For 10 glorious minutes, Hannity hammers away at Choudary, extracting canonically accurate declarations about Islam that far too many progressives, their thinking beclouded by the PC jargon of “Islamophobia,” are uncomfortable hearing. Should Shariah be imposed worldwide? Yes. Do those who insult the Prophet Muhammad deserve to die? That is what Shariah mandates. What about those who abandon Islam? Death to them! Should all women, everywhere, be made to cover themselves? Yes. Do adulterers and gays deserve stoning? Certainly.
When Choudary details his objections to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons and why they caused Muslims such offense, Hannity slams him down: “You’re going to have to get over it.” (Hannity might have also used the moment to suggest that the price for living in a free and civilized society is learning to control one’s emotions and behavior, rather than exploding into violence over perceived insults.) He then asks Choudary if a faith requiring the visitation of so much death on so many people deserves to be called the “religion of peace.” Mutual unpleasantries ensue, and Hannity concludes the interview.
As odious as the views Choudary expresses are, by no means should we conclude that Islamists have a monopoly on hateful dogma. I stumbled upon Hannity’s talk with Choudary on YouTube while I was searching for his interviews with the subject of my essay this week, Phil Robertson, the Methuselah-bearded, collard-grits-and-corn-pone Evangelical patriarch of A&E’s wildly popular red-state reality show “Duck Dynasty,” set in the swamplands of Louisiana. His hick headband and shaggy beard, along with his sermonizing manners, make him seem both ignorant and arrogant – the last individual a reasonable person would take an interest in. But given his popularity, it behooves us to examine what he says. Known to the wider public for his nasty, biblically inspired obiter dicta about gays, bestiality and hellfire, Robertson possesses particular cred among the stolidly faith-deranged masses, who apparently comprise enough “regular” Republicans that the organizers of the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast invited him to address their crowd in Florida at the end of March.