Imam on CNN: ‘Sharia Will Come to America’ and There’s no ‘Moderate Form of Islam’

Barbara Boland | September 2, 2014 | 11:12am EDT
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London imam Anjam Choudary left CNN host Brian Stelter aghast when he defended the Islamic State's killing of American journalist James Foley, told him that Sharia is coming to America, and made a joke about 9/11.

Choudary appeared on "Hannity" last week, where he managed to say that an Islamic caliphate would implement Sharia in the United States: "You don't have a choice, it's coming to you in America." He is a Muslim imam at a mosque that is credited with having radicalized Abdel Bary, the British rapper accused of beheading Foley.

CNN's Stelter started the interview telling Choudary that unlike on "Hannity," he wanted to give him a chance to get his words out without devolving into a shouting-match.

Stelter: "How can you not look into the camera, though, and unequivocally condemn the killing of a journalist [Foley] that was there trying to tell the story of the people... effected by the bombings and killings in Syria?"

Choudary: "Quite frankly I think it is pathetic and absurd for you to ask a Muslim to condemn the killing of one individual when hundreds of thousands of Muslims are being slaughtered of which you don't know their name[s.] You know, people have been raped, and they've been humiliated, we have our sister Aaifa Siddiqui in America who has been beaten and tortured..."

Stelter: "But I'm talking about a specific case that has been widely publicized about a person who was actually trying to tell the story of the Muslims in the Middle East..."

Choudary: "Well as I say, I think this is the result of the barbarity of the American foreign policy, and if we are not going to talk about the..."

Stelter: "And you've said that again and again, but don't you understand that journalists are in a unique category, they're trying to tell the story of this population..."

Choudary: "Well I think your assessment is completely different than [that of] the Muslims. As far as the Muslims in the region are concerned, they're not making the distinction... between the civilians and the military, because they see that the general populace have re-voted for people like Obama and Bush, who continue their policy of tyranny in the area."

In Muslims' eyes, journalists are "the propaganda machine of the Obama administration" Choudary said, and he brought up abuses at Abu Ghraib as justification for the torture and beheadings conducted by the Islamic State.

"That's a crazy thing to say, given that the only reason you know about the abuses of Abu Ghraib is because of American journalists," Stelter said angrily. "The only reason why you know about the abuses at Guantanamo Bay are because of American journalists."

Choudary reiterated what he said on "Hannity," stating without equivocation: "I believe that Sharia is the best way of life, I believe one day it will come to America and the rest of the world."

"When I hear you say that, it reads to me as something that's preposterous," Stelter said. "But I respect that you try to get your message out however you can. But what I wonder though is, aren't you abusing the press freedoms that you would like to see eliminated under Sharia law?"

Choudary answered with quotations about Allah and added: "I don't abide by the parameters of your acceptable behavior... I will use every means at my disposal to pass along this message; now if that agrees with your principles of democracy and freedom, then so be it, if it does not... "

Choudary repeated lies about what is happening to the Christians and Yazidis in Iraq, saying that no one has targeted women or children, but then slipped up by admitting that: "They can embrace Islam, or they can live according to the law of the land, which is Islam."

Is that a choice?

Unfortunately, though, in the midst of so many absurd statements, Stelter did not follow up on this particular one, and Choudary continued his rapid-fire pontificating.

"You say you pose no threat... but wouldn't you agree that you convert people to a radical form of Islam?" Stelter asked.

"There's nothing called a radical or a moderate form of Islam," Choudary replied. "A woman is either pregnant or not pregnant. If you abide by Islam you will follow what is in the Koran and in the traditions of the Prophet. And quite frankly, you will never find anything that I say which does not have Islamic basis."

Stelter: "So many Muslims would reject what you just said and say you are warping your religion for terrible purposes..."

Choudary: "I think you will find that those people that differ from me believe in securalism, believe in freedom.... I make sure that what I say accords to the Koran and to the Sunna of the Prophet."

Watch the clip to see Stelter's reaction to Choudary's "joke" about 9/11.

This is the full interview:

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