Critics are continuing to hammer Fox News in the wake of a baffling segment in which a host continually questioned a decorated religious scholar over the fact that he’s a Muslim who writes about Christianity.
Scholar and author Reza Aslan appeared on Fox News on Friday to discuss his new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. The interview began on a strange note, with host Lauren Green asking, “I want to clarify. You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?”
Aslan remained calm, replying: "Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim."
He continued, “It’s not as if I’m just some Muslim writing about Jesus. I am an expert with a Ph.D. in the history of religions.”
That answer didn’t seem to satisfy Green, who interrupted Aslan to ask, “But it still begs to question why you would be interested in the founder of Christianity?”
The back and forth ensued with Aslan saying “This isn’t a Muslim opinion. This is an academic work of history,” noting the controversies in the book seem to be over his faith rather than his arguments.
Towards the end of the interview, Green accuses Aslan of failing to disclose that he is a Muslim. Aslan shot back, “Ma’am, the second page of my book says I’m a Muslim.”
He added, “Every single interview I have ever done on TV or on print says I am a Muslim. You may not be familiar with me, but I am actually quite a prominent Muslim thinker in the United States. I have written a number of books about Islam. It just simply is incorrect to say that media isn’t saying that I am a Muslim. I would actually encourage you to actually try to find media that doesn’t mention my biography which, by the way, again is on the second page of the book”.
Check out the interview below: