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‘Do you support ISIS?’: CNN’s Don Lemon stuns Muslim human rights attorney

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CNN host Don Lemon asked a Muslim civil rights attorney on Wednesday if he supported the radical Islamic group ISIS.

During coverage of terrorists attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Lemon interviewed human rights lawyer Arsalan Iftikhar, founder of The Muslim Guy website, about whether radical Islam was to blame.

Iftikhar reacted to the attacks in Paris by calling them a “crime against humanity,” and added that he did not have a problem with the satirical depictions of the Prophet Muhammad that had been published by Charlie Hebdo.

“If you survey the vast majority of Muslims around the world, they would certainly say that the killing of innocent civilians is not only murder, but it’s also against any normative mainstream teaching of Islam,” Iftikhar explained. “Their acts are about as Muslim as abortion clinic bombers’ or gay night club bombers’ acts are Christian.”

“What you’re saying though, that’s not always a reality of what people think about Islam,” Lemon noted.

“It’s important not to conflate the actions of a very few to a population of 1.7 billion people, which represents 20 percent of the world’s population,” Iftikhar pointed out. “You know, if people want to blame Islam for things, you know, they can blame us for inventing algebra or modern medical anesthesia or having five out of the last 12 Nobel Peace Prize winners.”

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“When Christians commit acts of terror, we don’t asks priests and pastors to go on national television to condemn these acts, but sadly Muslim public intellectuals, thinkers, leaders, and Islamic scholars have that double standard that we have to deal with,” he added. “I think it’s important to keep in mind that bringing religion into it at all is actually serving the purposes of the terrorists.”

Citing an August 2014 Newsweek poll which found that 16 percent of all French citizen supported ISIS, Lemon asked Iftikhar if all of those people were “Islamic extremists.”

But Iftikhar said that it was wrong to jump to the conclusion that all French citizens who had said they supported ISIS in August of last year would back the killing of innocent civilians.

“Again in August, 16 percent of French citizens support ISIS,” Lemon pressed. “Would you describe those who support ISIS as Islamic extremists? Do you support ISIS?”

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The question stunned Iftikhar.

“Wait,” he replied. “Did you just ask me if I support ISIS? I just answered your question. I said that obviously these 16 percent of people support the ideology, but again, I don’t think that would necessarily extrapolate to supporting of killing of innocent people.”

Last year, Columbia Journalism Review named Lemon as one of the worst journalists of 2014 for asking questions that were not chosen wisely, such as wondering if Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had been swallowed by a black hole. He also told a rape victim that there were “ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it,” and he reported that protesters in Ferguson, Missouri “obviously” smelled like marijuana.

Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast Jan. 7, 2015.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch shreds ‘pathetic circus figure’ Rudy Giuliani

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MSNBC's Donny Deutsch shredded Rudy Giuliani as a "pathetic" clown for continuing to trade out what was left of his reputation to serve President Donald Trump.

Giuliani dismissed special counsel Robert Mueller's upcoming congressional testimony, scheduled for July 17, as "totally useless," and "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough raked him over the coals.

"It's hard to believe this man ever ran a city like New York, let alone the fact that many people like myself consider him to be a very effect effective mayor," Scarborough said. "It's just a cynical, cynical, stupid thing for Rudy Giuliani to say."

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Fox & Friends attacks Mueller’s credibility: ‘I don’t think he knows the details of the report’

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The hosts of "Fox & Friends" questioned Robert Mueller's credibility after Congress set a date for the former special counsel to testify about his findings.

Mueller will testify July 17 to lay out evidence of alleged crimes by President Donald Trump and his campaign associates, and Fox News broadcasters suggested questions that could undercut his impartiality.

"How did it make you feel when president of the United States said that you're compromised, or how did it make you feel when the president of the United States kept attacking the process?" said co-host Brian Kilmeade. "What did you think about the rumors he was going to fire you? I'm not sure he is going to answer that either."

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‘Part of the stench’: CNN’s Anderson Cooper skewers Mike Pence

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While Presiden Donald Trump has been trying to drum up fears about a crisis driven by waves of immigrants trying to invade the United States, the real crisis is a humanitarian one that forced many asylum seekers from Central America to leave their homes in the first place. And that humanitarian crisis continues on American soil in the camps and detention centers where children and others are being held in horrendous conditions, as many recent reports have documented.

CNN"s Anderson Cooper reflected on the crisis and the administration's attempts to shift the blame to others on his show Tuesday night.

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