On this morning’s edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, Reza Aslan spoke to Chuck Todd about whether “we’re at war with a strain of Islam” or Islam itself, Media Matters reports.
“There’s no question that there has been a virus that has spread throughout the Muslim world, a virus of ultra-orthodox puritanism,” Aslan replied. “But there’s also no question what the source of this virus is — whether we’re talking about Boko Haram, or ISIS, or al Qaeda, or the Taliban.”
“All of them have as their source Wahhabism, or the state religion of Saudi Arabia,” he said. “And as we all know, Saudi Arabia has spent over $100 billion in the past 20 or 30 years spreading this ideology throughout the world.”
When Todd asked who, in particular, needed to stand up and “talk to these folks,” Aslan replied, “first of all, let’s be clear that every single organization, major organization, Muslim organization throughout the world and in the United States, every prominent individual, be it political or religious leaders — everyone has condemned, not just this attack, but every attack that occurs in the name of Islam.”
“Anyone who keeps saying that we need to hear the moderate voice of Islam — why aren’t Muslims denouncing these violent attacks doesn’t own Google.”
“That said, I do think that we do need to do a better job of providing a counter-narrative. What really I think puts an obstacle in the way is opinions like Ayaan [Hirsi Ali]’s and so many others in the political and the media mainstream who continue to say that 1.7 billion people are responsible for the actions of these extremists.”
“That doesn’t help the fight against radicalism,” Aslan continued. “The answer to Islamic violence is Islamic peace. The answer to Islamic bigotry is Islamic pluralism, and so that’s why I put the onus on the Muslim community, but I also recognize that that work is being done, that the voice of condemnation is deafening and if you don’t hear it you’re not listening.”
Watch the entire interview from January 11, 2015 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press below.