This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 13, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Impact" segment tonight, the Los Angeles police department is actively canvassing Muslim neighborhoods in the City of Angels, trying to discourage people from supporting the jihad. This has angered the very liberal "L.A. Times," who calls the program racial profiling. The ACLU has also condemned the police strategy.
Joining us now from San Diego, Dinesh D'Souza, the author of the new book, "What's So Great About Christianity?" And from Irvine, Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of CAIR in Los Angeles.
Now Mr. Ayloush, the LAPD wants CAIR, your organization, to support the program, saying it's simply an effort to dissuade young Muslims from supporting the jihad. What's wrong with that, sir?
HUSSAM AYLOUSH, CAIR: Well, nothing — there's nothing wrong with preventing terrorism. And we've been very proud of CAIR. And as a Muslim community at large, in partnering with various law enforcement agencies, including LAPD and the FBI and others in preventing terrorism, and that's something that is the duty of every American. We all care about our country. And American Muslims are not different.
But what we don't like is, and we don't appreciate it, is for anybody to start a program on the false premise that the American Muslim community is somehow more prone or susceptible to committing acts of violence more than any other ethnic group.
O'REILLY: OK, now, but the LAPD hasn't said that. They have said that they want to go into the Muslim neighborhoods. They want — and they're putting more officers in there to do that, to speak to the younger people, to find out if there are any radical clerics who are spouting hatred, as they do in London, as you know, and to try to prevent anything from happening.
It seems to me they're being respectful of the community. They're going in. They're — it's an outreach program more than anything else. But then as soon as you target a Muslim neighborhood, you've got racial profiling charges by the nutty "LA Times ." And I just think that's ridiculous.
AYLOUSH : Well, there are two points to make. One, this is America. This is not London. American Muslims are very happy to be Americans. They're very comfortable in their own environment. And they don't have any anger. And if they catch any terrorists...
O'REILLY: So if you — In Lackawana...
AYLOUSH: ...they would report that.
O'REILLY: In Lackawana, New York; at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in Miami, Florida; Muslim Americans have been arrested and charged with terror plots. And you can't give me this pie in the sky. 90 percent of American Muslims, I agree with you.
But there is a jihad in this world. Some idiots will buy into it. What do you say, Mr. D'Souza?
DINEH D'SOUZA, AUTHOR OF "THE ENEMEY OF HOME": Well, I think that look, it's clear that we're facing a problem of Islamic radicalism in the world today. We see it in Europe. We see it in America.
I think it's naive to expect that if we're looking for a member of an al Qaeda cell, you should look just as hard at the Mormon Tabernacle choir. Or in the Unitarian Church meeting as you should, for example, in the Muslim community.
The radical Muslims do what they do in the name of Islam. So it seems to me what the LAPD is trying to do is distinguish, if you will, the good Muslims from the bad Muslims. They're saying we're not just going to go after, if you will, the bad guys. We're going to try to understand the history, the culture, the demography, the religion, so that we're able to make the distinctions that we need to make. It's the very opposite of a kind of crude racial profiling.
O'REILLY: Well, I think there's more to it than that. That sounds a little pie in the sky, too. The LAPD is not going to waste their time and money, going in to try to learn about the Muslim community. What they're trying to do — aggressively trying to do is to convince young people to tell them if there is a jihad movement in the area, if somebody tries to recruit them. And I think that's legitimate.
But Mr. D'Souza, when you read The L.A. Times, slapping a racial profile thing on there, subjecting The L.A. Times to pretty much to every anti-terror measure in existence, why do you think the paper does this?
D'SOUZA: Well, I think that The L.A. Times — well, to some degree they're not taking seriously the fact that we are in a war. They're not taking seriously the fact that there are people who — who do plan serious harm to this country.
O'REILLY: Why though? Why don't they take it seriously? They're not stupid people.
D'SOUZA: No, no, no. But they're looking at all this through the prism of civil rights. See, in civil rights, in the black liberation movement of the '50's and '60's, the idea was that racism is the theory and discrimination is the practice.
So if you pick out any group for whatever reason, the assumption is you're doing it because you hate the group, you're motivated by irrational prejudice, and you're being driven to treat them unfairly.
I guess what I'm saying is I think in this case, the police are trying to make a distinction. They're trying to be able to pick out the guys who do pose serious harm, while recognizing that the majority.
O'REILLY: Well, that's what I agree. I agree, too. Now I think, Mr. Ayloush, to be fair to "The L.A. Times" and others, and I hope you don't fall into this category, still thinks that the LAPD is the Rodney King squad. You know, that whenever they go in with any minority investigation or canvassing of any minority, that they're doing, as Mr. D'Souza said, for malevolent reasons. You don't believe that, do you?
AYLOUSH: Well, not only this, we've worked with the LAPD. And that comes as a surprise to us...
AYLOUSH: ...that they would come and infringe on First Amendment rights issues.
O'REILLY: But they're not infringing? What were they infringing?
AYLOUSH: Of course they are. Bill, they are. They're talking that there would be monitoring groups, practicing surveillance and scrutiny on a Muslim community, not based on suspicious criminal activities. No, but solely based on the religious and political views of that community. That's (INAUDIBLE).
O'REILLY: If they were wiretapping somebody or doing something like that — but you — they have a — look, I want CAIR to help the LAPD with this program, because I think you...
AYLOUSH: No, not, not true...
O'REILLY: ...and you have been on this program before, Mr. Ayloush.
O'REILLY: I think you're a good American. And I think you've got a good perspective on this, but we have to find out if in American Muslim communities, there are radicals. We have to find it out. And the only way you can do it is to go in and ask questions.
AYLOUSH: Bill, this project would do exactly the opposite. It would alienate the same group that we need...
O'REILLY: Well, I hope not.
AYLOUSH: ...being the self defense.
O'REILLY: All right, gentlemen.
AYLOUSH: The first line of defense.
O'REILLY: Thanks for the good debate.
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