CNN's Don Lemon recently asked an international human rights lawyer if he supports the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria -- a terrorist group that has committed a laundry list of barbarous human rights violations over the past year.
Following the deadly attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, Lemon invited Arsalan Iftikhar to join him for a discussion centered on radical Islam. Citing a poll from August 2014 that indicates 16 percent of French citizens support ISIS, Lemon wanted to know if those people could be considered Islamic extremists.
When Iftikhar, who is a senior editor at Islamic Monthly and founder of TheMuslimGuy.com, said that he didn't believe their sympathies with the ideology meant "they would justify the killing of innocent civilians or murdering people on the streets,” Lemon pressed him further.
"I just want to get more specific,” Lemon said. “Again, in August, 16 percent of French citizens support ISIS. Would you describe those who support ISIS as Islamic extremists? Do you support ISIS?”
Clearly stunned by the audacity of the question, all Iftikhar could do was repeat his answer.
“Wait, did you just ask me if I supported ISIS?” he said. “I just answered your question. I said that obviously these 16 percent of people support the ideology, but again I don’t think that would necessarily extrapolate to supporting of killing of innocent people. You can have sympathy for an ideology and not support the mass murdering of people.”
In the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, Muslims from around the world have come out in support of freedom of speech, denouncing the murderous acts of the gunmen and expressing their condolences for the victims' families.
"We strongly condemn these kind of acts and we expect the authorities to take the most appropriate measures," read a statement Wednesday from the Grand Mosque of Paris, one of the largest places of worship for followers of Islam in France. "Our community is stunned by what just happened. It’s a whole section of our democracy that is seriously affected. This is a deafening declaration of war. Times have changed, and we are now entering a new era of confrontation."
H/T Media Matters