GLENN: Zuhdi, welcome to the program. Glad you're here, sir.
ZUHDI: Glenn. It's great to be with you. Thank you for having me. And, you know, thank you for letting me work on Reforming This.
GLENN: I will tell you, Zuhdi, you are -- you're a hero to me because we all know what happens to those who speak out against radical Islam, especially if you're in Islam. And you are a proud Muslim.
And you have been warning that the United States is in with the wrong guys for a very long time. First, let me ask you this question: Has anyone from the Trump administration reached out to you yet to bring your -- your organization into the fold?
ZUHDI: Not yet. Not yet. I think, you know, they've obviously been very busy the last week, so maybe we'll give them a pass on that. I certainly have worked with a number of the folks he's appointed. So I look forward to helping them navigate these waters. And as we saw in the last few days, they got to get ahead of the messaging game because the left will use identity politics and exploit us Muslims whenever possible for their own benefit.
GLENN: Okay. So Zuhdi, tell me what your thoughts are about this so-called -- what the media is calling a Muslim ban.
ZUHDI: It's not a Muslim ban. I mean, it's absurd. They're pausing from seven countries that Obama had already listed as hot spots.
I would have added -- if you're going to start, I would have added Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Pakistan, at least, since those are probably the primary cauldrons of radical Islamism.
But, you know, having said that, the bottom line is that it's important to realize it's a pause. It's not a ban. That America was founded in a battle against theocracy. And to say that currently folks coming in had been vetted is absurd. The vetting that the Obama administration used was an anti-terrorism, anti-violent extremism vetting, which included no ideology.
And I actually debated last night on Fox the head of the International Rescue Commission, and he couldn't come up with one evidence that they're vetting against jihadism or Islamism. So the pause is necessary. But the implementation has certainly been haphazard the last few days.
And if you get this wrong and we lose the messaging -- you know, America should never lose its beacon on a hill as being that place where people come for refuge, for freedom and liberty. We don't want theocrats here, and it's very pro-Muslim, pro-modern Islam to say that we don't want theocrats here.
And, you know, for people like Senator Schumer to say that -- to shed false tears and to say that somehow this is going to feed into the anti-American narrative is absurd when Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia have accepted zero -- zero refugees in. So to say that it's anti-Muslim to just put a pause on a very anemic program anyway from the Obama administration is absurd.
GLENN: Zuhdi, why doesn't Saudi Arabia take any Muslim refugees?
ZUHDI: Two things that should be clear to Americans, which is number one, they are anti-Islamists, as far as the grassroots viral movement. They claim to be against the brotherhood. And they realize the ideology that they're spreading and how it will bite them in the rear end.
So while they're with us, they're the firefighters, they're also the arsonists. So they get it.
Secondly, the refugees get it also. They don't want to go to places as bad or worse than what they're fighting for freedom in Syria for. So there's two things there that make it pretty much a mutual hate between -- the majority of refugees who really want to be free and away from the dual genocide happening from ISIS and from the Assad and Iranian regime.
GLENN: Okay. So I know this would be a pure guess, but, you know, we let 15,000 or 100 -- let's just say a round number. We let 100,000 people in, and they're Muslim refugees.
From that part of the world, any idea how many -- what percentage have been radicalized?
ZUHDI: Well, this is -- this is the key question. And this is what we've been screaming from the rooftops for the last eight years -- actually, you know, five years, obviously, since the revolution. But studies have shown in Europe, 20 to 25 percent of refugees have sympathies for ISIS. Sympathies.
Now, they're not radical as far as -- how do you define radical? Are they militants who are trying to commit acts of violence? No, they'll pass the muster for, do they believe to ISIS? No.
But just as in the Cold War, these are ISIS sympathizers. They believe in the cause. They believe in the Islamic State, a caliphate, et cetera.
But when you ask, is the Trump administration engaging us? They haven't yet. And we want them to use our Muslim reform movement document, which is a two-page declaration that we stand against the core principles of an Islamic State. And if Muslims believe in that, which is true for 70 to 80 percent that are coming here, then we should welcome them.
And actually what that will do is Americans, when they see refugees coming that embrace those principles and they aren't doing acts of wanton crime on the streets as they are in Germany and Sweden and elsewhere, it will make them more endeared to the cause. So then everyone wins if we start vetting against theocratic fascism.
GLENN: Zuhdi, what should the president be doing now? What should he -- who should he be standing with? Who should he be talking with? Who -- what should he be doing to control this message?
Well, you know, this is the issue, is that he wrote an executive order. Gave himself 120 days. And, you know, we're trying to make up for eight years of -- of dysfunction and blindness. Woeful blindness in Washington. So to make up for that -- he talked about a commission on radical Islam. I hope it's called a commission on radical Islamism.
But he needs to convene that. I think it ideally should be chaired by a Muslim. We've got reformers that sign our declaration, that include Sherine Kadosi (phonetic), Asra Nomani, you know, Raheel Raza, Maajid Nawaz in Britain. You know, a Danish parliamentarian. There are many of us out there that can become resources for saying, you know, this isn't a war against Islam. It's a battle within the house of Islam that we're going to take sides on.
And let's reinvigorate -- they called it in the last few decades, public diplomacy. But in the Cold War, it was the US information agency. Let's start radio-free, you know, liberty in the Middle East and start putting our so-called allies on notice, saying, "You know what, the gig is up. We realize that you might be with us on that last step to kill the terrorists, but you're certainly not with us in the previous hundred steps of radicalization," which is ideology that make them anti-western, anti-Semitic, and really are fueling our own demise.
GLENN: How do you give -- give somebody the argument. They're going into the office today, and they are going to sit with some of their liberal friends who are going to start regurgitating everything that the media has said this weekend. Help them win this argument. How do -- the argument of -- let's role play here. I'm going to be the liberal friend, and you play the Trump supporter or the conservative, okay?
And I say, "Hey, good job this weekend, huh? Your guy just made us look like the laughing stock of the world. Everybody is against this. This is un-American, this Muslim ban." How do you respond?
ZUHDI: I would say, "You just don't get it. The most American thing -- our Founding Fathers were Christians who loved their faith, but yet pushed back against theocracy."
There's nothing more American than having a president that -- this is not a Muslim ban. This is not preferential for Christians. The word Muslim or Christian is not in it. It talks about persecuted religious minorities, which would include Muslims within those countries that are dissidents, that are even within the majority cities, that might be fighting against the government.
So there is nothing more American -- yes, my guy may be getting the messaging wrong. I think he needs to be clearer about that. The implementation might have been wrong. But the bottom line is that we finally have somebody in the White House who is not only on the side of the Islamist, but actually taking them on and seeing that we need to be more discerning and not have this national fratricide, where we allow anybody in just because they claim to be Muslim.
And, by the way, your side is using this as a political football to basically play identity politics, when Islam is an idea. It's an ideology. It's not a race. So stop racializing a global faith community that has a deep problem of jihadists.
GLENN: Zuhdi, one last -- one last question.
Do the -- would the Sunnis -- I think it's the Sunnis -- no, the Shias in Syria, do you believe they would qualify as being a religious minority, that is -- that is being picked on or threatened?
ZUHDI: That's a great question. You know, those who say that Assad and his partnership with Iran, he's a secularist is just absurd. There are certainly Shia minorities that are persecuted by ISIS, and those would be persecuted minorities.
Alawite minorities that tried to take on the regime that is -- Alawite is a faction of Shia Islam. And so those are persecuted. But the bottom line is, I'm of the belief that the Assad regime, through its cooperation with Hezbollah and Iran, are jihadists. They're just Shia jihadists. And they're battling against Sunni jihadists. So there are persecuted minorities on both side of the equation in Syria, and there's actually a third side, which is really those who are just trying to be free and stop the oppression both from the Assad regime and from the ISIS militants.
GLENN: Zuhdi, thank you very much. I appreciate it. And you can hear reform this on TheBlaze Radio Network, Saturdays at noon. You can just also listen to the podcast at any time on demand. Thank you, Zuhdi, I appreciate it. God bless.
ZUHDI: You too. Thank you so much, Glenn. Appreciate it.
GLENN: You bet.