'This Week' Transcript: Holy War: Should Americans Fear Islam?


AMANPOUR: let me ask you Robert Spencer, should America fear Islam and why?

ROBERT SPENCER, JIHAD WATCH: Well, Islamic jihadis point frequently -- they actually consistently explain and justify their actions and try to make recruits among peaceful Muslims by pointing to texts of the Koran, the actions of Muhammad and the teachings of Islamic law. And so this is something that moderate and peaceful Muslims have to confront. But instead, they always just displace responsibility and blame the people who are calling attention to these things. And in -- and then, of course, you have even peaceful Muslims like the Imam Rauf, advocating for Sharia, which does deny equality of rights to women. It does deny the freedom of speech, even cultural restrictions on the freedom of speech in his book, "What's Right with Islam." And, you know, you talk about that Islam doesn't allow for wife beating. Well, it's in the Koran---- to beat your wife. And also, there's a television show in Saudi Arabia where they discuss the right implements to beat your wife with.

AMANPOUR: I want to talk to Daisy Khan, who -- obviously, you've just mentioned her husband, Imam Rauf. What do you answer to what Robert Spencer has just said?

DAISY KHAN, AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MUSLIM ADVANCEMENT: Well, let me assure all Americans that the vast majority of Muslims around the world and in the United States -- are living a peaceful life. We are law-abiding citizens. We have people in the armed forces. My own niece, who's in her early 20s, went to Iraq for two years and just came back from there -- young, Arab-American, born in this country, served the nation to keep it secure. We have 1,000 police officers just in the New York Police Department keeping the city secure.

AMANPOUR: I want to turn to Azar Nafisi and ask you, you fled the ayatollahs of Iran. You are an intellectual. You're a writer. Should people fear Islam?

AZAR NAFISI, AUTHOR: I came here to America because I expected that that image which those people had imposed on us would not be imposed on us again. And look at my surprise. From both sides of the aisle, what you hear is that there is one Islam. If we think there is only one Islam, then we have to take sides. Either it's evil or it's good. But there are as many interpretations of Islam as there are Muslims.

AMANPOUR: I would like to go to Reza Aslan, who is joining us from Amsterdam, and who is a scholar on these matters. Reza, you have heard just right now several points raised. One is that Muslims in this country are trying to bring Sharia law. Is there a shred of evidence for that?

REZA ASLAN, WRITER, "THE DAILY BEAST"/author: No, not a single shred whatsoever. I think somebody needs to remind Franklin Graham that we don't judge our values in the United States by comparing them to what the Saudis do. This is a common refrain that you hear from a lot of anti-Muslim activists in the United States, including Robert Spencer, that, well, if, in Saudi Arabia, you can't have a church, then, therefore, in the United States, you shouldn't be allowed to have mosques. This is an appalling and laughable argument.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...