If you haven’t seen this Fox News interview with academic and author Reza Aslan, stop what you are doing and check it out. Aslan was supposedly asked on the show to talk about his book about the history of Jesus of Nazareth, and was instead subjected to a series of stunningly offensive questions about him being a Muslim. The host, Lauren Green, seemed incapable of understanding that Aslan (who holds four degrees and is fluent in biblical Greek) could write an impartial book on Jesus because of his personal religious beliefs.
“You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?” said Green. “Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim,” replied a slightly stunned Aslan. “It still begs the question though, why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?” pressed Green, who refused to accept that a Muslim could also be a historian. And on and on it went. She then asked Aslan whether a Muslim writing a book on Christianity was like ‘a Democrat writing a book on former president Ronald Reagan’. Aslan kept his calm and authoritatively dismissed Green’s obnoxious questioning. “I’m not sure what my faith has to do with my twenty years of academic study,” he told Green. “I think it’s strange that instead of debating the merits of the book, we’re actually discussing the right of the scholar to actually write it.” Aslan attempted to talk about his book – an interesting study on the actual historical figure of Jesus, but there wasn’t much point
This has to go down as one of the most offensive Fox News interviews ever – and the competition is fierce. Green’s ignorance was breathtaking to watch – a supposedly serious news anchor displaying such willful stupidity that it makes Sean Hannity look thoughtful.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.