Fireworks were all but inevitable when pairing outspoken conservative commentator Ben Shapiro and Florida CAIR Director Hassan Shibly in a debate.
…and with the topic being radical sharia advocate Linda Sarsour calling on Muslims to wage “jihad” against President Donald Trump, fireworks is just what viewers got.
The men appeared Friday on Fox News’ “The Story,” and Shibly defended the use of the term, offering a sanitized definition of what “jihad” means.
A version Shapiro wasn’t buying.
“I don’t think anybody is claiming that she openly called for violence against President Trump, but ‘jihad’ means more than just ‘internal struggle’ or ‘struggle for good,'” Shapiro countered. “And we all know there are terrorists all over the world who invoke the word ‘jihad’ as justification for what they do and Linda Sarsour knows that too.”
He began explaining that Sarsour, a lead organizer of the feminist Women’s March on Washington, is “a radical anti-Semite who has backed terrorists in the past” but Sibly jumped in before he could finish.
“Don’t smear a woman who is not here to defend herself,” he shouted over Shapiro. “Shame on you!”
Shapiro was not about to be intimidated, turning the tables on Sibly to say, “Fine, I’ll talk about CAIR instead” and began noting that the organization was an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror-finance trial against the Holy Land Foundation, but was again cut off.
“Right, shift the topic!” the CAIR-FL director interjected.
Host Dana Perino, filling in for Martha MacCallum, asked Shibly why Sarsour would use such an inflammatory word.
“Well, that’s why it’s so important that she use the word,” he replied, to the host’s shock. “Because we must reclaim that word from the extremists that have misdefined it, misrepresented it.”
“[T]he only way we can reclaim that word, to reclaim our language is by leaders proudly and unapologetically using it in the right context so we can show the world what jihad really means,” Shibly added.
This prompted Shapiro to counter, “If you want to reclaim the word ‘jihad,’ you should start by condemning organizations that promote jihad all over the world instead of associating with them.”
But Shibly again interrupted him before he could finish his thought, saying peaceful Muslims do stand against terrorists.
“Then condemn organizations that participate in it,” Shapiro shot back. “This is not hard!”
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