Why do so many millions of Muslims hate the US?

'Factor' debate on Mideast chaos


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 17, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, FNC HOST: Now for the "Top Story". Tonight, why do so many millions of Muslims hate the U.S.A.? Joining us now from Portland, Oregon, Harris Zafar, National spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; and here in the studio, Irshad Manji author of the new book, "Allah, Liberty and Love."

All right, Miss Manji, what if -- if you had to point to one thing that makes some Muslims hate the U.S.A., it would be?

IRSHAD MANJI, AUTHOR, "ALLAH, LIBERTY AND LOVE": Hypocrisy over democracy. While America, the government now, preaches democracy, it has propped up authoritarian leaders and also overthrown democratically-elected ones.

O'REILLY: Where -- where did we overthrow? I know -- I know you are talking about Mubarak and Egypt as far as propping up.

MANJI: Right.

O'REILLY: But where did we overthrow?

MANJI: You know a lot of Muslims are still very rankled by the overthrow of Musadek (ph) in Iran which was a generation ago. But when you combine that with what kids are learning about America on university campuses, about what has happened with America in you know -- South America, the propping up of those dictators as well, you get this big bundle fomenting against the United States and, you know, that I believe that that is a very ideologically-lopsided narrative.

O'REILLY: Ok but it doesn't make any sense logically.

Look, the Soviet --

MANJI: But we're not talking about logic we are talking about emotion.

O'REILLY: -- the Soviet Union, Germany and Japan did awful terrible things, correct?

MANJI: Yes. Oh my God.

O'REILLY: Do I hate Russians, do I hate Germans, do I hate the Japanese?

MANJI: Right, right -- I'm with you.

O'REILLY: No, I don't.

MANJI: I'm with you.

O'REILLY: No I don't.


O'REILLY: All right, so that doesn't make that kind of sense where these people want to kill you and hurt you. What do you think it is Mr. Zafar?

HARRIS ZAFAR, NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON, AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY U.S.A.: Well it's an important question and I think the difference is that what we've seen is that since the 1950s as Irshad was alluding to since then there have been many crisis in the Middle East which involve natural resources such as oil.

And we have sided with the status quo governments, the dictators and kings and disregarding the people, the differences we weren't affected as a people by the Russians. We disregarded a people who are being oppressed by those regimes and people remember that. And the problem then becomes that the current leadership whether its religious or secular they misuse and that they keep reminding people that to rile up the masses against us. And then when things -- isolated incidents happen like this childish yet provocative and vile film that come out. When things like that happen they will use that as a ruse to rile up people --

O'REILLY: Yes but nobody believes that this a stupid film that nobody seen causes people to assassinate ambassadors and to storm embassies and to try to kill people. I mean, that's just irrational.

If Allah and Prophet Muhammad, if they condone murder because of a stupid film then you guys got a real problem inherent in your religion.

But let me get back to you Miss Manji. Both you and Mr. Zafar are Americans, correct?

MANJI: Well, I'm a Canadian citizen.

ZAFAR: Absolutely.

MANJI: But I live now and work in New York.

O'REILLY: All right.

ZAFAR: I'm born and raised American.

O'REILLY: So there is a reason why you live in New York.


O'REILLY: And there is a reason why Mr. Zafar lives in Portland, Oregon because this country is a free country.

MANJI: Right.

O'REILLY: And we provide opportunity for 300 million people.

MANJI: You've got it.

O'REILLY: All right, now.

ZAFAR: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: We're not the devil. The Muslim Americans who live here if they wanted to they could go back to Saudi Arabia or wherever they wanted to go. They aren't going. They are staying. All right?

So this is irrational. But it's irrational on the level of millions and millions of people. You would never have this in Great Britain, in France, even in Brazil. You would never have this kind of conduct.

So then I go back to my original question. What is it about Islam that makes these people have such hatred?

MANJI: Yes. You know, Bill, I have been the hardest of anybody on my fellow Muslims. You know, I've written a book called "The Trouble with Islam". Today, this new book "Allah, Liberty and Love" is all about young Muslims who are striving to reconcile faith and freedom.

I never deny that there is a problem with the way we Muslims are practicing Islam. Having said all of that I must tell you I don't think what's going on in the Middle East and North Africa right now is about Islam. I think it's about so much beyond religion including --

O'REILLY: But they use -- they use their religion as an excuse to do it.

MANJI: That's right. There you go. And what I'm taking so much strength from, despite all of the images of violence, we're also now seeing images of moderate Muslims. What you've been calling for --

O'REILLY: Not many, not many.

MANJI: -- stepping up with signs, visibly making themselves target. Saying please forgive us.

O'REILLY: And I feel sorry, in Libya they can get away with it but you couldn't get away with it in Egypt --

MANJI: We love you, America. You've got to give them credit Bill.

O'REILLY: All right, there are some of that. Absolutely because they -- because they could be assassinated for doing that.

MANJI: Ok but why do I have to push you to give credit?

O'REILLY: You don't have to push me.

MANJI: It's all bad news as far as you're concern.

O'REILLY: But I'm more -- I'm more of interested in a -- in a culture, all right, that in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, in Iran, in Egypt, in Indonesia, in the Sudan.

MANJI: Right.

ZAFAR: Right.

O'REILLY: Mr. Zafar, come on it's an out-of-control culture at this point. And I'll give you the last word, sir.

ZAFAR: Absolutely.

And -- and the only thing I take contention with is to kind of -- to imply any implication on Allah or the Prophet Muhammad. Though, the fact that we've seen many examples in the life of the Prophet Muhammad in which he was blasphemed to his face. And he didn't respond to that. If anything he calmed his own people down from taking any vengeance.

I think that's testament to the fact that Islam does not prescribe this and --

O'REILLY: Ok but many of your clerics are not teaching that?

ZAFAR: Not -- my cleric the worldwide (inaudible) of the Muslim community has been the -- probably the most vocal.

O'REILLY: All right but you know what I'm talking about in the Wahabis sect and all of that -- they are not teaching that.

ZAFAR: Which we have we always condemned and denounced. Which we should be all Muslim should be quick at denouncing such hatred and violence and yes we are.

O'REILLY: All right and they should, absolutely. Because we have to stop this, this is crazy.

ZAFAR: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: Thank you very much both -- a very interesting debate.

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