On the Sunday August 31st episode of CNN’s Reliable Sources, London Muslim leader Anjem Choudary made a spectacle of himself for the second time in less than a week. Just a few days earlier Choudary had been a guest on the Fox News show Hannity when the interview turned into an all out shout-fest and made waves across the media spectrum. On Sunday Choudary would once again be at the center of the media maelstrom this time offending his interviewer Brian Stelter at CNN.
Here’s a little background for you on who Anjem Choudary is (from Newsbusters):
Choudary referred to the 11 September terrorists as “magnificent martyrs“, and in 2003 he appeared to endorse terrorist attacks by British Muslims, saying that al-Muhajiroun would “encourage people to fulfill their Islamic duties and responsibilities”. In 2004 he said that a terror attack on British soil was “a matter of time”. He refused to condemn the 7 July 2005 London bombings, but later accused the Muslim Council of Britain (who had condemned both attacks) of “selling their souls to the devil“.
The conversation between Stelter and Choudary is nowhere near as contentious as the interview with Hannity had been – but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t tension. Choudary refuses to condemn acts of terror, specifically the beheading of American journalist James Foley, then he makes some pretty ridiculous claims about the media’s part in some imaginary Western war on Islam. For his part, Stelter calls out Choudary’s ridiculous assertions and presents him with facts… but facts don’t matter to crazy terrorist sympathizers, as the video will prove.
The last straw for Stelter comes when doing a mic check as they return from commercial.
BRIAN STELTER: You talk about wanting the truth to prevail, but here’s what bothers me. When we were setting up for our interview here, the audio engineer asked you to do what every guest does, to count to 10, check their mic. And you started to do that, but then you said “9-11, 7-7, 3-11.” Is this all some sort of a joke to do that?
ANJEM CHOUDARY: Well, you know if you had a sense of humor, maybe you would have laughed. It was just a sound check. You know you shouldn’t take any of these things that seriously. Obviously, you know —
STELTER: A sense of humor? A sense of humor.
CHOUDARY: We were setting, we were setting up the sound check, and I said “1-2-3-4-5-9-11-7-7” making sure you could hear me. It’s not a big issue, it’s not a big deal. If you want to make it a big deal, by all means do so. But it makes you look much more shallow than me.
STELTER: I have nothing more to say. But thank you for joining me.
CHOUDARY: You’re always welcome.
STELTER: What a world we live in.
There is no “joke” here. 9-11 of course refers to the attacks on American soil on September 11, 2001 where 2,977 died. 7-7 refers to the July 7, 2005 attacks on the city of London where 52 died. 3-11 refers to the Madrid train bombings of March 11, 2004 where 191 died. All three cases were Islamic terrorist attacks on western nations, and all together thousands of people lost their lives in those attacks. Apparently Choudary thinks that mocking those deaths is funny… which should tell us all we need to know about this Muslim religious leader.
Here’s the CNN interview between Stelter and Choudary.
Here’s the Fox News Hannity and Choudary interview from earlier in the week.
The Internet was quick to respond to Choudary’s interview – and folks on the web were not amused. Twitchy has all the documentation.
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