: Why do you think the left, the Marxist left, the progressive left, the Islamist movement as such as it is, why do you think they are so frequently on the same side of policy and political issues?
JASSER: Because, A, they're collectivists, they are both collectivists, and, B, it's the shortcut of suppressing ideas that would defeat them. We've done debates against the imams where I've done Lincoln Douglas-type debates at various universities. I did a debate against the Muslim Public Affairs Consul last January about the necessity of the Muslim Reform Movement.
And almost every Muslim that saw the debate said, "You know what? Now I understand what you believe in. And I said, "Well, yes, they're trying to present me without paying any attention to our message."
So, at the end of the day, the left, the Islamists are collectivists. This is why they work well with dictatorships, with socialists and others, it's all about collectivizing control of thought and preventing freedom, individual thought and what really conservatism is all about.
LEVIN:So much for freedom of the press. We have the press in this country, 90% of this, I think is of a group think type, which you're talking about here, and they claim that they are defending the first amendment and freedom of the press, when, in fact, as you've also pointed out, they squelch and they suppress opinions that they personally do not agree with. We'll be right back.
LAUREN GREEN, CORRESPONDENT, FOX NEWS: Live from "America's News Headquarters," I'm Lauren Green. A holiday ceasefire in Afghanistan shattered by two suicide bombings over the weekend. The bombings happening in the city of Jalalabad. Nineteen people were killed in today's attack, 36 were killed on Saturday. Both attacks were against gatherings of Taliban fighters. ISIS claiming responsibility for Saturday's attack. ISIS considers both the Afghan government and the Taliban to be its enemies and it was not part of the holiday ceasefire.
Brooks Koepka has won the 2018 US Open, his second US Open victory in a row. Koepka is the first golfer in 29 years to successfully defend the US Open title and only the seventh person to ever accomplish the feat. He edged out England's, Tommy Fleetwood by a single stroke.
Koepka now moves up to the career best fourth place in the worldwide rankings. I'm Lauren Green, now back to "Life, Liberty & Levin."
LEVIN: Zuhdi Jasser, President of the United States nominates Pompeo to be Secretary of State. He soon thereafter appoints John Bolton to be his national security adviser. He appoints his Bolton's chief of staff, a fellow by the name of Fred Fleitz who used to work at the CIA and so forth, and a variety of Muslim organizations including CAIR attacks every one of the appointments.
In fact, they demand that flights be removed. They worked over Congress on Pompeo. They have a special distain for Bolton. What's that all about?
JASSER:I have to tell you, I was seeing patients in my office and somebody was watching C-SPAN and saw Senator Murphy start to talk about how upset he was that Pompeo was nominated.
Murphy from the floor of the Senate said, "There are organizations as bigoted as the American Islamic Forum for Democracy..."
LEVIN: Your group?
JASSER: My group and my patients were like, "What are they talking about?" And the Senator clearly just read off a sheet that the Council on American- Islamic Relations and other lobbyists in his office gave him to read, and that seemed then his testimony was then you could find it on Iranian Press TV, on Al Jazeera.
LEVIN: So the Senator from Connecticut, his comments on the Senate floor were spread throughout these fascistic regimes?
JASSER: Exactly. Why? Because he's criticizing our Secretary of State appointee. A Secretary of State by the way, who when he was Congressman Pompeo did, I think one of the most pro-Muslim things, which was in his district protesting Hamas fire-breathing imam and say that that mosque in his district should push back and not allow that anti-Semitic hate, anti- American stuff come from a religious facility in their district.
And I wrote and support, worked closely with Congressman Pompeo's office to craft that pro-Muslim belief that we have diversity.
LEVIN: Is that why he was targeted?
JASSER: Exactly. I think he's targeted because he's a threat to the establishment in the Islamic community. Not a threat to Muslims. I think he's a benefit, a blessing to Muslims who are believers in liberty and life and freedom. But he is a threat to the Islamist establishment, and I think, what's amazing to me is how dishonest folks like Senator Murphy are.
We ask him. We demanded an apology, he slandered and libeled us from the floor of the Senate. I am a patriotic, god-fearing Muslim who loves my faith. We are not bigoted or anti-Islam. He's doing the bidding of the Iranian Khomeinist, by saying that, but at the end of the day, Mark, it is about diversity.
How can a left, a Senator like Murphy who believes in diversity then say that an American -Islamic forum for democracy or Asra Nomani, who was a "Wall Street Journal" - used to be and now is a freelance reporter is one of the co-founders of our Muslim Reform Movement; Raheel Raza, Maajid Nawaz - all these leaders in our reform movement, most of whom are actually left of center.
I'm right of center. We're a diverse organization, but how can he say that we are not Muslims or somehow, we don't represent Muslim ideas. They ignore it and if they really believe in diversity, to them diversity is all about racial diversity, ethnic diversity. They don't care about ideological diversity, which is what the left is about, it is about ideological oppression.
If they cared about ideological diversity, they'd welcome our voices, pro- feminism, pro-freedom into their understanding of Islam.
LEVIN: So when the Senator smears you and he's protected under the Constitution, they all are, the speech and debate clause, do you think what he said about you and your organization was bigoted?
JASSER:I do. It is a bigotry of low expectations, where to them, the only people that should speak for Islam are the mullahs in robes or the king of Saudi Arabia or the Khomeiniists in Iran or the CAIRs that have their buildings owned by foreign countries or the Muslim (inaudible)...
LEVIN: Do you see the Democratic Party more and more moving in that direction?
JASSER: I do. I see them looking at political expediency rather than principles of our Founding Fathers and what this country is about, and really, actually, I am not trying to change their ideas, if they truly believed in diversity, they would be asking, you know, they look at people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is a victim of female genital mutilation who has spoken out for women's rights, and they called her a bigot. The scam that is the SPLC targets Muslims...
LEVIN: Southern Poverty Law Center.
JASSER: Yes, the Southern Poverty Law Center supposedly speaks out against bigotry, when in fact, Maajid Nawaz who is part of reform movement had to sue them and then all of a sudden, they are anti-jihad bigotry paper disappears from their website because their lawyers probably told them, "You know what? You are targeting Muslims in that and sort of exposing the fact that it's a scam. It's not about bigotry, it's simply a tool."
LEVIN: Are most of your battles with the institutional left, the media left, the left in the Democratic Party. Most of your battles in this is Islam Reform Movement with the left?
JASSER: It is. The vast majority of them. And I think we need to lob it over them. I think we, sometimes give the CAIRs of the world and the Islamists and the left a little too much credibility and too much attention.
We can lob it over them because the Muslims in the streets of Iran are thanking President Trump for withdrawing from the Iran deal. The dissidents and the prisons of the Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Syria and Turkey are applauding the fact that now there's a president and a leadership in America who's ignoring the identity politics and they realize that Islam is not a race, it's a diverse ideology that needs to begin to have other dissident voices heard.
LEVIN: It is very interesting you should say this because about a month ago I was in Israel when they moved the embassy to Jerusalem, and the Israelis love President Trump, and there were posters all over the country for President Trump, and when I returned to the United States, none of that was presented in the American media. None of it.
Instead, the Israelis and the IDF were being accused of murdering Palestinians on the Gaza strip because Hamas, which as you pointed out controls the Gaza strip, and was rushing the fence with 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 people and they are very braze, you know, for them it's women and children first and so the Israelis were trying to defend their border, but the American media headed completely the opposite way.
It is very interesting to me who they point out as the heroes. Barack Bbama, the great Barack Obama, sat on his hand for ten days when the people of Iran were rising up. The great Barack Obama with his red line while the Syrians were being killed with chemical weapons, all kinds of weapons, all kinds of destruction and so forth and so on. We'll be right back.
LEVIN: Welcome back. Zuhdi Jasser, the Iran deal, such as - we still don't know everything that was in this Iran deal with all these secret side deals, but we know what the Iran deal did is take all the sanctions that the Bush administration had placed on Iran, which were crushing its economy, destroying its currency, pretty much on the brink.
You have the people of Iran rise up for over a week, and then we get to a point where President Obama and John Kerry negotiate this deal with the Europeans and the Iranians and the Russians; $150 billion flows into this country, not to mention $1.7 billion in ransom money, and the controls of what Iran is going to do are either nebulous or really nonexistent and Iran is guaranteed to have nukes in a decade.
The President is universally criticized in Europe, almost universally criticized by the American media. What do you make of this?
JASSER: I don't get it, and I can tell you having spoken to hundreds of Syrian-Americans and many of whom are Democrats who voted for Obama would never do so again. They were so upset how at the altar of the Iran deal, we handed over everything, we abandoned our allies from the 20th Century which are the Sunni governments of Saudi Arabia, of Egypt, et cetera. We then also handed them money that we lied to the Iranian people where Obama in videos was telling the Iranian people that this money will help their economy, and this year, in January 1st, when the revolution started again, this green revolution, this time, it's not just in Tehran, the revolution was happening in front of the theocratic teaching centers in Qom and other cities of Iran where the clerics are taught. That's what's amazing about the latest revolution in 2018.
That started way before we pulled out. So, the Iranian people in that revolution were holding signs saying that, "Stop sending money to Syria to kill Syrians, we need it here in this country."
So, we handed them money to spend more on short and mid-range missiles to fund Hezbollah, to spread global terror. We abandoned many operations globally to try to get to Hezbollah at the altar of the nuclear deal. We then allowed companies to come into Tehran to open up shop like Boeing and other European companies which never works to bring down a regime, actually helps to strengthen them and as the sanctions ended, the Khameneists were becoming even more belligerent.
So, at the end of the day, we got nothing in return, not even an assurance of their nuclear disarmamentation. At the end of the day, we were more insecure and now, within months of us pulling out of the deal, the Iranian people are starting to see their economy weaken, which is actually helping them destabilize their government and they actually see a light at the end of the tunnel, they're extremely thankful.
The people of Iran who we would share our values with are thankful of what President Trump, John Bolton and others have done now, and I think there is no - I don't know what planet the left is living on in thinking that somehow that was wise. I think we're proving now that the best anti- nuclear program would be to destabilize that regime and hopefully have a revolution to bring forth more democracy.
LEVIN: This Civil War, it's more than a Civil War. These battles in Syria taking place, Israeli exposed Turkey, hasn't it, and Erdogan who has become a fascist. Still an American ally, apparently.
JASSER: He's always been, Erdogan, when he even was running back in early 2000 said democracy is a train. You use it until you get to where you want to go and then you get off. He is a cultish leader of a neo-caliphate that he wants to establish hegemony on, America should really look at suspending them from NATO.
He is using language against the European nations where if Austria decides to shuts down a few mosques, he basically starts using war language against them.
If the Danish decides to outlaw the Burqa, he then is starting to belligerently talk against them, so this is a country that we supposedly have a treaty with, in NATO and yet, he is using language - hegemonic language about Islamic supremacy, while our families in Syria, if we want to blame other than blaming the Assad regime, Iran and Russia, any country that radicalized the Syrian revolution was Qatar and Turkey especially.
LEVIN: And very briefly, he's cozying up with Russia, getting weapons from Russia, wasn't he?
JASSER: Yes, his latest shipment, the missiles are from Russia because he said, "Well, the Europeans and the west are becoming antagonistic, so I am going to Russia." This, guy, the NATO Treaty means nothing to him. So, if you want to contain him, Americans need to wake up that while we're obsessed with whatever the media in Washington and New York are obsessed with...
LEVIN: Stormy Daniels, oh my gosh.
JASSER: It is horrifically negligent for us to ignore what's happening in Turkey with Erdogan while the biggest mosque opened in America today in the last few years, now the largest mosque is in Maryland, which is a Diyanet outpost of the Turkish government.
LEVIN: Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you will watch us also on LevinTV, LevinTV. You can catch us on crtv.com, give us a call at 844-LEVIN-TV, 844-LEVIN-TV. Sign up with our wonderful conservative community over there. We'll be right back.
The President has been trashed early on, when he wanted to put in place immigration rules that limited at least for a period of time, individuals coming to this country, refugees, from certain countries, and even Federal judges, many of whom were appointed by Barack Obama accused him essentially of being anti-Muslim. Do you see it that way?
JASSER:Absolutely not. I mean, to hold a President not accountable to words he may have said in his campaign. I might have disagreed with his word choice, of how he expressed things.
Bottom line is his policy today, it is absurd to say, I mean, I am the fruit of Muslim immigrants that came here to practice their faith, so I believe that at the core of Americanism is a pro-immigration sense, but it is un-American to say that we should have lotteries or that we should have chain migration. I don't understand that.
Americans who want to be, you know, people who want to be Americans should be welcome based on ideology. Communists, Islamists, collectivists who don't believe in our American Constitutional law, should not be allowed in. So, an Islamist ban is very appropriate and the previous administration, not only Obama but the Bush administration also have never really articulated how we vet refugees.
LEVIN: Is an Islamist ban a Muslim ban?
JASSER: No. While all Islamists are Muslim, certainly not all Muslims are Islamists. And if anyone should be able to get this is, Mark, it's Americans, we were founded by Christians who did not want to be theocrats or Christianists, so Islamists are certainly a large plurality among the Muslim population, but they are certainly not a majority.
And if they're Islamists, then let them go to Saudi Arabia, let them go to other countries. They don't need to come to America and destabilize who we are as a country, because we're just going to welcome people willy-nilly regardless of their ideology.
LEVIN: And those six countries, they don't even come close to making up the majority of Muslims in the world. The largest Muslim countries weren't even included?
JASSER: Yes, 56 countries have Muslim majorities. To say that that's a Muslim ban is just absurd and it is insulting to Muslims. It's insulting to the Muslims in prisons in those countries. Many of the folks who get out are actually sent by their regimes to infiltrate as the Turks do and their policies, if you will.
So, I think there's nothing more pro-Muslim than saying. "You know what? If you believe in the western narrative of freedom and liberty, welcome to the west. If you don't believe in our way of secular liberal democracy, then you're not welcome here."
LEVIN: And by the way, that's the way it used to be across the board. We'll be right back.
My final question to you, Zuhdi Jasser, what can be done with the left's ideological hold on the narrative about Islam?
JASSER: I think look at how President Trump came to where he is today. He's a disruptor who fought against the establishment. Now, he is taking the offense and destroying ISIS and back against the Khomeinist and others, so I would ask the American people and President Trump to take the offense, to embrace disruption, embrace some chaos in the Middle East as bad as that might sound, revolutions are good, not the ones with Islamists winning, but the ones with those who share our values.
The President talked about a commission on radical Islam in his campaign, it's time to convene that. It's time to no longer just have Iftar dinners that bring in ambassadors or that bring in Islamists which thankfully, he did not do this year, but bring in almost a freedom-form into the White House of Muslim dissidents, of our Muslim Reform Movement to say, "These are the Muslim side who we want to take." There is nothing more pro- diversity, pro-American than embracing Muslims that reject theocracy, and we are going to let them stand on their shoulders as Americans and show that we are pro-Muslim, but anti- Islamist.
LEVIN: So, embrace the Freedom Fighters as we always have and those who fought communism and fascism and so forth, and do the same with Muslims. Thank you very much. Very, very important.
JASSER: Thank you.
LEVIN: See you next time on "Life, Liberty & Levin."
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