Asra Nomani is an American, a mother, a reporter, a teacher, a speaker, and a Muslim woman of faith. Asra was kind enough to agree to a special podcast interview today regarding her opposition to the Ground Zero mosque, the player for which is at the bottom of this post. The conversation is wide ranging including the condition of Islam today, the internal struggle of the religion, and her efforts as a Muslim woman to confront Islam’s extremist elements.

I first learned of Asra’s work by reading her column on the Daily Beast opposing the Ground Zero Mosque. In A Muslim Questions the Mosque where she notes:

We’re not being honest in our Muslim community about the violent ideology inside of our Muslim world that needs to be defeated, and so the war has spread beyond our community to include the Tea Party activists. In the name of political correctness, too many inside our Muslim community have been apologists for Islam, feeling defensive, but not being as brutally honest as the world needs us to be about this problem.

The Tea Party activists actually express the sentiments of Muslims such as myself who believe we have a serious problem inside our Muslim communities.

You can learn more about Asra at her website, and her book Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam chronicles her efforts. Other Asra projects include the documentary The Mosque in Morgantown and The Pearl Project at Georgetown University.

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16 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. KatieSilverSpring says:

    I need these special reports, I should say, but I can hardly keep up with them – I love them, don’t get me wrong, but I can barely keep up.

  2. Chuck says:

    Keep ’em coming, Tammy!!! Really appreciate your effort in keeping us informed.

  3. hatter83 says:

    Well done and thank you

  4. RuBegonia says:

    Thanks Tammy, for your continued reporting on the possible fate of this “hallowed ground” :
    40° 42′ 42″ N, 74° 0′ 45″ W

  5. ffigtree says:

    Thank you for these series of interviews especially with Asra Nomani. Very insightful and thought provoking. You asked a question that I’ve been wondering for such a long time: “Where are the Muslims who get it?” Your interview answers some of my questions but brings about others. Why doesn’t Obama “get it”? Why doesn’t the MSM “get it”? Why doesn’t the left elite “get it”? It is a travesty that the MSM perpetuates radical extremism – pitting one group against the other. (Why are beautiful people like Asra Namoni not the face of Islam?) Is this goal of the left – to destroy trust among each other, pit one group against the other? Why are those who “get it” not being heard? Why are those who “get it” being painted as extremists and radicals? Tolerance and Religious Freedom are hallmarks of American values and tradition. These are the very values that are being attacked but for what purpose? It seems there is struggle and strife between right and wrong everywhere; religion, education, government.

  6. […] And here’s a good interview and worth listening to from Tammy Bruce, but it’s something you’ll never hear from the MSM. […]

  7. Slimfemme says:

    Good job Tammy. I have to admit I’m still skeptical of moderate Muslims. Since so many of them prefer to stay in the muck of moral grayness, never condemning the actions of their brethern, Ms. Nomani is a breath of fresh air. I would hope that more practicing Muslims will speak up about this obscenity. We have a long way to go, but the good thing is we still have freedom of speech. Despite it being battered and degraded, we still have it, and we all must speak out.

  8. Kelly says:

    Thank God for women like Asra Nomani and Ayaan Hirsi Ali who stand in the face of ostracization and even death to speak out against the misogyny and cruelty they see operating in the Muslim world. Let’s hope that their words and actions will make a difference in Islam itself and in the world as a whole.

    Thank you, Tammy, for bringing Asra to our attention, and for what you do every day.

  9. larrygeary says:

    Thank you for doing these special reports this weekend. I appreciate you having a guest who demonstrates that Islam is not monolithic, but I’m afraid it’s too late for many of us. I cannot trust Muslims. I cannot believe anyone who adheres to a faith that sanctions lying to achieve its aims, no matter how he or she may decide to interpret those commands. I cannot believe that the imam behind this mosque project is a good man with good intentions. I do believe Islam is simply and completely incompatible with life in the West.

    By her own stories, Asra Nomani indicates that her view is in the minority and the “traditionalist” view that results in all the horror stories involving the subjugation, torture, mutilation and murder of women is the dominant view. Even if the extremists represent only a minority themselves, there are many, many more Muslims who enable their behavior, look the other way, or quietly sympathize, and together they constitute a majority. And if you believe what former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has written, the “extremists” actually have the correct interpretation of Islam. I wish Asra Nomani well, but the Muslim mind closed a thousand years ago, and I do not see its hateful, antisemitic, misogynistic, terrorist sponsoring culture changing in response to a few earnest would-be reformers.

  10. Maynard says:

    A point of irony is that, if a true “moderate Muslim” movement were to emerge, I’d probably find a lot of common ground. Our government has turned the Establishment Clause into a war against God, which it was never meant to be. Our popular culture caters to the lowest common denominator. Don’t we all yearn for more class and decency and thoughtful respect for tradition? But these “moderate Muslims” that supposedly exist in large numbers don’t seem to be controlling the agenda. I hope for a better future, but skepticism is justified.

    Asra Nomani pointed to Dr. Abou El Fadl as a positive example. She mentioned his website, There’s a lot of stuff there, but probably a good sample is Dr. Fadl’s article, “What Became of Tolerance in Islam?”, published in Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2001.

    It’s an interesting editorial, and it’s not entirely fair of me to quote from it, because quotes lose the greater context. So if you’re interested, go look to the full article. Dr. Fadl is unequivocal in his condemnation of Islamic terrorism, and forthcoming in his acknowledgement of the extent to which Islamic culture has gone astray. This is somewhat balanced against some harsh words for the Western mentality, for example:

    The Japanese stealth attack on Pearl Harbor tested both the aggressor and the victim. Pearl Harbor challenged the moral integrity of Japanese normative values, but it also tested us. We responded to an extreme act of aggression with another extreme act: We interned our Japanese citizens in concentration camps, resulting in deep fissures in our constitutional and civil rights fabric.

    So there’s a bit of moral equivalency suggested here, and it seems to me this is the sort of thinking that diminishes clarity. The charge of Western xenophobia is echoed in the website mission statement, which notes:

    We seek to make Dr. Abou El Fadl’s scholarship widely available to provide today’s change agents with the knowledge and tools necessary to address ignorance, hate and anti-Islamic rhetoric.

    Given the increasing and venomous spread of Islamophobia, we believe more than ever that Dr. Abou El Fadl’s orthodox, humanistically moral-, beauty- and reason-based approach to Islam and Islamic law presents the opportunity for all humankind to live together in peace and dignity.

    Back to the 9/14 article…Dr. Fadl later notes:

    All of this begs the question: What happened to the [Islamic] civilization that produced such tolerance, knowledge and beauty throughout its history? A lot has happened. The Islamic civilization has been wiped out by an aggressive and racist European civilization. Colonialism and the expulsion of Palestinians happened.

    The reference to “colonialism and the expulsion of Palestinians” is a soft suggestion that Israel isn’t a legitimate nation, and a historical half-truth (in that the Palestinian evacuation was to get out of the way of the invading Arab armies that came to push the Jews into the sea, and the Palestinians would not have become refugees if not for the Islamic war of anti-Semitic aggression). In the context of an article written in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and asking what led to this atrocity, this line of reasoning gives those inclined a hook upon which to hang the Jews. The writer of this piece was of course aware of this.

    But again, I acknowledge that the quotes taken out of context aren’t entirely fair. And I don’t need to agree with someone in every detail in order to lend them my support. The question isn’t whether I agree with people but rather whether I can live with them. Where does that leave Dr. Fadl?

  11. DaveVA says:

    I don’t understand the term “moderate muslim”.

    • Slimfemme says:

      You’re right. The term isn’t really clear. I used it because it is the simpliest way to explain individuals like Ms. Nomani. They don’t consistently practice Islam. They would HAVE to support Saudi Arabia, Iran and all the other Muslim nations that practice and implement the tenants fully. Would it be better to say these indivduals don’t subscribe to Islam fully? Or those Muslims that don’t take the Koran seriously? How about Muslims that pick and choose the scriptures of the Koran that are favorable to Western civilization. The question I have is, is any religion ever favorable to life and liberty?

  12. girlsgotrhythm says:

    I don’t buy it. Not ONE word of it. She stated that this ‘kind of mosque’ would be the kind she’s longed for and that those connected with it have peaceful and not radical intentions. But it is a FACT that they have NOT been forthcoming about where the funding is coming from. Observe also the INSISTENCE of this location, when the mayor has promised to help them find another site to build on.
    As to the new term ‘moderate Muslims’, I also don’t buy it. The only moderate Muslims are the so-called Muslims that reject the Loran as it is clear what the Koran teaches. Her comaprison to the bible endorsing slavery is also false and an extremely weak. Islam is NOT a benign religion and it never will be. It is false, opressive, and violent.
    If Asra Nomani was honest about Islam, mere conscience would require her to leave it. This is a whitewash of the intetions behind the mosque as far as I’m concerned. Good for her if she opposes this mosque but other than that, and I don’t believe one word she says.
    I recommend all instead listen to Brigitte Gabriel.

    • Kimj7157 says:

      “If Asra Nomani was honest about Islam, mere conscience would require her to leave it.”

      I have to agree. To borrow a quote from the terrific YouTube vid by Pat Condell (that Maynard referenced in another blog post):

      “Islam DESPISES what America IS. It rejects EVERYTHING America stands for INCLUDING freedom and diversity, and any muslim that denies that IS A LIAR.” That’s it. End of story.

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