Muslim reformists denounce extremism; offer a path of contemporary values

Mrs. Raheel Raza shows Valor Award she was
presented by the Simon Wiesenthal Center
During past September 11th's, we have expressed disappointment at officials' reticence for commemorations to address the west's need to actively resist the Islamist movement to conquer and convert the world under a Caliphate. Many of the mosques in North America are influenced by Wahabist ideology from Saudi Arabia. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser organized the Muslim Reform Movement a few years ago to challenge crypto-Islamist groups, such as when he debated Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Afairs Council (covered by DemoCast video here).

Mrs. Raheel Raza, president of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, based in Canada, was honored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Spring 2018. The SWC, which operates Los Angeles' Museum of Tolerance, presented Mrs. Raza an Award for Valor for her work in promoting  harmonius coexistence among people of all faith traditions and advancing progressive issues among Muslims.

In this DemoCast exclusive interview from that occasion Mrs. Raza 
discusses the history of the Muslim reform movement in North America and the issue of overcoming the taboo on criticizing Islamic-inspired supremacism, bigotry, and hostility against non-Muslims. 

Mrs. Raheel Raza video:

Mr. Sohail Raza is Raheel's partner in life as well as treasurer of the Muslims Facing Tomorrow organization. In this video interview, he addresses issues of Pakistani officials abetting Al-Qaeda - including the mastermind of the September 11th attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who also slaughtered Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, Daniel Pearl, son of Artificial Intelligence expert UCLA Professor Judea Pearl.

Mr Sohail Raza video:

Transcript: Question: Mr Raza, which country do you come from originally?

Answer: I come from Pakistan. I lived my youth and studied there and in 1978, I left Pakistan fearing the rise of extremism which came about during the reign of General Zia-ul-Haq. He imported the extremist message from Saudi at that time into Pakistan and women started covering up, alcohol was banned and other forms of extreme Islamic ideology crept in.

Q: Most Americans are not aware that the son of UCLA Professor Judea Pearl, Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal journalist who went looking for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan. Were they helped, was al-Qaeda helped by the ISI?

al-Qaeda's Osama bin Laden had Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in FL
plan airplane attacks on NYC and D.C. (photo: CBS News)
A: Absolutely yes, and that is the sad part. The mullah, the clerics, the mullah and military alliance. The ISI is also disunited in a certain way that the official version means maybe something different, but there are splinter groups that definitely help terrorist organizations because they used them in Afghanistan and they used them in Kashmir. So it is to their advantage to keep them happy and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was one of them- and Danny Pearl did an excellent job in investigating. Actually he went with a friend of mine, Ms. Asra Nomani, also from The Wall Street Journal, a Pakistani (actually a Mumbai-born Muslim), and they did a terrific investigation into Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and eventually it ended up in not very pleasant circumstances.

Reporter Daniel, mother Ruth, and UCLA Prof. Judea Pearl
(Photo: A.C.M.'s 2011 A.M. Turing Award Album)
Q: Why in your view did they behead Daniel Pearl?

A: The first reason is because he was a Jew - and the supposed animosity between Judaism and Islam which does not exist - even in the Quran it does not exist - and the sooner the two work together the better it is will be for the peace in the world - that is the one reason because he was Jewish because he was American and they wanted to make a statement - and they did.

Q: You started off claiming that they killed him because he was a Jew but the Quran preaches otherwise but what's the wider held belief towards Jews in the Muslim world?

A: The wider held belief is that of total ignorance. A person who's spouting hate against Jews in Israel- I can bet you anything he doesn't even know where in the map Israelis or what is the history of the Jews. It comes through total ignorance this animosity and it plays into the hands of Muslim politicians whether in the Arab world or in Pakistan or Malaysia or Indonesia. It plays into the hands because that is the supposed enemy - and it is very easy to build a hysteria and a mob against Israel or the Jews.

Q: So President Trump has declared that he's cutting support to Pakistan. Hasn’t Pakistan been one of the primary benefactors of American foreign aid over the past 20 years?

A: Yes, and one of the better words to describe Pakistan would be a “frenemy”- a friendly enemy. So Pakistan has always played a double game- it has taken aid from the United States of America to build its military. But on the other hand, it is also in the game of appeasing terrorists or terrorist organizations to play its own politics vis a vis India and Afghanistan and Iran to a certain extent.

Q: Who is Dr. A.Q. Khan?
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan admitted selling nuclear secrets to rogue
states; legitimates global Islamism and attacks on America

Answer: A.Q Khan is the father of the nuclear program in Pakistan. He stole nuclear secrets from the Netherlands and went about to Pakistan to develop a nuclear bomb. And a lot of people don't know that when we talk about North Korea and we talk about the nuclear program in Iran, it is A.Q. Khan that has sold nuclear secrets to both North Korea and Iran.

Q: Hasn’t it been referred to as the “Islamic bomb” that originated in Pakistan - where did he spread it within the Muslim world?

A: Well he wanted to spread it more into Libya, into Saudi Arabia but he was stopped and brought in to check. Now he is considerably restrained but the damage has already been done.

 Q: Israel just revealed that they were responsible for destroying the Syrian nuclear reactor. If they hadn't and that reactor in Syria had fallen into ISIS' hands or nuclear materials, what would the prospects for nuclear terrorism have been?

A: Yes, when you talk about ISIS you are talking about a totally mad and evil existence of a group of people so your imagination, my imagination, or the viewers’ imagination can be as drastic as possible as to what would have happened if this scenario would have materialized. It would have been complete chaos because you must understand that organizations like Isis revere death. Whereas we the people who have some sanity, revere life and that's the difference. So they would have had no qualms into dropping an atomic device on civilian population on children women, etc., so it would have been a complete disaster - a doomsday scenario.


Apply the lessons of WWII to defend our nation - externally and domestically - on V-J Day, Fleet Week, & Sept.11th

Japanese leaders believed they could conquer America, but
Americans hung together to defeat their external enemy
"High Castle" portrays Imperial Japan and Germany's goal
of conquering American society under their tyrannical rule

At occasions for active-duty, veterans, and the L.A. public, we are shown that we can defend ourselves against external military enemies. But what about our own house turning against itself (liberal vs republican)? As author Philip K. Dick depicted in his book, "The Man in the High Castle" (adapted in 2015 for an Amazon TV series) Japan would have extended its Asian empire by conquering America had we not defeated them in World War II. Japan's unconditional surrender came as a result of American bomber planes dropping the atomic bombs which (bomb-race winner) America rolled-out before Germany could - above the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
FILE -- Thousands of people celebrate VJ Day on New York's Times Square August 14, 1945 after Japanese radio reported acceptance of the Potsdam declaration.  (AP Photo)

The Heritage Foundation's Ms. Kay Coles James wrote an opinion published in Fox News, Sept 2, 2018 entitled, "The end of World War II 73 years ago, offers us an incredible lesson today." 
"Sunday, Sept 2nd marked the 73rd anniversary of V-J Day – Victory over Japan, when World War II ended on Sept. 2, 1945 with Japan’s surrender to the United States in a ceremony about the battleship USS Missouri. It followed V-E Day – Victory in Europe – on May 8 that same year, when the Allies accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany.
If you’ve ever watched the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” you may recognize these lines from the scene where an angel recounts George Bailey’s actions at the end of World War II:  “Like everybody else, on V-E Day, he wept and prayed. On V-J Day, he wept and prayed again.” 
When the movie was first released in 1946, audiences got the reference right away. They had just lived through that long and bloody clash of arms. They knew full well why people wept and prayed on the day when the war in Europe ended, and again when our hostilities with Japan came to a close. 
But 73 years later, it’s a different story. At a time when many aren’t even sure what “V-E” and “V-J” stand for, their significance seems to have faded from memory. 
Perhaps that’s because the images of a war’s end aren’t as stark as those that mark its beginning. Americans, after all, were jolted into the conflict by the horrific events and footage of Dec. 7, 1941, as Japanese fighter planes attacked U.S. ships docked at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. 
Japanese envoys Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu signed their names on the Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay
The scene on Sept. 2, 1945 was much quieter. And yet what was being communicated – that the United States would be magnanimous in victory and not pursue a vindictive peace – spoke volumes. Such a stance is a proud fixture of American history.    . . .

An open-hands, open-hearts approach can work at home as well as abroad. In a time of rising incivility and escalating rhetoric, Americans would do well to follow Lincoln and MacArthur’s examples. To seek more peaceful ways to express our differences of opinion. Not to “repay evil with evil or insult with insult,” but to offer our blessings instead.

As the proud generations before us demonstrated, it’s never easy. But it very often is the right – and the smartest –thing to do.  And it’s what puts the “victory” in Victory Day."
Read the full essay on Fox News 
The ship of the Japanese surrender, the USS Missouri, was accompanied just miles away by the battleship USS Iowa which handled the US Navy's communication needs. 

Veterans' volunteer, Bob Donovan, resident of L.A.'s San Fernando Valley, helps organize the "Wings over Wendy's" fraternal group of airmen with a number of members (male and female) who served in WWII in the Pacific and European theaters of operation.

Bob Donovan intros S.F. Valley columnist, Dennis McCarthy
At Wings of Wendy's 16th anniversary luncheon of McCarthy's article, watch and listen to the story of how a L.A. Daily News columnist, Dennis McCarthy spurred the Wings over Wendy's expansion to over 300 members. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) bestows journalist McCarthy a civic commendation and presents him with a flag which flew over the U.S. Capitol Building.

On Labor Day weekend, the Port of L.A. hosted L.A. Fleet Week. Fleet week is an opportunity for the American public to meet their Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard teams and experience America’s sea services. During Fleet Week, service members participate in various community service events, showcase capabilities and equipment to the community, and enjoy the hospitality of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. 
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG105) is docked at the Port of Los Angeles.  
L.A. Fleet Week 2018 year attracted ships and crews from from the US Navy stationed in San Diego and the Canadian Navy from British Columbia, Canada. 

Mike Getscher EVP and CEO of the Pacific Battleship Center, which operates Battleship Iowa Museum, talks about the educational interest which the museum serves - especially during Fleet Week - which draws visitors of all ages to tour the moored ships.

Escorted tours were available on the USS Scout (a mine countermeasures ship), the USS Dewey (a guided-missile destroyer), the Independence-variant, Littoral combat ship USS Manchester (LCS 14), the "Alert" a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, and the HMCS Ottawa (a frigate from the Royal Canadian Navy). Servicemembers also toured on the USS Iowa Museum, as did veterans - who are given special recognition when they board, Mr. Getscher informed us.

LT Roy Chong from Honolulu, Hawaii, assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1 (LCSRON 1) answers questions during Los Angeles Fleet Week (LAFW).  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Janine F. Jones)
The Beach Boys, led by original member Mike Love, entertained servicemembers and the public in a concert along the waterfront.
Beach Boys' vocalist Mike Love (originally of Hawthorne, L.A. County) is accompanied by local L.A. actor John Stamos (of Cypress, L.A. County) who sang and played guitar and drums in the band's concert at Fleet Week