Why Won't Mainstream Media Call Hasan a "Muslim Terrorist"?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 11, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: The controversy over how to define Major Hasan continues. According to a new Rasmussen poll, 60 percent of Americans want the Fort Hood shooting investigated as a terrorist act. Just 27 percent think it was a criminal act to be dealt with in civilian court. But in the media, it's a different story.


SALLY QUINN, WASHINGTON POST: There's been so much focus on the fact that he's a Muslim when the focus should be on the fact that the military did not pick up on the fact that this guy was emotionally disturbed.


O'REILLY: Joining us now from D.C. is Sally Quinn, founder of The Washington Post feature “On Faith.” So why can't we do both here, Ms. Quinn? I want to find out…


O'REILLY: ...about the Army and what they knew and why they didn't take action. But why can't we call the guy a Muslim terrorist because he is one, and investigate as well? I mean, you seem to have a problem with the Muslim terrorist designation.

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QUINN: No, actually, I don't. I — what I think is that right now, everybody is trying to simplify the situation, and it is extremely complicated. There are so many different factors involved, and we don't know a lot.

O'REILLY: OK, but…

QUINN: I mean, the guy may well be a terrorist.

O'REILLY: I'm one of the guys…

QUINN: The way Timothy — yeah.

O'REILLY: I'm one of the guys trying to simplify.

QUINN: Right, OK.

O'REILLY: So I'm going to say how I see it and you say — you tell me where I'm wrong.




O'REILLY: Here you got a guy who is a troubled man. You agree?

QUINN: Right.

O'REILLY: OK, troubled man. We start there. He gets a poor evaluation at Walter Reed, where he works prior to Fort Hood. Not doing his job very well. Transferred out to Texas. Then they find out, the FBI does, that he's e-mailing a big shot in Al Qaeda in Yemen, OK. So now we have a troubled man who's interested in jihad. He's interested in Al Qaeda for some reason, all right? So far you with me?

QUINN: I'm there.

O'REILLY: OK, I'm simple. I'm keeping it real simple.

QUINN: Yeah.

O'REILLY: OK, so then for some reason, he blends the jihad with the troubled-ness, picks up a couple of guns, and murders 13 people and wounds 30 others. OK. I am ascribing that to his jihad philosophy combined with whatever neurosis was eating him. Simple, right? Am I wrong?

QUINN: Well, actually, that's very complicated.

O'REILLY: Why? What's complicated about that?

QUINN: What you just said. No, well, because I mean, Timothy McVeigh was called a terrorist.

O'REILLY: And he is.

QUINN: And I don't know whether that's the right.


QUINN: Yes, probably he was.

O'REILLY: He was. Terrorist act. You blow up an office building…

QUINN: Yeah.

O'REILLY: ...and you kill people, it's a terrorist act.

QUINN: This guy was clearly disturbed. He was clearly — I mean, jihad means many different things. You know, he was Muslim. Most Muslims believe that violence — they're against violence. But there are a large number of Muslims who…

O'REILLY: But he was a Muslim interested in jihad.

QUINN: Yeah.

O'REILLY: He was a Muslim e-mailing Al Qaeda. He was a Muslim screaming "Allah Akbar" when he was gunning people down. Come on. I don't get why you guys, and I'm generalizing…

QUINN: Wait a minute. I'm not...

O'REILLY: I don't get it. I don't get why you don't call it what it is. He's a jihadist.

QUINN: Well, that may well be. And I do think that there should be a lot of investigation about this. Not some, but a lot. Starting with how did he get into medical school? How did he get through…

O'REILLY: The Army put him through school. He enlisted in the Army and they did everything for him.

QUINN: Why was he treating patients? Why were they not picking up on the fact that he was making speeches and saying that this was a war — that Iraq and Afghanistan were wars against Islam.

O'REILLY: All of that is valid.

QUINN: I mean, all of these. The guy had red flags coming out of his ears.


QUINN: So yeah.

O'REILLY: And we need to know that.

QUINN: Right.

O'REILLY: But you — you have a hard time saying the words "Muslim terrorist," and so does Obama. He has a hard time saying it. I don't know why you guys aren't saying it. Why? Why?

QUINN: Well, I think, you know, first of all, there are different kinds of terrorists, as I said.

O'REILLY: He's a Muslim terrorist. What do you mean different kinds of terrorists? He kills people under the banner of jihad. That's who he is.

QUINN: Right.

O'REILLY: What — look, what do you want him to come to your house with a strap-on bomb? The guy did it for jihadist reasons. "Allah Akbar." That's the slogan. E-mails Al Qaeda. Ms. Quinn, you're a brilliant woman. And I'm not saying that facetiously. You are. This is - - a third grader gets this. And you're resisting it. I want to know why.

QUINN: No, Bill, you're making a very good case. I mean, he's a Muslim, and he may well end up being a terrorist. We don't know for sure.

O'REILLY: I know for sure.


O'REILLY: Ninety percent of the people watching me know for sure.

QUINN: Right.

O'REILLY: I don't know why you don't know for sure. What else do you need?

QUINN: Well, I mean, you know, you can call the guy who blew up, you know, who shot up the Holocaust museum a terrorist.

O'REILLY: Did he yell "Allah Akbar"? If he yelled "Allah Akbar" and he e-mailed an Al Qaeda in Yemen, I'd call him that, Ms. Quinn.

QUINN: OK, he's a Muslim terrorist.


O'REILLY: Thank you. Sally Quinn, everybody. We appreciate it. A long road, but we got there.

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