Vermont Democrat Howard Dean appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Wednesday with a message for anyone who dares call the Paris shooters that attacked satire magazine Charlie Hebdo “Muslim terrorists.”
“I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists,” he said. “They’re about as Muslim as I am.”
In comments that are sure to make waves around the Internet, Dean added that ISIS (the so-called “Islamic State”) were not members of the religion either, but instead a “cult,” distinguishing “not an Islamic cult.”
In contrast to these statements, one of the shooters can be heard in the video of the attack saying, “Allahu Akhbar,” with another stating, “We have avenged the prophet.”
The attacks, which killed 12 defenseless staff members including the paper’s editor and three of its most popular cartoonists, were said to be in response to repeated depictions and caricatures of Muhammad in cartoon form.
Nevertheless, Howard Dean added that it was unwise “to accord [the gunmen] any religious respect.”
This is a point that the late atheist and author Christopher Hitchens would disagree with as pointed out in his book God Is Not Great and a short YouTube video that gained momentum shortly after Wednesday’s attack.
Hitchens believed that Islam was the “most depraved” of all religions, adding that it was the only religion that encouraged religious rule through Jihad or Holy War.
Popular comedian and political pundit Bill Maher has also focused recent attacks on Islam, pointing out a poll in which more than 70 percent of Muslims believed the penalty for apostasy — abandoning the Islamic faith — should be death. The leading religious authority for the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, actually admitted on Al -Jazeera Television that without the death penalty for leaving Islam, the religion would cease to exist.
Devoid of guilt, self-censorship or embarrassment, al-Qaradawi actually made the following statement on his “Shariah and Life” show, which has an estimated audience of 60 million viewers worldwide.
“If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment Islam wouldn’t exist today”
President Obama tends to favor the interpretation of Howard Dean.
After the first round of ISIS beheading became public, he emphasized that the group should not be considered Muslim.
Mediaite commenters weren’t particularly on board with this or the interpretation of Howard Dean on where the attackers stood in relation to the Muslim faith.
“Soulless socialist Dr. Dizzy Dean poo-poo’s the idea that muslims are terrorist. Hey Doktor, Islam is a cult of intolerance, slavery and death. The reconcile with their satanic god by strapping on a bomb vest and blowing up people. They kill people for sport! And leftist socialist like you apologize for this cancer spreading on the world.”
“If you watch this video you can hear the non muslims say allah akbar. I not sure but i think allah akbar is arabic for i heart jesus.”
Still, there were some supporters.
“He is correct. Was Timothy McVeigh a Catholic terrorist? They are not real muslims, they are serial killers cloaking justification in a hijacked religion.”
What do you think about the comments of Howard Dean, readers? Were the Charlie Hebdo attackers “Muslim terrorists”? Sound off in our comments section.