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VIDEO: Wow! Fox Gives a Most Painful and Embarrassing Interview of Muslim Scholar over Life of Jesus
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This is one of the most painful interviews a scholar could hope to endure, but Reza Aslan does well to keep his grace as the interviewer, Fox News’ Lauren Green, demands of the scholar “You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?”

  
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Aslan pauses for a moment after the question, perhaps sizing up the amount of ignorance that implies, first all, that Jesus would not be an interesting topic for a Muslim – though clearly he plays an integral part in the Quran – or that Jesus would not be relevant to a religious scholar.

“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 decades who just happens to be Muslim. So it’s not that I’m just some Muslim writing about Jesus, I am expert with a PhD in the history of religions. I’ve been obsessed with Jesus…”

But she won’t let him talk about his passion for studying the life of this man. He can barely address why he loves the topic and finds Jesus’ life worth study. She reads a criticism of his work that says his take on Jesus as zealot was just a Muslim take on Jesus as a prophet on the model of Muhammad.

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He keeps mentioning that he is a professor, a historian, a scholar, but none of this much impresses his host, who resorts to a quote by William Layne Craig, as if his opinion as an apologetic popularizer were even relevant to the historical look at the life and times of Jesus. Craig simply writes off Aslan as using discredited sources, something Aslan readily refutes.

The book, meanwhile, joins many in the tradition of “the Historical Jesus” or “the Quest for the Historical Jesus” that look for what of we know of the pivotal figure who has become a cult figure, of course, in many world religions, most notably Christianity. Aslan takes as his starting place the crucifixion, and surmises that this is our best clue as to who Jesus was. As the blurb on Amazon says, in part:



Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious “King of the Jews” whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity.

Those host barely listens to this aspect of what the book is about, but takes a twitter comment from some random person who says that “Taylor Cane says your book is written with clear bias and you’re trying to say its academic, that’s like having a democrat write a book about how Reagan wasn’t a good republican. It just doesn’t work.”

“It would be like a Democrat with a PhD in Reagan, who has been studying his life and history for two decades, writing a book about Reagan.”

“I think the fundamental problem here is that you are assuming I have some faced based bias in this book that I write,” he says. But she isn’t not impressed, she says he is not writing as an observer, and says he is not being honest, that he is not writing as a scholar. He says he sees that “it sounds like you haven’t actually read my book.”

The entire interview is cringe-worthy; the temperature of your blood is likely to boil as you go through it, at the persistent and dogged disrespect the interviewer persists in dishing out to the calm, intelligent, but increasingly flustered scholar Reza Aslan, who apparently suffers fools tolerably well.



 

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