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Asra Nomani

Journalist & Author, Women's Rights Activist

Journalist & Author, Women's Rights Activist

Travels From Travels From:
Washington, DC, USA
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Asra Nomani Biography

Asra Nomani is an American author and former Georgetown University professor. She is co-director of the Pearl Project, a faculty-student, investigative-reporting project into the kidnapping and murder of her former colleague, The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

Nomani is the author of two books: "Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam" and "Tantrika: Traveling the Road of Divine Love". Articles include: "Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Bedroom", the "Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Mosque", and "99 Precepts for Opening Hearts, Minds and Doors in the Muslim World". She has also written for The Washington Post and has been a returning guest on "Real Time with Bill Maher".

Her story forms part of the documentary "The Mosque in Morgantown", aired nationwide on PBS as part of the series America at a Crossroads.

Asra Nomani Speaking Topics

  • The Fight for International Women’s Rights

  • Danny Pearl: The Truth Left Behind

    Former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani was a friend and colleague of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. In fact, he and his wife were visiting her home in Karachi, Pakistan, when he went off for the interview from which he was kidnapped in 2002. Nomani played a key role in the investigation to try to find Pearl before learning that he had been brutally murdered. Six years later, Nomani is a professor of journalism at Georgetown University, leading the Pearl Project, a faculty-student investigative reporting project that is seeking answers to the questions of who really killed Pearl and why they killed him. The project's reporting has taken Nomani and her class figuratively onto the streets of Karachi and into the trenches of America's "war on terror." The Pearl case serves as a window into important issues related to terrorism, national security, foreign policy, and the challenges Pakistan faces in creating a civil society defined by rule of law.

  • The Mosque in Morgantown: Dilemmas Facing American Islam

    Speaker Asra Nomani got a firsthand glimpse of Islamic extremism when her dear friend and former Wall Street Journal colleague Daniel Pearl was murdered in Pakistan. When she returned home to West Virginia to raise her son, she found warning signs of extremism at the local mosque: the exclusion of women, intolerance toward non-believers, and suspicion of the West.

    Her resulting campaign against extremism in the Islamic Center of Morgantown brought a storm of media attention, unexpectedly pitting her against the mosque's moderates.

    Based on the gripping PBS documentary The Mosque in Morgantown, Nomani frames this local conflict as a means to explore the larger dilemmas facing American Islam.

  • The Paradox of Women in Islam

    In this presentation, journalist, author, and speaker Asra Nomani • who was born into a conservative Muslim family from India • chronicles the struggle Muslim women face in reclaiming the rights women were granted at Islam's birth in the seventh century, which have since been erased by centuries of man-made rules and tribal traditions masqueraded as divine law.

    To many, the Islamic feminist movement is filled with "the bad girls of Islam." But Nomani argues that their efforts are not anti-Islamic • rather, they use the fundamentals of Islamic thinking (the Koran; the Sunnah, or traditions and sayings of the prophet Muhammad; and Ijtihad, or independent reasoning) to challenge the ways in which Islam has been distorted by Sharia rulings issued by ultraconservative men. From the mosque to the bedroom, Muslim women have begun to challenge customs that deny them their basic rights, in such areas as gender segregation, mandatory veiling, forced early marriages, clitorectomies, polygamy, death for sex outside of marriage, domestic violence, and strict domestic roles. Nomani shares her personal story of empowerment, in which she walked through the front door of her mosque in Morgantown, West Virginia, in 2003, and gathered up the strength to go into the main hall reserved for men only.

    The struggle, she asserts, is to move Islam forward by reaching back to its progressive past. The effort, she says, is nothing short of a revolution.

Asra Nomani Videos

  • MSNBC - Asra Nomani on Saudi Arabian Atrocities
  • The Heat: Asra Nomani on jihadist groups and Islam
  • Islam and Reform: The Challenge For Moderate Muslims -with Asra Nomani

Asra Nomani Books

  • Eenzaam in Mekka: de pelgrimstocht van een moslima naar het hart van de islam
    Eenzaam in Mekka: de pelgrimstocht van een moslima naar het hart van de islam
  • Milestones for a Spiritual Jihad: Toward an Islam of Grace (Essays on Exploring a Global Dream, Essay Number 3)
    Milestones for a Spiritual Jihad: Toward an Islam of Grace (Essays on Exploring a Global Dream, Essay Number 3)
  • Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam (Plus)
    Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam (Plus)
  • Tantrika: Traveling the Road of Divine Love
    Tantrika: Traveling the Road of Divine Love

Speaker Lists Featuring Asra Nomani

  • Muslim Women Advocating For Human and Women’s Rights

    Influential Muslim Women Leaders

    These Muslim women are committed to their faith and reinventing Western stereotypes of Islamic women. Entrepreneurs, filmmakers, journalists, and athletes - these women are inspirations.

  • 2017 Diverse Women in Politics under $25K

    Diverse Female Politicians and Governmental Speakers

    Expert political analysts and government leaders, these diverse women inspire and motivate audiences to get involved in politics. They have broken the stereotype of the traditional politician, held positions in the White...

FAQs on booking Asra Nomani

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  • What topics does Asra Nomani speak about?

  • Where does Asra Nomani travel from?

    Asra Nomani generally travels from Washington, DC, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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Asra Nomani is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as The Fight for International Women’s Rights, Danny Pearl: The Truth Left Behind, The Mosque in Morgantown: Dilemmas Facing American Islam and The Paradox of Women in Islam. The estimated speaking fee range to book Asra Nomani for your event is available upon request. Asra Nomani generally travels from Washington, DC, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Roya Hakakian, Alexandra Cousteau, Mariane Pearl, Sonia Nazario and Erin Gruwell. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Asra Nomani for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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