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Faux Progressive and Self-Hating Loon Asra Nomani Sides with Lowe’s, How Predictable

21 December 2011 43 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Faux Progressive and Self-Hating Loon Asra Nomani Sides with Lowe’s, How Predictable

Not all anti-Muslim loons are non-Muslims.  Indeed, there are a handful of loons that are in fact self-hating Muslims.  Case in point: Asra Nomani.

(I’ve written about her before, so I’ll skip introducing her.)

Nomani dons the mantle of a “moderate, progressive, and liberal” Muslim, yet she consistentlytakes the side of right-wing, uber-conservative loons against Muslims.  It is faux progressives like her who have tarnished the image of progressivism in much of the Muslim world.

Over the years, Asra Nomani has sided with extreme right-wingers and Islamophobes against Muslims time and time again.  At first, her absurd views had a lot of shock value.  Now, they’re just plain predictable.  So, it’s no surprise that Ms. Nomani has taken the side of Lowe’s, which pulled its advertisements from TLC’s All-American Muslim after Islamophobes sent them letters of protest.  The Islamophobes complained that the show only showed regular Muslims instead of Terrorist Muslims (since of course all Muslims are Terrorists).

Asra Nomani’s article, like her other work, is intellectually bereft.  The blurb to her article says:

Another advertiser pulled out of TLC’s All-American Muslim—but it’s not because the company is ‘Islamophobic.’ It’s simply a terrible program, writes Asra Q. Nomani.

The only problem with this, the entire premise of her article, is that neither Lowe’s or Kayak pulled out because the show is “a terrible program.”

Nomani writes (emphasis is mine):

Lowe’s, the national chain, did the right thing in pulling its advertising from the series. The company said it killed advertising from the show because it had become too controversial, but there is another legitimate reason the company could have given for yanking its advertising: it’s bad TV.

It “could have given” this “legitimate reason” to yank its advertisement, but it didn’t.  It pulled the advertisement because Islamophobes emailed them to do so.  Even their cover-excuse wasn’t that the show was “bad TV” but that “it had become too controversial” as Nomani’s own words attest to.

How did Lowe’s do “the right thing” if they pulled the show for the wrong reason, i.e. cowing to anti-Muslim bigotry?  To understand this point, imagine for instance if Lowe’s pulled its ads from CNN’s Black in America not because it was “bad TV” but because a bunch of white racists emailed them complaining that the show portrayed blacks too sympathetically?  That it only showed regular black people instead of murderers and rapists?  If Lowe’s succumbed to this bigotry by yanking its ads from Black in America, would Asra Nomani applaud this action (regardless of the show’s quality)?

The quality of All-American Muslim is irrelevant, because the reason advertisers pulled out had nothing to do with that, but everything to do with the fact that Islamophobes lost their minds that a show would show normal Muslims on television.

Asra Nomani’s whole argument is based on three words she slipped into her writing: “could have given.”  Except it didn’t.

True, Nomani was more likely referring to Kayak’s lame excuse for pulling its advertisement (see my earlier article about Kayak’s “apology”); she writes:

Now, Kayak, an Internet travel company, announced that it too is pulling its advertising. Robert Birge, chief marketing officer at Kayak, put it as plain as it gets: “…I watched the first two episodes,” he wrote in a letter to customers, titled “We Handled This Poorly.” “Mostly, I just thought the show sucked.”

But here again, Asra Nomani misleads the reader.  Robert Birge, the Kayak executive, does mention that he thought the show sucks, but the bulk of his explanation is about how the show became a “lightning rod” and how TLC supposedly didn’t inform Kayak about this.  Birge wrote:

When we decided to give our money to TLC for this program, we deemed the show a worthy topic. When we received angry emails regarding our decision to advertise, I looked into the show more thoroughly.

The first thing I discovered was that TLC was not upfront with us about the nature of this show. As I said, it’s a worthy topic, but any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod. We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn’t let us know their intentions. That’s not a business practice that generally gets repeat business from us. I also believe that it did this subject a grave disservice. Sadly, TLC is now enjoying the attention from this controversy.

So, after the show received “angry emails” from Islamophobes, they then looked into the show and pulled it because TLC supposedly hadn’t informed them that the show would be controversial.  In other words, their explanation is very similar to that given by Lowe’s.

In the concluding sentence of the “apology”, Birge writes:

Based on our dealings with TLC and the simple assessment of the show, I decided we should put our money elsewhere.

Even if we say the decision was partially due to the “controversy” issue and party due to the show “sucking”, does Asra Nomani not see the problem that the show was pulled only after Kayak received “angry emails” from Islamophobes?  Again, how would we feel about Kayak if it pulled its ads fromBlack in America after receiving “hate mail” from Neo-Nazi groups?  Any lame excuses such as the show was “too controversial” or that “it sucked” would not be taken seriously.

Asra Nomani goes on:

To me, the issue of Islam-bashing has become a straw man in this debate. This isn’t a referendum on whether a person hates on Islam or not. It’s about TV—and what makes for good TV and what doesn’t. For example, I made it through only two episodes of TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras, because how many times can we watch Princess Penelope throw a temper tantrum? If Lowe’s or Kayak didn’t advertise there, would we argue that they were trashing prissy little girls and their mom? No, we’d say that they don’t want to spend their ad dollars on bad TV.

The only thing made of straw is Nomani’s brain.  TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras does receive advertisements, even if you and I agree “it sucks.”  Has Nomani never flipped through channels on television and watched a reality show?  The vast majority of them suck, but even still they are able to garner advertisements.  Also, since when did companies restrict advertisements to shows they themselves personally watch?

The problem is that All-American Muslim is being singled out and unable to hold some advertisersbecause the show is about Muslims.  Had these companies pulled out from the show on their own volition due to ratings–and not immediately after Islamophobes demanded them to–nobody would be crying foul.  So, in reality, it is Asra Nomani who is raising a straw man argument: again, if it had really been about the show sucking and its ratings tanking, then nary a Muslim or liberal would protest.

Asra Nomani’s article blares:

To me, the issue of Islam-bashing has become a straw man in this debate. It’s about TV.

This assessment reflects how vacuous Asra Nomani truly is (I see absolutely nothing intellectually stimulating ever coming from this woman): it’s not about T.V. at all–it is all about Islam-bashing.  The show was pulled because Islamophobes protested it and not because the show “sucks.”  This is exactly the reason why in my earlier article about Kayak’s “apology” and this one, I have not even tried to defend the show’s quality, because that subjective opinion is simply irrelevant.  But if you want to go down that path, I can safely say that there exists no dearth of sucky programs on the boob tube, all of which seem to attract and hold advertisers just fine.

*  *  *  *  *

In my previous article about Asra Nomani, written almost exactly one year ago, I mentioned how she always feels compelled to inject herself into all of her articles:

Notice how she prefaces her statement with “I am Muslim.” Well then, you must automatically be a spokesperson for Muslims everywhere, and whatever you say about Islam and Muslims must be true. You are, after all, a real life Muslim! In fact,Asra Nomani can hardly ever write an article or argue a point without injecting herself into it, such is her self-absorbed nature.

Lo and behold, the very first words of her article about All-American Muslim:

As a real-life American Muslim…

And elsewhere:

As an American Muslim consumer…

And still elsewhere:

…I’m Muslim…

We get it!  You are a real life, living, breathing Muslim!  Well then, you must be an expert on everything about Islam and Muslims.

Asra Nomani keeps mentioning that she’s a real life Muslim because the only reason she has obtained some level of fame is because (1) she voices right-wing views against Muslims and Islam, and (2) she is a Muslim herself.  If she were simply a right-winger, she’d just be another run-of-the-mill Islamophobe trolling the internet.  On the other hand, if she were just Muslim, well then so what?  But it’s the combination of #1 and #2 that sustains her notoriety, because certain right-wing elements like to promote a self-hating Muslim who says all the things they themselves say: if even a Muslim says it about Islam and Muslims, then it must be true!

Meanwhile, Nomani remains very hungry and desperate for attention, which is why she added this absolutely unnecessary bit to her article:

As an American Muslim consumer, I can say that I’ll likely buy the lumber for my son’s treehouse at Lowe’s, and I’ll switch from Expedia to Kayak. I like the company’s common sense

Asra Nomani is like the black kid who hung a Confederate flag in his dorm room; he wouldn’t have garnered national attention had he been a white kid.  And likewise, Nomani’s writing would whither into oblivion if she didn’t constantly invoke her “I’m a Muslim” card.  That’s because aside from this fact, there is nothing at all interesting to learn from Asra Nomani’s uninspired writing.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.


  1. I guess she is similar to Wafa Sultan, who publicly cursed Islam after men burst into her classroom and murdered her professor because he was an Amadiya.

    It is true there is a circus going on and Spencer, Geller, etc. sometimes sink to buffonery, but there is a core of carp going on that one should not ignore.

  2. whaaaat

  3. that’s unfortunate. A few anti-Christian christians too. Sigh

  4. Self-hating muslims? O.o Wait, what?

  5. Irshad Manji, Ayan ali Hirsi, Salman Rusdie and Wafa Sultan are also examples.

  6. Weird.

  7. holy crap that is a first, well why doesn’t she just leave the religion then?

  8. Harrison, the people you listed are apostates I think. Whatever they’re real or not is another issue though.

  9. She could be one of the Munafikuns…

  10. It’s like the Herman Cain’s of the world who say there is no long racial discrimination in America. They’ll say anything to assimilate.

  11. Ayan Ali Hirsi is an atheist

  12. Don’t forget Irshad Manji.

  13. It’s a tough call, do you keep silent and act like you love everyone in the religion or do you get active and speak out about them and call for reform? In this case, I think Asra is wrong….because the idea is that a major chain is not advertising with a Muslim based show simply on the premise that all Muslims are evil and bad….and for that she’s a hypocrite. I mean, unless she’s claiming to be bad, too?

  14. Islam does not need reform! Islam is perfect.

  15. Just like the self-hating low/middle socio-economic people who are TP members.

  16. i read her book some years ago. my personal conclusion of her is that she is a attention seeking psycho path. her whole book consisted of me, myself and i. and made no sense concerning her and islam.

  17. She just wants attention, no matter what that means. Everyone should just ignore her and hopefully shell go away.

  18. Say what you will, she’s pretty hot.

  19. Absurd view of those who identified themselves as Muslim happening everywhere all the time and place in Islamic history. This phenomenon is also happening in my country, Indonesia. The liberalization of Islam in Indonesia was in unlawful according to the fatwa of the ulema assemblies. But we are a secular democratic state not the islamic state and there are no legal implications against the liberals. Nonetheless, with the fatwa – at least Muslims in Idonesia aware and realize that liberalism is not in conformity with Islam so that it can be ignored.

  20. @Joshua Daniel Thomas: the reason she won’t leave the religion is because if she left the religion she would be one of those so called “Ex muslims” who bash the religion and no one would pay attention to her. but since she is a so called “muslim” there are right wingers and pals of hers like pamella geller, robert spencer who would use her as an example to say “see it’s not only us that finds fault in Islam but one of your own muslims.”

    This alone has already made her “famous” and rich off of spreading hate.

    You should also note that in all of her articles Asra, without a question always says” As a modern day muslim women, As an American Muslim, or I am a muslim women” that alone is the only thing that gets her articles published in the hate sites and so called progressive/moderate websites

  21. I agree with you Abdul 100%

  22. Excellent article.

  23. I think the wrong question was asked. What if a large group of white racists had called to pull ads from CNN’s Black in America not only because they thought it was too friendly to blacks but they would become violent and people or property could get hurt, destroyed or killed.

    Now think about the “Anti Islam” conference that was to be held in Tennessee. The hotel admitted they cancelled the event at their Hotel due to threats and that safety was a concern.

    Censorship in any form is upsetting to those being censored. I admit the program did not need to have its advertising pulled as people who do not like the program have many forums to espouse their displeasure or educate people as to what they see is wrong with the program. Likewise groups have a right to meet and discuss what they do not like about Islam or even Muslims in safety so long as they are not violent and do not advocate such.

  24. I realize that many people her think I am to stuck on freedom of speech but it is the only way people can communicate their ideas be they popular or unpopular. When it goes away then we will be stuck with approved speech only, which is ok if your on the side of approved speech but not ok if you wish to protest a percieved injustice. All of us regardless of religion or belief set are impacted when you start putting limits on free speech.

    With that said we all need to look at the new defense bill going to the presidents desk. From what I understand it is going to allow the detention of U.S. Citizens for indefinite periods of time with no access to lawyers or constitutional rights. Of course they will say this is to fight terrorism but before you know it terrorism will be interpreted with a broad brush and it will affect us all in a negative way. I hope I am wrong on this as the bill and concept is very scary, as it means that our government is willing to just ignore the constitution and the oath individual members took to uphold it and simply rely on military might to enforce their views.

  25. Well, we have Pat Robertson, John Hagee and many of that ilk.

  26. If you look at her eyes how they roll in their sockets, you will notice that she is crazy! Definitely the look of a disturbed human being

  27. We get it! You are a real life, living, breathing Muslim! Well then, you must be an expert on everything about Islam and Muslims.ou.. what happened to famous argument – how many muslims friends you have when you do criticize islam? seems a bit strange from you, people. so a muslim cannot criticize islam, non muslim cannot criticize islam..

  28. who said u can not cretic muslims and the interpretation of islam ? there re difference between constructive cretics and hurts other with wrong bad stuff that nothing constructive in it..

  29. aha, constructive critics of islam:D joke of the year. islam deems itself as perfect – you cannot improve something what is perfect. so therefore, no critics of islam can be “constructive”. critics usually hurts – but islam wants only one thing – incessant perpetual praise HOOWW PURRFEEECT IZLAAM IS.

  30. “interpretation of islam” – oh yes, you can criticize “interpretation”, but not islam as such – you proved my point:)

  31. another one talk about islam as he know it, look i said interpretation of islam bcs no one can say the islam is this like u see differents views of islam with different muslims, the islam is religion of god(for muslims) so for cretic islam u will cretic god, ppl interpreting islam as they can and u free cretic that but not mock or hurts, critics usually hurts whom have closed minds..

  32. I didn’t bother with the crap, can’t really get myself to read it. All the “was Muslim now hate them” trash I’ve seen to date’s been fake, not even exaggerating.

  33. oh, so what about sequence seerah+hadeeth (sunnah) QUran? what if one finds something ethically objectionable in quran, suppoted by hadeeth and seerah? what then? this is not about muslims, this is about Allah+Mohamed+Quran.

  34. WHAT ????? i said its interpretation ok.. for interpreting quran for exemple u need know very well the arabic language and this not easy even for arabs, you need know history very well and the condition when the prophet got the verse, you will find even in quran some verses came copie others or change (progress) them..u can not talk in generalized all for say this is the islam take any verse and interprete as you want..

  35. Is Quran eternally valid, unchanged and unchangeable uncreated Speech of Allah – yes, or no?

  36. yes, and i am not getting ur point Viola hmm Natasa or her cronies?

  37. yes and as god say u should open eyes and be open mind for understand what he said not interpretting as the way u pefer 🙂

  38. I’ve seen this so called progressive muslim (what every that means) and I’ve yet to see her fall on the side of any argument that call’s for upholding the Qur’an and Sunnah. I think she should think long and hard on if she is truly a Muslim one submits to the commands of Allah and the Prophet (saw) or if she is trying to come up with her own religion. Any muslim who takes the opinion of this woman should reflect on this story

    There once lived three bulls, a white bull, a black bull, and a red bull. Looking for food, a lion watched them graze together and realized he could not contend with all three. So he went to the black and red bull and made a deal with them. He told them that he was very ferocious and powerful and that if they let him eat the white bull, he would leave them in peace. The black and red bull agreed, and the lion murdered and then ate the white bull.

    Time passed and the lion became hungry again. He went to the red bull and argued that he was ferocious and powerful and that if he let him eat the black bull he would leave him in peace. The red bull agreed and the lion murdered and then ate the black bull.

    As time passed and the lion became hungry, he visited the red bull again. As the red bull saw death in the lions eye, as the teeth dug deep into its neck, it shouted, “Verily I was eaten the day the white bull was eaten!”

  39. Lowe’s has the right to pull advertisements from any show for any reason. They cannot be forced to advertise on ANY show.Lowes has said again that they will not advertise on All American Muslim.The controversy and whining by Muslims will ensure that major corporations avoid a connection with anything associated with Islam. Should the low rated All American Muslim be picked up for a second season I will be interested in seeing just was companies buy ads on the show.

  40. so, if the quran is eternally valid, unchanges and unchangeable, how can “context” permanently change/disable the meaning of certain verses? No, it CAN´T. so what interpretation you mean? context may serve for explication, but it can never supress/disable any violent/ethically fishy verse.

  41. context depend with the time when came each verse..for exemple when u re attacked and quran say fight u cant say look the quran push for violence without see the historic situation and condition even its so rare, and this will be opposate to most verses talk about peace love, not fight, dont hurt dont talk bad on back of others even dont give bad name to ppl.. if u dont know context u will be confuse.. about the interpretation, u need know that mentality of ppl change with time and civilization so the quran come to change mentality of ppl at that time slowly without shock them, verses copi or change others depend with changement of mentality.. same for the interpretation..til now the interpretation continu changing when mentality change also..

  42. There is a set of people muslim and non, who are very dissatisfied with what goes on in muslim societies and they aren’t blaming the usual sanctified blamees – the Jews, US, UK, France, etc. They are blaming the muslims themselves or Islam.

  43. you cannot critique Islam. But you can encourage Muslims to follow the path of Islam more closely. You can critique the people, but the religion is Perfect.

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