Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly is doubling down on his claim that “Muslims killed us on 9/11” which caused two co-hosts on ABC’s The View to walk off the set last week.
The Fox News host opened his interview with Deepak Chopra Tuesday by saying, “You must be horrified by me.”
“Don’t walk out on me,” joked Chopra.
“I believe there is a Muslim problem in the world,” announced O’Reilly. “I think we should acknowledge it and try to solve it.”
The non-confrontational Chopra agreed. “70 percent of people are against the [Park 51 Islamic cultural center]… 65 percent of Americans they know nothing about either Mohammed or Islam,” he explained.
“I don’t think that’s required to know what the Muslim problem is in the world,” replied O’Reilly. “You don’t need to know the tenets of Islam to know the geopolitical situation.”
“Your view is a very popular view and we should try and understand why that is,” said Chopra. “Americans are outraged and angered. They are in fear as well. But they also don’t understand that in America at least right now that Muslims are actually the most diverse population.”
O’Reilly partially agreed. “We are not afraid but we are concerned that terror incidents driven out of jihad, okay, are affecting not only America but everybody else in the world.”
Chopra believes Americans shouldn’t turn away from the support of Muslims who are nonviolent. “We should not alienate the people that are on our side,” said Chopra.
“I don’t think we are,” O’Reilly shot back. “I don’t think America alienates moderate Muslims the world over. I don’t buy that for a minute. I mean, we are protecting ourselves from other countries.”
Since his controversial statement on ABC’s popular daytime show, O’Reilly has been the target of criticism from liberals.
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann said that O’Reilly had revealed himself to be “just another Fox News bigot.”
Sirius radio host Rosie O’Donnell said ABC should have known O’Reilly would try to “incite hatred.”
Brian Kilmeade, another Fox News host, was forced to apologize after he made similarly inflammatory comments in the course of defending O’Reilly.
“Not all Muslims are terrorists,” Kilmeade said, “but all terrorists are Muslims.”
Several days later, Kilmeade offered a conditional apology. “I’m sorry about that if I offended or hurt anybody’s feelings. But that’s it,” he said.
This video is from Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, broadcast Oct. 20, 2010.