This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," February 7, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Our top story tonight: It is a follow-up to the shocking story that we told you about on last night's program. This imam was invited to speak at the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting last week. But some people are upset at what he said. Take a listen:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IMAM HUSHAM AL-HUSSAINY, EVENT SPEAKER: We thank you, God, to send us your messages through our father Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus, and Muhammad. Through you, God, we unite. So guide us to the right path. The path of the people you bless, not the path of the people you doom. Help us, God, to liberate and fill this Earth with justice and peace and love and equality. And help us to stop the war and violence, and oppression and occupation. Amen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Imam Al-Hussainy has also reportedly been linked to pro-Hezbollah protests in Detroit and made some comments in an interview with a writer for The Los Angeles Times that some people view as anti-Semitic.
Democratic National Committee communications director, Karen Finney, she gave us this statement tonight with regard to the story. She said, quote, "Imam Al-Hussainy is a respected figure in the American Muslim community who has advised the Bush White House and the Pentagon. Our understanding is that the event you refer to was one of many nationwide events expressing concern for women and children affected by the attacks on Lebanon."
Joining us now is the author of "America Alone." — Mark Steyn is back with us. I find, first of all — last night, we had [former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate] Geraldine Ferraro on the program. And when I quoted what he said about the war and calling America oppressors and occupiers, she goes, "Well, you don't know what war he was talking about. It could have been Darfur." I'm like, "Well, it could have been the Civil War, too, but we know it was the war in Iraq."
But the Democrats stood there, Mark, oppressors and occupiers, and have said nothing, and they're defending him. Your thoughts?
MARK STEYN, AUTHOR: Yes, it's absolutely ridiculous, this. They look as that party, as if they're bowing down and praying that they and their wicked country will be delivered into the hands of Allah. There's no way that any Christian evangelical preacher could get away with saying this equivalent kind of thing.
And, to be honest, I don't have politically the highest opinion of people like Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi , but I don't honestly believe that, if they understood what this guy was saying to them, that they would go along with it, either.
HANNITY: Well, but he said it right in front of them. Now we have called a lot of attention to it. The Democratic Party is, frankly, from what I understand, calling our producers today. They're mad that we're even dealing with the topic today. And they said, "Well, he consulted George Bush." But George Bush didn't hear him say that we were oppressors and occupiers.
This is just this past summer, when, you know, he, quoted in these reports, was one of the leaders of a pro-Hezbollah rally. The Democrats haven't listened to what he said at these rallies. They just said, "Oh, no, no, he was supporting, you know, innocent people." They don't know that to be a fact.
STEYN: Well, let's be bipartisan about it. I mean, if the point is that George Bush has appeared with a lot of imams who later turned out to have dodgy links and to have said suspicious things, then they're right. But we're five years on now. He appeared with a lot of those people in the very early days of this struggle.
And at this point now, I think it behooves every politician in this country, and indeed in the Western world, to be careful about which imams you're seen to publicly endorse.
HANNITY: Well, he was publicly supporting the toppling of Saddam and the president's policy. Now, I know he's since adjusted. We have Paul Barrett writing in the The Los Angeles Times that, "He explained to me, even as a Jew, I might not understand the extent of Zionism's reach."
HANNITY: That's a very troubling statement to me, and it seems consistent with what we're learning about this guy. But the Democrats, they're racing to defend him. Don't they have an obligation to get an explanation for what he meant about oppressing and occupying?
STEYN: Absolutely. And I think they have an obligation to understand that, generally speaking, a lot of these so-called "moderate imams" use language very carefully, and they've become very adept at saying things, as indeed, Arab leaders like Yasser Arafat got very adept at saying one thing when they were over in Washington and another thing when they were with a Muslim audience. And the Democrats shouldn't be falling for that at this stage.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: All right, Mark, first of all, this was a guy who was a Bush administration supporter. This is a person who also had meetings at the behest of the administration at the Pentagon, at the State Department, and at the White House . So why is it OK for the Republicans to utilize his advisory services and lean on him for support, but when the Democrats do, it all of a sudden, all hell breaks loose, if I may use that word?
STEYN: It's not OK. I'm being Mr. Bipartisan here tonight, Alan.
COLMES: Oh, you are? I didn't notice that.
STEYN: I think it's crazy some of the guys that the Bush administration didn't check out before they let the president be photographed with him.
COLMES: Well, all I hear is Democrats being knocked here.
STEYN: Well, the Democrats are being knocked because they had this guy just a couple of days ago. And if this guy had been talking to the Republicans a couple of days ago and said this prayer in front of them, I would be annoyed about that, too. I'm being Mr. Bipartisan.
COLMES: The other amazing thing — and we had Geraldine Ferraro here last night, who goes to Catholic Church, and says this is the same prayer that would be said in her church. And I hear people who want to knock this guy and sometimes seem to be very concerned about what Muslims are saying — claim that somehow there's some hidden message in here. I don't know where in the statement we just played you suggest he's got some message that's either anti-American or whatever you're claiming it to be...
STEYN: Well, for a start, he's talking about "the people you doom," which I'm sure Geraldine Ferraro, if her Catholic priest came in to address a Democratic caucus and started talking about "the people you doom," in other words, the people who aren't of that faith, Geraldine Ferraro would not think that appropriate at a Democratic caucus meeting.
COLMES: Well, who's he talking about? He's talking about Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Muhammad. Who is he dooming?
STEYN: Yes, and that seems very ecumenical.
COLMES: Doesn't it?
STEYN: That seems very ecumenical. But he's talking about them as Muslim prophets. You know, Muslims recognize Jesus as a prophet, but they dispute the divinity of Jesus. The same with Moses. They recognize Moses as a Muslim. So he's not saying Jews, Christians, Muslims, let's all pray together and that we are the world, we are the children, let's hold hands and everything's swell.
COLMES: Well, it seems like that's what you're reading into it. It may not be what he meant, just like you're reading into it what he might have meant about the word "occupation." But the Democrats had, the day before, a Christian minister. They had people of different faiths on different days of their conclave. All of the sudden should they not have someone of the Muslim faith to represent the diversity that is America?
STEYN: Absolutely not. I think it's very important to actually identify serious, credible Muslims who — American Muslims — who are supportive of the United States and are supportive of a moderate Islam within a pluralist America. But this guy, if you're saying this guy, well, he supports Hezbollah, he makes...
COLMES: There's no evidence of that, by the way. We tried to check that out.
STEYN: Well, he's certainly appeared at a demonstration.
COLMES: We've not been able to confirm that here at FOX News.
STEYN: Well, the point here, Alan, is that this is not someone who can credibly be presented as a moderate Muslim. It doesn't matter whether it's Republicans or Democrats taking his side.
HANNITY: All right, Mark, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.
STEYN: Thank you.
HANNITY: And a programming note for you. Imam Al-Hussainy himself will be a guest on this program tomorrow night, so you don't want to miss it.
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