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Interviews

Deepak Chopra in No Spin Zone

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 19, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: The author Deepak Chopra has a new book out called "Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet." Dr. Chopra was raised a Hindu but knows a lot about Islam. He joins us now.

So, you must be horrified by me.

DEEPAK CHOPRA, AUTHOR: Don't walk out on me, please. I'm your guest.

O'REILLY: I would never walk out on you, Doctor. I mean, I don't walk out on anybody. I've thrown some people off here, but I don't walk out. But, you know, I mean, I'm pretty tough. I believe there is a Muslim problem in the world, and I think we should acknowledge it and try to solve it.

CHOPRA: I think there is a problem. You're right. Seventy percent of people are against the mosque, as you said.

O'REILLY: Right.

CHOPRA: But, you know, I work as a senior scientist at Gallup. Sixty-five percent of Americans say they know nothing about either Muhammad or Islam.

O'REILLY: Well, they should read your book then, but let me stop you there. I don't think that's required to know what the Muslim problem is in the world, because you have strife coming out of Muslim nations, like Iran, like Afghanistan, like Pakistan. You have Muslim insurrections in more than a dozen countries. You don't need to know the tenets of Islam to know the geopolitical situation.

CHOPRA: You need to know the context -- the economic context, the political context, the cultural context -- so you can have a conversation. Your view, by the way, and I really watched the incident at "The View," and I think it should never happen. They shouldn't have walked out because that's a cop-out. Your view is a very popular view, and we should try and understand why that is.

Americans are outraged and angered. They're in fear, as well. But they also don't understand that in America, at least, right now, the Muslims are actually the most diverse population.

O'REILLY: I'll challenge you. I think Americans do understand that. I think that American citizens, by and large, treat Muslim Americans with respect and dignity.

CHOPRA: As it should be.

O'REILLY: But you're right. We are not afraid, but we are concerned that terror incidents driven out of jihad, OK, are affecting not only America but everybody else in the world.

CHOPRA: So how do we solve that, Bill? How do we solve it?

O'REILLY: How do we solve it? Do you think you can reason with Ahmadinejad? Can I send you over there and you can reason with him?

CHOPRA: We can get the moderates on our side, you know, and the imam and his wife, they are actually reformers. They are moderates.

O'REILLY: Your family, I understand...

CHOPRA: Yes.

O'REILLY: ...was -- some of your family, when you were in India, were killed by Muslims?

CHOPRA: During the Partition, yes.

O'REILLY: Right. And still in India, Hindu vs. Muslim is a huge problem.

CHOPRA: Right. But then how do we elevate this whole conversation so we can find a creative solution? You know, Einstein said no problem can ever be solved at the level of consciousness in which it was created. How do we actually get the moderates? And there are lots of them, by the way, in the U.S. I talk to moderates all the time.

O'REILLY: I don't think we have to get them in the U.S. I think most Muslim Americans in the United States are loyal, and they support the U.S. government. But are you telling me that you think you can reason with the Taliban? You think you can reason with Al Qaeda, with Iran? You can't reason with them.

CHOPRA: You can get the support of the moderates. Then, you know...

O'REILLY: You can get the support of the moderates in Iran. We saw what happened to them.

CHOPRA: Sixty percent of the population in Iran is under the age of 25.

O'REILLY: It doesn't matter. There's a secret police there. It's a police state.

CHOPRA: The police state is going to self-sabotage itself.

O'REILLY: Maybe. But in the meantime, they're doing a hell of a lot of damage.

CHOPRA: But in the meantime, we should not alienate the people who are on our side.

O'REILLY: I don't think we are. I don't think America alienates moderate Muslims the world over. I don't -- I don't buy that for a minute. I mean, we're protecting ourselves and other countries.

CHOPRA: What's the endgame, Bill? What's the endgame?

O'REILLY: The endgame, as you said, is to try to persuade the Muslim world to rise up against the extremists.

CHOPRA: Yes.

O'REILLY: But, at the same time, you have to put the extremists in a position not to kill people.

CHOPRA: That's true.

O'REILLY: OK, and the only way you can do that is by force.

CHOPRA: OK. Even there I don't argue. But come back to the situation in New York. I was at a private party where President Clinton made the suggestion that instead of calling it the mosque, why don't we say it's an Islamic cultural center for interfaith dialogue?

O'REILLY: You don't even have to do that. I told...

CHOPRA: To have a memorial for the victims of 9/11.

O'REILLY: Do you know Imam Rauf?

CHOPRA: I know his wife.

O'REILLY: OK. Well, you call his wife up today. You tell him this. All Imam Rauf and his crew have to do is say, "We're going to dedicate this mosque, community center to peace. And we are going to condemn what happened here on 9/11." I'll get a hammer and help them down there for that.

CHOPRA: I am telling you, they're prepared to do that.

O'REILLY: Well, then have them come on the show tomorrow and do it, and it all goes away.

CHOPRA: They are prepared to actually have a memorial for the victims.

O'REILLY: No, I want to hear Imam Rauf condemn what happened on 9/11 and condemn the jihad. That's what I want to hear.

CHOPRA: I think he should do that. I agree.

O'REILLY: You come on with him. You and him come on right here, and then we put that whole thing to bed.

CHOPRA: Daisy Khan went to an English...

O'REILLY: And that's swell. And I'll come down there with a saw and hammer and help them if you get him on here to say that.

Mr. Chopra -- Dr. Chopra, I should say. "Muhammad" is the book. You want to learn about Islam, read the doctor's book. Thanks for coming in here.

CHOPRA: Thanks for having me.

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