Outrage After Fox News Interview With ‘Zealot’ Author
Charges of anti-Muslim prejudice flew thick and fast following Fox News anchor Lauren Green’s interview with Reza Aslan, a religious scholar and the author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth in which she repeatedly asked Aslan why, as a Muslim, he is interested in writing about Jesus’ life.
Aslan emphasized that he is a historian, answering, “Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim.”
Green, host of the online show Spirited Debate, went on to suggest Aslan hadn’t disclosed his Muslim identity during previous media interviews. Aslan countered that he mentions his faith on the second page of the book.
A post at Buzzfeed asked “Is This The Most Embarrassing Interview Fox News Has Ever Done?” and The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum called it “demented.” The Twitter hashtag #foxnewslitcrit was spawned, full of mock interview questions such as, “Ms. Rowling, what gives you, a muggle, the right to write a book about wizards?”
But as The Atlantic Wire’s Connor Simpson notes, all of this could be good for Aslan: Zealot rose to the top spot on Amazon following the interview. (You can also hear Aslan speak to Fresh Air’s Terry Gross and Weekend Edition’s Rachel Martin about Zealot.)