ASRA NOMANI, JOURNALIST: That's why I think that it's actually an act of sitting on a high horse when you try to pretend what we see in the world today isn't real. We're just standing in a hall of mirrors. If I have bags under my eyes, it's because I've spent the last 48 hours dissecting every second of the sad video that documented the murder of the Jordanian pilot. And I will tell you how that video begins. It began with, "b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm" which means in the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful.
It then went to a clear and very obvious declaration that this was from the Islamic State. It was not some fancy acronym like ISIL and ISIS and all of this. It was clearly the Islamic State. And then the video proceeded to talk about the Crusades, which he had mentioned at the prayer breakfast today, to bring up every grievance against Israel, the Jews, and every other possible infraction that anybody has ever done against Muslims, so that we become a culture of wounded collectors and that is how we act out with only violence.
And then they proceeded to talk about Koranic verses from Surat al-Anfal, which tells people, the believers to have courage to fight and to take courage in their fight. And then it proceeded to tell us that there is a hadith, a saying from the Prophet Muhammad and a Fatwah that says that we should participate in these just wars, even if they are against our own fellow Muslims. So to pretend that this isn't a reality of Islam in the world today, that there is a "true Islam" that is the reality of our world is to me just a dance that we're playing to our peril.
Asra Nomani is an Indian-American journalist who has written for publications such as the Wall Street Journal and The Guardian. According to her Wikipedia profile she is involved in Muslim reform and teaches journalist at Georgetown University. Nomani is also co-director of the Pearl Project, an investigation that looked into the murder of her former WSJ colleague Daniel Pearl.