'This Week' Transcript: Goolsbee and Rauf


AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you this. Why is it, then, that the difference between a billion Muslims, who are mostly peace-loving, and Al Qaida, which acts violently and in a terrorist way, claiming to speak for Islam, why has that difference clearly not successfully been made? Because people -- the opponents of this mosque lean towards that rationale, that it's Al Qaida that's building the mosque, basically.

CIZIK: But Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, he is a moderate, has gone around the United States and around the world, supported by both this president, Obama, and by President Bush, teaching this message of peacemaking. So when he asked evangelicals, Christian evangelicals and others, Jews, to support him in his effort to turn the mosque, the civic center in New York City into an instrument of peacemaking, the new evangelicals said, absolutely, we'll join you.

But let me just add one additional point. The real victims of this conflict here in these United States, over this matter, and the broader issue of anti-Muslim prejudice and bigotry, the real victims can be Christians overseas, who themselves have been victims of persecution. And so we evangelicals have to be sensitive to the plight they face in their countries.

And when we simply say, well, we're not going to give the imam what he wants because that would be to bow down to Islam or whatever, we're essentially saying to evangelicals around the world, we don't care about you or your plight.

AMANPOUR: And I do just want to put this in perspective. You called it a blip, and in fact there are, according to the statistics, the total hate crimes in 2008, the latest figures, based on religion, were about 1,519. And anti-Islamic crimes represent roughly 7 percent of the cases, with anti-Jewish crimes representing 70 percent of the cases. So to put that in perspective.

But how do Muslims now feel that this is still their home? Even though a majority of them say they feel American, they're assimilated, they're successful.

MANJI: And I think a lot of us still feel that way. In fact, most of the young Muslims I speak to, and as a professor at NYU, I get to speak to a lot of young Muslims -- they tell me that they adore the freedoms that they have in this country. And yes, while they do have some fears, they do not at all -- the ones who I've spoken with -- consider this any kind of a pre-Holocaust moment.

What I say to them is, have moderates in your community told you that the highest number of victims that Al Qaida has are, in fact, Muslims? In other words, Al Qaida kills more Muslims than any other foreign imperial power in the world. Have you heard that? They routinely tell me they haven't. And I think this is one of the key reasons, Christiane, that it's not just that we, as in broader society, need to make a distinction between Al Qaida and all Muslims. I think in Muslim communities as well, they need to be teaching their young people that to have solidarity with Muslims does not simply mean, you know, sort of criticizing U.S. foreign policy. It means also criticizing the very Muslims who are killing people in the name of your religion.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...