'This Week' Transcript: God and Government


SHARPTON: No but - but - but I don't think others profess to represent a higher calling. So I think it does fall on religious leaders, or those of us that are in the public arena but coming from a religious motive. I grew up here in Brooklyn, and sometime my passion would outrun where I should have cut off. Cause there's - there - where do you go over the line where your passion becomes incendiary? And I had to check myself. Sometime your vanity can outrun your sanity.

And it doesn't mean you're wrong. But it does mean if you're going to represent a high principle, you should act that way.

I remember 20 years ago I was stabbed here leading a march in Brooklyn. And my mother said one thing to me. She says "What would Doctor King do?" who preached in this church. I went to the court and testified on behalf of the assailant who tried to kill me, which everyone was shocked. The message to me was why were they shocked? Because I was not giving that kind of image.

SHARPTON: So I think we all have got to be self reflective. But I would disagree that we're not fighting over religion. Because some of the Islamophobia that we've seen and are demonstrated in the last couple of years is a fight over religion, and I don't think we've dealt with it.


PATEL: We have a remarkable opportunity in this country. This is the first nation that brings people from the four corners of the Earth from every conceivable ethnic, racial, religious, national background to build together a country. We have an opportunity to be a city on a hill where the Mosque, the Synagogue, the Church, the Tsonga (sp?), the secular humanist society, works together in a world in which those communities are too often at each other's throats.

AMANPOUR: So Reverend Sharpton?


ROBERTS, C.: But that's happened more than it doesn't. We shouldn't forget that when we talk about incivility now, you know, just a few years ago there were children being bombed in a church. There were people being beaten throughout the - the south. You know, but we - and we came together as a country, and - and passed the laws that made it possible for Mississippi to now have the most number of Black elected officials of any state in the union.

So I think that, you know, we - we do overcome these things. We have to fight to overcome them, and we must do that. But we shouldn't be too despairing.

AMANPOUR: Let me go to Eboo's point, and actually to Reverend Sharpton's point about Islamaphobia.


AMANPOUR: Obviously, Islam has been injected into politics, and most particularly after 9-11. What are you concerned about for your own children for the future of your community? What is your community worried about now?

PATEL: Well, my community very clearly is worried that we are going to be less free, and less equal in America than other Americans. That when we turn on the television, we're going to watch a set of American politicians pandering for votes by spreading fear and hatred of people like my children. That when some twisted terrorist carries out an unspeakably horrible act in the name of Islam, people will look at that on the T.V. and draw a straight line between that person, and...


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