tonight, after the fourth republican presidential debate, outsiders are still in the lead, still spars. >> i built an unbelievable company worth billions and billions of dollars. i don't have to have listen to this guy, believe me. >> we speak with trump's biographer and a winning british campaign strategist. also ahead, islam phobia on the campaign trail. will a new study koran a decade in the making change the conversation?
a scholar and an american imam join us with answers. good evening, everyone. welcome to the program. i christiane amanpour. the whole world seems to be watching the most unusual u.s. election in recent memory. with equal parts amusement and befuddlement. as the outsiders continue to rise above tinsiders who in tur are trying to break away from the inside pact. >> washington is fundamentally corrupt. >> i was in washington, iowa, about three months ago talking about how bad washington, d.c. is. >> in the 2012 election, the
outsider and pizza magnate her main cain was the republican front-runner for a while. so how will 2016 really shake down? joining us to dissect and perhaps to gaze into their crystal ball allister campbell who helped tony blair win three elections and the journalist and writer who knows john trump the best. >> welcome to both of you. we're watching from the outside. i want to quote an article you wrote where your headline is americans, your presidential election is nuts. as a brit, i came, i saw and i am befuddled. why? >> i was thereto at the time of a previous republican debate. i bumped into dr. carson in a green room where he was promoting his campaign and i was promoting a book about winning that i had just written.
and we ended up talking about what it took to win a campaign. and it was at a time when we came out with guns and the holocaust. so someone like me from europe, how can you eventy say things like this? like wise, i see the stuff that donald trump comes out with, or i look at the debate last night, you're talking about electing one of the most important jobs in the world when it comes not just to domestic policy from america and foreign policy around the world, and just got a sense of simplistic and not very thought-through positions. i found it quite alarming to watch some of this stuff. >> let's get to the policy and the substance in just a moment. it was meant to be about the economy and the foreign policy last night. but first to you, you spent many, many hours with donald trump. there's a certain am of pushback from him, but today you wrote an
op-ed column in cnn. you said the moderators, the journalists had to get to the truth, and the bottom line of all the candidates. what do you mean by that? >> well, there are two things i can say. donald trump is kind of a novelty candidate, and he's been a novelty persona for 40 years. his relationship with the truth has always been very loose. he doesn't have any concern for deep analysis or consideration of issues. what he wants to do is press hot button words. so he'll say words like rapist and murderers in reference to mexican immigrants. and the whole idea is just to inflame and encite. it's not to inform. >> and yet for both of you, it's workli wo working. he and ben carson, who has questions about his biographical narrative, this does not seem to be hurting them in the polls or
after the debates. even after they're asked these questions publicly. what do you make of that, michael? >> well, the amazing thing is that the journalists and the debate questioners don't really delve into the backgrounds of these men. donald trump is a fellow who has actually posed as fake persons in the past to give informing to the press. he was once calling himself john baron. he next called himself john miller. all of this is rather ridiculous. but the minute the press asks a question about the past, the candidates turn it into a debate about how unfair the news media might be. >> well, let me put that to you, allister, it obviously is entertaining. all the networks, which have broadcast and hosted the republican debates so far have seen massive ratings bonanza. i mean massive, off the scales, really. how is that viewed from here, certainly in terms of, let's say, a british election debate? particularly at a time when there is this massive refugee
crisis, where there's an ongoing war in syria, where there are major challenges from both president putin of russia and indeed challenges from china. and yet they seem to be skimming over that. >> when you're a politician in a campaign as long and as tough as the presidential campaign, you have to have your strategy worked out, you have to have your answers worked out in these big policy issues that you can express very concisely and very quickly. and watching them, you just get a sense sometimes that they're slightly making it up as they go along. i think act chultly people find it quite alarming that they ear even doing so well. now, interestingly, i've completely forgotten about the pizza guy that you mentioned. totally forgotten about his existence. i sort of feel that maybe this is wishful thinking. i kind of feel that we're in the phase because so much of american media now i think is almost like it wants to fuse
politics and media, and make it a kind of form of entertainment. so they'll be loving the fact that the ratings are high. i just hope, and i do believe, that the american people do understand that they're electing one of the most serious positions on the planet. and you've got to have serious people for that. and trump and carson and fiorina have the ability to say we're not politicians, therefore we're entitled to say we hate washington. you do have to have politicians. they have to be democratically elected. they have to meet somewhere. they happen to meet in washington. >> that's the view from the other end of the special relationship. let me ask you then to respond to that. how do you think this sort of head of the pack that we're seeing right now will shake down when it gets to the primaries and beyond that. the caucuses and all the rest of it. and let's not forget on the democratic side, the ultimate insider, hillary clinton, is actually ahead of obviously a much narrower and smaller pack.
but nonetheless, her challenger, bernie sanders would be more of an outlier in policy terms. >> i actually think moving forward donald truch will do quite well in iowa and i expect him to win in new hampshire. he's very popular there and he spent a lot of time there. one of the mistakes that people make is calling him an outsider. he actually dabbled in presidential politics in the '80s, again in the '90s. he ran for president in the year 2000. so he's not an outsider, he's not unknown. he's just very inflammatory. so it's almost like people being drawn to the site of a burning building. you see this inferno and you want to know what's going on. the trouble is that in a country this large, where it's so hard to get attention, it works. and i would not be surprised to see him carry this through to the summer. >> well, you mean, even to the convention? being the actual candidate? >> well, if he's not the
candidate, he will have delegates and he'll have some sway. and it's actually handing things to the democrats, because i think that people do recognize that hillary will be the adult and if there's a debate stage with just two candidates, i think donald trump would look pretty bad and ben carson would look pretty bad and the rest of them don't promise much more. >> thank you both very much indeed for joining us. >> thank you. >> and the cam pane seems to be an equal opportunity insult fest. from alienated hispanic voters to clashing over muslims rather than courting their vote. with islamaphobia, a change agent enters the fray. the new study koran ten years in the making, and the first work of its kind since 9/11. i speak to the authors next. this is claira. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice
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presidential race highlighting a deep and often justified fear of radical and violent islam some say has morphed into mainstream islamophobia. take a look. >> i would not advocate we put a muslim in charge of this nation. i absolutely would not agree with that. >> controversial but carson raised $1 million in the 24 hours after making those comm t comments. islam was front and center again at a national conference on religion in iowa last week. >> we need to identify the enemy as radical islam. we cannot pretend it is not a radical form of islam. it is. >> when democratic candidate bernie sanders hosted a town hall recently a muslim american student took to the stage to vent. >> hearing the rhetoric going on in the media makes me sick. i am an individual constantly trying to raise awareness and make sure everyone is treated equally in this country.
to the next president of the united states, what do you think about that? [ applause ] >> the number of muslims in america has doubled over the last seven years and gallup polls in recent years have found they're amongst the most integrated religious groups in america but nearly half say they've experienced discrimination. >> so how to resolve this? now for years, millions of christians in america have had study bibles to lean on for inspiration and for learning. now a radical attempt to make islam more accessible. the same publishers have come out with the study koran aimed at muslims, christians and all religions in the united states and around the world. it's taken 10 years to produce. the co-editor and islamic studies professor joins me from
boston and a muslim american scholar joins us from los angeles. thank you both for being here to discuss this really important ongoing issue. can i start by asking you first, why, for instance, professor, do you think that this will make a difference? what about the study koran is going to be new and different? >> i think part of what the book will accomplish is that -- if you think about it, you're right. the koran has in a sense become a public document, everybody, musl muslims, non-muslims quote it at everybody on television and social media and articles and there's not a really good resource for people to go to, to find out if the interpretation is true and if it's the best swrerpgs. there's such a low level of religions literacy it's easy to
capitalize on the ignorance of people and quote a verse without understanding the spiritual reasoning behind it and present it in a biased way, in a way that doesn't take full account of the entire text and islamic tradition. what the book we hope will do is allow people to visualize and conceptualize just because someone quotes the koran and offers an opinion about it doesn't mean that's the correct opinion or most muslims interpreted it that way through history. >> isn't that the point i was going to ask imam webb, the koran as we have seen since 9/11 the people directed to the islamic faith has been used to justify or to apologize for happens. and wherever anything so in other words, it's really confu confusing. people don't know what the actual verses say, what the s - sub-verses say, other such
things. do you think this is going to penetrate what is already a very thick layer of miss information around the koran? >> indeed. i think if there's a willingness to penetrate that, this text is remarkable in that it does allow for really a dual process of education. within the muslim community we've seen strains of hyper liberalism and will make muslim aware of the fact even their holy book has a large number of scholars who looked at it from many different angles and interpreted it. on the other you have islamophobia industry and saying muslims are hyper early and now the text coming up showing the holy text itself has a large number of opinions, variant i a ideas around just one single word or one single sentence. if people are willing to look beyond some of the emotional rhetoric, they will see a very
powerful interpretertive tool in this beautiful translation. you are evidently a convert. let me ask you about education and leadership around this religion. 39% of the american people, according to a gallup poll believe a muslim should not be president. at the same time, the fbi, looking at terrorism committed on american soil over a 20-year period found 94% of the terror attacks were committed by non-musl non-muslims. what would both of you say to let's say presidential candidates who use islam as a sort of a -- you know, a ral rallying point around fear during the presidential campaign? first, you imam and then you, mr. dali. >> i would encourage them to read the life of thomas jefferson who actually pre-cured a copy of the koran and read the koran and wrote that the ideal form of tolerance in his mind at that time in america would be for a muslim to be president. he actually imagined that.
i would counter that argument their dedication to patriotism seems to be somehow historically skewed. by reading other traditions and actually taking the time to learn other traditions we can appreciate those traditions. >> for you, mr. dali, what do you think is the most important message this study koran is meant to send? >> i think it's the most that it can do, what we wanted to accomplish was to bring out the rich and the historically rich and intellectually and spirit l spiritually rich tradition of islam that would enrich people's lives, give muslims a sense of knowing where they came from and what their religion really teaches, giving the general public a way to refer and understand what this text constantly quoted and miss represented actually means. by the way, also to give scho r scholars and students a good book on islam and the koran to
study. our main goal is to increase understanding and increase literacy in this book which is the holy text for 1.5 billion people around the world. >> thank you so much indeed for joining us. there is always room for more knowledge and understanding as one republican presidential hopeful offer as drink to an underage muslim girl. that got us to imagining a world of drinking diplomacy, a clink of glasses and class of cultu cultures, next. ♪ a new world hangs ♪ outside the window
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dali. and finally tonight, a quick nightcap or not. imagine a world gone stark ra raving somebody. it is ola la in paris as french cancel a state dinner for a visiting politician with no wine on the table and as one politician puts it no wining no dining and now a meal with no alcoholic toasts. and a run on the green beer. ever since a minoripint was hoi with prime minister david cameron in a recent visit here. meanwhile a storm in a can is brewing as republican presidential candidate marco b rubio named his dream drinking partner and scored a double whammy by saying it would be the nobel peace laureate who just happens to be muslim and only 18 years old which in the usa would still make her under-age. she's also an activist for education. just saying, that's it for our program tonight. .. test test can a business have a mind?
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hello to viewers joining us from the united states. we'll welcome back to our viewers watching from around the world. >> it is time to check the main stories we've been following this hour. curb dish have launched an offensive to retake the iraqi town of sinjar from isis. as many as 175 fighters are involved from the u.s. coalition. isis captured sinjar in august of last year and took thousands of women and girls as sex