August 31st, 2014
01:29 PM ET

Brian Stelter's contentious interview of radical cleric Anjem Choudary

On the Aug. 31 edition of "Reliable Sources," London-based Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary joined Brian Stelter for a contentious discussion about how he and other radicals use (and some say abuse) the mainstream media and the Internet to spread their messages.

Related news coverage:
  · Mediaite: 'I Have Nothing More to Say:' CNN's Stelter Battles Islamic Cleric Over Hannity, Propaganda
  · The Daily Caller: "Round Two: Radical Islamic Cleric Squares Off Against CNN's Brian Stelter"
  · NewsBusters: "Terror-Supporting Islamist Finds 'Humor' in Saying '9-11, 7-7, 3-11' During Mic Check Before CNN Interview"

Filed under: Reliable Sources
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  7. charles

    I wonder why british governent is not taking any action about Anjem Choudhary. If he lives any other coutry like USA, INDIA he will be in lifetime under bars. He lives in British and taking yearly unemployment benifit from British gov, and talk hatred to the Government. Because of his teaching thousand of muslim in U.K. and all over the world turn to Radical/terriost. I strongly blv he recruited and send lot of terriost from U.K. to syria and all over the world. I strongly blv he should arrested based on terriirisom/false propaganda against existing democratic system. I also blv he know U.K. murder who killed James Foley(Journalist), Goverment should arrest him and water board him for getting answer to many terririsom related crimes. Because of his false teaching many innocent people brain washed become criminal/radical/isis/alqaida.
    see below mentioned interview he is living by getting social security benifit from U.K. Goverment.

    September 12, 2014 at 9:21 am | Reply
  8. eisa

    this is a map from America to invite this fucking bitch they tring to unvalue aslam that is not the aslam belives which this man said I wonder why they invited this man to unvalue alslam aslam is peacefull realgious

    September 4, 2014 at 2:22 am | Reply
  9. eks

    He said, "...I believe that is precisely the agenda (of muslims)... to terrorise their enemies so they leave muslims alone".

    So this guy says muslims "want to be left alone". But it is muslims who refuse to leave other people alone. They breed like rats and spread across the planet spewing their filth. Why do lies come so easily to them? Why does this guy lie right at the outset?

    Secondly, this guy claims that "Allah created man" and so forth. That itself is rubbish, and you cannot argue with someone who thinks he has some kind of ownership or patent on god. The idea of God existed thousands of years before a bunch of camelback riders on hashish came up with this practical joke called Islam and tried to patent god as "Allah". Muslims seek to IMPOSE their mindless beliefs on others. Plenty of people do NOT accept this mythical Allah, and this fellow cannot tolerate that. That itself shows the evil of Islam. It is impossible to discuss anything meaningful with muslims. They are a disease that needs to be wiped out or otherwise will wipe you out. The only consolation is that once they run out of external enemies to kill, they will turn on themselves and implode.

    September 2, 2014 at 7:54 am | Reply
  10. Carey

    I must admit that I was disappointed but not surprised at the quality of this interview. My disappointment is based on the immediate attempts by the sub-par host to turn the interview to an argument. This was a battle between a host expecting his guest to immediately agree with his basic assumptions, including that journalists are different and a guest who is used to this type of myopic screed and parried in cool, tempered tones. In truth, the host sounded like a petulant moron.

    This could have been an interesting discussion, at least comparing the execution without trial of Foley and Bin Laden, the propaganda of the United States and that of many of its opponents. It could have discussed the way the media in different parts of the world of the clashes between Muslim and Christian counties.

    But no, the amateurish host avoided any depth and nuance, immediate jumping to an adversarial position.

    I was not surprised at the low quality of this interview. This host provides little depth in the discussion of the media. Despite what might be interesting experience, he sits as a defender of the media rather than its inquisitor. The show is now a waste of time.

    This show is no longer required viewing. It is now merely subway listening, via its podcast. Such a shame.

    September 1, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • truth hurts

      allah is just the arabic name of god.you call the creator god,the spanish say dios,the jews yhvh.
      same creator,same creation .
      christian in the middle east call god allah.
      matter fact in mathew 27-46( my god my god why have you forsaken me)
      jesus was sayin ALAHA (god) lama sabachtani not eli lama sabachtani.
      disagree if you want but facts are facts

      September 4, 2014 at 1:06 am | Reply
      • Rajesh Patel


        You say "disagree if you want but facts are facts"...your idea of "fact" is entirely without academic or historic evidence. Ancient scriptures give nothing more than an indication of the brand of rule that people endured at the time; they do not present any evidence of "god". Your "facts" come from text of unknown origin; just because people believe it does not give it "truth". By "fact" you really mean "belief" which is basically "opinion" and you are entitled to have your opinion, but you cannot prove Allah created man any more than a Christian, a Jew, A Hindu or Sikh could; you "believe", but you cannot prove. The reliability of aged scripture cannot be a basis upon which to form an argument as these words cannot be put into a modern context. There was a time when people thought the earth was flat and there would've been nothing you could say to them to convince them otherwise...but despite their "belief" they were very, very wrong.
        Prove to me the existence of Allah and I'll listen...but that day will simply never come. Faith is admirable, but it's without sound evidence of truth, such is its nature. There are many around the world who use religion as a was to live a better life and that too is admirable, but evolution shows us that the likelihood of "creation" by any one being is for more absurd a concept than that of evolution. I will concede that as I cannot go back to the birth of our planet I can never be sure, but as a result I would never claim I knew for sure how life began because I do not have the truth at my disposal, so I choose to "believe" what I do based on the evidence I do have to hand. I do not claim "facts" or "truth", only an opinion...and that is all you can ever do yourself. History is written by the victors, the powerful, the leaders...and we all know that leaders can be and always will be corruptible, saying anything to anyone to ensure they don't lose their power...and such doctrine just might be the fundamental basis upon which all religious scripture was built but we will never know for sure because we were not there, we didn't witness it and as such we can only assume or choose to believe what we want to; facts are very hard to come by and you my friend have none at your disposal.

        The world has changed immeasurably over the last 200 years...as we discover more we are forced to question everything we have learned in order to seek out the so-called truth of our existence. Can you imagine how different our world is now compared to 10,000 years ago? To cling to a belief system that old without updating it for the world we live in is naive and dangerous in equal measure and you are en example of the latter, Mr "Truthhurts". You don't know the truth any more than I do; to use opinion in its place is ignorant.


        September 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
  11. John


    As I watched your interview this "Radical Cleric" it became patently obvious that many including yourself have a western concept of Islam. That is that the religion of Islam is intrinsically good and that bad people corrupt the faith. It is however just the opposite. Don't take my word for it... take theirs.

    The place in which cleric Choudary finds himself is exactly where a faithful following of the Koran / Hadith and imitating the Profit Mohamed leads one.

    Cleric Anjem Choudary told you point-blank that he was essentially following all precepts of Islam. He claims that other Muslims who do not adhere to the Koran as he does, and are in fact secularized, IE. that moderate Muslims have been influenced by infidels and humanistic systems of beliefs. They do not believe all of the Koran as he does, they accept only part of the faith. Moderate Muslims believe or stress certain aspects of their faith, they pick and choose as sort of a smorgasbord of believe in Islam (People of other faiths do this as well). That is they take on only the beliefs that they reason to be of value while ignoring other precepts of the Koran that their conscience intimates are wrong.

    The problem Muslims face while attempting to follow the Koran, Hadith and Mohammed is that they have difficulty in reconciling contradictions. The Profit Mohammed is the penultimate of the way a Muslim should act. Mohammed is the perfect Muslim. The goal of every Muslim is to be as the profit Mohammed was. The problem for the West is that the Profit Mohammed and his followers eventually used force to convert infidels. Mohammed plundered and beheaded those who would not submit to Allah and the Koran. Therefore their actions are not wrong...they are only imitating Muhammed, doing what the Koran says is the way to submit to Allah.

    If you noticed while interviewing him, he cannot accept objective truths like the Law of Non-Contradiction...IE he uses logical fallacies in an attempt to justify clear contradictions of his belief system.

    IE. Murder is wrong, Killing innocent women and children is murder, yet killing innocent women and children in the name of Allah is right.

    What some people in the West have difficulty understanding, is that there are some very kind and gentle Muslims in the world…. how could others behead women and children?

    Cleric Choudary gave you the answer…they are somewhat secular.

    If you truly want to understand Isla, a good resource is a book written by a graduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt and former Muslim Cleric in Eygpt, Mark A. Gabriel, PH.D.

    “Islam and Terrorism”
    What the Koran Really Teaches about Christianity, violence and the goals of the Islamic Jihad.

    After reading this book I could clearly see what was happening in the MidEast .

    The questions I believe one should ask are:

    Does my view of Islam and the World match reality?
    Does it make sense?
    Does it explain what is happening?

    September 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • truth hurts

      show me where in the koran does it say killing women and children in the name of Allah is right.
      dont cherry pick now,give me the whole verse.
      the problem with certain people is
      they go repeat what these know islamophobe like robert spencer say then make it a truth without taking time to read the quran themselves.
      do your research ,there is an english translation,go read it then come back to me.
      dont be pushing a book about a so called former cleric if you cant back up your falsehood

      September 4, 2014 at 1:17 am | Reply
    • Lori

      I agree 100%.
      Even this convention proves your point. Except more support ISIS and Sharia law than not.

      September 6, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  12. sharon

    Notice how he said there is no difference between radical & moderate Islam. Did he ever condemn outright the beheading or just talk around it?

    September 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  13. Mustafa Muhammad

    What amazes me is the lack or knowledge this so called Iman possesses. He spoke nothing of France or Uk. He also did not speak on hadiths. How could he be a true messenger of Allah if he does not tell the pretext of the Quran vs the new age revelation awakening version? Wouldn't you say he is feeding a message like Pastor Hagee?

    September 1, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply
  14. Sam

    He said that there is a war and both sides are putting up propoganda when asked about the murdered journalist. He said this to justify the killing of this journalist and in doing so he lumped himself into the same group as the slain journalist but on the other side of the "war". He essentially told us that we would be equally justified in killing HIM (Mr Imam). He should have been called out on that. If somebody tells you that you should kill them you want to win a war they believe they are fighting, that seems rather significant.

    August 31, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  15. Pedros

    This guy's perception of things is weird, he doesn't answer questions instead he answers beliefs. The Allah these people talks about seems to be totally different from the God I know. Their Allah allows them to kill innocent people, while my God who created Heaven and Earth, says the soul that sins shall die. Perharps their Allah could have been the one that encouraged Cain to kill Abel. James Foley did not go their to fight but to tell the world what was happening there.

    August 31, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Reply
    • truth hurts

      oh.the god that u know.
      really.is it the god that orders pregnant women to be ripped open,kids to be killed

      Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing .
      child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. (Samuel 15:3)

      September 4, 2014 at 1:32 am | Reply
  16. Dean Long

    Recently Anderson Cooper had a discussion with a Journalist who had covered the Middle East conflicts and specifically ISIS. When asked what he (the journalist) thought was the issue, his response was truly right on. He said. "they're just crazy, simple lunatics" that believe what they are doing is Allah's will. The problem as I see it can be read in their Koran and their Hadiths. In a few simples words, Islam is evil personified.

    August 31, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  17. Saad Riaz Qazi

    Please stop inviting this guy as our muslim representative. Except for a few deviated people in UK, no one cares for his stupidity.

    August 31, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • jeanht

      Maybe the people at Fox News who believe that Muslims with these beliefs should be removed from the earth are right? There is no reasoning with this type of thinking. They believe you either convert to their brand of Islam or you should die, period.

      August 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Reply
      • Saad Riaz Qazi

        I am a muslim too and ISIS has killed many muslim scholars in Iraq and other areas. Somehow this guy is the only one that CNN and BBC always invite to discuss critical issues. This guy has a following of a few lunatics in britain. No one in Pakistan, my country, knows name of this joker. CNN is a reputable organization and should invite someone with a brain and knowledge of religion rather than this fraud.
        Millions of muslims live with millions of non muslims in India, Arab world, Europe and other regions. No one asks any one to convert. This problem is very specific to UK where the gov allows lunatics like him to run organizations.

        August 31, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
  18. Mike

    Brian, when a psychotherapist works with a patient, there is only one thing they need to pay attention to: what does this person believe? And how does their beliefs frame their perception of reality?

    This imam you are speaking with does not see the particular: metaphysically speaking, his conception (or the Sunni Salafi perspective he seems to be advocating) essentially reduces all particulars to one grand general thesis: Allah is everything. You, me, the Imam. As well as the journalist James Foley. Were all just blank, amorphous nothings floating in a sea of Allah and his projected will "the Holy Quran". Now obviously this is an obnoxiously narrow view of reality and it is utterly dangerous because it ignores particulars – relevant contextual factors – but it needs to be understood that as we emphasize the fact that James Foley was different and was there to document what was happening to Muslims – it needs to be said that the Imam is engaging in a dissociative action: he is ignoring what you're so saying because it is not meaningful from his life narrative: what he believes about reality and how deeply he regards us – the west and our humanistic insights – as wrong, and he, as right.

    The debate needs to move from a simple debate of facts to belief. His beliefs. His psychological dissociative behaviors which he unconsciously engages in because he "needs" to feel like he is right, that the world is as he has been taught to believe. As he himself has personally developed.

    The problem is very complicated from this higher perspective and it creates lots of issues. In vanity, we discuss topics and subject oursleves to logjams differences of "perspective". When whats really the issue is his (and Islamism's) inability to rationally accept how the world has moved forward, and how essentially "you either adapt or evolve with us" or be left behind.

    This debate can and probably should be framed as a "blast to the past" – a dissociative belief system – Islamism – trying to dialogue with a far more mature and psychologically aware belief system that looks upon the Islamists with horror: completely flabbergasted by their ignorance and what their ignorance will allow them to do.

    We need to find a better way to expose their beliefs. To address their beliefs at a fundamental philosophical level – from which they think, and have the audience see for themselves how assumptions taken about life and reality ultimately lead to these horrific results.

    August 31, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Reply

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