“I’m A Historian, Not A Muslim”

Lauren Green, you simpering idiot.  I can’t believe you were actually aired on national television a few hours ago.  I’ve seen some doozies on biased interviews and reporting before, but you’ve got to take the top spot as the most shocking one yet.  You’re job as a reporter is to be objective on your subject, not subjective on information that you don’t bother to even look into.  You were so biased, inappropriate, and arrogant towards the interviewee that more people are going to mistaken christians as biased zealots rather than the open-minded, intelligent, and dedicated human beings that we are.  What a sham.

You gotta look this up just so your jaw can drop.  Sometime yesterday, during FOX news’ daily airtime, anchorwoman Lauren Green interviewed a Islam novelist named Reza Aslan, who wrote a book titled “Zealot: The Life & Times Of Jesus Of Nazareth” and had multiple PhD’s in religious studies.  Supposedly, his book looked at Jesus through a historical context and looks at his impact of our culture through his actions and through his time on Earth.  The novel received controversy as to being a
“Poorly researched, unintentionally false interpretation of Jesus”, or “sounding like old Islamic political propaganda”, quotes provided by Amazon.com.

I have not read the book, nor do I plan to anytime in the future, so I can’t criticize the author or his novel since I haven’t read it.  If what these people are saying is true, and indeed Aslan is as biased and one-sided as this reporter is, then he deserves the controversy he is receiving.  But I can’t substantiate, or comment on that, since I have no idea how authentic or genuine the research is.

I can, however, comment on Ms. Green as a reporter considering she was so rude and so aggressive during her interview.  Throughout the interview, she refused to ask any questions about his book, but instead, revert to stereotypical and critical questions such as “Why is a muslim writing a book about Jesus?”, or “Is this intended as Islam Propaganda?” and reverting to a quote from a negative review whenever her turn came around.

Seriously, look up the video.  Her stance and her treatment of her subject was so demeaning and maddening it would upset even the most conservative of Christians, such as myself.

The first thing I want to point out is why is she being so critical if she hasn’t read the book, or done research on her subject?  During the interview, she clearly has no idea about the person she is interviewing, and shows this by retreating to other people’s quotes about the book at every other question that she asks him.  You need to see this woman just to believe it: by the time she said “(blank person) said” for the fourth time, I had to go to the restroom and splash cold water in my face just to wake me up from the shock of it all.

First of all, as a fellow journalist and film critic myself, I need to point out a rule of thumb I have when reviewing movies.  Before I criticize a film, I make a point of watching the movie, all the way through, opening credits to end, so I can give substantial reasoning for why I didn’t like the movie.  I listed reasons why I hated movies like American Psycho, Shame, and The Hangover in my reviews, but they were all valid reasons for hating them because I pointed out real moments that happened in the picture.  If I were to write a negative review for, say, The Human Centipede, I couldn’t be held accountable for it because I didn’t see it or bothered to seek it out.

Now, if I hate the concept of a movie I could point that out.  I hate the concepts for movies like Project X, I Spit On Your Grave, Dogma, and The Virginity Hit, so I can trash those ideas all I want.  But I can’t criticize the execution of the projects themselves because again, I haven’t seen them.  There have been plenty of movies I thought I’d hate but then I gave them a chance and I enjoyed them quite a bit: Silence Of The Lambs is one of them.  Pulp Fiction, another.  Do The Right Thing.  Harry Potter.  Crazy Heart.  Halloween.  Taxi Driver.  Please test me on this, I can go all day.

Ms. Green reacts to Aslan’s novel in the same way I react to Martin Scorcese’s The Last Temptation Of Christ: I hate the idea, and would reject any notion of it, but I cannot comment on the playout of it because I have not witnessed or paid attention to it myself.  The difference between me and Ms. Green is that I have this rule I abide by fervently, while she decides she doesn’t need to do research or respect Aslan as a historian or as a scholar of religious studies.  Aslan said it himself: the goal is not to be subjective of your subject.  The goal is to provide relevant and authentic data on your focus, and allow other people to form their own opinions about it.

But does Ms. Green bother to do that?  Nooooooooo.   She ham-fists her arrogant opinions and ideas into her questions and spoon-feeds them into Aslan’s mouth, forcing him to respond in awkward, shocked, and appalled answers all while he is wondering what he had done to deserve such treatment.  I would compare her interview to that of the crusade of the Westboro Baptist Church, or as I like to call them, “The Westboro Baptists”, because they don’t deserve the word “Church” anywhere in their title.  They lead an antagonistic, cruel, unharboring crusade of hatred against homosexuals and armed forces alike, and while one can see some validation in their protests (Notice: I said SOME.  More like .5%), they are a cruel and unforgiving people nonetheless.

I don’t think Green is as monstrous as they are, but she is equally as absent-minded, aggressive, and idiotic as they are.  This should be a rule of thumb for all journalists: why, in God’s name, would you act this way towards a muslim theologian when you haven’t even read the first two pages of his book?

Just so you know, I don’t actually agree with Reza either.  I think Jesus is a honorable, respectable figure in history, one who has had as much a positive impact with our culture as did Martin Luther King Jr. or Mohandas Ghandi.  I’ve been raised to believe that he is the son of God, and I believe that to this day, and I think he deserves more respect than simply being referred to as a “troublemaker” or a “threat” during that time, even though I don’t think Reza meant any offense by it.

But what Reza believes, doesn’t believe, wrote, or said doesn’t matter. Green is so obsessed in her opinion that I want to denounce her, and her entire station, for what she said and how she said it.  I know its not FOX News’ fault for the way that she behaved, even though they have had similar criticisms in the past, and I know that in the way she behaved towards Reza was of her own accord and her own disposition.

During my first semester working for the UTA Shorthorn, I produced an opinion piece about why people shouldn’t judge Christian artist TobyMac for his religious beliefs.  I was criticized in my piece for being negligent and intolerant to other people’s opinions, but what my commentators didn’t understand is that I feel this way towards all faiths.  Jewish hymns, Hindu practices, Islam chants, whatever.  They all have a beautiful thing called faith, and they all have their right to carry it out the way they want to.  It is not our job to judge it or criticize it, but it is our job to understand it and respect it, no matter how we feel about the practice overall.

On a closing note, I hope Lauren Green gets fired.

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