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China: U.S. On "Collision Course" With N. Korea; U.S. Secretary Of State To Visit Beijing; Muslim Fashion Business Enjoying A Boom; Global Sales of Headscarves Soar; The Young Women Filling Canada's Parliament; Islam Understood

Aired March 9, 2017 - 14:00   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: And you've just been listening to the daily White House press briefing.

Tonight, are America and North Korea on a collision course as China's warning? I'll speak with the man who knows best, the former American

Defense Secretary, William Perry. As Pyongyang test will miss out, and America's top diplomat prepares for summit in Beijing. Plus, Islam is the

provider of Donald Trump's presidency. My guest tonight make a simply argument for paying attention to the world's 1.6 billion Muslims.

That argument, dollars and cents, in Muslim fashion.

Good evening, everyone. And welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

We begin with the questions chairing the White House square in the face, how do you solve a problem like a nuclear North Korea? Unless the answer

is found soon, Washington risks a collision with Pyongyang once North Korea's main ally, China.

Beijing says, the U.S. and South Korea should stop their routine military drills. This, after Pyongyang fired four missiles that it claimed was

practice for hitting U.S. basis in Japan. Washington's ambassador to the U.N. insist all options are on the table and even used some quite

undiplomatic language to state her case.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: We are not going to leave South Korea standing there, with the threat of North Korea facing them and not

help. We have not seen any goodwill at all coming from North Korea. I appreciate all of my counterparts wanting to talk about talks and

negotiations. We are not dealing with a rational person.


AMANPOUR: Next week, China will get the chance to press America on its next move when Washington's top diplomat, Rex Tillerson, visits Beijing.

That move could be crucial in the complex game of diplomatic chairs that faces President Trump right now.

The former U.S. Secretary Defense, William Perry, wrestled with North Korea's challenge for much of his distinguished career. He's a senior

fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution. And he joins me now from there in California.

Welcome to the program, Secretary Perry. Gosh, things seemed to have got a lot, lot more difficult since the last time we spoke with these missiles

being tested now. What do you think this administration is doing? I know it's conducting a policy review.

WILLIAM J. PERRY, FORMER U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: I don't think they have a clear policy on North Korea yet, but I think when we'll be coming up _.

And in the meantime, we seem to be heading for a train wreck with or without a policy.

AMANPOUR: So you agree with China that there's a potential train -- well, let me just play for you what the Chinese foreign ministry said about this.


WANG YI, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER (through translation): The two sides are like two accelerating trains coming towards each other with neither side

willing to give way. The question is, on the two sides, really ready for a head-on collision.


AMANPOUR: So that's none other than the Chinese Foreign Minister himself. You said train wreck, he said a head-on collision. So, what is the answer?

PERRY: Is very clearly a dangerous situation. And I think both sides should take a deep breath and consider what the consequence could be if we

really had military conflict.

I think that is to be avoided and we need to get some serious diplomacy underway. Both North Korea and the United States need to have some serious

diplomacy underway.

AMANPOUR: You heard what Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. said, you know, she says, "I hear all my colleagues here talking about

negotiations, but frankly, we're not dealing with a rational person referring to the head of North Korea.

What is your answer to that, what is your advice to that criticism be?

PERRY: Oh, I think that North Korea is indeed a pariah state, and they do many, many -- take many actions which is just outrageous. I do not think

they are crazy though. I think they have a definite logic on what they're doing. They have a very weak hand, and to playing that hand rather

effectively, rather shrewdly, their primary objective is to sustain the regime, to sustain the Kim dynasty. And they work very carefully and very

effectively to that purpose and their nuclear weapons certainly will play a very key role in that.

So, we should understand where they're coming from and try to deal with them accordingly as very dangerous at best, become even more dangerous if

we're misunderstanding, misjudging where they're coming from.

AMANPOUR: So, you have said before that, you know, they're not going to give up their nuclear arsenal and the world is going to have to deal with

that and try to manage it. They want assurances that their dynasty is not going to be overthrown.

Does your view change or are you more worried after this VX gas attack that was used to assassinate, you know, one of Kim Jong-un's half brother?

PERRY: On this gas attack and the earlier execution of Kim jong-un's uncle are both reflections of what an important regime this is. But in terms of

dealing with the United States, dealing with the nuclear weapons, I believe they have a very clear rationale of what they want to do and we should

understand that rationale. And if we do understand, I think we can take steps not to get rid of the nuclear weapons but at least to reduce, to

greatly reduce the danger those nuclear weapons poses.

I want to be very clear, Christiane, I do not believe the North Korea leadership has any plan or any intention of making a surprise attack with

the nuclear weapons on Japan or South Korea, or the United States, they are not crazy. They know that that would be the end of their regime, the end

of their country. So, we should approach -- it's not thinking they're crazy, but understanding they have very, very different objectives from us.

But they're working archly and craftily to try to show those objectives, our effort ought to be to try to reduce the dangers posed by the nuclear

weapons. But one of the dangers is not that they're going to make a surprise attack on us, we could blunder into a war and that's what we want

to avoid doing. We do not want to blunder into war. So we ought to pose our diplomacy around trying to reduce the real dangers, not to imagine


And the real danger is that we're going to blunder into a war with North Korea, more than neither one of us would want and a war which would be

catastrophic, especially for South Korea and Japan.

AMANPOUR: So Mr. Secretary, how does one get out of this blunder, you know, blunder momentum that you're talking about? What that Secretary of

State Rex Tillerson need to say or how does he need to engage with Beijing when he goes there next week?

PERRY: I think Beijing compel a very useful role in this. And if I were advising our Secretary of State, I would advise him to discuss with China a

possibility of opening a diplomatic avenue with North Korea. The purpose of which would be to reduce the dangers from their nuclear weapons and to

get a -- and to get both countries backing away in this collision course that we're now on.

AMANPOUR: Do you think because of what Donald Trump said in the campaign, which was, "I would be willing to have a hamburger with Kim Jong-un that

despite what they will say", and let's face it, you know, Obama did not engage and, you know, all these sanctions and things under President Obama

and President Bush has not led us to a non-nuclear North Korea, quite the opposite.

So something has to change. Would you recommend, for instance, a Iran style negotiating with North Korea? Would you recommend trying to stop

North Korea through stocks net (ph) like computer virus and cyber warfare program? What would you recommend in terms of actual happenings rather

than just, you know, generally low intention?

PERRY: I would recommend direct engagement between the United States and North Korea. The purpose of the engagement would be to reduce the danger

that their nuclear weapons poses to get iron-clad agreements with North Korea on steps that could reduce those dangers.

In return for that, there could be some economic concessions in return to that. There might even be some security assurances. But, we have to

understand that we have no other means of coercion on North Korea other than military power, and we do not want a war with North Korea. That would

be not -- it would be not only disastrous for North Korea but disastrous for South Korea and Japan.

So, we want to avoid a war, and that means we need to get serious about diplomacy.

I'm convinced that diplomacy could be successful if we went into it with limited objectives. And then objectives of reducing danger not completely

eliminating them and they're willing to give some concession to get that.

AMANPOUR: So do you think that the political climate will enable that?

PERRY: Look, I'm very doubtful that the political climate has been not conducive to serious diplomacy. It is time to reconsider. And I think

what would get us thinking seriously about this is recognizing that our only real alternative to diplomacy is a military conflict and really that

would be a disaster for all countries involved. So we do not want a military conflict, we need to get serious about diplomacy. We have some

things we can have in diplomacy and so we have some things that we can demand.

And what we need to demand is reducing the dangers so that we do not see the -- so again, back away from this drifting towards some kind of military

conflict, that blundering into some kind of a war.

AMANPOUR: Just one word answer, you've worked on this for so long, you've to North Korea, you know what's at stake. Has the Trump administration

sought your views?


AMANPOUR: More pity then, dear oh dear.

Secretary William Perry, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

And, when we come back, a creative collision of east and west fashion is having a Middle Eastern moment and cashing in on a niche market. I speak

to a designer and a model about high-fashion hijabistas after this.


AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. At a time when hysteria about Muslims seemed to be dominating the political climate here in the west,

Generation M has risen up to challenge this narrative with a booming and global Muslim fashion industry propelled by some of the biggest brand-

names, Nike has just unveiled this professional Hijab performance line and getting it on this market of Dolce & Gabbana, H&M, Max Mara, which had

Somali American, Halima Aden, eight one of the most talked about models of this season on its catwalk at the Milan Fashion Week show last month.

Joining me now to discuss this new wave of Hijab Chic is Shelina Janmohamed, Vice President of Ogilvy Noor, an Islamic branding consultancy

and model, Mariah Idrissi. Welcome both to the program. Big smiles on your face.

This is a very different way of talking about what everybody seems to want to be afraid of these days, which is Islam. The idea of dress for Muslim

women has been actually politicized. Is this at all about politics, this niche of modesty of Muslim fashion?

SHELINA JANMOHAMED, "GENERATION M" AUTHOR: So when we think about Muslims, you're exactly right. We see women and we talk about what they wear. But

actually, behind the scenes, there's this huge vibrant demographic and they are growing a huge number of industries. So we see modest fashion, Hijab

Chic, as one of them is visible because we're so interested in what women wear.

But actually, this Generation M, young Muslims who believe that they're faithful and modern are reaching across industries whether it's food,

finance, fashion, pharmaceuticals. And actually saying, "We want businesses to deal with our needs."

AMANPOUR: Mariah, have you always been a model who wears the hijab? And it's not really hijab, is it, or is it?

MARIAH IDRISSI, MODEL: No, it isn't a hijab, yes. Well, since H&M, yes, I have been. I didn't -- I wasn't modeling prior to that. So, yes, since


AMANPOUR: And does H&M and this, as I said, Dolce & Gabbana, I mean, it's just, you know, everything, Nike, Uniqlo, Devinems (ph). Are you surprised

by this, all of a sudden, capturing of the market?

IDRISSI: I am and I'm not, and the same, I'm surprised that I took this long (ph) because, obviously, it was 2015 when I became the first hijab-

wearing model with H&M. And I was surprised because I thought, "No, I'm sure this has happened before."

And I realized this never happened in mainstream fashion. It's been obviously around in our own industries, but never mainstream and that did

surprise me for it to take that long.

AMANPOUR: And that's the point, right? That as a business proposition, it's now that it's, you know, really sort of dominate, well, dominate

coming in to seize part of the mainstream market.

AMANPOUR: So the globalize population is very young, you know, that one - third of that are under 15 and two-thirds are under 30. So it's a really interesting demographic for brands to think about. And the emergence of

the Generation M identity has really come in the wake of things like September the 11th, but also the rise of the internet.

So we've seen that this market has been growing for 10 years, five years, it started to come to prominence but it's now in the last 12 to 18 months

that big businesses are realizing that this is a really important market they need to wake up to.

AMANPOUR: You know what, let me read you some of these figures, the 2016 report by Thomson Reuters, Muslim consumer spending on clothing is

estimated at $243 in 2015, 11 percent of the global market. That's huge, right?

This is a growth of 5.7 percent for the previous year. And the bonus (ph) fashion sector will apparently undoubtedly continue to thrive as can be

seen by the fact that this report estimates Muslim spending on clothing expected to reach $368 billion by 2021. I mean, who knew really.

JANMOHAMED: These are huge numbers. And when we talk to businesses and we offer them consultancy, we talk about the opportunity, the fact that these

young consumers are very brand conscious, they're very brand loyal. But they are looking for businesses to approach them in a slightly different

way. So they want their faith to be very much upfront in something (ph) . But they don't want just that hello (ph) label stuck on the front. They

don't want to see, you know, a kind of a cross-state union in the corner. It's the sophistication and it's an insight. And that's exactly why

businesses like mine are setting up, so that brands can think in a more sophisticated way behind those headlines.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And Mariah, there's yourself, there's Halima Aden, there's the first American Muslim Olympian who's --


AMANPOUR: -- you know, got a medal in her hijab.


AMANPOUR: What's it like being on the catwalk? How do people sort of react to when this became more and more prominent?

IDRISSI: In all honesty, I -- for me, because I've been aware of it happening for so many years, the whole modest fashion industry has been

around for ages. But, I think it's all very new in terms of the mainstream fashion industry. And again, since H&M, that's when we've seen a wave of

all of these new brands --

AMANPOUR: And would you just say they were the trailblazers.

IDRISSI: I think -- I -- nothing to do with me on this, I genuinely think that campaign was really like the start of something, even if people did

have those ideas, it's always they wait for someone to do it before everyone else jumps up.

AMANPOUR: And isn't that because H&M among, I guess many of these brands, but it has a very young --


AMANPOUR: -- constituency, so to speak.

IDRISSI: Yes, that could be it as well.


IDRISSI: I mean, less -- like you said, Max Mara, there are so many different types of brands, Nike is one which is sports. So I think

everyone is realizing there is definitely a market. And at the end of the day, statistics prove that, you know, all demographic is spending probably

the most or one of the most and it just make sense if you're going to market, so they knew someone that actually represents them hopefully.

AMANPOUR: And what about -- I mean, it wasn't so long ago, it was less than a year ago that the whole burkini fury (ph) erupted after the attack

in Nice.


AMANPOUR: And, you know, the French were furious about it, it was banned, I mean, it became a huge thing. I mean, how did that affect this business?

JANMOHAMED: Well, if you talk to bikini manufacturers and designers, they said they sold out because actually, it wasn't just Muslim women who were

buying it. It was women in general, suddenly realizing there was a different way to approach fashion.

And that's quite fascinating about this particular consumer group because that -- it comes from a place of prescription of aspiration to leave out

trade values (ph). That actually, they are starting to tap into wise consumer trend, so they're not just thinking about what does it mean to be

beautiful and how can I be fashionable, what is body image.

They're also thinking about things like sustainability, eco-consciousness, fair trade, the whole supply chain, which we know the wider consumer

movement is thinking about. But for them, it's inspired by their faith, so it becomes quite an imperative for them to push buttons in that direction.

AMANPOUR: So we know we're talking, as I said, in the midst of a renewed some of like indeed to the sort of post-9/11 style hysteria about Muslims

on the bands, the, you know, sort of war on Islam that, you know, people are accusing United States. So, certainly the very Islamophobic European

far-right groups which may do very well in upcoming elections. How does this all fit into that? I mean, how does the politics of all this affect

you both while you're doing this business basically?

IDRISSI: Yes, I mean, propaganda obviously is always going to push anything forward. And I think with everything in the media, what are my

motivations when I first got the H&M opportunity was that I want to do something positive, not just within fashion, but beyond that. And I want

conversations regarding hijab to change so we don't just -- here, for example, just us being here today. We're not talking about the typical

terrorism and everything that's attached to Muslim women and Muslims in general. We're actually talking about something completely separate.

Obviously, it's still kind of, you know, taps there, here and that but at the end of the day, there is definitely a more positive insight into what

we are doing and who we are.

JANMOHAMED: What I really liked though is that the politics to the bank shop (ph) actually has led service sessions of brand activism. Brands have

been kind of variational very much on the funds until last six or 12 months. And particularly in the U.S., we start to see brands putting out

position (ph), which consumers particularly Generation M consumers feel that they can connect with them on emotional level.

And I think we're going to see a lot more of that, and I think that's going to be quite powerful in building those relationships that are authentic and

real, and actually starting to move brands feeling very commercialized to feeling much more personal.

AMANPOUR: But personal but also as a businesswoman, for instance, it's not here right now, but the Nike when you were on a, you know, skateboard with

an abaya. I mean, it's really beautiful to look at. And it's a very, very powerful brands, Nike.

Do you hope that it also breaks down or can break through some of the political, I guess, I keep calling it hysteria?

JANMOHAMED: I think we've got different images, haven't we? So, beyond the kind of bill cost and then the cabs (ph), and the idea that women are

oppressed, it's a different normalization of what it means to be young Muslims, particularly in Muslim women.

And business has a really powerful role to play in this. So when I talked to young Muslims as consumers, they say they want to go into the High

Street and how products and brands that talked to them just like everybody else, they want the same sophistication. And they want the same treatment

on the High Street.

And so if you can go and buy a hijab that helps you do your sport in the same way that any other woman can do their sport, then actually, that's a

very democratizing and very equalizing thing.

AMANPOUR: And we're talking now mostly about what you do here in the west. What is it like for Generation M who lives in Saudi Arabia or Beirut or

Dubai or in some of the less female friendly Islamic states?

JANMOHAMED: So the really interesting thing about Generation M is we see their echoes (ph) right around the world. So whether you're in Europe (ph)

or London, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Sydney, Deli, actually these young men and women have the same aspirations. They want to be faithful, but they want

to be part of their identity and they want to live in the modern world.

And actually, when you walk down the street, they have that same swagger, they have that kind of same like you can really identify, the cultural

context are different clearly. But we see the same trends repeated again and again.

AMANPOUR: Final word?

IDRISSI: Oh, I was actually just thinking, when you mentioned that about the whole driving ban that's happening in Saudi, there is -- because of --

there was a YouTube, I don't know if you saw it, like a little campaign that a guy did. And, it was really good because now, it's really working

(ph) people around the world that had no idea that women in Saudi could not drive.


IDRISSI: And they are planning to actually do something about that, which is quite interesting as well, just that.

AMANPOUR: Very good. Mariah Idrissi, Shelina Janmohamed, thank you both very much for joining us.

JANMOHAMED: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And hijabs not just on the runways, but in the halls of power as well.

In Canada, young women filled the House of Parliament on International Women's Day with one who wears a hijab stealing the spotlight, and thanking

the prime minister for his reaction to the shooting at a Quebec mosque in January that killed six Muslims.


FIDUCIA LUSSIM (ph): My name is Fiducia Lussim and I'm from Don Valley North. As a Muslim, as a Canadian, as a Punjabi (ph), I wanted to foremost

thank you for calling the Quebec shooting for what it was, which was an active terrorism and really (INAUDIBLE).


AMANPOUR: She also asked what he would do to combat rising Islamophobia. Well, after a break, we imagine her fellow Muslim youth going door to door

trying to make a difference.


AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world where Islam isn't under attack but understood.

In Canada, where the prime minister has made a point of welcoming thousands of Syrian refugees and responded with open arms after Donald Trump's Muslim

ban. Islamophobia is on the rise. A recent poll found that more than a quarter of Canadians now have an unfavorable view of Muslims. But this

week, thousands of young Canadian Muslims have fanned out across 65 cities and thousands of neighborhoods there trying to win hearts and minds the

old-fashioned way.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wanted to give out these reflects (ph) just for more information about who Muslims are and what Islam is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're spreading the message of Islam in your neighborhood.


AMANPOUR: That's right. They're going door to door hitting the pavements in the freezing temperatures to answer any questions the people might have

about Islam, hoping a friendly face will help spread the real facts.

ANAND SOBI, ISLAM UNDERSTOOD: This would many people to get the opportunity to see that the values that Canada holds and what Muslims hold,

they're really much one and the same.

AMANPOUR: The goal was to break down misconceptions and fears even in stubbornly tolerant Canada, it's an enormous challenge. But, showing their

faces, extending the hand of friendship, one household at a time, it might sound radical in this day and age, but perhaps a human touch will reach

beyond the political pandering and the fear mongering.

That's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at and follow me on Facebook and


Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.