tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 23, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT
a christian, muslim and jew walk into our studio for a conversation that is no joke. i think it's a -- >> romney's rough week. secret tapes, disparaging words, seeking polls and pesky taxes. even the mrs. weighed in. >> what republicans are really saying about mitt romney. and -- >> this is a fact, my friend. >> jesse "the body ". >> how about if you run with me? >> ponder a white house run. yes! but first, we're going to start with this. tonight a discussion about the prophet mohammed, a discussion that will most likely make a lot of you very uncomfortable. but why should it? i'm here in the united states which prides itself on freedom, especially the freedom of expression. yet, through the technology of television, people around the world can see this including radical islamists who in the
past few days attacked and murdered people all in the name of prophet mohammed. and to clear, our motive here is to educate. that said, one of the big stories this week is about this. it is the new iphone. on this thing you can take pictures and shoot videos and then when are you done, you can tweet it, facebook it or send it right to youtube for the entire world to see. anyone anywhere at any second is capable of broadcasting something insulting. so my point is that can you not stop the march of time. so as i watched the violence overseas, i wondered in what century are though living? then i read william's article on slate.com called internet videos will insult your religion. ignore them and get over it. welcome, william. thanks for joining us. it's not just democracy or the u.s. it's technology. no matter your religious beliefs, can you not stop
progress. >> you just made the point. you don't retire a network anymore to broadcast hateful speech around the world. all you need is a video camera, nint connection. literally two people were responsible for creating and disseminating this movie on the internet that enflamed the muslim world. >> you write that filmmaker wanted to prove that islam is a violent religion. especially since most of them had never even seen the video. they're being manipulated in more ways than one here. >> yeah. the manipulateors are on both sides. we have our crazies that want to enflame passions in the muslim world. then we have radical cleric that's are happy to collaborate in this with each side hating the other and trying to insight their populations against each other. >> the next time it will be something else, another video, another cartoon or what have you. william, i want you to listen to this.
>> since our founding, the united states has been a nation that respects all faiths. we reject all efforts to denigrate the religion beliefs of others. >> let me state very clearly and i hope it is obvious that the united states government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. >> okay. so that is part of a psa the government spent $70,000 to run on tv in pakistan. not once did they mention free speech. so here's a question by being so sensitive and not telling some of these people, as you say just to get over it. has the u.s. become enablers prolonging the inevitable. the handful of protesters or however many they are, they are ultimately fighting a losing bat snl. >> the administration may not have used free speech. they're trying to convey something very complicated. look, we are at the beginning of a big, long, international conversation with the muslim world.
and what we're trying to convey is just because we allow something to be broadcast, to be put on the internet in this country does not mean the government or american people support it. and that's a very complicated idea that we're trying to convey people who live in countries where that kind of thing is not allowed. you also say that hatred and bloodshed will go on until you stop taking the bait. he can no longer be your master or the puppet clerics. so in writing that in america, we take the words and interpret them as tough love. do you worry that what you have written will insight islamists to do more violence? >> no. quite the opposite. since we can't stop it, we can't stop somebody with an iphone from making a video, we can't stop someone with an internet connection from disseminating it, we can stop this for the
people who are the targets of this. they're trying to offend with the anti-muslim stuff. ignore it. simply ignore it. nobody came to watch this movie when put in the theater in the united states. nobody. why can't the muslim world treat it the same way? >> thank you very much. very interesting article. we appreciate you joining us. >> thank you. the name jesus doesn't strike fear in americans. yet, the mention of another prophet's name certainly can. why should we as americans be afraid of how we reference the prophet mohammed? next, we're going to ask a muslim. you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® liquid gels. nothing starts working faster than zyrtec® at relieving your allergy symptoms for 24 hours. zyrtec®. love the air.
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the most violent of the anti-american protests to day was bangladesh. several people were arrested. the biggest crowds though were in lebanon where hezbollah supporters numbered in the thousands. the man who allegedly sparked it all, this filmmaker, is in hiding. why? a pakistani leader put a $100,000 bounty on his head specifically encouraging al qaeda and the taliban or anyone who can to kill the filmmakerment all this because of the prophet mohammed or his depiction, the mere mention of him can insight violence, destruction, and death. but why? a fellow at the institute for social policy and understanding, my question to you first and foremost, as a country that prides itself on freedom of speech and freedom of
expression, why is mohammed off-limits to people here in america? >> i don't think mohammed is off-limits. part of the problem is we don't know much about who he is. i think the people who often speak about islam and behalf of islam, people that say experts are not familiar with islam. and aren't able to communicate who mohammed is to muslims and what he means to muslims. we don't have a conversation about islam that we deserve. and so what happens you is get extremist voices from both sides filling in the gaps, leaving the vast majority of muslims and americans in the dark. >> but no matter how civilized the conversation we have here tonight or on television, it won't stop what happened. it's not stopped being the protests. >> i think we have to be fair when we look at the protests and what's happening. muslims from the grassroots to muslim leaders and political leaders have condemned the violence and protests. an evensmaller percentage are
protesting. i think they have a lot more to do with local politics and foreign policy and with feelings of humiliation and being basically not treated with dignity, not treated as part of society. so there are a lot of feelings of alienation. this is an excuse for people to come to the streets and vent the feelings and these kinds of gestures are pushed by extremist voices and political leaders in order to push their own cause forward. >> i hear what you're saying. but as most of us look at it around the world and especially the western -- in western culture, we don't see many people coming forward who are maybe secular muslims or people who are more in the middle for a lack of better term. not radical islamists who come forward to denounce these sorts of activities. we see the people who are out on the streets.
and we hear the words that you're saying that it's a handful. it's not a lot of people. i don't think most people believe it. we don't see the other side. we don't see a counter weight that is as big or that can counter that -- those protesters. >> pakistan is a country of 190 people. 10,000 or 20,000 people on the street is not a huge number of people. there have been massive protests in libya, 30,000, 40,000 people which is a huge population of a tiny country like libya and they're protesting against the killing against ambassador stevens and extremism. every major religious leader across the muslim world acrossed board condemned violent protests and condemned calls for extreme action and radicalism. it's just a question of what we're paying attention to. we tend to focus on the things that produce the best images on tv. >> i want to read something from the "new york times" in this article.
the muslim world -- the muslim world cannot visit both ways. they cannot place islam at the center of political light and in extreme cases political violence while at the same time declaring that the religion is off-limits to contestation and ridicule. is there a belief in the muslim world that you can't have -- can you have it both ways? that the prophet mohammed or cannot in any way be depicted at all? is it a sense that the muslim world wants it both ways? >> i don't think roger cohen is being fair and accurate. prophet mohammed is a deeply contested figure. most religions have to do with interpreting his legacy. i think the difference here is that the caricatures are offensive. it's about mockery and humiliation. for a small percentage of muslims and i have to underline that a very small percentage that, type of mockery is not
inseparatable from the type of treatment that the societies received. so for egyptians storming the u.s. embassy, is it really about the prophet mohammed or what they perceive american foreign policy to be? i do agree that there needs to be more of a conversation about religion and an honest conversation. as you see democracy spreading, we'll see that happen. maybe this is the first stages of that process happening. >> as a muslim, do you think the prophet mohammed should be depicted in any way? is it okay to depict him to make a character tour of him or to depict him in any way? >> i believe in freedom of speech. as long as someone is not insighting violence directly, it's fair game. people should be able to make the argument they want to make. from a moral point of view, muslims find negative depictions like jesus, john the baptist to be offensive. but i find it offensive. that doesn't mean i'm going to go out into the streets or write a letter to the editor.
i'm mature enough to say i have a point of view. you have pint of view. we can agree to disagree. i twha is happened, the overwhelming majority of muslims are not concerned enough to get on to the streets whether to protest peacefully or among even smaller minority pushing things violently. i think we're looking at a radical fringe. >> do you think most muslims worldwide think it's okay to depict the prophet mow ham sned. >> i don't think they agree with the ability to depict him. but at the same time there are differences twn islam. a lot of shia muslims don't have the same taboo around depicting the prophet mohammed. there are also movies made about the prophet's life and sacred figures. i think is a lot more to do with political grievances, with anger, with democratization, with opening up a political process for the first time. and really these are societies where people are beginning to see their chance to really influence society. so it's going to be messy along the way. this is unfortunately in the one of the bumps along the road. it's a more democratic and more sophisticated societies.
>> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> yeah. >> we have heard from the muslim. you heard him there. next, it's the christian and the jew's turn. but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. [ female announcer ] new roc® retinol correxion max. the power of roc® retinol is intensified with a serum. it's proven to be 4x better at smoothing lines and deep wrinkles than professional treatments. roc® max for maximum results.
i appreciate all your comments on twitter. you guys are really weighing in on this. thank you so much. so let's continue to talk here. some muslims believe there should not be any depictions of the prophet mohammed, never, period. however, the way christians portray jesus on film is different. >> jesus. >> what? >> what? >> what? >> yes? >> jesus. >> what? >> yes. >> what? >> you said what. >> what? >> nothing. >> a little parody on the history of the world by mel brooks. a clip highlighting a much bigger discussion. how it is that images of jesus can be made into parodies but not the prophet mohammed?
we have a bishop and a rabbi with us. first you to, rabbi. not everyone loves to see jesus parodied. it is certainly more accepted than mohammed. why is that? >> is that question to me? >> yes, rabbi. >> oh, i'm sorry. well, look, muslims need to understand and in any free and open society, everything is going to be fair game. what they really need to understand is that no one can insult islam except muslims themselves. in other words, it is the behavior on part of the religious people who profess a certain faith that will determine how that faith is depicted. if a cadge lift priest is found doing something ij legitimate, he graced the faith. those who go out and burn embassies and do so in the name ofprophet mohammed, they're the blast fa myrrh, not a person
uploading a clip to youtube. we really need to tell our islamic brothers and sisters forthrightly and candidly and lovingly that you run the risk of allowing the world to see your religion as violence by not coming out much more forcefully and condemning this violence. >> and that's part of our discussion that we had this week as we were putting the show together. and that i had earlier with mr. mogul and we'll have later on. before i let you respond, bishop, i want to play this. this week the idea came up that jesus may have had a wife and it didn't take long for the late night shows to go to town and have a little fun it with. check it out. >> wouldn't than something if jesus was married? he can turn watt near wine but he can't take out the garbage. many geez yuz wasn't his name. maybe that what his wife would
yell every time he came home late and it stuck. >> now jesus, sounds like maybe i got you at a bad time. i'll check with you real soon. >> take the tigers, man! it's 1 1/2. >> all right. okay. thank you. we'll do, jesus. >> jesus was married. that is some pure uncut sitcom bait. can you raise the dead but heaven help him when he forgets to put down the toilet seat. yes, kevin james is jesus in "the king of kings." >> see, so rabbi, to your point, this is all over the networks. but there have been no uprising. are we just looking at profoundly different cultures or is there something to be head about letting words just be words, bishop, as the rabbi said? >> when i see those, i can't help but laugh.
those guys are hysterically funny. when i watch any portrayal of jesus from anything, you know, my boys like "southpark" and "family guy," the guys that are even r rated. but they have jesus parodies on. >> but to the rabbi's point. if you laugh at it, then you laugh at it. you don't have to be offended. >> for me personally, they're not talking about the jesus that i know. in my mind, they are skewering an image that people have about jesus that really is attacking organized religion much more than it is the actual jesus. >> you are offended by that at all? >> no. because i know who jesus is. and like even if settings that are very nice, christians don't like when you're sort inform that setting where you say oh, the faiths are accepted and embraced because there is a great feeling among evangelicals that anybody that is not a christian is -- they're not going to heaven, they're going to hell.
my feeling is that in all dee due respect, jesus is a big boy. you bring him to the party. he can take care of himself. if i really do believe he is the king of kings and the lore of lords, then someone doing mel brooks parody or whatever, it's a nonissue. >> again, as i was saying, you can't stop the march of time. you say upload this on to anything and if you want to live in a free and democratic society, that's part of living in a free and democratic society. >> absolutely. >> then again, we're looking at it in a western way. >> because when you deal with islam, you're talking about national identity. you're not just talking about religion. you're talking about this is what you call a muslim country. it's the same things that like someone insulting your mother or insulting your family or school or whatever. when it comes to religion, year dealing with the mysteries of god. >> rabbi, you heard the jokes. we laughed at them. there were no burn effigy. so what gives here?
>> yeah, the book of mormon playing a couple blocks where i am now. look, there are two very important points. a lot of our arab brothers and sisters are living in countries where forget speaking out against the prophet mohammed. try speaking out in saudi arabia against king abdullah or even in jordan. certainly in syria where they're fighting for their lives. so there is a suppression of speech. in the hebrew bible there are no perfect people. everybody is subject to criticism. and muslims are insistent that their religion is a pure religion. unlike jesus, does he not worship. so why cant his humanity be promoted and that means looking at him in a unique post.
i have long argued, and i wrote a book called "kosher jesus" that says christians would be less offended if they look at humanity of jesus a little bit more. every person in the hebrew bible is fallible. every person in the hebrew bible makes mistakes. moses, our greatest prophet can't do what every jew can do, go into the promise land because he sinned. so we reached the stage where we are dismissing the humanity of religion because we can't humanize the people who brought those religions into existence. don, it's a scary time. religion is becoming violent, judgmental. it's scary. and i'm especially telling the world's 1.5 billion muslims who are my brothers and sisters that we jews have a debt of gratitude to muslims. catholic portugal in 1498.
how is it that they see america as their enemy? there is no country on earth that does more for the world's muslims than the united states. our soldiers defend women from being beat non the streets and dying in afghanistan. >> rabbi, you have to wrap it up. >> yeah. >> thank you. thank you. i know you're very passionate about it. we appreciate it. we only have an hour for the show. thank you. we'll have both of you back. we appreciate it. it is almost bottom of the hour. we're going to get up to sped on the other headlines and then continue on with our conversation here. pro-democracy protesters scored a victory in libya tonight. two militia groups are disbanding and shutting down bases in eastern libya in response to protesters demands. and benghazi, counter protesters are trying to reclaim the city. >> these pro-democracy demonstrators began taking the situation into their own hands and storming various
headquarters of known extremist militias. >> they were met by some resistance. that was on friday night. at least 220 people were killed today in syria with government forces shelling its unushz. they're moving into territories that fighters have sized. the group has many ex-soldiers who defected from the army to fight the regime. straight ahead here tonight -- >> i think it's a -- >> romney's rough week. secret tapes, disparaging words, pesky taxes. even the mrs. weighed in. >> this is hard. >> what republicans are really saying about mitt romney. ♪
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mitt romney is taking heat from democrats and president obama and he's getting criticism from republicans, too. peggy noonan called the mitt romney campaign a rolling calamity. bill kristol said some things too. we know one who is willing to say these things out loud and more. she is a cnn contributor and a republican strategist. she never holds her tongue. anna, welcome. is this helping or hurting mitt romney when republicans go public with their criticism? >> this happens in campaigns at the end of campaigns. there is a roller coaster of love and hate with mitt romney throughout this entire primary. a lot of it is constructive criticism for the campaign. most republicans agree that
they'd like to see governor romney win this election. there is frustration in the mistakes that have been made. >> anna this is me. i said what republicans are really saying about mitt romney. what are they saying about the tape and what some deem as a rush to judgment on libya? what are republicans really saying? how do they feel about it? >> all right. i'll tell what you they're saying, don. look, if you're a faithful catholic, you're saying -- if you're an activist, you're saying we're going to win in a land side. if you're a pessimist, you say we're going to lose in a land side f you're a realist, you say this could still narrow up and become a very tight race. we're still not out. there need to be some changes made to this campaign. we need to reboot. governor romney needs to give more specifics.
close the sale with the american people. that's what republicans are saying. some say it out loud. some say in their head and some say in private. there is a lot of talking going on. >> and stick to the script which is the economy, right? >> some folks want him to stick to the economy. they tried that for a while. i think you've seen them in romney and paul ryan expand the menu of issues. there's been social issues brought in. there is medicare brought in. there is budget brought in and the economy continues being a very big part of it. >> okay. mitt romney's wife made candid comments this week when asked about republican critics. listen. >> what do you say to fellow republicans? >> stop it. you want to try it, get in the ring. this is hard. and, you know, it's an important thing that we're doing right now. it's an important election.
and it is time for all americans to realize how significant this election is. >> i thought she was very candid there. very revealing. very human reaction. >> i think so, too. she is a very loving and supporting spouse. i am good friends with cindy mccain. i can tell you i was with her throughout the last campaign. it's a very stressful situation for spouses regardless if you're a republican or a democrat. it's very hard to see that person be criticized and be taken to task in public. campaigns are hard ball sport. it's tough on a spouse. it also comes with the territory. being a candidate is tough but being president is even tougher. i sympathize with mrs. romney. >> always a pleasure. up next -- >> this is a fact, my friend.
and it is deeply personal to the man i'm about to introduce. i've seen joe up close. i've seen how -- we're going to talk about that with my guest in just a moment. but first, the obama and romney campaigns aren't exciting enough for you, too mainstream, maybe a little too boring, we have the ticket for you. how about the wrestler turned governor and his running mate, the self-proclaimed king of all media sfwh. >> howard, you know what? if i run for president, now you're doing this tv show now. >> right. "america's got talent." >> and you're making boat loads of money, why don't you run with me? >> you want me to be your veep? >> yeah. >> let me think about it. >> we have a comedian us with. anna navarro is back. would you vote for a jesse
ventura, howard stern ticket? >> i like that. i like the title. to me, i think ventura should run with someone and give him credibility like ventura lohan. crazy squared is a much better take. i think that is a much more fun ticket. the man was governor of a state. he ran against the system. if there's ever a time for someone to say i'm not a democrat, i'm not a republican, i'm running as a reformer, potentially you could be a real candidate. it becomes a joke when you say howard stern is going to run with you. >> i was listening to it live. i was on my way to the airport on monday when jesse was on howard. i said we have to get him on. we've been talking about that. i think there are a lot of people in the country that would vote for them, anna. >> i do, too, don. nobody expected him to become
governor of minnesota and did he. so i do think there are a lot of people in the country that would vote for him. i wouldn't vote for him. i left my country of anything nicaragua. if they become president and vice president, i may go back there. >> no! we who have howard and jesse. >> no. no. no. >> we do. come on. >> i'm not -- i don't want him -- i like him as a comedian in chief, not the commander in chief. >> let's back up a little bit here and talk about joe biden. and when his wife said i've seen him up close and personal. anna? >> okay, don. i will tell you good old joe is 69 years old. so i'm glad that jill is seeing him up close and personal. you know, as i was telling you, it's tough even for the spouses.
they have to worry about what they wear, how their hair looks and now what they say. so far we've had ann romney unzip mitt romney and now we have jill biden seeing him up close. >> five seconds, dean. go for it. >> i love the fact that she enjoyed the moment. she didn't just go through it or awkward. she embraced it. that makes it funnier for all of us. i think she hadcy great reaction. >> great sense of humor. i enjoyed it as well. dean will come back. anna, we're done with you, i think. if you ever had a question and you didn't ask because you were worried about being judged, then this is the segment for you. it's something we like to call "the judgment-free zone." dean and i are going to talk about the prophet mohammed and more islam muslims next.
this is our judgment free zone. anger is one thing, acceptance is another. and for many pundits, that is the most mystifying thing about the reaction to this anti-muslim film. the perception for some americans that a religion would condone killing a blass fa myrrh. that was a take by bill mahr last night. listen. >> there were a lot of people that reacted to this. how dare do you this? the problem is it that liberals
see this picture and they go this is not all muslims. and that is very true. >> that's true. >> most muslims don't go in the street like this. the point she was making that i've tried to make is, yeah, but most muslims, at least half of them i think around the world, think it is okay to kill somebody if they insult the prophet. and that is a big problem. that is a clash of civilizations. >> so dean joins me again. dean, our texts were burning up our phones last night. >> yes. >> okay. so we won't judge you on this one. but we have to ask you. is bill maher right? >> i don't think it's a clash of civilizations. i think it's a clash internally within the muslim community worldwide about how they want to be defined. and we're going to let the radicals define us or say they don't represent us? bill maher is saying 50% of muslims around the world agree with violence and killing because of the depiction of the prophet mohammed.
unless you have evidence, any evidence whatsoever to back that up. that is a true indictment. every muslim i know supports killing people. >> i believe whether it's accurate, you know, or not, i believe many americans feel the way bill maher feels. today i did a lot of reading and i watched two documentaries. 57% of muslims believe there is no justification for 9/11. 11% said nebulous. 7% said, yes, absolute justification. so that's a huge number of one billion people who believe that there might be some justification for that type of action. and i think that's what bill maher is talking about. >> if you want to say -- i'm
into the r not sure what the number is now. a few muslims that are radical or violent, that might be accurate. i don't think the rest of us need to be defined by that nor should we be. i agree with you. my fellow americans, a lot of them were progressives. they're no longer liberal. they have this view that we're all bad or we may not be doing something and we may not be as patriotic as our federal americans. make sure people know who we are, what we're about. >> so why haven't we heard much of that? i heard others talk about that. i have not heard that much about it. when i asked you about it, you said i don't want to be defined. why should those people define me? i'm going to read a quote to from you late martin luther king jr. speaking in new york one year before his assassination. he said a time comes when silence is betrayal. so, dean, do you believe that
muslims who don't object to these protests are partly to blame for the bloodshed that comes but. because it's through their silence. >> the question is what will some of them do? look at, for example, indonesia. 700 people protest out of 200 million people living in the country. 700. so the other 199 million have to get out and say to the other 700 stop protesting or do they roll their eyes? indonesia a few months ago, 50,000 indonesians bought lady gaga tickets. that's the struggle we have. we're defined by our worst element over and over again. >> most people are defined by their worst element. >> there is another article that came out that said it's not the clammer and the bad people that concern him. it's the silence -- the appalling silence of the good people. so we need other good people to stand us with.
when bill maher tells progressives it's okay not to like muslims because 50% of them support killing people, that's horrible. all we have left frankly are progressives using moderates. >> here's the bottom line then we have to run. i love that we're able to talk this way. this is from "the new york times." but the failure in tune eesha, libya and egypt to control violent mobs of saliface is a mockery of islam and subjected unacceptable ambivalence. the rule of law here on earth must override divine indignation? do you understand that? >> we got to run though. we have to run. we'll continue this conversation. >> sure. okay. >> thank you, dean. >> sure. >> we'll be right back. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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>> the shuttle "endeavour" took off in may of 1992 and a lot of us watched that first launch right here on cnn. "endeavour" arriving in california yesterday aboard the custom fitted boeing 747. thrilled crowd in san francisco and what a shot as it passed the hollywood sign and also the golden gate bridge. after it landed in l.a., it awaits the hangar and then it will be moved next month to the california science center. but as americans watched the skies this past weeks and for the paec