PHOENIX (KSAZ) - During his address from the Oval Office Sunday, President Obama said Muslims in this country must confront the extremist ideology if they see it in their mosques and neighborhoods.
Since the San Bernardino shooting, we have not heard much from the Islamic community, but that changed on Monday as a leading Muslim reformer spoke out.
"I am always shocked and horrified by the level of barbarism, but sadly, I am not surprised," said Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy. "They are increasing because we look at it like whack-a-mole instead of dealing with the root causes."
Dr. Jasser says Muslims reject theocracy -- the idea of governments run by religion and guard against radicalism. That's a message Khalid Yuzon agrees with. He attends the Muslim community mosque in east Phoenix.
"I am an American Muslim, born and raised Muslim, pray five times a day, I fast, but as far as hurting people, I am against that and I if I see anything like that, I will try to stop it any way I can," said Yuzon.
Yuzon says that means close cooperation with the police and government. It's a message Dr. Jasser, who grew up in Wisconsin, delivers in fluent Arabic and American English.
"So basically my message to them is we need to wake up as Muslims. The USA is the land of freedom and the Islamic State is the problem and until we encounter that, we will not be able to end terrorism as we know it," said Jasser.
A little more on Dr. Jasser: a Sunni Muslim, he served in the U.S. Navy for 11 years and rose to the rank of Lt. Commander. He practices medicine in Phoenix as an internist and nuclear cardiologist.