GLENN

Liberal Muslim Journalist Defends Glenn Beck, Bill Maher for Exposing Islamic Extremism

In a refreshing and somewhat surprising segment of his radio program on Monday, Glenn struck up a conversation with journalist Asra Nomani about rejecting identity politics in the wake of the recent women's "counterinauguration" march in Washington, D.C. She expressed gratitude to Glenn and others, including television host Bill Maher, for uncovering the roots of Islamic extremism, which she argued is a major issue for women, despite being covered up and dismissed by those seeking to control the narrative.

As a Muslim liberal feminist immigrant woman, Nomani told Glenn she rejected the Hillary Clinton platform and voted for Donald Trump largely because of "eight years of burying our heads in the sand on the issue of Islamic extremism."

RELATED: Bill Maher Once Again Calls Out Hypocrisy on the Left When It Comes to Islamic Extremism

"Many other Muslims have also voted the same way because we're fed up of the Saudis and Qatar and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, you know, shoving this extremist interpretation of Islam down our throat," Nomani said.

She went on to describe a harrowing experience that took place while she was living in Pakistan:

You know, 15 years ago, my colleague and friend Danny Pearl was kidnapped off the streets of Pakistan.

I was pregnant by a boyfriend there in Pakistan. I didn't even know it, as I waved goodbye to Danny. My boyfriend bailed on me that day. And so I was left single. I was a criminal, as a woman, according to the interpretations of Islam that are put forward by the government of Pakistan.

And then Danny was murdered because he was Jewish. And so there's a casualty for women, for others, if we don't deal with this issue of Islamic extremism. And my hope and intention, as a journalist, is to try to show the propaganda that silences this conversation.

Glenn encouraged listeners to look up Nomani's latest story for The New York Times entitled, "Billionaire George Soros has ties to more than 50 ‘partners’ of the Women’s March on Washington." In it, Nomani gives credence to Glenn's past examination of the infamous billionaire's connections, including ties to Islamic extremist groups.

RELATED: Evil Progressive Donors Part I: George Soros

"You have your flourishes, right? In how you present information," Nomani said. "I know at the heart of it is a very sincere effort to try to educate people about an extreme ideology inside of Islam. And we need to have that conversation."

Glenn explained his personal endeavor to be more concienscious about the way he presents information.

"I am trying to change my tone, not my principles, but change my tone," he said. "And to admit my mistakes and to really try to listen. But it's going to take people on the other side, to do the same thing."

Nomani agreed. Glenn asked if she saw any movement within liberal circles toward introspection and reaching out to understand the other side.

"The fact that we're even having this conversation, you know, Glenn, you and me, we both have completely different identities," Nomani said. "But I really do believe that we both stand on this middle path, where we don't want to be, you know, pulled and stretched by the extremes."

She continued.

"I really believe that we have to be the civility we want to see in the world, to use the Mahatma Gandhi quote," she said.

Glenn thanked her for her courage and example.

"Thank you, Glenn, for your courage because it takes a lot to grow in this world," Nomani replied. "And you're always doing it, as we all are."

Listen to this segment or view transcript below:

GLENN: Here is Ashley Judd from this weekend.

ASHLEY: Nasty as Confederate flags being tattooed across my city. Maybe the South actually is going to rise again. Maybe for some, it never really fell.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

STU: Ugh. So bad.

ASHLEY: Blacks are still in shackles and graves just for being black.

PAT: Why?

GLENN: What?

ASHLEY: Slavery has been reinterpreted as the prison system in front of people who see melanin as animal skin.

STU: What?

ASHLEY: I am not as nasty as a swastika painted on a pride flag. And I didn't know devils could be resurrected, but I feel Hitler in these streets.

PAT: And she's not as -- keep in mind, she's not -- she's comparing him to devils and Hitler, but she's not as nasty as he is. So just know that.

GLENN: She's not as nasty -- no. And when she said, "I feel Hitler in the streets," I thought, "Well, you're kind of the one in the street right now."

PAT: Right.

PAT: You're reciting awful poetry, that I think the Nazis wouldn't have even done.

(chuckling)

Jeez.

GLENN: I saw -- in the New York Times -- congratulations to the New York Times for running this story. It is by Asra Nomani. She is a former Wall Street journal reporter.

Here's the headline: Billionaire George Soros has ties to more than 50 partners of the Women's March on Washington.

What is the link between one of Hillary Clinton's largest donors and the Women's March?

Turns out, it's quite significant. That's the headline. Asra is with us now to tell us a little bit about the connections.

Asra, thank you for writing this story.

ASRA: Oh, my gosh, Glenn, you must be thinking, "See, I'm not crazy. Somebody else has figured it out." You felt lonely, right?

GLENN: I know.

Yes, I did.

ASRA: I know.

GLENN: Now it's your turn to feel lonely.

ASRA: Yeah, I got to tell you, it is a machine out there that wants to shut down this conversation. I just got done telling one of my fellow journalists, a woman who supports the march, you know, there are supposed to be no sacred cows in journalism, and that includes the Women's March, and that includes George Soros.

GLENN: And what did she is?

ASRA: They tell me that I am biased. And I say to them, "But this is what -- this is the point. The Women's March was a biased march." I mean, Ashley Judd, when I was looking back at another spreadsheet I'm doing on the speakers, was a clear Hillary Clinton supporter. You know, so she said -- she has a famous quote during the campaign: Are there any other qualified candidates? Absolutely. But I think Hillary Clinton is the most overqualified candidate we've had since Thomas Jefferson or George Washington.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

ASRA: So they put forward this march as a Women's March, but really it was just for women who are anti-Trump. And that's what I was noticing. Because I had come out of the closet right after the election and wrote a piece for the Washington Post that I, as a Muslim woman, an immigrant, had voted for Trump. And I did so largely influenced by eight years of -- of burying our heads in the sand on the issue of Islamic extremism.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

ASRA: Many other Muslims have also voted the same way because we're fed up of the Saudis and Qatar and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, you know, shoving this extremist interpretation of Islam down our throat.

And so then when this Women's March emerged, I thought, "You know what, I'm a feminist. I'm for women's rights." But I noticed that there wasn't any room for people who didn't agree with the platform of Hillary Clinton and the very strong identity politics of the left. And there are many of us who are liberal, who refuse that -- that politics.

And so I started doing my investigating, and that's how I got this spreadsheet that folks can view. You know, I've got it open on Google Docs, that amazing technology that we can use today.

And I saw the numbers, and I saw that, you know, there is a real bias in this march, and we should be honest about it.

GLENN: So what was the reaction first from the New York Times? Was it hard to get The Times to write this?

ASRA: Well, the wonderful thing is that Tina Brown, you know, a former publisher and editor at The Daily Beast, Vanity Fair, has created this platform at the New York Times called Women In The World. And it is a unique place where voices of, you know -- I believe the spectrum of analysis is allowed in a way that it's not even allowed on the opinion pages of the New York Times anymore.

So fortunately, we've got these outlets where we can still have the kind of straight, you know, clear reporting and analysis that I tried to present with this piece.

GLENN: So where are you going from here with this? Because one of the cochairs -- and I think you point this out in your article, is someone that most people would not look to as somebody who is looking at a favorable view of Islam, from the Western point of view.

ASRA: Yeah, the person you're speaking about, one of the co-chairs is Linda Sarsour, and she has, you know, been a really polarizing and -- and, you know, controversial figure in our Muslim community, as well as in the country.

There is a photo in which she has a young boy with a rock in his hand aimed at Israeli soldiers. And her message on this photo is -- is that this is an image of courage.

And so I have been aware of the way -- of the way that you, for example, and many other people have been targeted by individuals like Linda Sarsour -- including myself. I have also been a target. You know, from the left to the right, we've been targets when we have a serious conversation about Islamic extremism.

You know, Glenn, I know you're a very understated person, right?

GLENN: Yeah, that's me.

ASRA: You know, and so you have your flourishes, right? In how you present information. But I know that -- I've read your work, I've followed your work, and I know at the heart of it is a very sincere effort to try to educate people about an extreme ideology inside of Islam. And we need to have that conversation. But you have been targeted. Bill Maher has been targeted.

You know, from the left to the right. And I call these individuals the honor brigade. They silence anybody who -- who defames the supposed honor of Islam. And so Linda Sarsour has been a character in this network.

And my effort now is to try to really expose the workings of this network that has existed for the last 15 years, since the 9/11 attacks, and brings us to this place to where we're still debating whether there's an Islam and Islamic extremism. We're still debating whether there's an Islam in the Islamic State. And to me, all these issues come together because, you know, 15 years ago, my colleague and friend Danny Pearl was kidnapped off the streets of Pakistan.

I was pregnant by a boyfriend there in Pakistan. I didn't even know it, as I waved goodbye to Danny. My boyfriend bailed on me that day. And so I was left single. I was a criminal, as a woman, according to the interpretations of Islam that are put forward by the government of Pakistan.

And then Danny was murdered because he was Jewish. And so there's a casualty for women, for others, if we don't deal with this issue of Islamic extremism. And my hope and intention, as a journalist, is to try to show the propaganda that silences this conversation, you know, including you, Glenn.

GLENN: So, Asra, where do you go from here? Because I've -- I am trying to change my tone, not my principles, but change my tone.

ASRA: Yes. Yes.

GLENN: And to admit my mistakes and to really try to listen. But it's going to take people on the -- the other side, to do the same thing.

ASRA: Yes.

GLENN: And I saw this march this weekend, and I thought, "Donald Trump is going to go to war with the press, and the press is going to go to war with him." And the left, the activists will stir it up on the streets. And we're in trouble.

ASRA: Yeah.

GLENN: The hate is just going to grow more and more out of control. Are you seeing any movement at all from the liberal circles in the press that are starting to say, "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Maybe we have some of this wrong?"

ASRA: Well, you know, first, I want to say, you know, thank you for your own personal journey coming to this place. Because, you know, we all do that. Like I -- you know, we have -- we're passionate about issues. We -- our voices express it. And I appreciate, you know, the soul-searching that you've done and sharing it with people. I think that takes a lot of moral courage. And I just want to thank you for that.

You know, the fact that we're even having this conversation, you know, Glenn, you and me, we both have completely different identities. But I really do believe that we both stand on this middle path, where we don't want to be, you know, pulled and stretched by the extremes.

GLENN: Yeah.

ASRA: You know, we all grow in our lives. You evolve. I evolve. We all evolve and think it's on us. You know? I don't know if we can have much hope in a lot of our media outlets, but I do know that I personally, secretly, from fellow journalists thank me for the work that I'm doing because they're sick and tired of the bias also.

You know, I couldn't even watch CNN's coverage of the Women's March. I can barely, you know, watch anything but C-SPAN nowadays. Right? Because it's just bare --

GLENN: Yeah, it's just the raw fact.

ASRA: And, Glenn, it's on us. You know, I really believe that we have to be the civility we want to see in the world, to use the Mahatma Gandhi quote. And -- but continue to have very clear analysis, like not pull our punches, you know, when it comes to clear reporting.

GLENN: Yes.

ASRA: And I want to, you know, invite everyone to also, you know, walk on that middle path with us and not engage in name-calling or vitriol, but really be the civility we want to see.

GLENN: Asra, I hope we get the chance to meet some day. I am a huge fan of your courage, and I truly believe courage is contagious. We just have to see more examples around it -- around us. And people will join in.

ASRA: Yeah.

GLENN: And I'm so grateful that the New York Times gave you the space to run this article and that you took the time to do the research on it and spoke the truth. Thank you so much.

ASRA: No, thank you, Glenn, for your courage because it takes a lot to grow in this world. And you're always doing it, as we all are.

GLENN: Thank you.

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