Transcript: Reforming Islam? | May 26, 2015

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped pink tie. Behind him, a wall screen reads “The Agenda, with Steve Paikin.”

Steve says AYAAN HIRSI ALI
WRITES, “WITHOUT FUNDAMENTAL
ALTERATIONS TO SOME OF ISLAM'S
CORE CONCEPTS WE SHALL NOT SOLVE
THE BURNING AND INCREASINGLY
GLOBAL PROBLEM OF POLITICAL
VIOLENCE CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME
OF RELIGION.”
YESTERDAY, WE BROUGHT YOU AN
HOUR-LONG CONVERSATION WITH THE
AFOREMENTIONED AUTHOR, AND NOW,
WE BRING YOU A FURTHER
EXPLORATION OF HER CALL TO
REFORM ISLAM.
JOINING US NOW TO DO THAT:
RAHEEL RAZA, PRESIDENT OF THE
COUNCIL FOR MUSLIMS FACING
TOMORROW AND AUTHOR OF “THEIR
JIHAD + NOT MY JIHAD”;

Raheel is in her fifties, with short wavy blond hair. She’s wearing a red cardigan, a tartan scarf, and a beaded necklace.
A picture of her book appears briefly on screen. The cover features Raheel smiling as she poses next to an image of an Islamic temple.

Steve continues IMAM SHABIR ALLY, PRESIDENT OF
THE ISLAMIC INFORMATION and DAWAH
CENTRE INTERNATIONAL;

Shabir is in his forties, with a long white beard. He wears a white Islamic cap and a beige coat.

Steve continues MOHAMMAD FADEL, CANADA RESEARCH
CHAIR FOR THE LAW AND ECONOMICS
OF ISLAMIC LAW AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF TORONTO;

Mohammad is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He wears a checkered shirt, a checkered gray tie, and a gray pinstripe suit.

Steve continues AND ALI A. RIZVI, CONTRIBUTOR AT
HUFFINGTON POST AND AUTHOR OF
THE UPCOMING BOOK “THE ATHEIST MUSLIM.”

Ali is in his late thirties, with longish wavy brown hair and a trimmed beard. He’s wearing rectangular glasses, a gray pinstripe suit, and a burgundy shirt.

Steve continues IT'S GOOD OF THE FOUR OF YOU TO
JOIN US AROUND OUR TABLE HERE
ART TVO TONIGHT.
YOU KNOW THE PREMISE OF THE
BOOK, AYAAN HIRSI ALI BELIEVES
ISLAM NEEDS A REFORMATION NOW.
LET'S GO AROUND AND FIND OUT IF
YOU AGREE.
RAHEEL, WHAT DO YOU SAY?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Raheel Raza. Author ‘Their Jihad... not my Jihad.’ Council for Muslims facing tomorrow."

Raheel says THE IDEA OF
REFORM IS NOT NEW.
MY BELIEF AND UNDERSTANDING IS
IS WHAT ISLAM NEEDS REALLY IS
CLARITY.
IT NEEDS AN OVERHAULING.
IT NEEDS MUSLIMS TO LET GO OF
FICTIONAL ADD-ONS THAT HAVE
BECOME PART OF THE FAITH, AND
WHAT IT NEEDS IS A VERY ACUTE
AWARENESS THAT THERE IS A
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE POLITICAL
AND THE SPIRITUAL MESSAGE OF THE
FAITH.

The caption changes to "Reforming Islam? Hijacked by extremists."

Steve says ALI, YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Ali A. Rizvi. Author ‘The atheist Muslim.’ Huffington Post."

Ali says SEMANTICS
ASIDE, I THINK WHAT AYAAN HIRSI
ALI MEANS IS A PROGRESSIVE
REFORMATION AND SHE WANTS TO
MODERNIZE, SHE'S CALLING FOR A
MODERNIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC
WORLD.
I THINK ONE OF THE IMPORTANT
DISTINCTIONS IS BETWEEN ISLAM,
THE RELIGION, WHICH IS A SET OF
IDEAS AND BOOKS, A BELIEF
SYSTEM, AND MUSLIMS, A PEOPLE.
THERE'S A PRETTY SIGNIFICANT
DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE TWO
WHICH ALSO BEARS DISCUSSING.

Steve says WHICH WE SHALL.
MOHAMMAD?

The caption changes to "Mohammad Fadel. University of Toronto."

Mohammad says WHAT I
WOULD SAY IS THAT MUSLIM
SOCIETIES ARE IN PROFOUND NEED
OF RADICAL TRANSFORMATION.
I'M A LITTLE SKEPTICAL OF USING
THE CONCEPT OF REFORMATION WITH
REGARD TO ISLAM BECAUSE IT COMES
OUT OF A PARTICULAR CONTEXT OF
CHURCH-STATE RELATIONS WHICH
CAN'T REALLY BE MAPPED ONTO ISLAM.
ISLAM DOESN'T HAVE A GOVERNING
CORPORATE STRUCTURE THAT YOU
COULD INSTITUTE A REFORMATION
VIA THAT SORT OF STRUCTURE.
WHAT WE CAN TALK ABOUT IS HOW
CAN WE TRANSFORM MUSLIM
SOCIETIES TO MAKE THEM MORE
PEACEFUL AND PROGRESSIVE.
I THINK THAT'S A CONVERSATION
WORTH HAVING.
I'M VERY SKEPTICAL ABOUT
THEOLOGICAL DISCUSSION AND
TRYING TO FIGURE OUT THEIR
RELEVANCE TO CONCRETE POLITICAL
SOCIAL AND ECONOMICS.

Steve says DO YOU HAVE TO
CHANGE OR REFORM THE RELIGION TO
GET THE SOCIETAL CHANGE YOU'RE
LOOKING FOR?
FOR?

Mohammad says I PERSONALLY DON'T THINK SO.
IT'S LIKE HERDING CATS.
IT CHANGES THE ENVIRONMENT IN
WHICH PEOPLE DISCUSS RELIGION
AND IT CHANGES.
IT'S TOO DECENTRALIZED TO DO
THIS TOP-DOWN CHANGE IN THE WAY
PEOPLE THINK.

Steve says IMAM, DOES YOUR
RELIGION NEED A REFORMATION?

The caption changes to "Shabir Ally. Islamic Information and Dawah Centre."

Shabir says TO ANSWER
THE QUESTION, WE NEED TO SEE
WHAT AYAAN HIRSI ALI IS
EXPLAINING AS THE REFORMATION
THAT SHE HAS IN MIND, WHAT SHE
CALLS ACTUALLY A RENOVATION.
AN OLD HISTORICAL BUILD WILLING
YOU WANT TO RENOVATE, ONE IS TO
KNOCK IT DOWN AND BUILD
SOMETHING NEW WHERE IT WAS.
THAT'S NOT GOING TO WORK WITH A
WORLD RELIGION.
SHE SAYS ANOTHER OPTION IS TO
JUST FORTIFY IT THE BEST YOU
CAN, BUT THAT OF COURSE MEANS
YOU ARE STUCK WITH MANY OF THE
OLD PROBLEMS, JUST PATCHING IT
UP AS YOU GO.
WHAT SHE HAS IN MIND, PRECISELY,
SHE SAYS, IS TO GUT OUT THE
INTERIOR AS MUCH AS YOU CAN,
LEAVING ONLY THE FACADE, AND
THEN YOU REBUILD THE INTERIOR
ENTIRELY USING MODERN ELEMENTS.
WELL, I JUST DROVE PAST SUCH A
BUILDING ON MY WAY HERE, IT'S A
RETIREMENT RESIDENCE, ONCE A
CHURCH, ON AVENUE ROAD.
WHAT REMAINS OF THE CHURCH IS
ONLY THE FACADE OF THE OLD
CHURCH, BUT I DON'T THINK YOU
CAN CALL IT A CHURCH ANYMORE.

Steve says SO HER IDEA DOES NOT
WORK FOR YOU?

Shabir says NO.
WHAT WILL WORK FOR ME, HOWEVER,
IS NOT TO USE THE WORD “REFORM.”
BECAUSE THAT HAS ITS
CONNOTATIONS IN CHRISTIAN
HISTORY WITH THE PROTESTANT
REFORMATION WHICH WAS REALLY A
RENEGING OF THE PAPAL AUTHORITY
AND ESPECIALLY WITH REFERENCE TO
INDULGENCES WHICH WERE BEING
GRANTED AT THE TIME.
BUT I WOULD USE ORIGINAL ARABIC
TERMS FROM THE CLASSIC ISLAMIC
TRADITION, I WOULD SPEAK OF
RENEWAL, WHICH WOULD MEAN FOR ME
GOING BACK TO THE ORIGINAL
PRINCIPLES OF ISLAM BUT APPLYING
THEM IN A NEW MANNER IN OUR
PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES, AND I
WOULD SPEAK OF ITS JIHAD, WHICH
IS A REASONING WHICH FOR MANY
MUSLIMS HAD BEEN A NO-NO FOR
MANY CENTURIES BUT WHEN WE GO
BACK TO OUR HISTORY, WE SEE THAT
THIS IS WHAT WAS PRACTISED IN
THE EARLY TIMES, AND IF WE WANT
TO LET THIS RELIGION BE RELEVANT
TO OUR PRESENT TIMES, TO BE A
RELIGION OF PEACE AS WE BELIEVE
IT TO BE, WE NEED TO APPLY THAT
ONCE MORE.

Steve says I'M ALWAYS IMPRESSED
WHENEVER WE INVITE YOU TO COME
ON THE PROGRAM, AS WE DID
SEVERAL MONTHS AGO TO DEBATE
MICHAEL CORAN, YOU BROUGHT IT IN AGAIN.
IT'S DOG-EARED.
THE MAN COMES PREPARED.

Ally smiles as he shows a Koran marked with sticky notes.

Steve continues YOU HAVE POST-ITS ON ALMOST
EVERY PAGE OF THAT BOOK READY TO
MARSHALL YOUR ARGUMENTS.
VERY GOOD.
HERE'S AN EXCERPT FROM AYAAN
HIRSI ALI'S BOOK.
WE'LL READ THIS AND THEN
DISCUSS.

A quote appears on screen, under the title “Guilt by association.” The quote reads “It simply will not do for Muslims to claim that their religion has been ‘hijacked’ by extremists. The killers of I.S. and Boko Haram cite the same religious texts that every other Muslim in the world considers sacrosanct. And instead of letting them off the hook with bland clichés about Islam as a religion of peace, we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice. We need to hold Islam accountable for the acts of its most violent adherents and demand that it reform or disavow the key beliefs that are used to justify those acts.”
Quote by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “Heretic,” 2015.

Steve says MOHAMMAD, IS THERE
SOMETHING THERE THAT YOU TAKE
ISSUE WITH?

Mohammad says WELL, I
MEAN, I THINK IT'S -- IT'S --
WELL, I'LL SPEAK OF IT FROM A
POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE, RIGHT,
BECAUSE I THINK IT'S MUCH MORE
OF AN INVITATION TO AN
INQUISITION RATHER THAN TO
MEANINGFUL REFORM, RIGHT?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ASK ISLAM
TO DISAVOW THE ACTIONS OF ISIS
OR THE DOCTRINES ON WHICH IT'S
BASED?
LIKE I SAID, IT'S NOT
REPRESENTED BY AN INSTITUTION.
YOU COULD ASK THE CHURCH, FOR
EXAMPLE, TO DENOUNCE CERTAIN
DOCTRINES THAT IT HAS, BUT WE
DON'T HAVE THAT IN THE ISLAMIC
TRADITION.
YOU CAN ASK THE CLERICS TO
DENOUNCE CERTAIN
INTERPRETATIONS.
IN FACT IT GOES ON ALL THE TIME.
THERE ARE MILLIONS OF CLERICS,
RIGHT, IN THE MUSLIM WORLD, AND
YOU'LL FIND A BEWILDERING ARRAY
OF OPINIONS.
95 percent OF THEM WILL BE QUITE
CONTRARY TO WHAT ISIS IS DOING.
IN FACT, THEY'RE DOING WHAT
AYAAN HIRSI ALI PRECISELY
DEMANDS THEM TO DO, RIGHT?
THE QUESTION IS WHY IS THAT NOT
EFFECTIVE?
THIS GOES BACK TO MY EARLIER
POINT.
THERE'S A DEEP PROBLEM IN
GOVERNANCE IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES
THAT -- IT'S NOT THAT PEOPLE
AREN'T DENOUNCING ISIS, THEY'RE
DOING IT ALL THE TIME.

Steve says HAVING SAID THAT,
RAHEEL, SHOULD ISLAM BE HELD
ACCOUNTABLE FOR ALL OF THE ACTS
OF ITS MOST VIOLENT ADHERENTS,
THAT 5 percent THAT MOHAMMAD WAS JUST
REFERRING TO?

Raheel says LET ME SAY
THAT IN PRINCIPLE AYAAN HIRSI
ALI MAKES GOOD POINTS WHERE SHE
USES THE TERM DEBATE, WE
DEFINITELY NEED TO DEBATE AND
DISCUSS.
HOLDING ISLAM ACCOUNTABLE FOR
ALL THAT IS HAPPENING TO MUSLIMS
IS JUST AS MUCH AS SAYING THAT
WE HOLD CHRISTIANITY ACCOUNTABLE
FOR THE CRUSADE.
I BELIEVE IT WAS ABUSE OF POWER.
IN THE SAME WAY I BELIEVE WHAT
IS HAPPENING IS AN ABUSE OF
POWER AND IS A POLITICIZATION OF
A SPIRITUAL MESSAGE, AND THAT IS
WHAT WE DO NEED TO TARGET, WE DO
NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT.
I THINK AYAAN HIRSI ALI IS
PUSHING THIS IDEA THAT WE CANNOT
EVER STOP CRITIQUING, LOOKING IN
WORDS, REFLECTING, AND TRYING TO
BRING ABOUT CHANGE TO DEBATE
DISCUSSION, AND THAT IS THE CORE
BASIS OF WHAT WE NEED TO DO,
WHAT MUSLIMS NEED TO DO.
WE HAVEN'T EVEN BEGUN THE
DISCUSSIONS OR THE DEBATE, TO
TALK ABOUT WHERE THE CHANGE
NEEDS TO COME FROM, WHETHER IT'S
THE SCRIPTURE, WHETHER IT'S THE
LAWS, WHETHER IT'S SHARIA OR
WHAT MUSLIMS PRACTICE.
IN TERMS OF ISLAM BEING THE
RELIGION OF PEACE, I HAVE OFTEN
SAID AND WRITTEN THAT IT'S ONLY
A RELIGION OF PEACE INASMUCH AS
ITS FOLLOWERS PRACTICE THAT PEACE.

Steve says ARE YOU PREPARED TO
SAY THAT ISLAM OUGHT TO BE HELD
ACCOUNTABLE FOR ALL OF THE
VIOLENCE OF THE SMALL PERCENTAGE
OF THOSE WHO ARE PERPETUATING THAT?

Ali says I DON'T THINK
IT SHOULD BE.
RELATED TO THAT, I WANT TO TALK
ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY THE CLERICS
AND CONDEMNATION, THEY'RE NOT
EFFECTIVE.
ONE OF THE REASONS THEY'RE NOT
EFFECTIVE IS THERE IS A
UNIVERSAL COMMON ELEMENT FOR ALL
MUSLIMS, WHETHER THEY'RE
EXTREMISTS OR FUNDAMENTALISTS OR
PROGRESSIVES, THAT'S THE QUR'AN,
THE HADITHA IN SOME SECTS AND SO ON.
WHEN ISIS AND BOKO HARAM AND
al-QAEDA COMMIT THEIR
ATROCITIES, I WOULD LOVE IT IF
THEY WERE QUOTING MR. ALI OR THE
PROFESSOR, BUT THEY'RE NOT.
THEY'RE QUOTING THE QUR'AN.
THEY'RE QUOTING THE LITERAL WORD
OF THE QUR'AN.
AND THE LITERAL WORLD OF THE
QUR'AN, UNLIKE THE WORDS OF ALL
THESE CLERICS, IS CONSIDERED TO
BE INFALLIBLE.
THAT'S ANOTHER POINT AYAAN HIRSI
ALI MAKES IS THAT INFALLIBILITY,
THAT'S A HUGE PROBLEM, THAT
SCRIPTURE IS INHERENT.
THAT IS GOING TO HAVE MORE
LEGITIMACY FOR THESE MILITANT
GROUPS THAN ANYTHING ELSE.

Steve says IMAM, DOES IT
DISTURB YOU WHEN GROUPS SUCH AS
ISIL OR BOKO HARAM ARE QUOTING
DIRECTLY FROM THE TEXTS AS
JUSTIFICATION FOR THE TERRIBLE
THINGS THAT THEY DO AROUND THE
WORLD?

Shabir says DEFINITELY.
THEY ARE MISQUOTING THE SACRED
TEXT, THEY ARE MISUSING IT, AND
ANYBODY CAN DO THAT WITH ANY
SACRED TEXTS.
PEOPLE HAVE MISUSED THE VERSES
OF THE BIBLE, FOR
EXAMPLE, TO JUSTIFY WHY THEY
CANNOT ALLOW THEIR SICK CHILD TO
GET A BLOOD TRANSFUSION.
PEOPLE HAVE CITED VERSES OF THE
BIBLE TO SPEAK AGAINST MANY
DIFFERENT THINGS, PEOPLE HAVE
USED THE BIBLE TO JUSTIFY
RACISM, FOR EXAMPLE.
IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THERE IS A
FAULT WITH THE BIBLE AT THIS
POINT, IT MEANS THAT SOMEBODY IS
MISINTERPRETING AND MISAPPLYING
THE SACRED TEXTS, EVEN THOUGH
THEY'RE QUOTING IT LITERALLY.
WHAT AYAAN HIRSI ALI AND OTHERS
DO IS VERY GATHER NEWS ITEMS
FROM AROUND THE WORLD WHERE
PEOPLE ARE MISUSING ISLAMIC
TERMINOLOGY AND BLAMING THAT ON
ISLAM.
SOMETIMES THEY'RE NOT USING
ISLAMIC TERMINOLOGY.
WOMEN WERE RAPED IN RECENT
DEMONSTRATIONS IN EGYPT, SO SHE
CITES THAT AS AN EXAMPLE OF
MISOGYNY IN ISLAM.
SOME MUSLIM SOCIETIES HAVE THIS
MISOGYNY, THEN SHE WOULD BE RIGHT.
BUT IF SHE'S SAYING THAT ISLAM
AS A RELIGION IS TO BE BLAMED
FOR THIS, THEN THIS IS ACTUALLY
TURNING THE TABLE UPSIDE DOWN,
BECAUSE IN ISLAM RAPE CAN NEVER
BE JUSTIFIED.
IT'S DEFINITELY NOT ALLOWED, IN
THE QUR'AN IT'S PROHIBITED.

Steve says YOU AGREE WITH
BARACK OBAMA WHO SAYS ISIL
IS NOT ISLAMIC.

Shabir says I WOULD
AGREE WITH HIM, DEFINITELY.

Ali says I KNOW YOU'RE
SAYING THESE VERSES ARE MISUSED.
THEY ARE IN THERE, EVEN IN THE
OLD TESTAMENT, TWO MEN WHO LAID
TOGETHER MUST BE KILLED.
I MEAN, THOSE VERSES ARE THERE
AND THERE'S ONLY A FEW WAYS IN
WHICH YOU CAN USE AND MISUSE THEM.
AND THERE ARE SIMILAR VERSES
LIKE THAT IN THE QUR'AN, NOT
WITH REGARD TO HOMOSEXUALITY BUT
WITH OTHER THINGS, WITH THE
VIOLENCE ESPECIALLY.
SO THERE IS THIS IDEA THAT I
THINK --

Shabir says CAN YOU
CITE ONE?

Ali says I CAN CITE
MANY.
8:12 TALKS ABOUT -- WE'LL
GETTING INTO A SCRIPTURE
DISCUSSION --

Shabir says THAT'S IMPORTANT.
IF YOU SPEAK ABOUT LECITIVUS,
SOME WILL TRY TO CONTEXTUALIZE
THAT -- IN THE QUR'AN, YOU MUST
PUT IT IN ITS HISTORICAL CONTEXT
AND ALSO IN THE CONTEXT OF THE
BOOK AS A WHOLE.

Ali says WHEN IT COMES
TO THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, I
THINK IT COMES TO THE CLERICS.
ALL THE CLERICS HAVE DIFFERENT
INTERPRETATIONS AND THERE ARE
MANY DIFFERENT HISTORICAL
CONTEXTS, SOME ARE FAVOURABLE TO
WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO, THE
MORE PEACEFUL INTERPRETATION,
AND OTHERS ARE NOT AS
FAVOURABLE, THEY'RE MORE
FUNDAMENTALIST.
WHEN IT COMES TO THAT, THERE'S
THIS QUOTE THAT I HAVE THAT I
LIKE TO SAY WHEN I TALK TO A LOT
OF SORT OF PROGRESSIVE AND
MODERN PEOPLE WANT TO
REINTERPRET THE QUR'AN, AND
THAT'S PUT IT DOWN AND LISTEN TO ME.
THAT'S THE IDEA, THAT A LOT OF
THE INTERPRETERS, WHO ARE ALL
SUPPOSED TO BE FALLIBLE, THEY'RE
ALL HUMANS, THEY WILL OFTEN
BE -- DO ANYTHING, ANYTHING,
JUST DON'T READ THE QUR'AN
LITERALLY.
LIKE THE WORDS OF GOD, THE WAY
THEY'RE WRITTEN, DON'T READ THEM
THAT WAY.
I UNDERSTAND WHY THEY DO THAT.
IN A LOT OF WAYS IT'S
TERRIFYING, AND THAT IS WHAT A
LOT OF THESE MILITANT GROUPS ARE
QUOTING.
YOU CAN'T SAY IT'S NOT ISLAMIC.

Mohammad says LET ME MAKE AN INTERJECTION
HERE. THIS PART OF THE PROBLEM
IS THAT -- THIS IS WHAT I WAS
TRYING TO GET TO EARLIER.
WHERE IT WOULD BE USEFUL TO
HOLD MUSLIMS ACCOUNTABLE, RIGHT,
IS THAT IN THE PRE MODERN WORLD
THERE WAS A VERY SOPHISTICATED
INSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM FOR THE
TEACHING OF RELIGION TO PREVENT
A MISUNDERSTANDING OR
MISINTERPRETATION. THAT HAS
COMPLETELY COLLAPSED IN THE
MODERN SYSTEM, IN THE MODERN
WORLD. I THINK IT'S COMPLETELY
FAIR TO CRITIZE MUSLIM
SOCIETIES FOR FAILING TO PROVIDE
RESPONSIBLE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
WHETHER DONE BY THE STATE OR
DONE THROUGH CIVIL SOCIETY,
FOR RELIGION, AND ALLOWING
UNCONTROLLED RELIGIOUS
INTERPRETATION TO SPREAD IN
SOCIETY. WHICH IN WESTERN
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF COURSE,
WAS ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL
PROBLEMS OF EARLY ENLIGHTENMENT
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. HOW DO YOU
CONTROL RELIGIOUS INTERPRETATION
POST REFORMATION WHEN IT BECOMES
DEMOCRATIZED. SEE THAT'S A FAIR
POINT OF CRITICISM. BUT MOST OF
THE OTHER STUFF, I THINK IS
NOT REALLY THAT INTERESTING
TO ME AS A SCHOLAR OF ISLAMIC
LAW. SO THIS WHOLE ISSUE OF
LITERALISM FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU
READ THE HERMANUTICS TRADITON OF
ISLAMIC LAW, THEY WILL TELL YOU
THAT THE PLAIN SENSE OF
REVELATION ITSELF IS ALWAYS
SUBJECT TO LOTS AND LOTS AND
LOTS OF CONSIDERATION. SO YOU'RE
NOT SUPPOSED TO ACT SOLELY ON A
PLAIN SENSE OF REVELATION.
BECAUSE A RESPONSIBLE
INTERPRETATION
REQUIRES TAKING INTO ACCOUNT
LOTS OF DIFFERENT THINGS.

Raheel says I'D LIKE TO SAY THAT ISIS IS
NOT ISLAMIC, IT'S A NAIVE
STATEMENT, AND HE'S MADE MANY OF
THOSE.

Steve says YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT
THE PRESIDENT?

Raheel says YEAH, THE PRESIDENT OBAMA.
AND ISIS IS MUSLIM AND AS MUCH
AS THEY CALL THEMSELVES MUSLIM
AND THAT'S ALL IT REQUIRES.
THEY DO WHAT THEY DO IN THE NAME
OF ISLAM. AND IN TERMS OF ---

Steve says WELL, HANG ON, IF THEY'VE
PERVERTED WHAT ISLAM IS ALL
ABOUT ---

Raheel says IT'S A MUTATED VERSION OF THE
ISLAM, BUT WE ARE NOT AT LIBERTY
TO JUDGE AND SAY THEY ARE NOT
MUSLIM IF THEY CALL THEMSELVES
MUSLIM. THEY ARE PROBABLY BETTER
PRACTISING MUSLIMS THAN I AM.
AND IN TERMS OF HOW TO INTERPRET
THE QU'RAN, BEING THE ONLY WOMAN
AROUND THE TABLE, LET ME TELL
YOU THAT WE'VE HAD A HUGE
PROBLEM IN 1400 YEARS ABOUT HOW
WOMEN ARE TREATED, BECAUSE THERE
IS A LINE IN THE QU'RAN THAT
SAID THAT YOU CAN BEAT A WOMAN.
NOW, WHETHER IT'S LIGHTLY OR
HARSHLY, I DON'T KNOW. BUT IT'S
PROBLEMATIC. IT NEEDS TO BE
DISCUSSED AND DEBATED,
INTERPRETED,
REINTERPRETED AND IT'S SOMETHING
THAT DOESN'T COME UP, BUT
MEN USE THAT AS JUSTIFICATION
TO BEAT THEIR WIVES.
BECAUSE IT'S THERE. SIMILARLY,
ALL SCRIPTURES HAVE PORTIONS
THAT HAVE BEEN USED TO PROMOTE
VIOLENCE --

Steve says THE OLD TESTAMENT ALLOW
SLAVERY.

Raheel says YES.

Steve says NOT SURE PEOPLE BELIEVE IN
THAT ANY MORE.

Raheel says EXACTLY! BUT THERE -- TWO
TIME AND TO MODERNITY, WHICH IS
WHY WE NEED TO COME INTO THE
21ST. CENTURY. LET GO OF SOME OF
THE OLD ATTITUDES AND NOTIONS,
LIKE ARMS JIHAD FOR EXAMPLE.
WE ARE LIVING IN A WORLD NOW
WHERE THERE ARE BORDERS AND
UNITED NATIONS, WE ARE NOT
LIVING IN TRIBES, SO THE CONCEPT
OF ARMS JIHAD NEED TO BE
DISCUSSED WHETHER IT SHOULD BE
PUT ASIDE.

Steve says I GET THE SENSE A
LOT OF YOU WANT TO DIG INTO THE
MEAT OF THIS RIGHT NOW.
ERIC, LET'S GO ALONG HERE.
I WANT TO GO TO CHAPTER TWO AND
LET'S GET -- WE'LL GET INTO SOME
OF THE MEAT OF HER ARGUMENTS.
AYAAN HIRSI ALI GROUPS MUSLIMS
INTO THREE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES,
LET'S GO THROUGH THOSE...


A quote appears on screen, under the title “Meccas, medinas, and modifiers.” The quote reads “...the Mecca Muslims, the large majority who represent the more tolerant side of the religion, as articulated during Muhammad’s early Mecca period; the Medina Muslims (or the jihadist wing) who are inspired by the harsher aspects of the Qur’an that Muhammad is thought to have expressed during his later consolidation in Medina; and the Modifying Muslims – those dissidents and reformists who actively challenge religious dogma.”
Quote by Andrew Anthony, The Guardian, April 27, 2015.

Steve says I THINK I KNOW WHERE
ALL FOUR OF YOU ARE ON THAT
CHART AROUND THIS TABLE HERE.
LET'S JUST START WITH THIS.
IMAM, DO YOU AGREE WITH
ESSENTIALLY THAT BREAKDOWN AS
SHE HAS IT?

The caption changes to "Three types of Muslims."

Shabir says IT IS TOO SIMPLISTIC.
THERE ARE PASSAGING REVEALED TO
MUHAMMED, PEACE BE UPON HIM, IN
ONE PHASE OF HIS LIFE AND DURING
THE MEDINA PHASE.
THE MECCA PHASE LAYS OUT THE
GENERAL FOUNDATION FOR WHAT THE
RELIGIOUS PRECEPTS ARE GOING TO
BE, CHARITY TO YOUR FELLOW MEN,
AND SO ON.
THE MEDINA PHASE GIVES YOU THE
DETAIL.
AND THE TWO WORK HAND IN HAND.
YOU CANNOT SEPARATE THE TWO IN
THIS WAY.
IF SOMEBODY SAYS I ONLY WANT TO
BE A MEDINA MUSLIM, THAT MEANS
YOU'RE ONLY TAKING HALF OF THE
QUR'AN.
IF SOMEBODY SAYS I ONLY WANT TO
BE A MECCAN MUSLIM, HE'S ONLY
TAKING PARTS OF THE QUR'AN.

Steve says WHAT ARE YOU?

Shabir says I AM BOTH.
NOT ACCORDING TO A HARD
DEFINITION.
IT'S IMPERMISSIBLE TO KILL
SOMEBODY FOR THESE REASONS.

Steve says ARE YOU EVER, DO YOU EVER
HAVE A MOMENT WHERE YOU SEE
YOURSELF AS A MODIFYING MUSLIM?

Shabir says I WOULDN'T EVEN USE THAT TERM
BECAUSE THESE TERMS ARE ALL
ACCORDING TO HER DEFINITION,
BECAUSE WHAT SHE MEANS BY
MODIFICATION, I HAVE ALREADY
SPOKEN ABOUT. SHE WOULD DENOUNCE
SOME MUSLIMS WHO ATTEMPT SOME
BITS OF RENEWAL THAT I SPOKE
ABOUT OR JIHAD, IF IT SEEMS TO
HER THAT WE STILL HOLD ON TO
CERTAIN CORE CONCEPTS OF FAITH,
BECAUSE SHE HAS IN MIND THIS
RADICAL RENOVATION, RELIVING
ONLY THE FACADE. SO, IT IS
IMPORTANT TO SAY THAT MUSLIMS
NEED TO FOLLOW THE QU'RAN THE
ENTIRE QU'RAN, BUT IT NEEDS TO
BE INTERPRETED IN LINE WITH
ITS HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES,
AND WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE
PAGES OF THE BOOK ITSELF.

Steve says ALI, DO YOU HAVE ANY
ISSUE WITH THE WAY SHE HAS
GROUPED MUSLIMS IN THE THREE
DIFFERENT GROUPS?

Ali says I THINK FOR A
BROADER AUDIENCE, I THINK IT
HELPS TO UNDERSTAND IT.
I ACTUALLY THINK IT'S FAIRLY
ACCURATE, BUT I ALSO AGREE WITH
AIM MA'AM
YOU HAVE ISIS ABOUT FORMING A
CALIPHATE.
IT COMES WITH A DIFFERENT SET OF
GOALS.
YOU HAVE JIHADISTS, YOU HAVE
ISLAMISTS WHO BELIEVE IN
POLITICAL ISLAM BUT NOT ALL OF
THEM ARE INSPIRED TO TAKE UP
JIHAD.
THERE ARE SUB CATEGORIES AMONG
ALL OF THEM.
I THINK BROADLY THAT WOULD BE
ACCURATE.

Steve says MOHAMMAD?

Mohammad says AGAIN, I
THINK IT'S MISLEADING IN THE WAY
THAT IMAM ALLY MENTIONED.

Steve says DO YOU THINK YOU'RE
IN ONE OF THESE THREE
CATEGORIES?

Mohammad says MY RECORD
IS COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE.
PEOPLE CAN READ WHAT I WRITE.
THEY CAN CLASSIFY ME ANY WAY
THEY WISH.
I'M NOT ONE TO -- THE RELIGION,
I'M ALSO NOT ONE TO DISOWN IT
EITHER.
I LOOK AT THE PROPHET'S CAREER
IN MECCA, AND IT WAS NOT A
TOUCHY GOOD KUMBAYA SORT OF CALL.
HE CHALLENGED THE PEOPLE OF HIS
SOCIETY TO SUCH A POINT THAT
THEY PERSECUTED HIM AND HIS
FOLLOWERS BECAUSE HIS CALL WAS
REVOLUTIONARY, IT THREATENED TO
OVERTURN ALL THE SOCIAL
RELATIONS OF HIS SOCIETY.
SO IT'S NOT SOME KIND OF, YOU
KNOW, ANODYNE MODERN MESSAGE.
IT CALLS PEOPLE TO ACCOUNT FOR
WHAT THEY'RE DOING.
IT SAYS GOD WILL JUDGE THEM FOR
HOW THEY LIVE IN THIS WORLD.
IT'S NOT SOMETHING ANODYNE.

Steve says OKAY, MODIFYING
MUSLIM, COME ON IN HERE.

Raheel says I CALL MYSELF
A HUMANIST MUSLIM BECAUSE I LOOK
AT RELIGION THROUGH THE LENS OF
HUMAN RIGHTS AND NOT THE OTHER
WAY AROUND.
I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT IN MY
OPINION, THIS IS SO COMPLICATED
FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND.
FOR ME IT'S SIMPLY ON THE DEATH
BED OF THE PROPHET, THERE WERE
TWO STREAMS OF ISLAM, ONE WAS
SPIRITUAL AND THE OTHER WAS
POLITICAL.
IT HAS CONTINUED THAT WAY FOR
1400 YEARS.
IT WAS POLITICAL ISLAM, POWER,
PATRIARCHY, AND POLITICS THAT
CAUSED THE DEATH OF THE FAMILY
OF THE PROPHET JUST 60 YEARS
AFTER HIS PASSING AWAY.
SO THE POLITICS THAT HAS
INTERTWINED ITSELF INTO THE
SPIRITUAL MESSAGE AND WHEN THERE
IS NO SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND
STATE OR MOSQUE AND STATE IN
THIS SITUATION, I THINK IT
BECOMES EXTREMELY COMPLICATED IN
THEOCRACY AND IN LANDS WHERE
THIS SEPARATION DOESN'T PLAY OUT.
SO THAT IS ALSO ONE OF THE
IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT IS NEEDED
IN THE CHANGE THAT HAS TO COME.

Steve says THERE ARE FIVE
PILLARS FOR AYAAN HIRSI ALI'S
REFORMATION OF ISLAM.
WE'RE GOING TO GO THROUGH A
COUPLE OF THEM RIGHT NOW AND
JUST WATCH THE MONITORS HERE IN
THE STUDIO BECAUSE WE GOT A CLIP
FROM LAST NIGHT'S PROGRAM.
THE FIRST SHE TALKS ABOUT IS TO
NULLIFY THE QUR'AN AS THE LAST
IMMUTABLE WORD OF ISLAM AND THE
INFALLIBLE STATUS.
THAT IS WHAT SHE WOULD LIKE.
THAT IS WHAT SHE BELIEVES IS
NECESSARY.
HERE'S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY LAST
NIGHT.
ROLL THE CLIP, PLEASE.

A clip plays on screen with the caption “Ayaan Hirsi Ali. May 25, 2015.”
In the clip, Steve sits in the studio with Ayaan. She’s in her thirties, with long black hair tied in a tight bun. She’s wearing a gray blazer, a colourful silk scarf, and silver droplet earrings.

She says YOU HAVE TO VIEW THE CONDUCT
OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMED,
ESPECIALLY IN MEDINA.
IF HE BEHEADED PEOPLE AND IF HE
TOOK WOMEN AS SLAVES AND IF HE
KILLED HOMOSEXUALS AND STONED
PEOPLE FOR ADULTERY, ARE THESE
THINGS THAT WE SHOULD DO NOW?
IS THE PERFECT HUMAN MORAL MODEL?
IN OTHER WORDS, NOT TEACH THEIR
CHILDREN, BECAUSE THAT WAY, IF
YOU TEACH CHILDREN, OKAY, THE
QUR'AN IS THE TRUE WORD OF GOD,
YOU SHOULD EMULATE THE PROPHET
MUHAMMED.
YOU ARE TAKING THESE PROBLEMS
INTO THE NEXT GENERATION AND THE
NEXT GENERATION AND THE NEXT
GENERATION.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Steve says IMAM, I'M GOING TO
GO OUT ON A LIMB HERE AND SAY I
DON'T THINK YOU'RE ON SIDE WITH THIS.
I'M GOING TO GO EVEN FURTHER TO
SAY THAT THERE'S NO WAY IN THE
WORLD THAT YOU COULD TAKE --
THAT YOU COULD DISREGARD THE
QUR'AN AND TREAT IT NOT AS THE
IMMUTABLE WORD OF GOD.
YOU HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE, BEING
WHO YOU ARE, MUHAMMED'S
SEMIDIVINE AND INFALLIBLE
STATUS, RIGHT?
HOWEVER, HAVING SAID THAT, CAN
YOU SNUGGLE UP A LITTLE CLOSER
TO HER POSITION BY
ACKNOWLEDGING, AS YOU HAVE HERE
TONIGHT, THAT YOU CAN'T TAKE IT
ALL WORD FOR WORD, THAT IT HAS
TO BE PUT IN THE CONTEXT OF THE
TIME, AND THAT IT HAS TO BE PUT
INTO A PERSPECTIVE OF TODAY, AND
THEREFORE, THERE MAY BE SOME
COMING TOGETHER AT SOME POINTS
OF YOUR TWO POSITIONS?
CAN WE GO THAT FAR?

Shabir says I CAN GO
TO THE EXTENT OF SAYING THAT, IF
SHE IS CRITICIZING SOMEONE WHO
TAKES MUHAMMED AS A SEMIDIVINE
FIGURE, I WILL AGREE WITH HER.
MUSLIMS SHOULD NOT TAKE MUHAMMED
AS A SEMI DIVINE FIGURE.
MUHAMMED IS A HUMAN BEING.
THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT GOD
COMMUNICATED TO HIM A MESSAGE
FOR HIM TO DELIVER TO THE REST
OF HUMAN KIND.
THE ANGEL PUT THAT MESSAGE INTO
THE MIND OF PROPHET MUHAMMED AND
HE RECITED IT OUT FOR THE
PEOPLE.
MUCH OF WHAT I SEE THAT AYAAN
HAS JUST SAID, SHE REFERS TO
THINGS WHICH ARE MENTIONED IN
HADITHA, THAT OUTSIDE OF THE
QUR'AN, WHICH IS FINE, BUT SHE
NEEDS TO CLASSIFY THAT AS BEING
OUTSIDE OF THE QUR'AN.
SHE'S SAYING LET'S CRITICIZE
MUHAMMED AND THE QUR'AN, WE HAVE
TO KNOW WHICH EXACTLY IS BEING
CRITICIZED, THE QUR'AN OR THE
HADITHA.

Steve says MEANING THE
COMMENTARY.

Shabir says WELL,
THERE ARE REPORTS ABOUT THINGS
ATTRIBUTED TO THE PROPHET
MUHAMMED, PEACE BE UPON HIM,
SOME OF WHICH IS DEPENDABLE,
SOME OF WHICH IS NOT.
TAKE, FOR EXAMPLE, HER STATEMENT
ABOUT KILLING HOMOSEXUALS.
THERE'S NOTHING IN THE QUR'AN
THAT SAYS HOMOSEXUALS SHOULD BE
KILLED.
IN THE QUR'AN, THERE ARE CERTAIN
LAWS, VERY SPECIFIC LAWS FOR
SPECIFIC CRIMES.
HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT ONE OF
THOSE CRIMES FOR WHICH THERE IS
A SPECIFIC PUNISHMENT IN THE
QUR'AN.
SO A LOT OF THAT IN ISLAMIC
HISTORY CAME BY HUMAN JUDGMENT,
BY GATHERING REPORTS, SOME OF
THEM WEAK, SOME OF THEM EVEN
DUBIOUS, ABOUT THE PROPHET
MUHAMMED'S TEACHING --

Steve says I PRESUME YOU DON'T
WANT HOMOSEXUALS PUT TO DEATH,
IN WHICH CASE YOU AND ALI AGREE
ON THAT.

Shabir says YES.
MY POINT ABOUT THE QUR'AN IS NOT
SO MUCH THAT WE IGNORE THE
TEACHINGS OF THE QUR'AN, BUT WE
LOOK MORE DEEPLY AT WHAT IT
SAYS.
TAKE FOR EXAMPLE THE VERSE MEN
HAVE USED TO JUSTIFY THE BEATING
OF THEIR WIVES.
THAT IS VERSE 34.
IF YOU READ THE VERSE THAT COMES
AFTER IT AND THE VERSES THAT
COME BEFORE IT, YOU SOU HE THAT
THIS VERSE IS NOT ADDRESSED TO
HUSBANDS.
THE ONLY WAY IT CAN MEAN THAT
HUSBANDS ARE BEING DIRECTED TO
BEAT THEIR WIVES IN THAT VERSE
IS IF THAT VERSE IS ACTUALLY
ADDRESSED TO HUSBANDS.
IN FACT, THAT VERSE IS ADDRESSED
AS THE ONE AFTER IT CLEARLY IS
ADDRESSED TO THE LEADER OF THE
MUSLIM COMMUNITY OR THE JUDGE.
IT'S NOT ABOUT BEATING WIVES FOR
THEIR RECALCITRANCE, IT'S ABOUT
DEALING WITH SEXUAL IMMORALITY
IN SOCIETY.
HOW MIGHT WE APPLY THAT IN OUR
PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES?
IF SOMEBODY AT THE TABLE THINK
THAT IT'S A DIFFERENT INTERPRET
INTERPRETATION, I'D LIKE TO HEAR
THAT AND WHY.
LOOKING AT THE TEXT LITERALLY.
THERE'S ONE POINT WHERE YOU SAY
LITERALLY WE CAN'T APPLY IT.
BUT IN THIS CASE, LOOKING AT
THIS LITERALLY, IT DOESN'T
REALLY SAY: HUSBANDS, YOU CAN
BEAT YOUR WIVES OR MEN YOU CAN
BEAT YOUR WIVES.
IT'S AN ADDRESS TO THE WHOLE
SOCIETY, TO MEN AND WOMEN --

Steve says WE'VE GOT TO BE
CAREFUL THAT WE DON'T GET
DRAGGED DOWN INTO A VERSE BY
VERSE DISCUSSION ABOUT THIS.
LET'S LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE
HERE, WHICH IS THAT SHE WANTS,
ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL TENETS OF
ISLAM, NAMELY THAT THE QUR'AN IS
THE LAST AND IMMUTABLE WORD OF GOD.
SHE THINKS THAT HAS TO GO.

Mohammad says IF I DID INTERJECT.
IT'S FRUSTRATING FOR ME AS AN
HISTORIAN OF ISLAMIC THOUGHT FOR
HER TO THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS
AS IF SHE'S THE FIRST TO EVER
RAISE THESE ISSUES.
PRE-MODERN MUSLIM JURISTS SPENT A
LOT OF TIME,
THOSE ARE JUST HUMAN
INTRANSIENTS.
IT'S NOT THAT MUSLIMS ARE NOT
AWARE OF THIS ISSUE.
THE PROBLEM WE HAVE, AND THIS IS
WHAT I TRIED TO START WITH, IS
THIS KIND OF KNOWLEDGE IS
RESTRICTED TO EXTREMELY SMALL
NUMBER OF RELIGIOUS ELITES AND
IT'S NOT BEEN EFFECTIVELY
COMMUNICATED TO THE MUSLIM
PUBLIC.
THEREFORE YOU GET WHAT I WOULD
CALL THESE KINDS OF REDUCTIONIST
INTERPRETATIONS OF ISLAM WITH NO
ABILITY TO DISCUSS IMPORTANT
QUESTIONS WITH CRITICISM AND
FIDELITY, RIGHT?
IF WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT A
RELIGIOUS CRISIS, THAT IS A
RELIGIOUS CRISIS, THESE KIND OF
SIMPLISTIC ANSWERS SHE'S
THROWING ABOUT AREN'T GOING TO
SOLVE THE PROBLEMS.

Steve says HAVE YOU READ THE BOOK?

Mohammad says I HAVEN'T.
IT'S THE SAME KIND OF CLICHED
CRITICISM WHICH IS NOT BASED OF
ANY REAL AWARENESS OF ISLAMIC
HISTORY.

Raheel says HAVING READ
THE BOOK I GIVE MISS ALI CREDIT
FOR BRINGING THE ISSUES UP FRONT
AND PUTTING THEM ON THE TABLE
AND HERE WE ARE DISCUSSING THEM
AND THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF
THE CHANGE THAT MUST COME.
HOWEVER, THIS WILL NOT BE A
SELLING POINT FOR THE MASSES OF
MUSLIMS WHERE THE CHANGE HAS TO COME.
WHERE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE
MODIFICATION OR CHANGE OR
REFORM, IT HAS TO COME WITHIN
THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY, AND THIS
IDEA WILL NOT SELL, IT WILL NOT
SIT WELL WITH THEM BECAUSE IT IS
SOMETHING VERY CLOSE TO THEIR
HEARTS, IT'S VERY SACRED --

Steve says SO MODERATE,
WESTERNIZED, MAYBE SLIGHTLY...

Raheel says WE HAVE WORK
WITH WHAT WE HAVE.
WE HAVE AN ENEMY STARING US
RIGHT IN THE FACE.
WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO ADDRESS
THAT ISSUE.

The caption changes to "Nailing them to the door."

Steve says WHAT IS THAT ENEMY?

Raheel says THAT ENEMY IS
POLITICAL ISLAM.
MY FAITH HAS BEEN STOLEN AND
REPLACED WITH THIS VIOLENT
IDEOLOGY THAT IS PASSING ITSELF
OFF AS ISLAM.
WE HAVE TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE.
THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE TO DO.

Ali says I GREW UP IN
LIBYA, SAUDI ARABIA, PAKISTAN,
AND THEN I CAME OVER HERE, AND
THE NARRATIVE EVERYWHERE IS VERY
DIFFERENT, AND ONE OF THE
REASONS THAT I ENDED UP LOSING
MY FAITH IS BECAUSE THERE WAS
ALL OF THESE INTERPRETATIONS, I
KEPT WONDERING IT IS THE
EXTREMISTS THAT ARE CORRUPTING
ISLAM OR THE MODERATES
SANITIZING IT.
THE IDEA OVER HERE THE NARRATIVE
IS THAT THE EXTREMISTS ARE SORT
OF HIJACKING OR THEY'RE KIND
OF -- THEY'RE CORRUPTING AND
THEY'RE TAKING IT A DIFFERENT WAY.
IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THAT MANY OF
THE MODERATES ARE
MISINTERPRETING THE VERSES AS
WELL.
AND THERE ARE MANY EXAMPLES OF
THIS AND, AGAIN, I DON'T WANT TO
GET INTO A SCRIPTURE DISCUSSION.

Shabir says THAT'S
RIGHT IMPORTANT.
IF YOU WANT TO SAY WHO IS
SANITIZING OR MISINTERPRETING,
WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT THE VERSE IS.
VERSE 12, WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Ali says DO WE WANT TO
GET INTO THAT?
IT SAYS THE GOD SAID I WILL CAST
TERROR -- GOD SAID TO THE
ANGELS, I WILL CAST TERROR INTO
THE HEARTS OF THE DISBELIEVERS,
SO STRIKE THEM UPON THE NECK AND
STRIKE OFF EVERY FINGER TIP.
AND THE NEXT VERSE, 8:13,
RELATING TO THE BATTLE OF --

Steve says HOW DO YOU KNOW ALL
THIS?
I KNOW WHY HE KNOWS IT.
IT'S HIS JOB TO KNOW THIS.

Ali says FOR THE SAME
REASON I BECAME AN ATHEIST, I
READ ALL OF IT.

Shabir says THE
IMPORTANT THING IS ALI CONTEXT
LIESES IT.
FIRST TO THE BATTLE SCENE.
INSTRUCTIONS ARE GIVEN IN THE
BATTLE SCENE --
(Mixed voices)

Ali says GENERALLY THE
COUNTER ARGUMENT IS THIS IS
ABOUT THE BATTLE.
WHAT WE DO IN CONVERSATIONS WE
USE EXAMPLES AND THEN WE SAY,
YOU KNOW, THIS IS THE EXAMPLE
AND THIS IS WHAT'S GOING TO
HAPPEN.
THE VERY NEXT VERSE SAYS, AND
WHOEVER BEHAVES IN THIS WAY,
RIGHT, THERE'S A GRIEVOUS
PENALTY FOR IT.
YOU HAVE THE BATTLE OF BROTHER
IN 8:12 AND THE NEXT, WHOEVER
DOES IT, THE FATE WILL BE THE
SAME.
THE VERSE THAT A LOT OF
MODERATES LIKE QUOTING, THERE IS
NO -- IN ISLAM.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE VERY NEXT
VERSE, IT SAYS THOSE WHO CHOOSE
TO DISBELIEVE THEY'RE ALLIES AND
TO BE CONDEMNED.
THERE ARE A LOT OF
CONTRADICTIONS IN IT.
THE PROBLEM COMES DOWN TO
INFALLIBILITY.
IF THIS WAS A BOOK BY GEORGE
WASHINGTON OR THOMAS JEFFERSON,
THERE WERE A LOT OF
CONTRADICTIONS, THEY WERE SLAVE
OWNERS, AND WE GIVE THEM A PASS.
THEY WERE HUMAN BEINGS AND WE
DON'T TAKE THEIR WORD AS
INFALLIBLE.

Steve says REFLECTIVE OF THE TIME.

Ali says EXACTLY.
WHAT CHANGES EVERYTHING HERE IS
THE INFALLIBILITY.
YOU CAN'T TAKE PART AND SAY THE
REST OF IT -- IF WE COULD DO
THAT, THAT WOULD BE GREAT.
THE ONLY WAY WE CAN DO THAT IF
WE GOT RID OF --

Raheel says THIS IS THE
CHALLENGE OF NOT BEING IN THE
QUR'AN, NOT BEING COMPILED IN
CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.
IT TAKES PEOPLE WHO HAVE VISION
AND ENLIGHTENMENT AND WE ARE
LOOKING AT SOCIETIES THAT ARE 70
TO 75 PERCENT ILLITERATE.
IN PAKISTAN, WHERE I COME FROM,
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO READ THE
HISTORY, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO
UNDERSTAND THE DEEPER SPIRITUAL
MEANING.
THEY'RE GOING TO HEAR THE ONE
DOGMATIC QUOTE AND TAKE IT OUT
OF CONTEXT AND IMPLEMENT IT AND
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY'RE
DOING AND THEY ARE JUSTIFYING IT.

Mohammad says ANYWAY, I
THINK THE GENERAL PROBLEM AGAIN
GOES BACK TO INTERPRETATION.
WHAT IS THE PROPER MODE OF
INTERPRETING A TEXT.
THAT'S THE CHALLENGE.
WHAT I DISLIKE ABOUT AYAAN HIRSI
ALI IS THAT IT'S NOT AS THOUGH,
YOU KNOW, WE WERE WAITING FOR
AYAAN HIRSI ALI TO DISCOVER THIS
PROBLEM FOR US.
WE'VE KNOWN THIS FOR OVER A
THOUSAND YEARS, AND MUSLIMS HAVE
ACTUALLY GIVEN VERY SERIOUS
THOUGHT TO HOW TO RECONCILE THE
SPECIFIC IN THE QUR'AN WITH THE
UNIVERSAL, RIGHT?
AND IN FACT, SINCE THE 19TH
CENTURY, LEADING MUSLIM
INTELLECTUALS, WHETHER SECULAR
OR RELIGIOUS, HAVE BEEN ENGAGED
IN DRAMATIC ARGUMENTS FOR REFORM
ACROSS A BROAD RANGE OF ISSUES,
INCLUDING JIHAD, INCLUDE GENDER,
ET CETERA.
THIS SORT OF TELLS ME THAT
BARKING UP THIS TREE IS THE
WRONG APPROACH.

Steve says MAYBE I'M READING
BETWEEN THE LINES HERE, BUT IT
SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE SAYING, JUST
BECAUSE SHE'S NOT THE FIRST
PERSON TO EVER SAY THIS MEANS
SHE OUGHT NOT TO BE SAYING IT OR
NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY IT.

Mohammad says EVERYBODY
HAS A RIGHT TO SAY WHATEVER THEY
WANT.
THE QUESTION IS WHY SHOULD SHE
BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY?
THIS IS WHAT I OBJECT TO.
I'D LOVE TO HAVE HER COME AS A
STUDENT.
SHE'S WELCOME TO.
WHAT I DON'T LIKE IS THE IDEA
THAT SOMEBODY WHO REALLY HASN'T
PAID HER DUES IN TERMS OF
ACTUALLY STUDYING AND THEN
CLAIMS TO BE A REFORMER, IT'S A
LITTLE INSULTING.

Raheel says CAN I RESPOND TO THAT?

Ali says I JUST WANT
TO SAY THIS IDEA OF SOMEONE
NEEDS TO HAVE A Ph.D. OR
SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO
RESPECTFULLY, TO SPEAK ABOUT
ISLAM, IT'S UNFOUNDED.
ABU BAKR AL BAGHDADI ALSO HAS A
Ph.D. IN ISLAMIC STUDIES FROM
BAGHDAD UNIVERSITY.
THAT TO ME DOESN'T MEAN AS MUCH.
AYAAN HIRSI ALI HAS LIVED
EXPERIENCE.
SHE GREW UP IN SOMALIA.
SHE UNDERWENT FEMALE GENITAL
MUTILATION.
SHE WENT THROUGH A LOT OF THE
SORT OF --

Steve says SHE WAS A VERY
RELIGIOUS PERSON.

Ali says SHE WAS PART
OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD.
SHE WAS ACTUALLY A MEMBER OF IT.
I THINK THAT THAT ITSELF, TO SAY
ABOUT SOMEONE WITH THAT
EXPERIENCE SHOULDN'T BE --

Steve says HE DIDN'T SAY
SHOULDN'T BE ABLE TO.

Ali says NOT TAKE HER
SERIOUSLY.
I APOLOGIZE.
I THINK WE SHOULD TAKE THAT
SERIOUSLY --

Steve says ONE MORE AND I HAVE
TO MOVE ON.

Raheel says I BELIEVE
AYAAN HIRSI ALI HAS LIVED
THROUGH EXPERIENCE AND THERE IS
A LOT TO BE SAID FOR THOSE WHO
LIVE THROUGH THE EXPERIENCE.
SHE HAS EXPERIENCED ALL THE
ISSUES THAT SHE TALKS ABOUT, AND
AS A WOMAN, THE ISSUES THAT SHE
IS DEALING WITH AND TAKING
ACTION ON WITH REGARDS TO
WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE ABSOLUTELY
PHENOMENAL.
I DON'T KNOW ANYONE ELSE WHO IS
DEALING WITH ISSUES OF FEMALE
GENITAL MUTILATION, HONOUR-BASED
VIOLENCE LIKE SHE AND HER
FOUNDATION ARE DOING.
AND WHY?
BECAUSE SHE HAS EXPERIENCED
THESE PROBLEMS.
SHE WAS IN A FORCED MARRIAGE --

Steve says YOU DO WANT ONE MORE
WORD ON THIS, DON'T YOU?

Mohammad says A LOT OF
PEOPLE DO THIS WHO DON'T HAVE
BOOK DEALS AND DON'T GET ANY
PUBLICITY.
IN FACT IN TORONTO, RIGHT, IN
TORONTO, THERE ARE MUSLIM WOMEN
WHO ARE VERY SERIOUS SCHOLARS OF
ISLAM AND COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS
THAT PEOPLE HAVE NEVER HEARD OF
BECAUSE FOR ONE REASON OR
ANOTHER THEY DON'T HAVE GOOD
PUBLICISTS.

[everyone talking at once.]

Shabir says LET US GET INTO THIS PRESENT
DISCUSSION THAT I THINK IS VERY
IMPORTANT HERE, SO WHETHER WE
SHOULD TAKE A PERSON SERIOUSLY
OR NOT. NOW, WE DON'T SHOOT THE
MESSENGER. ANYONE CAN SPEAK THE
TRUTH, EVEN SATAN SPEAKS THE
TRUTH SOMETIMES, AND WE NEED TO
LISTEN IF THE TRUTH IS BEING
SPOKEN. HOWEVER WE ALSO NEED TO
RECOGNIZE A PERSON'S AGENDA,
AND AYAAN HIRSI ALI SURPRISINGLY
DOES NOT HIDE HER AGENDA.
IN HER BOOK SHE ACTUALLY SAYS
THAT THE IDEAL WOULD BE TO
PROVOKE A MASS EXODUS AWAY FROM
ISLAM, BUT SINCE THIS IS
UNREALISTIC, HER NEXT BEST
OPTION IS TO GO FOR THIS REFORM
THAT SHE IS TALKING ABOUT.
TO HELP MUSLIMS TO SHAPE UP THE
RELIGION, TO MAKE IT PALATABLE
TO AYAAN HIRSI ALI.

Steve says SO YOU GIVE HER MARKS
FOR BEING TRANSPARENT THEN?

Shabir says YES, DEFINITELY, BUT THEN AT
THE SAME TIME, WE MUST NOWEVALUATE
HER IDEAS TO SEE IF HER IDEAS
ARE ACTUALLY TRUE, FOR EXAMPLE,
HER INTERPRETATION OF THE QU'RAN
THE TWO PASSAGES THAT SHE
MENTIONED, HAS EVIDENCES OF
CAUTION IN THE QU'RAN.
THAT NEEDS TO BE EVALUATED AND
IF YOU LOOK AT THE VERSES, YOU
SEE NEITHER OF THESE ACTUALLY
ARE CONTRADICTIONS, AS VERSE 256
IT'S ABOUT HUMAN FREEDOM IN THIS
LIFE, 257 SPEAKS ABOUT A
SPIRITUAL REALITY, THAT IF
ANYONE CHOOSES TO BE WITH THE
DEVIL, THEN THAT WILL BE THEIR
ENDING. SO THAT'S IN GOD'S
DOMAIN.
BUT THAT DOESN'T SAY THAT MUSLIM
SHOULD THEN TAKE UP ARMS AND
KILL THE PERSON WHO CHOOSES TO
BE WITH THE DEVIL. NO, THAT'S A
DIFFERENT THING.

Steve says OK, LET ME DO ONE MORE HERE,
TENET NUMBER 3 IS
THE ROLE OF SHARIA IN ISLAM SHE
BELIEVES HAS TO BE COMPLETELY
RE-EVALUATED.
HERE'S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY LAST
NIGHT.

A new clip shows Ayaan speaking with Steve in the studio.

Ayaan says SHARIA IS VIOLENCE, SHARIA IS
BAD FOR WOMEN.
SHARIA IS HOMOPHOBIC.
IT SHOULD BE REJECTED
COMPLETELY.

Steve says IT NEEDS TO BE DONE
AWAY WITH.

Ayaan says IT SHOULD.
IF YOU RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS, IF
YOU RESPECT AN INDIVIDUAL'S LIFE
MALE OR FEMALE, INDIVIDUAL
RIGHTS AND INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS,
YOU CANNOT BE FOR SHARIA.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Steve says MOHAMMAD, SHARIA HAS
GOT TO GO?

Mohammad says WELL, SHE CAN
HOLD THAT OPINION, BUT AGAIN,
IT'S COMPLETELY INCONSISTENT
WITH THE IDEA OF RELIGION UNDER
LAW. THAT'S CHARACTERISTIC OF
SEMITIC RELIGIONS. THAT GOD
LEGISLATES FOR HUMAN ACTIVITY.
AS AN IDEA, I THINK IT'S NOT
TENABLE FOR THE FOLLOWER OF
ANTI SEMITIC RELIGION.
DOES THAT MEAN PARTICULAR RULES
CAN'T BE CHANGED, OF COURSE NOT.
BUT AS AN IDEA, I DON'T THINK
IT'S SOMETHING THAT CAN BE TAKEN
SERIOUSLY.

Steve says SO SHARIA AMENDED REFORM
DOWNPLAYED IN SOME RESPECTS,
THAT'S GOT POTENTIAL FOR YOU?

Mohammad says WELL I THINK, AGAIN I'LL
GO BACK TO -- PEOPLE CAN READ
WHAT I WRITE ABOUT, RIGHT?
THE POINT IS THAT AN IDEA OF
FOLLOWING GOD'S WILL AS LAW,
THAT IS CENTRAL TO THE IDEA OF
BEING MUSLIM AND I THINK IT'S
CENTRAL TO JUDAISM, AND IN SOME
RESPECTS ALSO TO CHRISTIANITY,
RIGHT?
IF YOU SAY THAT THAT AS AN IDEA
IS OUT, WHICH LOTS OF PEOPLE
HAVE REJECTED, THEN, YOU KNOW,
IT'S --

Steve says YOU HAVE NOWHERE TO
GO.

Mohammad says YOU HAVE
NOWHERE TO GO.

Raheel says SHARIA'S MORAL
AND ETHICAL GUIDELINE IS PART OF
OUR FAITH AND SOMETHING THAT
ENGULFS ALL OF US.
IF SHE IS REFERRING TO SHARIA AS
MAN-MADE LAW THAT WAS FROZEN AT
ONE POINT IN TIME AND HAS NOT
REALLY BEEN BROUGHT UP INTO THE
21ST CENTURY, THEN OBVIOUSLY IT
NEEDS A HUGE OVERHAUL AND IT'S
SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
AND UNTIL AND UNLESS MUSLIMS CAN
SIT TOGETHER AND TALK ABOUT IT,
WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN, BUT IT
NEEDS TO BE IMPLEMENTED, IT'S
MISUSED BY PEOPLE ALL THE TIME,
SO IT'S DEFINITELY SOMETHING
THAT NEEDS A HUGE CHANGE AND
ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF WOMEN'S
RIGHTS.
SO I WOULD SAY THAT, YES, IT
NEEDS TO BE CHANGED.

Steve says ALI A. RIZVI.

Ali says SHARIA IS A
SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE.
IF YOU'RE AN ADVOCATE OF
SECULARISM, WHICH MEANS SEPARATE
RELIGION AND STATE, THEN SHARIA
JUST BY DEFINITION SHOULDN'T BE
PART OF IT.
I MEAN, IT'S AN ISLAMIC SYSTEM
OF GOVERNANCE AND A SECULAR
SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE, IT
SHOULDN'T BE PART OF IT.
I'M NOT SURPRISED AYAAN HIRSI
ALI THINKS THIS WAY.
I THINK A LOT OF PROGRESSIVE
MUSLIMS IN THE MUSLIM WORLD
THINK THIS WAY AND ACTUALLY A
LOT OF PROGRESSIVE MUSLIMS IN
THE MUSLIM COUNTRIES WHERE I
GREW UP, THAT I TALK TO EVERY
DAY, WHO UNFORTUNATELY WE NEVER
GET TO HEAR THEIR VOICES BECAUSE
THEY'RE QUASHED BEFORE THEY EVEN
GET TO US.
THEY'RE ALSO ADVOCATES OF
SECULARISM AND THAT BY
DEFINITION MEANS THAT SHARIA
SHOULD BE SEPARATED FROM STATE
GOVERNANCE.

Steve says IMAM, I KNOW YOU'RE
NOT GOING TO SAY NO TO SHARIA,
BUT WOULD YOU SAY THAT THERE IS
SOME ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT,
MODERNIZATION, CALL IT WHAT YOU
WILL?

Shabir says AND TO
ANSWER THAT, I HAVE TO MAKE A
DISTINCTION BETWEEN SHARIA AND FIK.
FIK MEANS UNDERSTANDING.
SHARIA IS A BROAD UNDERSTANDING
THAT WE FOLLOW GOD'S TEACHINGS
AS REVEALED TO MUHAMMED, PEACE
BE UPON HIM, FOR THE GUIDANCE OF
ALL HUMANKIND TO THE END OF TIME.
FIK IS AN APPLICATION OF THOSE
BROAD PRINCIPLES TO SPECIFIC
CIRCUMSTANCES.
SOME PEOPLE HAVE UNDERSTOOD THAT
SHARIA SHOULD BE APPLIED IN OUR
PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES, AND OF
COURSE I WOULD DISAGREE WITH
THEIR UNDERSTANDING.
I WOULD NOT APPLY SHARIA TODAY
WITH SUCH AN UNDERSTANDING THAT
WILL MAKE IT HOMOPHOBIC OR
MISOGYNISTIC OR WOULD ALLOW FOR
MUSLIM SOCIETIES TO DISCRIMINATE
AGAINST PEOPLE ON THE BASIS OF
FAITH OR CREED OR ANY SUCH
THING.
SO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE IS THAT
WE NEED TO GO BACK TO THE TEXTS
OF THE QUR'AN, STUDY IT
CAREFULLY, SEE WHAT IT SAYS
LITERALLY, AND SEE HOW IT WAS
APPLIED IN THE PASTIME, AND THEN
THINK ABOUT HOW THE PROPHET
MUHAMMED, HAD HE BEEN ALIVE
TODAY, WOULD HAVE APPLIED THE
SAME THING IN OUR PRESENT
CIRCUMSTANCE. SO AS GOD SPEAKS
TO US, THROUGH THE HISTORICAL
EVENT OF REVEALING THE QU'RAN
SOME 1400 YEARS AGO, INTO THE
LIFE OF ONE INDIVIDUAL, AND
THEN THROUGH THE WHOLE HISTORY
OF INTERPRETATION OVER THE 1400
YEARS OF ISLAM'S EXISTENCE,
HE ALSO SPEAKS TO US DIRECTLY,
SO IF YOU THINK OF A TRIANGLE,
FIRST THE REVELATION CAME DOWN
VERTICALLY, THEN IT CAME TO US
HORIZONTALLY, BUT IT ALSO COMES
TO US OBLIQUELY ON THE
HYPOTHENEUSE, AND WE HAVE TO
TAKE THAT ENTIRE TRIANGLE OF
REVELATION INTO CONSIDERATION
AS WE APPLY THE SHARIA IN OUR
MODERN CONTEXT. IF WE DO THAT,
THEN THE SHARIA WILL BE SEEN
WITH ITS PRESENT UNDERSTANDING
AND PROPER FIC. TO BE VERY
MODERN, VERY APPLICABLE,
PRACTICAL, AND IT FITS IN VERY
WELL WITH OUR PRESENT
CIRCUMSTANCES. YES, IT WILL
STILL STAND OUT AS
AN ODDITY FOR PEOPLE LIKE AYAAN
HIRSI ALI WHO WOULD SETTLE FOR
NOTHING LESS THAN EITHER A MASS
EXODUS AWAY FROM ISLAM OR THE
RETENTION OF ONLY THE HISTORICAL
FACADE OF ISLAM WITH THE
INTERIOR ENTIRELY GUTTED OUT AND
REPLACED ACCORDING TO HER WISHES.

Ali says I THINK A LOT
OF THIS DEPENDS HOW YOU'RE
DEFINING SHARIA.
THE DEFINITION YOU'VE OUTLINED
IS VERY, VERY DIFFERENT FROM
WHAT THE DEFINITION THAT A LOT
OF OTHER MUSLIMS DO, AND THIS IS
ONE OF THE PROBLEMS.
JUST TO GO BACK TO THE
INFALLIBILITY AGAIN, ISIS AND
ALL THESE MILITANT GROUPS AND
PEOPLE WHO CARRY OUT THESE
ATROCITIES, THEY QUOTE THE
QUR'AN, LET'S STICK TO THE
QUR'AN.
THEY QUOTE THE QUR'AN OVER AND
OVER AGAIN, THEY SAY ALLAHU
AKBAR WHEN THEY COMMIT THEIR
ATROCITIES.
THEY DON'T QUOTE CLERICS OR
PROFESSORS OR ACADEMICS OF ISLAM
OR THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE WRITTEN
ALL THESE BOOKS DEALING WITH
INTERPRETATION BECAUSE THEY
RECOGNIZE THOSE ARE FALLIBLE.
THE QUR'AN IS INFALLIBLE.

Steve says LET'S GET YOU TO
WEIGH IN ON THIS.
OBVIOUSLY A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK
AYAAN HIRSI ALI IS PUTTING
FORWARD IDEAS THAT ARE ESSENTIAL
IF ISLAM IS GOING TO MODERNIZE
AND BE A LESS DESTRUCTIVE FORCE
IN THE 21ST CENTURY.
THERE ARE OTHERS WHO OUT AND OUT
ACCUSE HER OF ISLAMAPHOBIA AND
SAY THESE CRITICISMS GO BEYOND A
LEGITIMATE CRITICISM OF THE
RELIGION.

Mohammad says THAT'S WHAT
I WAS GETTING BACK TO WITH THE
IDEA OF YOU HAVE TO PAY YOUR DUES.
THAT'S ONE WAY OF DISPELLING A
CHARGE OF ISLAMO PHOBIA BY BEING
WELL-GROUNDED.

Steve says YOU DON'T BUY THE
LIVED EXPERIENCE ARGUMENT.

Mohammad says NO, I DON'T.
WE ALL HAVE LIVED EXPERIENCE.

Steve says SHE HAS MORE THAN SOME.

Mohammad says I WANT TO
CONCLUDE BY SAYING THAT WE NEED
TO BE ABLE TO THINK SERIOUSLY
ABOUT WHAT ARE EFFECTIVE
SOLUTIONS TO CONCRETE PROBLEMS
AND THEN ASK: ARE ANY OF THESE
SOLUTIONS SHE IS PROPOSING
EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS OR ARE THEY
GRATUITOUS AND HAVE THEY BEEN
TRIED AND FAILED?
150 YEARS OF REFORMERS, WE HAVE
THE SAME PROBLEMS.
MAYBE WE NEED TO TRY SOMETHING
ELSE.

Raheel says ISLAMO PHOBIA
IS USED TO BEAT DOWN CRITICISM.
CRITICISM IS WHAT ALLOWS US TO
BECOME BETTER HUMAN BEINGS, IT
ALLOWS US TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE
AND SELF REFLECTION AND IT IS
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO ALLOW
EVERYONE TO BE CRITICAL.
WHY SHOULD ISLAM NOT ALLOW
CRITICISM?
WHY IS IT SO UNIQUE?
EVERY FAITH HAS HAD CRITICISM.

Shabir says OF COURSE
WE SHOULD ALLOW AND LISTEN TO
CRITICISM AND FIX WHAT NEEDS TO
BE FIXED.
BUT YOUR QUESTION IS: SHOULD
SOMEONE FROM OUTSIDE OF THE
RELIGION BE AUDACIOUS TO MAKE
THESE KINDS OF REMARKS?
IF SOMEBODY SAYS TO YOU, YOU
KNOW, LET ME TELL YOU HOW YOU
CAN IMPROVE YOURSELF.
NOW, IT SOUNDS LIKE THEY'RE
BEING PATRONIZING.
AT THE SAME TIME IT'S A VEILED
WAY OF SAYING SOMETHING IS WRONG
WITH YOU AND YOU NEED TO IMPROVE.
NOW, IF THE SUGGESTED
IMPROVEMENT IS GREAT, WE CAN
TAKE IT AND SAY, OKAY, LET'S
IMPROVE OURSELVES.
BUT IF WE CAN LOOK INTO THE --
LIKE AYAAN HIRSI ALI'S WRITING,
ACTUALLY SHE HAS MADE SEVERAL
CONFUSIONS.

Steve says NO, NO, WE HAVEN'T
GOT TIME.
WE CAN'T GO CHAPTER AND VERSE.
I GET WHERE YOU'RE COMING FROM.
OKAY.
ALI?

Ali says I THINK THERE
IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN,
AGAIN, MUSLIMS AND ISLAM.
PEOPLE HAVE RIGHTS AND ARE
ENTITLED TO RESPECT IDEAS,
BELIEFS, RELIGION AND BOOKS
AREN'T.
THAT'S AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION,
WHEN YOU HAVE A WORD LIKE ISLAMO
PHOBIA -- ANTI-MUSLIM BIGOTRY IS
REAL.
I THINK TO USE ANTI-MUSLIM
BIGOTRY AS AN EXCUSE, RIGHT, TO
STIFLE ANY CRITICISM OF ISLAM IS
ACTUALLY AN INSULT AND INJUSTICE
TO GENUINE VICTIMS OF
ANTI-MUSLIM BIGOTRY.
CRITICISM OF IDEAS, ATTACKING
IDEAS IS HOW WE PROGRESS, HOW WE
MOVE FORWARD.
ATTACKING MUSLIMS AND DEMONIZING
PEOPLE IS NOT THE WAY.
THERE NEEDS TO BE A DISTINCTION
BETWEEN THE TWO.
IT'S NOT EASY BUT IT'S HONEST
AND IT'S IMPORTANT.

The caption changes to "Theagenda.tvo.org"

Steve says AND THANK YOU ALL
FOR THIS HONEST AND IMPORTANT
CONVERSATION THIS EVENING.
MOHAMMAD FADEL AND RAHEEL RAZA
AND SHABIR ALLY AND ALI A. RIZVI.
THANK YOU FOR COMING IN TONIGHT
TO HELP US OUT TONIGHT. THANKYOU.

The guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: Reforming Islam?