In December 2015, a small group of Muslims met in Washington, DC to discuss the reform of Islam. With media fanfare, they named themselves the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM), issued a Declaration for Muslim Reform, and became the new face of “Muslim reformers.”
There was just one fundamental problem: the MRM never had support from the larger Muslim community.
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, one of the MRM founders, admitted this on January 30, 2017, when he was interviewed in an article in The Federalist about the MRM’s recent one year anniversary: A Muslim Reformer Speaks Out About His Battle Against Islamism And PC. Jasser was asked about how many mosques the MRM had initially approached for support in 2015 and the nature of the responses from those mosques. Jasser’s answer was eye-opening:
We spent significant resources on this outreach over a period of ten months. We reached out through snail mail, e-mail, and telephone to over 3,000 mosques and over 500 known public American Muslims. We received only 40-plus rather dismissive responses from our outreach, and sadly less than ten of them were positive. In fact, one mosque in South Carolina left us a vicious voice mail threatening our staff if we contacted them again.
So the MRM made over 3,500 contacts within the Muslim community, but received only a little over 40 responses, of which less than ten were positive. So to work with these numbers, let’s say the MRM made 3,500 contacts and received nine positive responses. That means that only .0026 (a touch over one-quarter of one percent) of the Muslim organizations and Muslim individuals the MRM contacted responded in a positive manner. And the MRM had even received a “vicious voicemail” from a mosque as a result of these initial contacts.
The irrelevance of the MRM was further revealed when Jasser was asked about the MRM’s accomplishments during the first year of its existence. Jasser stated:
Our greatest accomplishment to date is our declaration.
The MRM’s declaration is a two page document created at their first meeting, posted on the door of a nearby mosque (and quickly removed), and available on the websites of various Muslim “reform” organizations. As I noted in my first article about the MRM, this declaration is “a document that rejected Muhammad’s Islam in favor of Western, Judeo-Christian values,” and in terms of Islamic doctrine, it is rife with blasphemy.
Jasser also admitted that after a year of the MRM’s existence,
we are disappointed in the relative silence from most Muslim leaders…
Jasser blamed a lack of money for the poor support from the Muslim community:
I can guess why we had shortcomings in outreach. If we had more funding, we could study this more scientifically…No one knows truly how that majority of Muslims feels about Islamist ideologies. National security is in desperate need of helping us study that. …We have not been able to effectively reach out to the majority of Muslims because of resources and the absence of effective platforms.
So for the sake of “national security,” the MRM needs to study the attitudes of Muslims in order to find out why the MRM has been generally rejected by those Muslims. And in order for the MRM to complete this study, they need money. The money has to, by default, come from non-Muslims.
But I would like to save the MRM time and non-Muslims money. Instead of a new study on why the MRM has virtually no Muslim support, I will provide the answer: in terms of Islamic doctrine, the MRM declaration is blasphemous, and the MRM should not be surprised that over 99% of the larger Muslim community does not want to join in with that blasphemy.
It is only attention from the non-Muslim world that will enable the Muslim Reform Movement to remain on life-support, visible but irrelevant.
Dr. Stephen M. Kirby is the author of four books about Islam. His latest book is Islam’s Militant Prophet: Muhammad and Forced Conversions to Islam.