July 27, 2013.
On Friday, Fox News invited renowned religious scholar and prolific author Reza Aslan onto the air, ostensibly to discuss his latest book on Christianity, ‘Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.’
But instead, host Lauren Green launched into an Islamophobic attack on Aslan’s credentials and expressed incredulity that he, a self-professed Muslim, would be able to write about Christianity in a fair and honest way.
Throughout the nearly 10 minute interview, Green inaccurately sought to portray Aslan as a religiously-motivated agitator with a hidden agenda out to discredit the very religion that he himself once practiced:
GREEN: This is an interesting book. Now I want to clarify, you’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?Undeterred, Green continued by reading aloud from an equally Islamophobic FoxNews.com column by John Dickerson in which he dismissed Aslan’s academic pedigree, referring to him simply as “an educated Muslim” with an “opinion” about Jesus.
ASLAN: 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. So it’s not that I’m just some Muslim writing about Jesus, I am an expert with a Ph.D in the history of religions…
GREEN: But it still begs the question why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?
ASLAN: Because it’s my job as an academic. I am a professor of religion, including the New Testament. That’s what I do for a living, actually.
Watch the video and read the rest here.
*****Comment: So do these folks even know that Islam reveres Jesus and that it is one of the three Abrahamic religions?
It never ceases to amaze me how bigots will play the (wo)man and completely miss the complexity of an issue like this.
How many folks have read Karen Armstrong? She is an ex-nun who has written prolifically on religion (belief). Among her books are "A history of God", "Muhammad: Prophet for our time", and "The great transformation: The world in the time of Buddha".
I respect her work and judge her contributions not on the fact that she is a Christian or that she does not hold a doctorate in religion.
It also does not matter to me that she is a woman or white.
So why all the fuss about Reza Aslan? He is after all a scholar of religion and doing what academics in their fields do. That is, he is researching and writing about his specialty area.
Playing the man for being a Muslim is just plain racist.
There is much more complexity to this book than just a refutation of Christ as God.
Thinkers engage. Bigots deride.