Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Controversial Reza Aslan Interview on Fox News

I don't know much about Reza Aslan and I don't much care.

I have no plans to read his book, and I probably still wouldn't read it if the publisher sent me a desk copy.

I don't much care about him, and I certainly don't care about his revisionist history of Jesus.

Pamela Geller had this the other day, so folks have a substantive critique here, "REZA ASLAN IS ACADEMIA'S ANWAR AWLAKI."

More at First Things, "Reza Aslan Misrepresents His Scholarly Credentials."

And from Andrew Kaczynski, "Author Attacked by Fox News Is Actually Kind of a Jerk on Twitter."

Below is the first part of the interview, with Lauren Green.

And at the Los Angeles Times, "Reza Aslan's Jesus book a No. 1 bestseller, thanks to Fox News":

Near the end of Reza Aslan's strange, 10-minute television exchange with Fox News, the author of "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth," gives voice to a thought that’s entered the mind of many an author while being interviewed: “I’m afraid it seems like you haven’t read my book.”

The interview, now circulating widely on social media sites, has helped propel the book to No. 1 on the Amazon bestseller list Monday.

Aslan is a Muslim scholar of religion and a one-time Christian convert who’s just published a popular book about the life of Jesus. This earned him the wrath of those who wage a daily crusade against the “liberal media”— Fox News. Fox News religion correspondent Lauren Green tried to give Aslan the proverbial third degree Friday on the show "Spirited Debate," only to see Aslan patiently and deftly parry her attempts to corner him as an angry Muslim.

“Is This The Most Embarrassing Interview Fox News Has Ever Done?” BuzzFeed asks in the headline above its posted video of said interview.

In the interview, Green says, “You are a Muslim. Why did you write about Jesus?”

Aslan answers this, and many other of Green’s questions, in a deliberately slow tone, as if he were being interviewed by the not-very-well-informed editor of a high school newspaper. “I am a professor of religions,” he says. “It’s what I do for a living.”
I thought he was petulant and overly defensive.

More here, FWIW, "Reza Aslan talks 'Zealot,' the book behind the viral Fox News video."

Watch the rest of the interview here.