Terror Group Releases New Jihad Tape Using ‘The Lion King’ to Target Kids

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 28, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Moving on tonight, Hamas TV unveiled a new cartoon character aimed at inspiring young extremists. This one bears a strong resemblance to the Disney movie "The Lion King."

The cartoon depicts the recent victory of Hamas over Fatah. This isn't the first time Hamas has used loveable cartoon characters to indoctrinate young viewers. Before "The Lion King," there was Farquar, the Mickey Mouse look-alike and Nahoul, a friendly bee.

Joining us now, the author of "The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit," Wall Street Journal reporter Lucette Lagnado.

Lucette, welcome to our show. Nice to see you.


COLMES: Why should we be surprised that they would use pop cultural icons for propaganda? There's nothing unusual here, is there?

LAGNADO: It's so awful. But maybe they've sunk about as low as I can imagine, to really, you know, target little children to indoctrinate the message of hate. It's, I think, unconscionable...

COLMES: But it's not a surprise. Both sides have done it. Fatah has done it. Hamas has done it. It's been done since time immemorial by people who want to get their message out, good message or bad message. That's a known technique to do.

LAGNADO: Except I guess maybe it's very effective. I'm afraid to say the use of these sort of very, sort of likeable, lovable images to convey a message of hate. We may have sunk to new depths, I'm afraid.

COLMES: Right. You know, unfortunately, one talks about things that are taught in the schools over there. And you know, I'm kind of a peacenik. Rather than going and having bullets, I would rather work with the educational system to make sure that people are educated in a way that they get the full story. And that was what we have to focus on. Don't you think?

LAGNADO: Absolutely. I was born in Egypt of a Jewish family.


LAGNADO: And I think the world doesn't even know that, once upon a time, there were 80,000 Jews in Egypt. And we had to leave. But I wasn't brought up with messages of hatred as a little girl in the country. The Jews and the Muslims lived very peacefully and harmoniously together.

COLMES: Right.

LAGNADO: And I was brought up. My parents told me they loved their Muslim neighbors.

COLMES: "The Man in the Sharkskin Suit" was your dad?

LAGNADO: Absolutely. And he brought me up, and he would always tell me about his — you know, his wonderful colleagues and co-workers.

COLMES: So isn't it really about what families teach their children more than, necessarily, what they see in the media or what they see in public? But really, by the family basis, just as you had a good education, because you came from a culture at home that taught you this.

LAGNADO: But it was a wonderful family environment. But the entire culture was there. If you had another, you know, former Egyptian, Jewish child, I'm sure she or he would tell you the same story.

I don't know why they're spreading these horrible messages of hatred to the children there. They're destroying yet another generation.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Lucette, I think this is more evil and more sinister than our peacenik — no offense, you described yourself that way — liberal friends really want to understand or grasp here.

And that is that if you can use images like we're showing on the screen like Mickey Mouse and "The Lion King."


HANNITY: And you have these madrassas that are teaching the hatred and teaching jihad and holy war against Jewish people and that you could have a leader of Iran talk about annihilating an entire state here. This is war. You cannot negotiate with people that think this way. Do you agree with that?

LAGNADO: I think it's incredibly tragic that they're targeting children, though. If you saw one of the videos, they have a little girl dressed in, you know, the traditional Islamic headdress. And she's spouting the same messages of hatred. And she can't be more than 10 or 11 years old.

HANNITY: I want you to follow my thought process here. If you could indoctrinate a child by using a cartoon into hating a group of people or that you could justify, through religion or belief in God, strapping bombs on your own kids to go off and kill innocent people, I don't think — you can't reason with that madness.

I compare that to modern Nazism in terms of its sick and twisted ideology. Am I wrong?

LAGNADO: I think that they've reached, definitely, new lows. I mean, I think that's about as low a thing as they've sunk, to specifically target little kids. These are very innocent, you know, very tender minds. How old are the children who watch these cartoons, do you think?

HANNITY: But my point is, but if you justify using cartoons to indoctrinate your kids, and characters to indoctrinate your kids, it seems to me to be a level of evil and brainwashing and indoctrination that is very similar in my mind to people who commit acts of evil, modern-day acts of evil.

Look, in our life, we've fought back the forces of fascism, Nazism, imperial Japan, totalitarianism, communism. Is this on the same level as that evil?

LAGNADO: I think we're reaching it, but I guess I'd like to be the peacemaker tonight.

COLMES: That's impossible after 11 years.

LAGNADO: Because I guess I keep thinking, how do we deal with it?

HANNITY: How do you deal with it? I think you go to war with them. With people like this, I think you've got to go to war.

COLMES: If you go to war you're only creating more hate and continuing the cycle of hate.

HANNITY: So we should bow at the altar of people that want to use...

COLMES: No. You do what James Baker says. You talk to your enemies first before you go to war.

HANNITY: You're living in La La Land. Liberal La La Land.

LAGNADO: Is there any way...

COLMES: I live in New York, not La La Land.

LAGNADO: Is this hopelessly naive? Is there any way to remind them, you know, once upon a time...

HANNITY: If you can do that to a child, that's child abuse.

COLMES: Let's not teach our kids war.

Thank you very much for being with us.

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