Fresh off asking an alleged rape victim why she didn't just bite her attacker's dick off, CNN anchor Don Lemon is back to insulting his show's guests via his total lack of preparation and general clown-show routine. Or maybe he's just stupid. I don't know.
Covering yesterday's attack on Charlie Hebdo's offices in Paris, Lemon spoke with Arsalan Iftikhar, senior editor at The Islamic Monthly and a Muslim-American international-human-rights lawyer.
The interview started off fine enough, with Iftikhar explaining how he is "shocked and horrified by what happened," and that the attacks are "something that is against any normative teaching of Islam or any religious teaching, and it is a crime against humanity and an act of mass murder." He goes on to make the fairly common point that those that attacked Charlie Hedbo are extremists, no more representative of Islam than abortion-clinic bombers are representative of Christianity. He also calls out the unfair stereotype Muslims face:
I think it is important to call out the fact that when Christians commit acts of terror, we don't ask priests and pastors to go on national television and condemn these acts, but sadly, Muslim public intellectuals, thinkers, leaders, and Islamic scholars have that double standard that we have to deal with.
Lemon sums up Iftikhar's points as "you're saying Islam isn't to blame—radical Islam is to blame," and then they talk about it for another two minutes! Which is to say, for almost five minutes, Don Lemon has a conversation in which he seemingly understands what his guest—to reiterate, an American human-rights lawyer—is saying. As Iftikhar brings up Anders Breivik—who killed 77 people in Norway and wrote a manifesto that in part asserted his Christian beliefs—Lemon ends the discussion with "point taken, Arsalan, I understand where you're going with this."
Which makes the following exchange (at the 4:40 mark) all the more incredible:
Lemon: Again, in August, 16 percent of French citizens support ISIS. Would you describe those who support ISIS as Islamic extremists? Do you support ISIS?
Iftikhar: Wait, did you just ask if I support ISIS? I just answered your question. I said that obviously these 16 percent of people support the ideology, but again, I don't think that would necessarily extrapolate to the killing of innocent people.
C'monnnnnnnn, Don Lemon. Watch Iftikhar's eyebrows when he hears that question! Those eyebrows tell you all you need to know about that question. The guy just spent five minutes repeatedly demonstrating his horror over these attacks, and then you use the results of an August Newsweek poll surveying French people to slip a "Do you support ISIS?" in there?
If Iftikhar needed another example of Muslim intellectuals having to answer shit questions that aren't lobbed at people from other religions, he just found it.