(CNN) — Asra Nomani is an immigrant, a Muslim and a life-long liberal. She is also, as she told CNN’s Carol Costello Friday, a “silent secret Donald Trump voter.”
Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, first made her self-described “confession” in a Washington Post column on Thursday. Since it published, she told Costello, she has received a torrent of abuse on social media. It’s a symptom, Nomani insisted, of an increasingly hostile “liberal honor brigade.”
“You know, I felt like this entire election year, we have just silenced so many people,” Nomani said.
“Even now the idea of speaking out as somebody who voted for Trump is earning me all sorts of lovely labels like ‘idiot’ and ‘f***er’ and all these other ideas that I think violate liberal values of free speech and self-determination. So I spoke out because I also believe we have to stand up for the dignity of all people and Trump voters are human beings, too,” she insisted.
At the forefront of her reasons for voting Trump, Nomani said, was her fear of what she dubbed the “very real and serious threat by extremist Muslims.”
“This is a reality that we haven’t confronted directly for the sake of political correctness,” Nomani explained.
“If people would hear out the concerns and fears that others have about the issues to refugees and extremists, I think we could find a path that’s in the middle. But unfortunately, what happens is that this liberal honor brigade shuts down all conversation, calls you bigot or racist or Islamophobe if you dare to speak your own concerns,” she added.
Asked by Costello what she thought about the fact that Trump’s talk of a Muslim ban had made many Muslim-Americans afraid, Nomani replied that the country needed a “middle path” in order for true dialogue to take place.
“He’s indelicate. We got that. But he expresses a truth that people speak,” Nomani said.
“I believe that the left must move to the middle, the right must move to the middle. Then we are going to come up with actually healthy solutions that protect national security as well as human rights” she added.