Joel Mowbray

"I've never met a Muslim who wouldn't report violence," Dr. Jasser says. "But this isn't about violence; it's about walking back the ideas that can lead to violence, specifically those ideas that can implicitly justify actions against the 'oppressors.' "

Dr. Jasser, who has clear libertarian tendencies, does not want government legislation that attempts to fix problems in the Islamic community. But he believes that outside pressure is needed to trigger necessary debate within the Islamic community about what needs to be done to fight homegrown terrorism.

"Cooperation is also a continuum," he says of the controversial comments from Mr. King that the Muslim community has failed to cooperate fully with law enforcement. "It's not just about reporting violence but about reporting radicalism and then going further and countering those anti-American sentiments."

When the topic turns to accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, whose background bears more than a passing resemblance to his own, Dr. Jasser pauses for a moment. Like him, Maj. Hasan was a medical doctor and practicing Muslim, who was born and raised in America.

The key difference, though, was that while Dr. Jasser never wavered in his love for America, Maj. Hasan embraced anti-American propaganda, believing that his co-religionists were being slaughtered by the people wearing the same uniform as he was.

By contrast, Dr. Jasser's 11-year Navy tenure ended with him serving as one of three doctors in the medical office on Capitol Hill, treating members of Congress and the Supreme Court.

Not only did his Islamic faith not prevent him from serving his country, but Dr. Jasser says it was his faith that helped inspire his service. His grandfather, who was a devout Muslim, instilled in him a love of America and convinced him that Arab countries had fallen into dictatorships because "freedom-loving Muslims had abandoned the military to the thugs of society."

He even grew in his faith while in uniform, noting that his favorite imam to this day was at a civilian mosque in Hampton Roads, Va., which he attended while stationed in nearby Norfolk.

Even though many would consider high-profile congressional hearings a major victory, Dr. Jasser is realistic about the enormity of his struggle. He will continue to face detractors who will hurl a wide variety of insults and accusations, including from those who believe that reforming Islam is a lost cause.

Labeling himself "a fairly orthodox Muslim," Dr. Jasser does not hesitate to note that he and his wife are "raising our children conservatively in the Islamic faith."

His resolve to reform Islam now also stems from the world he envisions for his children.

"Ultimately and most importantly," Dr. Jasser says, his passion rising, "what I want is for my children to grow up in an Islamic community that rejects Islamism in favor of the principles of liberty."

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.

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