'Muslim Reform Movement' Founder: I Don't Fear Donald Trump, I Fear Islamic Extremism

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CNN’s Carol Costello spoke Friday with Asra Nomani, a Muslim woman who co-founded the Muslim Reform Movement and voted for Donald Trump. This week, Nomani wrote a much-criticized Washington Post article titiled: I'm a Muslim, a woman and an immigrant. I voted for Trump.

"I believe in progressive values but I do believe that we have a liberal honor brigade nowadays that is basically shutting up and silencing people who disagree with them," Nomani said.

About her vote, she said: "Even now the idea of speaking out as somebody who voted for Trump is earning me all sorts of lovely labels like 'idiot' and 'f***er' and all these other ideas that I think violate liberal values of free speech and self-determination. So I spoke out because I also believe we have to stand up for the dignity of all people and Trump voters are human beings, too."

"I don't fear Donald Trump and I don't fear the policies that he is talking about. What I fear is there is an extremist interpretation of Islam that is spilling blood on the streets of our world," she also said.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN: A lot of people say that you are courageous for going public in the Washington Post with your thoughts. Why did you think it was so important?

ASRA NOMANI: I felt like this entire election year, we have just silenced so many people. I am a happy liberal. I believe in progressive values. But I do believe that we have a liberal honor brigade nowadays that is basically shutting up and silencing people who disagree with them. We see them marching in the streets right now because they don't like the election result. And unfortunately, whenever anybody would speak up, we were ridiculed or chastised.

You know, even now the idea of speaking out as somebody who voted for Trump is earning me all sorts of lovely labels like 'idiot' and 'f***er' and all these other ideas that I think violate liberal values of free speech and self-determination. So I spoke out because I also believe we have to stand up for the dignity of all people and Trump voters are human beings, too.

COSTELLO: I've spoken to so many Muslim Americans who fear Mr. Trump. What would you say to them?

NOMANI: I don't fear Donald Trump and I don't fear the policies that he is talking about. What I fear is there is an extremist interpretation of Islam that is spilling blood on the streets of our world... And what I appreciate about his policies is that he is confronting the issue of ideology. He is not choosing a path that we have had for the past eight years that won't talk about the Islam in 'Islamic State.'

To me that is the crisis of our generation right now. And we have to confront it with honesty and truth-telling. The solutions are not easy, they're not comfortable, but they are ones we have to confront.

Unfortunately, I believe the liberals and the left have really betrayed America on that front for the sake of these ideas of pluralism, and Islamophobia that are not really on the table. What really is on the table is confronting an ideology.

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