Islamic reformer on claims Orlando had nothing to do with Islam: 'That is rubbish'

An interesting interview on CNN with author and New York University professor Irshad Manji. Manji is both a Muslim and a lesbian which gives her an unusual perspective on the attack that took place in Orlando. In the first half of this interview she says she believes the attack is beginning to shift attitudes about the need for gun control, which is the sort of thing you would expect to hear a professor saying on CNN. But the second half of the interview is decidedly more surprising.

CNN asks Manji what she thinks about Omar Mateen’s radicalization and the subsequent claims by moderate Muslim groups that the shooting had nothing to do with Islam. Even as the host asks this question, Manji rolls her eyes. “So moderate Muslims use the Mantra ‘this has nothing to do with Islam’ because they are not willing to face the fact that there are regressive verses in the Koran,” she tells CNN.

“And by the way, I speak as a faithful Muslim, as somebody who chooses to remain within my faith because I love it enough to point out that there are ways to reform how we practice Islam so that it really is a religion of peace,” Manji continues.

“But when moderate Muslims say this has nothing to do with Islam, that is rubbish. After all, here was this gunman who shouted ‘Allahu akbar!’—God is greater. Now, that doesn’t mean that he was motivated only by religion but clearly there was some religious symbolism that helped incite this incident.

“And so, frankly, moderate Muslims—who are not so moderate today—have to own up to the fact that we have got a problem in our community. And until we solve it with honesty, we will only see more damage done.”

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