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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Asra Nomani - At Home with the Pak Jihad

Asra Nomani - At Home with the Pak Jihad

December 4, 2008

Asra Nomani - At Home With The Pak Jihad

By WILLIAM MAYER

December 4, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a December 1 piece published in the Los Angeles Times, Asra Nomani questions India's commitment to its 140 million Muslims, calling them, "India's new untouchables. [see, Asra Nomani, Muslims, India's New Untouchables, December 1, 2008, Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-nomani1-2008dec01,0,4752.story]

The central contention of Nomani's article is that the Mumbai attack was the direct result of India's supposedly shoddy treatment of its Muslim minority, "The headlines recounted how the socioeconomic condition of the people of my ancestry, Muslims in India, had fallen below that of the Hindu caste traditionally called "untouchables," according to a government report. "Muslims are India's new untouchables," I said sadly to my mother, in the room with me. "India is going to explode if it doesn't take care of them." Now, indeed, alas it has. And shattered in the process is the myth of India's thriving secular democracy."

Though she allows for the possibility, which now is certain, that the attack originated, most likely with official help, from Pakistan, she offers up the classic Muslim apologia when confronted by indefensible wrongs committed by her co-religionists, "the violence will most certainly turn a spotlight of suspicion on Muslims in India. Already, my relatives are hunkered down for a sectarian backlash they expect from anti-terrorism agencies, police and angry Hindu fundamentalists."

Those pesky Hindu fundamentalists...

Nomani bemoans the sad state of India's Muslims, "I heard about how the condition of Muslims had deteriorated " - yet the fact that they materially differ only marginally from hundreds of millions of Muslims outside the "constraining" confines and racism of India escapes comment. Why India's Muslims bear no responsibility of their own for their backward condition likewise is left unanswered.

She does offer a reason, again the classic excuse which the self-absorbed always offer for Islamic terrorism, "I have feared that Islamic militancy would be born out of such despair...to me, the condition of Muslims needs frank and open discussion if there is to be any hope of stemming Islamic radicalism and realizing true secular democracy in the country...When the location scouts needed to replicate the treacherous streets of Karachi's militant Islamist culture, they didn't have to go far. They found the perfect spot in a poor Muslim neighborhood of Mumbai."

In developing her thesis Ms. Nomani fails to make the reader aware of several key events in her past which provide critical context whereby to evaluate the worth of her viewpoint.

Nomani was employed for 15 years as a financial correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, writing about non-controversial topics such as the airline industry.

But Nomani's current career as a "crusading Muslim feminist" - if that is not an oxymoron - has little to do with the staid halls of the WSJ. Nomani derives her recognition, some might say notoriety as being among the last to see Daniel Pearl, the WSJ reporter who was savagely decapitated by Muslim terrorists in 2003. Pearl and his wife were staying with Nomani in her then residence in Karachi, Pakistan.

As Nomani tells the story:

"My interest in the investigation is more than a professional one. At the time Danny was kidnapped, he and Mariane, then pregnant with their first child, were staying with me at a house I had rented in Karachi, Pakistan, while writing a book. I had traveled to Pakistan for Salon, to cover the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, and was happy to host the Pearls when Danny came to Karachi to interview a local Muslim cleric who was said to have ties to alleged "shoe-bomber" Richard Reid. He was pursuing other investigative threads, as well. When he didn't return from the interview on Jan. 23, 2002, Mariane and I alerted U.S. officials and his Wall Street Journal editors, from the desk where Danny had left his laptop. We transformed my home into the investigation's headquarters. For five weeks, we worked closely with U.S. and Pakistani investigators to find Danny; after investigators discovered he had been murdered, I left Pakistan, and moved to Paris..." [source, http://www.asranomani.com/Writings.aspx]

Yes, she will always have Paris...

Tantrika: Traveling the Road of Divine Love, was published in 2003, the same year she decided to push a feminist viewpoint in her West Virginia mosque, attempting to integrate prayer by joining the men. The fact that she did this accompanied by two non-Muslim women leaves Nomani open to charges of concocting a stunt to promote her book, a tactic which apparently worked, having since built a lightweight resume as a Muslim reformer.

Lightweight because her views on just about anything considered controversial in the Muslim world, terrorism, surveillance, the post 9/11 world, Hamas, Hezbollah, radical Islam, Israel, Palestine etc., are difficult to find. They certainly don't exist within her website.

Her response to 9/11, when her adopted country was under attack?

Go to Pakistan, discover her "roots" and...well...become a quick-draw practitioner of Da'wa.

In At Home With the Taliban, a piece written for Salon magazine, we find her uncritical take on the brutal jihadist group, just a few weeks after 9/11. She even engages her host and his polygamous family in the exchange of trinkets.

Stunning.

Serving up the Taliban line as the terrorist bases from which bin-Laden planned 9/11 were being destroyed by U.S. air power, Nomani offers up an inaccurate but heroic and humanizing image of "her" Taliban, the "number 2 diplomat representing the Taliban government here in Pakistan. Mohammad Sohail Shaheen..."

Further richening the portrait, Shaheen is journalist, fallen or elevated depending upon one's perspective.

"I put my finger over the image of the World Trade Center.

"Now it's gone," I say, stating the obvious.

"Yes," he says, "very sad."

He says that he, like many from this part of the world, would like to return to America. "We are not against America or Americans," he says. "We are against the arrogance of intimidation.

"We are also human beings. We have not sprouted in the soil, not come down from the skies. We have families, fathers, mothers, like other human beings.

"I like America. I like Americans," he says. "I just don't like American foreign policy." [source, Asra Nomani, At Home With The Taliban, Salon Magazine, October 10, 2001, http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2001/10/10/taliban/index.html]

So cultured and reasonable, if only the American government, caught in the maw of anti-Muslim rage and a concomitant blood-lust, were as similarly motivated...so sad.

In Nomani's writings, even the Taliban version of Islam provides the answers to the West's contentious social issues, "Amrika acha kam nahee kurtha hay." America does not do good work, is the literal translation. Work is deeds. It is about infidelity, adultery and premarital bed-hopping that she is talking about. I'm a single woman of the West exhausted by going in and out of relationships. I've got to say they have a point. Is "Sex in the City" really our model for civilized living?"

Her account of these two meetings with Shaheen is remarkable in that the only challenge to anything Shaheen said was a refutation of the claim that 4,000 Jews decided not to go to work at the World Trade Center on September 11 because somehow they knew it would be a smoldering ruin by the afternoon.

Nomani goes out of her way to present Shaheen's two wives [one less than half his age] as happy and not abused, casting him in a kindly grandfatherly manner, "He asks his second wife to get a book. The one with the Statue of Liberty picture, she asks, putting her hand up as if she is holding a torch. She brings the wrong book. He doesn't get irritated..."

At this point in her ideological/religious development Nomani's feminism is either well-hidden or entirely missing.

Nomani's grandstanding is typified in her founding of Muslims for Peace, creating a website with absolutely no content aside from a peace march poster of an event which either never transpired or was so inconsequential as to escape notice. The website however does contain an outbound link for marketing the group's T-shirts. [see, http://www.muslimsforpeace.net]

Returning to one of the pivotal matters concerning Asra Nomani's relationship with Daniel Pearl, much remains unknown, but the mere fact that her rented address in Karachi, Pakistan was his last residence before being kidnapped and butchered by members of the Taliban/al-Qaeda union, possibly by the operational commander of 9/11 himself, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, remains an open and in this writer's opinion, irredeemable sore on her curriculum vitae, bearing as it does, so heavily on her judgment and credibility.

"I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl in the city of Karachi, Pakistan," Mohammed is quoted telling the military panel Saturday. "For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head." [source, Dafna Linzer and Josh White, Two Senators Secretly Flew to Cuba for Alleged 9/11 Mastermind's Hearing, Washington Post, March 16, 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/15/AR2007031500865.html]

What to make therefore of Asra Nomani, is she a member of the multiculturalists' most exclusive club, its Holy Grail, a moderate spokesperson for Islam?

In the most general sense, yes she is moderate, having traveled unmolested through airport security check stations - without major incident and having avoiding the no-fly list - during her furious campaigns of self-promotion.

But, that minimum standard is hardly enough, not against last week's backdrop in Mumbai.

Nomani's metamorphosis from antiseptic chronicler of events at the WSJ to her post 9/11 status as professional "Muslim critic," have, rather than providing reasons to support the contention that she has any reasonable prescription for combating the phenomenon of rising Islamism within Pakistan and India's political sphere of influence, serve to point in exactly the opposite direction, stifling the discussion on the matter by blaming the societies under siege rather than the perpetrators.

Such a process is actually disingenuous, involving a bait and switch approach, promising critical analysis but offering nothing more than politically expedient clichés which serve to exonerate and hold blameless the religious philosophy/ideology underlying the continuing jihad. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=nomaniid=12.2.08%2Ehtm

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MIM: When Nomani entered into a feminist dispute with her mosque The Islamic Center of Morgantown (which her father founded) she called ISNA's Louay Safi of the Islamic Society of North America to mediate.

ISNA is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas funding case and the leading da'wa organisation in North America.

Louay Safi was the research director of the International Institute For Islamic Thought IIT at the time it was raided by the Joint Terrorism Task Force during operation Greenquest in connection with Al Qaeda funding. Safi is connected to the Safa group.

According to Stephen Schwartz:

The SAFA group is much worse than Taiban in my view. Now, the SAFA group is a group that operates in the United States. And the SAFA group is essentially a financial cover for groups connected to Wahabbism in Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood. SAFA was essentially a financial conspiracy to support extremist activity all over the world." http://www.cbn.com/CBNNews/News/041116a.aspx

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/04/AR2005060401646.html

MIM: Excerpt from an article about Nomani.

Drama follows the Bombay-born and Morgantown-bred Nomani: Thirty-plus members of her 200-member mosque, the Islamic Center of Morgantown, the mosque her father, Zafar, helped found in 1981, are petitioning to have her banished for "disrupting worship and spreading misinformation about Islam."

Then there are the threatening e-mails; the articles, published around the world, accusing her of being a spy in cahoots with the CIA and Israeli intelligence; Jihadist message boards demanding that a fatwa be issued against a woman who led the first mixed-gender prayers and those who participated. An editorial writer for the India-based Web site Greater Kashmir writes that because Nomani had a child out of wedlock, "in Islam, punishment for an act for [which] Asra is proud of, is stoning till death." Some of Nomani's detractors at the mosque insist they don't necessarily have a problem with her gender politics. Their problem is with her. "Asra is a loner," says Louay Safi, executive director of the Islamic Society of North America's Leadership Development Center in Plainfield, Ind., an umbrella organization for Islamic groups. Safi came to Morgantown in December at Nomani's request to mediate the dispute. Other women in the mosque he interviewed are also unhappy with the way the mosque is run, Safi says, but Nomani is far from finding a common front with them. "She does not have the experience of engaging the community, negotiating and trying to change things gradually. . . . She came to the community after a long time of being away and then immediately wants to change things overnight. . . . It's quite a conservative community."

MIM: Note that Nomani's mosque the Islamic Center of Morgantown lists their email address as the Muslim Student Association . The MSA is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.

http://islamicvalley.com/prod/entityView.php/t/09L/i/87J

POB 140
Morgantown, WV 26507
Phone: (304) 598-7396
Email: msa@www.wvu.edu
For map and driving directions, please click here

MIM: The Islamic Center of Morgantown has links to radical Islamist groups such as The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) a Saudi funded front group for Hamas and ISNA (see above). It also links to Islamonline, the website run by Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi who has sanctioned and encouraged women to be suicide bombers.

http://icmorgantown.org/?page_id=181

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MIM: The reading list from Nomani's personal website include the works of Islamists like Khaled Abou El Fadel, faux moderate Reza Aslan and Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf.

In an article entitled "Stealth Islamist- Khaled Abou El Fadel Dr.Daniel Pipes writes:

"In common with other Islamists, Abou El Fadl wants Muslims to live by Islamic law (the Shari‘a), the law that among other things endorses slavery, execution for apostasy, and the repression of women, and which treats non-Muslims as second-class citizens. "Shariah and Islam are inseparable," he has written, "and one cannot be without the other." In a revealing passage, he confesses that his "primary loyalty, after God, is to the Shariah."[21] Given that Islamic law is Abou El Fadl's academic specialty, this profound allegiance to its goals has great significance and provides a key to his outlook.

To make Islamic law more appealing, he blurs or conceals some of its unpleasant realities." http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1841

MIM: Nomani's webpage listing her book choices.

http://www.asranomani.com/Resources.aspx

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MIM: In 2006 Nomani was a speaker at an event organised by The American Society for Muslim Advancement. ASMA is a false moderate organisation aligned with the Wahhabi funded Cordoba Institute. Ingrid Mattson the head of the Islamic Society of North America was also a speaker. (For more on ASMA see below)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: November 8, 2006

Daisy Khan, Executive Director, ASMA Society New York
P: 212 362 2242 direct; e-mail: daisy@asmasociety.org
Faisal Shah, Press Coordinator, ASMA Society New York
P: 917-492-8690; e-mail: fshah@asmasociety.org

MUSLIM WOMEN LEADERS LAUNCH GLOBAL MOVEMENT TO EMPOWER MUSLIM WOMEN

Manhattan, New York - Over one hundred Muslim women religious leaders, human rights activists, scholars and artists from around the world will meet in New York City on November 17th to 19th to launch WISE: The Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity to empower Muslim women to play a greater role in their societies worldwide. Top leaders will attend, including Baroness Uddin, the first Muslim woman to enter the British House of Lords, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General Dr. Nafis Sadik, Saudi municipal candidate Fatin Bundagji, Malaysian Islamic Feminist Zainah Anwar, author of Standing Alone in Mecca Asra Nomani," Afghani Presidential candidate Dr. Massouda Jalal, Nigerian advocate in the Amina Lawal stoning case Nogi Imoukhuede, President of Islamic Society of North America Ingrid Mattson, Dubai' Comic Writer Rima Khoreibi who introduced the Muslim World to their first female heroin and Pakistan's Mukhtaran Mai, author of the much anticipated In the Name of Honor: A Memoir. "This is a historical and critical event in the history of Islam," said Daisy Khan, Executive Director of The American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), the chief organizer of the event.

"WISE will provide a much needed platform for diverse Muslim women to discuss global Muslim women's issues, assert our rights through the use of and in accordance with Islamic law, and build a coherent movement that empowers and connects Muslim women everywhere." On the agenda is the formation of an International Shura Council of Muslim Women. A Shura Council is an advisory council that interprets Islamic law for the political and religious leaders in its region of authority. Also under discussion will be the creation of a global fund to provide scholarships for Muslim women to be educated in Islamic jurisprudence thereby qualifying them to serve on the Shura Council of Women. The leaders will discuss the major obstacles facing Muslim women and create strategies to address them. They will discuss how to increase women's religious & political leadership via faith fueled activism, challenging local customs that impinge on women's rights and develop effective methods to change negative perceptions about muslim women.

A selection of non-Muslim women faith leaders will also participate in the WISE meetings as supportive partners. They include Sister Joan Chittister, prolific advocate of women's rights and American Benedictine nun, Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, leader in the ecumenical interfaith movement in the U.S., Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, founder of Sister Fund and author of Faith & Feminism: A Holy Alliance , and Devorah Zlochower, director and instructor of Talmud and halakha, Drisha Institute. The events of WISE will also feature the theater debut of 7WOMEN, 7HEAVENS, Portraits of Muslim Women, a play that juxtaposes stories of seven Muslim women in abrasive, funny, and soothing dialogue with themselves around personal struggles with faith, community, and relationships. The world premier will take place Saturday, November 18 at 8:30pm during the WISE conference and is open to the public. Sponsor:

The ASMA Society, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 founded in 1997 in New York City, is an Islamic cultural and educational organization dedicated to fostering an American-Muslim identity and building bridges between American Muslims and the American public. ASMA's philosophical objective is to strengthen a culturally American expression of Islam based on tolerance and on cultural and religious harmony and to foster an environment in which Muslims can thrive within a pluralistic society. Project Collaboration: ASMA Society will collaborate with Cordoba Initiative, a not for profit 501(c) 3 founded in 2004 in Aspen, Colorado. Cordoba Initiative is multi-faith initiative whose objective is to heal the relationship between the Islamic world and America/the West WISE has been supported by The Ford Foundation, Sister Fund, Henry Luce Foundation, Danny Kaye & Sylvia Kaye Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, William & Mary Greve Foundation, Marshall Family Fund. Venue: The Westin New York at Times Square: 270 West 43rd street, NYC, NY 10036 Schedule: Start on November 17th Fri at 5pm and end on November 19th Sun at 5pm

MIM: Excerpt from the American Society For the Advancement of Muslims- faux moderates promoting Islamisation by "Muslim Leader of Tomorrow".

For more on ASMA Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan see:
http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2860


Excerpt:

MIM:The American Society for the Advancement of Muslims proclaims their Islamism by name. ASMA promotes jihad through da'wa and the Islamisation of the West by grooming "Muslim Leaders of Tommorrow". At the Saudi backed 2006 MLT conference in Denmark "moderate"Islamists discussions of how to increase Muslim political and social influence was euphemistically termed "bridge building". The Cordoba Initiative /Islamic Dialogue is lead by ASMA and is also headed by the Imam of the New York Masjid Al Farah ,Faisal Abdul Rauf. Together with his wife Daisy Khan they are trying to put a yuppie face on Islamism

. ASMA can be viewed as an American version of Hizb ut Tahrir after an "extremist makeover" where the khalifate idea is has been couched in kumbaya. ASMA's young and contemporary facade makes their radical ideology harder to detect, which poses more of a threat then an overtly aggressive organisation which refers to non Muslims as kuffars. In reality, ASMA members share the same hard line as the radicals and their use of legal and stealth Islamist strategies makes it difficult to thwart their da'wa attempts which are made under the guise of interfaith and tolerance but are actually pushing Islam as the only true religion .

An ASMA Q&A reveals the Islamist view that the "perfection" of Judaism and Christianity is found only in Islam and is another example of the concept of all non Muslims "reverting" back to what is presented as the origins of their religions. According to the Islamists at ASMA Abraham established Mecca and even built the Ka'ba.


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