'This Week' Transcript: Karzai, Khan and Levitt

I want to put up a poll that was in "Time" magazine. As you know, and I sort of waved it around, they said, is America Islamophobic? But the poll, one of them says, it's talking about views of Muslims. And amongst Democrats, the favorable view is 51 percent, and Republicans, favorable view is 32 percent. Unfavorable view, amongst Democrats polled, 36 percent, and Republicans, 56 percent. That's the view against Muslims.

George, what does this mean? I mean, it's a pretty catastrophic viewpoint, this.

WILL: Well, what it means is that a religion is what its practitioners and followers say and do in any particular era. There have been eras when Christianity featured a lot of hideous behavior, often by Christians against other Christians, and many Americans' understanding of Islam is the fact that while not all adherents of the faith are terrorists, all the terrorists trying to kill us are Islamic. And that I think is what you're seeing.

REICH: But the upsurge in kind of Islamophobia, George, cannot be explained by anything, it seems to me, other than a kind of intolerance that is fed by -- I don't want to say this, don't want to believe it, but it seems to me the same kind of intolerance that is feeding the anti-immigrant fever in the United States. It comes from a deep-seated fear and anxiety in Americans right now that is rooted in turn in the economy.

I mean, people are ready to believe Newt Gingrich when he says that Muslims are like Nazis. That's outrageous.

WOODRUFF: We've come a long way, Christiane, since -- it was just six days after 9/11, that President George W. Bush went to an Islamic center and stood before a group of religious leaders, Muslim religious leaders and said, we need to remember that the acts that were done to this country do not represent all of Islam.

AMANPOUR: He did say that, and his adviser at the time was Karen Hughes, and you saw that she's written an op-ed in the Washington Post and I want to put up what she said about it, because one of her jobs also was at the State Department, in fact outreach to the Muslim world. And she's basically saying that she says, "I believe it is so important that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his congregation make what I fully understand would be a very difficult choice, to locate their mosque elsewhere. Putting the mosque in a different site would demonstrate the uncommon courtesy sometimes required for us to get along in our free and diverse society.

I recognize that I'm asking the imam and his congregation to show a respect that has not always been accorded to them. But what a powerful example that decision would be."

Is that what they should be doing, Al?

HUNT: Well, where? Do they go -- is it three blocks instead of two blocks? Is it eight blocks? Is it another state, another country? I mean, that strikes me as a very sophomoric argument. I mean, you -- this whole thing has been demagogued. And I -- as you pointed out this morning, maybe they didn't lay the groundwork for this as well as they should have.

But this is not on ground zero. This is not a mosque. It's a cultural center that has a prayer area.

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