Ep#78 – Asra Nomani – #MyMuslimReform

Joining me on this week’s #GSPodcast is Journalist and Author Asra Nomani (@AsraNomani). I’ll be asking how Islam allows for Asra’s liberal interpretation as well as discussing the reform movement. We delve into the current state of digital journalism and Asra’s infamous confrontation with Nathan Lean. Also, we’ll hear about the ‘honor brigade’ and #MyMuslimReform.

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  • Great interview, from both of you.

  • Stephen, do you mind sharing your position on Trump, and why you think he would be a disaster if voted president? I would not mind (should you wish) providing evidence to show how (nearly all) his proposed policies are being sorely misrepresented, very much as those of Sam Harris.

    The difference with Trump is that the media, which is mostly liberal, and the establishment (both parties) are trying very hard to demonize him and delegitimize his character and campaign. His “bigoted” policies on immigration–illegal and Muslim–have been especially misrepresented.

    I admire your thought, and would love to understand the reasons behind your strong opposition to Trump of all US presidential candidates.

    • Stephen Knight

      I see what you’re saying. Personally, it comes down to the simple fact that he is a buffoon and I don’t want a buffoon in charge of the most powerful nation on the planet. There’s an anti-intellectual slant to American politics that allows for clown-like characters such as Bush, Palin and now Trump to get to (or near) the top job. From an across the pond perspective, this is as amusing as it is terrifying. I do appreciate Trump has become the easy joke though, and people do opt to attack the man, rather than his policies (which I don’t know enough about) – I just don’t think he has the intelligence, diplomacy or level-headedness required to be a good president. How can a man be a joke internationally yet a genuine Presidential contender at the same time? It’s a baffling paradox created by the beast that is American politics.

      • Thank you very much for your response. I understand your concerns about Trump, which I admittedly shared prior to going beyond sound bytes and mainstream media. I do agree with the suggestion that American politics has an anti-intellectual slant, and that is very unfortunate. Thank goodness for the checks and balances in the US.

        I believe you are also correct in stating that most of the anti-Trump narrative consists of ad-hominem attacks. However, despite my admiration for you and your intellect, your dislike towards him seems to be of a similar light.

        In any case, thank you as always for your brilliant discussions and contributions.

        • Stephen Knight

          I said I didn’t think he would be a good president because he lacks the intelligence, diplomacy and level-headedness required to be (in my opinion) a competent world leader. He demonstrates these shortcomings at almost every media appearance he makes. It’s cringe worthy. This isn’t ad hominem. These are very important qualities (he lacks) which are entirely relevant to his ability to be POTUS. Maybe he could learn to iron out these flaws after getting the job, I don’t know – but it’s a risky experiment to be supporting.

          Thanks for the kind words!

  • Asra sounds lovely, I wish there were more people like her.
    My question after the interview is, how can a compassionate individual who is clearly progressive in her thinking still follow (or at least affiliate herself with) a religion created by a violent and repulsive man?

    Regarding Trump. Whether he’s a buffoon, whether you agree with his policies or not, he’s the most important man in American politics today in my opinion.

    I think he’s a plonker, but he’s raising issues that the rest are shying away from.

    In our last election Farage was the one that masses of people demonised, but because of him we are now having a democratic referendum on our position in the EU.

    However the vote goes in USA, I applaud Trump for breaking the ice on certain subjects, and for demonstrating just how many every day people are concerned about them.

  • Asra Nomani is the queen of calm, and your interview was positive and mutually respectful, a conversation between grown ups much appreciated. Part two of another hour could have been easily accommodated it appears, with interesting and informative discussion of these painful issues created by the dangerous manipulative deceitful aggressive extreme Islamist ambitions.

  • After completing the holy trinity of bad podcasts (praise be to you in the name of the Leanne, Namazie, and the holy Aziz) I was contemplating turning in my headphones and joining Sam Harris in a cave somewhere for some quite reflection….and then this podcast dropped and filled my soul with hope and optimism. Good job Stephen…good job Asra!

  • Yes, great podcast. Asra Nomani was an interesting and articulate choice of interviewee and I think your style of interviewing is very effective. I too find it worrying that someone like Donald Trump is being considered for president and may be elected in a fit of absent mindedness on the part of the electorate there. His comment about building a wall and getting Mexico to pay for it should have instantly disqualified him from being taken seriously, in my view.

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