Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Imam Al-Husainy Reacts to DNC Flap

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," February 8, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: We've told you about the controversial imam who was invited to give the invocation at the DNC winter meeting last Friday. Let's play for you again his remarks that have raised so many questions.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

HUSHAM AL-HUSAINY, IMAM: 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. Ameen.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HANNITY: Joining us now only on "Hannity & Colmes" is the imam, Husham al-Husainy, is with us.

Thank you for being with us, sir. Appreciate it. Are you calling...

AL-HUSAINY: Thank you very much.

HANNITY: Were you calling America...

AL-HUSAINY: Thank you very much for inviting me to open this dialogue and to build this bridge. I really appreciate it. But you missed the first two lines of the praying, we'll say it maybe in the interview.

HANNITY: Are you calling America an oppressor, an occupier nation, sir?

AL-HUSAINY: Are you talking to me? Oh, no, I never said that.

HANNITY: Well, you said — well, sir, the thing is you'd stop the war, the violence, the oppression and the occupation. Who were you calling oppressors and occupiers, then?

AL-HUSAINY: Well, I am generally against any occupation and...

HANNITY: I didn't ask you — sir, with all due — with all due respect, you're not answering my question. I said who were you referring to when you said occupiers and oppressors?

AL-HUSAINY: I never said that. I don't know. But you have to bring it back. I don't remember. I don't recall what you're talking about.

HANNITY: Bring back the last...

AL-HUSAINY: I'm against any occupier. For example, let's — let's talk freely. As a liberator, I welcomed President Bush to come and liberate Iraq. But I am against the occupation of Iraq. And that's what was in my mind.

HANNITY: Mr. Husainy, Mr. Husainy, what you said was, "Stop the war, the violence, the oppression and the occupation."

AL-HUSAINY: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: Who were you calling an occupier, if not for the United States? You were calling the United States an oppressor and an occupier, and now you seem to be backtracking...

AL-HUSAINY: Those were not my words.

HANNITY: We'll put the words back up. We'll put the words back up...

AL-HUSAINY: Because one-third of this globe is occupied by one people or another. There is so many kinds of occupation. Political, psychological.

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you this.

AL-HUSAINY: Major occupations...

HANNITY: Let me read your own words, which we just played. "And help us to stop" — let me finish, sir.

AL-HUSAINY: Don't miss the first two lines of my prayers. I said thank you, God, for making us as a great nation. Thank you, God, to bless us as a creation. Why did you miss that one?

HANNITY: Then I'm going to ask you my question again. This is important. When you said stop the war, the violence, the oppression and occupation, who were the oppressors and occupiers that you said were there?

AL-HUSAINY: Any evil party. Any occupier occupying innocent people...

HANNITY: No, you weren't.

AL-HUSAINY: ... an innocent land and suck the wealth of the nation, whether that is in Middle East or somewhere else.

HANNITY: I have another question.

AL-HUSAINY: Because I spoke the language of the biblical language, the language of our father Abraham and Moses.

HANNITY: I have a very hard time believing your explanation. I'm going to be honest. Will you — hang on a second. Will you believe, will you admit that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, sir?

AL-HUSAINY: That is your explanation.

HANNITY: Is it?

AL-HUSAINY: But Hezbollah — sir, you give me time to explain.

HANNITY: This is a yes or no? Is Hezbollah a terrorist organization? Yes or no? Is Hezbollah...

AL-HUSAINY: No.

HANNITY: No. They're not?

AL-HUSAINY: What are you talking about? What are you talking — which question do you want me to answer?

HANNITY: I'll ask you again. Is Hezbollah — this is a yes or no question. Is Hezbollah a terrorist organization? Yes or no?

AL-HUSAINY: Now if — I give you a time to ask me a question. Now give me time to answer it, please.

HANNITY: Yes or no?

AL-HUSAINY: First of all — first of all, Hezbollah is a Lebanese organization. And I've got nothing to do with that. But there is a biblical meaning of Hezbollah. It is in Judaism and Christianity and Islam meaning people of God and that means yes.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Imam, it's Alan Colmes. I've been defending you, but I want to understand a couple of things. I've been the one on this show defending your appearance at the DNC. But I want to understand. You've been accused of appearing at rallies, in fact, leading Hezbollah — pro-Hezbollah rallies in Dearborn and in Washington. Is that true?

AL-HUSAINY: That is false. First of all, I've never been in Washington for that, sir.

Second, we were in Dearborn, and Dearborn is about a quarter million of Middle East people, Muslims and Christian and Arabs and Jews. As a matter of fact, on my right side was a rabbi, on my left side were priests, and we were all together going for the sake of peace, for the sake of ceasefire, for the sake of...

COLMES: Were these rallies in support of Hezbollah?

AL-HUSAINY: As a matter of fact, if the Jewish will have a peace rally, I will attend to them.

COLMES: I attend. Were they in support of Hezbollah?

AL-HUSAINY: No, actually, everybody have different interpretations. But our interpretation — I was responsible on (UNINTELLIGIBLE) — our interpretation is for peace. We're praying for peace and cease-fire in the Middle East for all sides to stop the killing of innocent people and the bombings.

COLMES: I just want to understand what — your position. You've also done pro-war rallies in D.C. and Dearborn. And you were pro-Iraq war and you were pro-Bush on the Iraq war. And in fact, when Saddam Hussein died, as I understand it, you were out in the streets celebrating. You said it's great that they've murdered Saddam Hussein. So I'm confused about where you stand.

AL-HUSAINY: That's very true. I will help you to remove that confusion, my friend.

First of all, I never was a pro-war. I was a pre-liberation. I asked for the liberation of Iraq. I never said for occupation or a war against Iraq. That's one thing.

The second thing is, yes, I am happy to see Saddam die, because he's an enemy of God. He's an evil man, and he is an enemy of humanity.

COLMES: But you supported Bush, and you supported the Iraq War, but you changed at some point. You came — you're now against that policy.

AL-HUSAINY: That's the truth, sir. I supported Bush. But when Bush, for example, decided to occupy Iraq, I stopped supporting him, because I don't like occupation. Just like I said in my prayer. Whether occupation of the Muslim land or...

COLMES: All right. I want to get to what Sean asked you, though, which is when you said occupation — this is the subject of great controversy. When you used the word "occupation" when you spoke to the Democratic National Committee, in your mind were you thinking about the occupation of Iraq? Was that what you were referring to when you used that word?

AL-HUSAINY: Actually, that is true, because most of the candidates were talking about pulling our troops from Iraq after they've done the good job of liberating Iraq and to stop the occupation. And actually, I was supporting that approach and supporting the Democratic approach which is not against Muslims.

HANNITY: I've got one last question. Imam, I've got one last question. I want you to answer yes or no to these two questions. Is Hezbollah a terrorist group, and is Israel a nation of peace?

AL-HUSAINY: Well, first of all, I believe all the nations are for peace, whether they are Lebanese, whether they are Muslim.

HANNITY: Is Hezbollah a terrorist organization, sir?

AL-HUSAINY: This is — your idea of a political or...

COLMES: Imam, we...

AL-HUSAINY: ... you know what Hezbollah means. I support the people of God.

COLMES: We — we've got to run.

AL-HUSAINY: Whether they are Christians, or Muslims or Jewish.

COLMES: We appreciate your coming on the show.

Watch "Hannity & Colmes" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2007 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. (www.voxant.com), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.