Yesterday ABC's "This Week" broadcast a Town Hall-style debate titled "Should Americans Fear Islam?" Rev. Franklin Graham was there, as were a couple of parents of 9/11 victims, plus Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch, and Daisy Khan, the wife of the imam who plans an Islamic community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan. Upstaging them all via satellite from London: Anjem Choudary, who represents the Islamic group Islam4UK. He predicts there will soon be an Islamic flag flying over the White House. (Why can't our ineffectual Muslim president get this done?!) And referring to Daisy Khan, Choudary said, "This lady in your studio, she should be covering with the hijab." Here are some more highlights:
- Peter Gadiel, who lost his son in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, said, "The fact is, we have too much of a history of Muslim terror attacks, maybe of them so-called home grown, second generation, and I think to ignore that threat is to ignore the history of Islam."
- Donna Marsh O'Connor, who lost her daughter in the 9/11 attacks, dissented, saying, "I think Americans should fear criminal behavior. I think we should do the best we can to control criminal behavior. But I can't raise my two remaining sons to fear the people who live next door to them. That is not what my grandparents came to America to escape."
- Reverend Graham confirmed that he believes Islam is "wicked" and "evil" and said, "They want to build as many mosques and cultural centers as they possibly can so they can convert as many Americans as they can to Islam. I understand that." (His religion does know a thing or two about conversions.)
And Khan revealed that she's received death threats from people opposed to the so-called "Ground Zero" mosque. "For the record, my life is under threat," Khan said. "My husband's life is under threat. We do not walk around with bodyguards because we love this country." NYPD spokesman Paul Browne confirmed that Khan has received telephone threats.) Here's video of the debate, which [SPOILER ALERT!] ends with all sides finding a common ground of mutual understanding and respect. (Kidding, it ends with everyone talking over each other.)