Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a committed Muslim who is outspoken about the dangers of Islamism, warned Tuesday that Islamism is "much more dangerous than Nazism."
"You super-charge something with a religious belief and it becomes much more palatable and easier to spread," she said on The Glenn Beck Program. "So I'm actually more worried about Islamism than one could've been about Nazism."
Ahmed said that while Islam is a religion, Islamism is a totalitarian ideology masquerading as a religion.
"One of its first tenets is that Islam can only be manifested as an Islamic state, a caliphate, and the nature of which is very much like what we are seeing ISIS pursue. Islam itself has no such prescription," she said. "The Islam that I believe in has five central values which are really about prayer, charity, worship, fasting, and if you're lucky, a pilgrimage to Mecca."
Ahmed also warned that Islamism can be manifested in two forms. The first is through violence, like the Islamic State or Al Qaeda. But she also said Islamism can be non-violent and utilize democratic organizations to "promote non-secular and very restrictive forms of government that are actually deceptions."
When Beck said "Islamism is the enemy of mankind, but in particular ... an enemy of women," Ahmed agreed.
"It's unfortunately just a continuation on this spectrum of abuses against women and all minorities," she said. "[There's this] this very totalitarian pursuit that the 'other' -- whether it be woman, girl, Christian, Yazidi -- is anathema, is not allowed to have human rights, is rightfully persecuted. These are Islamist values."
Ahmed said women are particularly vulnerable in Islamist societies because they are physically less strong than men, and often lack an education and independent income. But she also said "there's no basis" for denying women an education or a career in Islam.
"Remember the very first Muslim was Khadija, a woman, a merchant woman, who held her own wealth and chose the prophet in marriage herself. That's where we as Muslim women have come from," she said.
Ahmed said Americans are now in an uncomfortable position where "our government has made a very serious treaty with an Islamist superpower, and there's no getting away from that."
"There is a real division and I commend you for actually opening up this discussion [between Islam and Islamism]," Ahmed told Beck. "People are afraid to talk about this because of accusations of so-called Islamophobia, but it's a discussion we must continue to have."
When Beck asked what one piece of knowledge Ahmed wanted to impart before leaving, she told the audience that "overwhelmingly, your concerns and your fears about what transpires in the name of Islam are our concerns and our fears as Muslims."
"Remember that Muslims are the foremost victims of Islamism, whether they're Iranian women ... or whether we are Pakistani minorities ... or whether we are subjected to the misery of terrorist campaigns by the Taliban or Al Qaeda or ISIS," she said. "The number one victims are Muslims who are not Islamists."
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