A Fox News interview about religion has gotten many, including BuzzFeed, questioning if it is the most embarrassing thing Fox News has ever done.
In a segment of a Fox News program, Spirited Debate, they interviewed religious scholar, Reza Alsan about his new book without having read it. In their opening question FoxNews asked Alsan, why he, a Muslim, would write a book about Christianity. Alsan rejected the claim that his religious background inspired his work. Still, Fox News continued the interview based on that assumption.
To be clear, I am a scholar of religion with four degrees, including one in the New Testament and fluency in biblical Greek who had been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades; who also just happens to be a Muslim," said Alsan. "It's not that I'm just some Muslim writing about Jesus, I am an expert with a PhD in the history of religions. I've been obsessed with Jesus--- (cut off by Fox News host) It still bags the question though, it's still begs the question: why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity? said Fox News.
Alsan replies: Because it's my job as an academic. I am a professor of religion, including the New Testament.
Even after clarifying four times that his reason for writing the book was an academic one and not strictly personal,, Fox News continued the interview trying to assert that Alsan wrote his book based on a Islamic bias. When it became clear that they were getting nowhere, the program host accused Alsan of hiding his Muslim background in other interviews because he didn't want it associated with the book:
"I'm afraid that it sounds like you haven't actually read my book or seen what I said about the resurrection or about Jesus, or about his claim. I think you might be surprised about what I say. There have been thousands of scholars who have written about the same topic-- many who disagree with me, many who agree with me. The thing about scholarship is that it's a debate over ancient history, and I am one of those people making that debate. I think it's unfair to simply assume because of my particular faith background that there is some agenda behind this book," said Alsan. " The second page of my book says I'm a Muslim. Every single interview that I have ever done on T.V. or on print says that I'm a Muslim... I would actually encourage you to find media that doesn't mention my biography."
See BuzzFeed article here: BuzzFeed