tv CNN Special Report CNN December 21, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
we are thrilled for her and her family. and now, stay tuned for "why they hate us" a special on isis with fareed zakaria starting right now. ♪ >> reporter: hatred so deep, it drives men to turn planes into bombs. >> a plane crashed -- >> an act of terror on our soil -- >> reporter: it is impossible to understand. impossible to get into the mind of a terrorist. [ explosion ] >> again, this nation is facing terror and tragedy. >> why do so many millions of muslims hate the usa? >> better picture this morning of the man accused of now murdering 13 people. >> why do they hate us?
>> what did we do to the islamic world? >> americans are asking, "why do they hate us?" >> emphasis on the last word "us." why do islamic e terrorists hate americans? >> down to usa! jihad! >> reporter: 15 years after 9/11 -- we are no longer surprised when they tell us -- they want to kill us. >> so what are you waiting for? you can go down to a gun show at the local convention center, and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle. >> reporter: but who are "they"? how many? and are they multiplying in a new deadly form? ♪ >> from the beginning, tomorrow it will be washington. it will be new york. it is coming.
>> reporter: inside schools -- >> [ speaking in foreign language ]. >> reporter: young children are being taught how to kill us. ♪ for the sake of >> reporter: if the goal of the propaganda is to terrify us, it has worked. >> look at the mood in the country. terrorism is front and center. >> reporter: that fear has paved the way for a new voice in this country. >> welcome to the next president of the united states! >> donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states, until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. [ cheers ] >> it's going to get worse and worse. you're going to have more world trade centers. it's going to get worse and worse, folks.
>> reporter: trump's message has led some americans to say, who cares why they hate us? we hate them. >> who's bombing buildings? who's bombing airplanes? it is not the christians. not the buddhists. not the jewish. it's the muslims. you got that on camera, sport? >> they're coming together. not going to be happy until they take over this country and we have to be under sharia law and i'm not going to bow down to them. >> reporter: americans are understandably angry and afraid. but with fear turning to hate, we need answers. it's literally a matter of life and death. when you ask a scholar steeped in the subject like rasheed, he makes an important distinction. why do they hate us?
>> if you take "they" as being muslims they don't hate us, a haven't small extreme group of radical, that's an entirely difficult question. >> we call around muslims around the world to ban the american constitution and the american flag. >> reporter: choudary comes from that very small group of extreme radicals. choudary has been charged with supporting isis. >> you're hypocrites. you don't have principles and that is your problem as americans. >> reporter: he has been sentenced to five years in an american prison. >> i personally hate the american regime. >> reporter: he faces prison for isis but unrelenting in that support. never mind the kidnappings, the beheadings, the sex slaves, to choudary, the islamic state is paradise. >> there is peace. there's no corruption. there's no bribery. there's no usury, no alcohol,
gambling. all of the vices which you're used to in america and other parts of the world don't exist over there. this idea they're raping people, why don't you listen to what muslims are saying on the other side? go interview some of the people. they will deny these things. >> because, mr. chaudhry, they kill journalists, that's why. >> they are raping people in islam. >> reporter: they kill journalists, mr. chaudhry. >> these could be my last hours. >> reporter: in fact, isis. >> moderator:erred at least 23 reporters in the last two years. among, americans james foley and stephen sokolof. >> let me not get into the frankly nonsense you're spouting about the islamic state and the peace and brotherhood there. ho do you explain, mr. choudary, that people are fleeing the islamic state? >> reporter: despite documented evidence of tens of thousands of people desperately fleeing isis -- [ crying ] choudary claims more are arriving. >> people are coming into the islamic states. christians coming back to mosul,
embracing. you don't show those because it doesn't fit your agenda. >> reporter: and then the floodgates open with the reasons why choudary says he hates us. >> freedom of expression. freedom of religion. they sound very nice but where is the freedom and expression for people in guantanamo bay? and people tortured in abu ghraib and i bet you loved that, didn't you, fareed? do you hold that up as an example of libber ti, democracy, the american way, the american life? you know, george bush flushed those down the toilet saying we can flush them away because we're talking about terrorism. >> reporter: but the united states intervened in bosnia to protect muslims. intervened in afghanistan and supporting a government that has been elected twice by the afghan people. >> fareed, you've spent too much time in the cnn world, in the real world the people in afghanistan hate the americans. >> reporter: in the real world, mr. choudary, determined by polls, not by what you say, and the polls overwhelmingly show it, as do two elections. >> it's not true. you're living in hollywood.
some kind of make-believe world. >> reporter: i come back to the simple proposition, if the groups you seem to support from al qaeda to isis were as popular as you claim, why don't they hold elections? why do they have to go around murdering or slaughtering, raping and forcing people into submission? >> for a moment i thought you were talking about guantanamo bay, talking about rape, torture and oppression, but obviously, you are not talking about that. >> democracy hypocrisy. >> reporter: choudary reminds me of marxist idealogues i met in my youth who could explain away anything in their belief system. the anger against america is deep. what is striking, that america remains the obsession of choudary and of so many who have seldom, if ever, been here. ♪ >> reporter: so what happens when a jihadi is one of us? an american? are the reasons he hates us the
same? >> to the muslims in america, i have this to say -- how can you have your loyalty to a government that is leading the war against islam and muslims? >> reporter: no one has scared american security officials more than anwar el awlaki. >> wanted dead or alive by u.s. authorities. >> head of al qaeda in yemen. >> helps plans attacks on the united states. >> reporter: he is the driving force behind virtually all of the worst terrorist attacks in america since 9/11. >> we are facing you as men who love death just like you love life. >> reporter: he is an american born in new mexico. educated at colorado state university. how influential is he? dzhokhar tsarnaev, the boston marathon bomber, wrote about his teachings as he lay bleeding in
a backyard boat waiting to be captured. >> responding to reports of multiple victims -- >> reporter: one of the san bernardino killers, the husband, sayyid farouk, watched awlaki's video sermons for years. >> the deadliest shooting ever at an american military base. >> reporter: and psychiatrist nadal hassan who murdered 13 americans at fort hood in texas. has san e-mailed a awlaki about his plans. >> the underwear bomb er tried to blow a plane out of the skies in detroit under orders from awlaki. but here is the strangest twist in this american horror story. after the 9/11 terror attacks, al awlaki was invited to lead prayers at the u.s. capital. considered such a perfect role
model, a moderate imam in falls church, virginia, that "the washington post" did a story about him. ♪ >> there's always this association between islam and terrorism. when that is not true at all. i mean, islam is a religion of peace. >> reporter: but gradually it is possible to see the beginnings of his disenchantment. >> there's anger and resentment, but not hatred. hatred seems to be something that comes out of nowhere. there are reasons for this resentment. the fact that the u.s. had administered the death and homicide of over 1 million civilians in iraq -- >> reporter: no one seems certain when al awlaki became a full-fledged jihadi. one thing is clear, he was scholar of islam yet never cites his religion when he speaks about why he hates us.
>> everybody, come outside. push them this way. over here. >> reporter: his reasons, like choudary's, are about american foreign policy. the so-called war against islam that jihadis always speak of. [ phone dialing ] the fbi began to monitor him. he fled to yemen and eventually became a top leader of al qaeda. >> would you say that al awlaki is at least a severe threat today as bin laden? >> probably the most significant risk to the u.s. homeland. >> the american-born al qaeda -- >> reporter: there's one important fact about anwar awlaki i have mentioned. he is dead. an american drone strike in 2011. but here's the most frightening fact. awlaki is still killing americans. some of the bloodiest terror that he inspired happened after
his death. the san bernardino killings, the boston marathon bombings. al awlaki is on the internet right now and thousands of his videos are just a click away. >> do you remember the good, old days when americans were enjoying the blessings of security and peace? >> reporter: the man is dead. the message is not. and yet his main explanation for why they hate us doesn't ring true to me. the united states has for better or worse waged war in many lands. why are there no vietnamese or cambodian terrorists? and why do they kill mostly other muslims? the explanation for the violence in the world of islam must lie somewhere else. somewhere deeper. some say it comes directly from the koran, but is the muslim holy book being distorted? >> the koran promises a martyr
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paris. brussels. orlando. all perpetrated by muslims, and all done in the name of islam. it raises a question, the obvious question, is islam an inherently violent religion? ask a critic of islam, then ask an honest muslim reformer, you will get essentially the same answer. there is a connection between the religion and the violence. >> it's time to stop saying that this isn't about islam. isis is -- is uber islamic. uber islamic and it's time it's said. >> the next time a bombing or beheading occurs and god knows it will, the first thing you will hear from the mouth of a so-called moderate muslim is, oh, no, no, no, no. please, don't misunderstand. islam has nothing to do with this. that's simply not true, because
most of the people doing these bombings and beheadings say they are doing it in the name of allah, and they actually cite verses from the koran. >> we are men honored with islam who climbed its peaks to perform jihad. >> reporter: the controversial question triggered a shouting match on bill maher's program. >> the motherload of bad ideas. >> jesus. how about more than a billion people who don't punish women, just want to go to school -- >> wait a second. you're saying all muslims. >> wait a second. >> you're stereotyping. >> take bad things and paint the whole religion with -- >> let's get down to who has the right answer here. a billion people. all of these billion people don't hold any of those -- these pernicious beliefs? >> no, they don't. >> reporter: we will come back
to affleck's point about the numbers. but let's just look at the text. the koran does contain verses that encourage intolerance and violence. it recommends a fiery death for gay people, in a shower of brimstone. but look at the bible on the same subject, in leviticus if a man has sex with another man, kill them both. both holy books also have passages recommending murder for non-believers. this verse in the koran is the one that isis has taken literally. i will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. therefore, strike off their heads. >> our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people. >> reporter: but the same belief that guides isis also appears in the bible, in deuteronomy, believers are instructed to stone non-believers until they die. two holy books with violent passages, with one obvious difference --
jihadis are acting on what they read in the koran. >> islam is being manipulated. it is being used. >> reporter: this man points to one colorful example of manipulation in a famous koran story. >> the koran promises a martyr in the name of islam 72 virgins. is that true? >> it is not true. >> reporter: she says that several scholars studying the original text came to a startling realization. >> nowhere in the koran does it promise 72 virgins, 70 virgins, 48 virgins. what it promises as far as heaven goes is something lush. the arabic word for virgin has been mistranslated. the original word that was used in the koran was the word for raisin. not virgin. in other words, martyrs would get raisins in heaven, not
virgins. >> reporter: 72 raisins. imagine the surprise of the terrorist who expected something completely different? ♪ ♪ we will march through the gates of the paradise where our maidens await ♪ >> reporter: the story goes radical twisted half ideas, but it also reflects a growing new reality, the violent jihadis who carry out isis terror attacks often know little about islam. >> in many cases they're petty criminals, dropouts, unemployed, many cases drug users, who nerve her anything to do with religion. have no religious training whatsoever. >> you probably know better than me even. maybe you have studied. >> completely ignorant of religion and latch on as way to act out their alienation.
>> reporter: the abdeslam brothers fit the profile. these are the isis killers par i thing at a high-end nightclub in brussels. he was the mastermind of the paris attacks, and braheem blew himself up in paris. it is easier to brainwash recruits who are not religious. former radical told the "new yorker" that for purposes of recruitment, having no back ground in islam is actually an advantage. this man is trying to stop the recruitment process by exposing people to all of islam's ideas. >> i'm pointing out they have the raw material, has the elements for a change. >> reporter: there is another famous koranic story. a father's two sons convert to christianity and leave home. the father asks the prophet muhammad to bring them back, but
muhammad declines saying there is no compulsion in religion. >> the book itself cannot speak. it is we muslims who speak on its behalf. there is a beautiful passage in the koran, one of many beautiful passages that states, god does not change the condition of a people until they change what is inside themselves. >> reporter: and to those who say, well, you are cherry picking what do you say? >> i say, yes. that's correct. and so are you. by not acknowledging the freedom loving verses of the koran. >> reporter: as you can see, islam can be used in many ways, but the question remains -- why is an intolerant and violent interpretation of the religion flourishing in important parts of the muslim world? it all starts, believe it or not
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>> reporter: we've all looked at her and asked, how? how does a young mother drop her baby off at grandma's after nursing that baby and then proceed to massacre 14 people and give up her own life in a twisted act of martyrdom? there is a way to understand this, because you can draw a straight line from tashfeen malik directly to roots of cad cal islam. let me explain by going back to the beginning of the story. bizarre though it may sound, today's radical islamic movement -- ♪ -- started with a popular american song. 1949. the place was greeley, colorado. ♪ i've got to go away but baby it's cold outside ♪ >> reporter: "baby it's cold outside" plays at a church dance. an egyptian student at the
ending a local college stopped in. sayed was a deeply conservative muslim and horrified by what he saw at that dance. he wrote later of what he calmed the animal-like mixing of the sexes. the halls swarmed with legs. lips met lips, chest met chests. the worst sight of all, he said, the outline of women's breasts in tight sweaters. his essay about his time here, the america i have seen, became a sensation in parts of the arab world. he hated everything about american culture. hollywood movies, big cars, fast food. >> his views on america, terrifying. because they're narrow, racist, he resented the way woman and man interact in society. he resented a nature american materialism.
>> reporter: by the 1950s, he was a fierce critic of arab governments that were trying to westernize their economy, societies and political systems. he wrote 24 books urging the return to sharia law and terrorism against the modern leading nation in the world, the united states. ♪ >> reporter: he was executed in 1966 for plotting to overthrow the government of egyptian president gamel abdel nasa. >> ah! ah! >> reporter: he had become a rock star among budding radicals. even as arab regimes were jailing and torturing his followers. >> we are muslims who believe in their religion! >> reporter: thus in the jails of egypt and other arab tyrannies was born al qaeda. ♪ it was read and revered by osama bin laden, and al awlaki and the
current head and then in 1969 radical islam explodes. in iran, there was revolution. enraged by the repressive rule of the american-backed shah, popular protests drove him out. [ chanting ] >> reporter: angry mobs seized the american embassy. for 444 days, the united states watched helplessly as americans were held hostage. >> but there are indications tonight that a large number of armed shiite muslims -- >> reporter: at exactly the same time, november, 1979, cataclysm in saudi arabia. the takeover of the grand mosque in mecca.
islam's holiest site. it was stormed by heavily armed insurgents, demanding the overthrow of the american-backed saudi king. these events were like rocket fuel for islamic radicals. they had taken control of iran. and in saudi arabia, the monarchy makes a fateful decision. it decides to appease the ultraconservative wahhabi clergy who preach a puritanical and intolerant interpretation of islam giving them free rein is run schools, mosques and oil money to spread their poisonous world view to other muslim countries. >> it's hard to imagine a muslim community anywhere on this planet that hasn't been touched by this ideology. >> reporter: remember, saudi arabia is one of america's strongest allies.
>> you were talking about a country that presents itself as the leader of the world muslim, the muslim world. >> reporter: the new saudi regime is finally trying to contain the spread of radical islam. but look at this interview with one of the most powerful men in saudi islam. the former imam of the grand mosque. we have the same beliefs as isis, he says. we share their ideology. but we express it in a more refined way. >> and that ideology is still being preached in saudi arabia from the mosques. >> reporter: remember, 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from saudi arabia. so did osama bin laden. and one more person who was from saudi arabia.
tashfeen malik, the wife in the san bernardino killings. >> came from pakistan. >> reporter: so malik lived in both saudi arabia and pakistan and to what country has saudi arabia most lavishly and successfully exported its ideology? pakistan. its saudi funded mosques preach a message much like the saudi ideology. tashfeen malik, the san bernardino killer is a product of radical islam globalized by saudi money. up next ax crucial question. when we ask why they hate us, how many are there in the first place? >> 300 million people who are ready to strap bombs on their bodies. >> at most, 100,000 people. >> reporter: getting the facts right, when we return.
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how many are we talking about? >> 300 million people ready to strap bombs on their bodies and blow us all up to smithereens. >> reporter: 300 million muslims ready to strap bombs to their bodies? can they really be true? donald trump offers even higher percentages. >> it's 27%, could be 35%, would go to war. the hatred is tremendous, chris. >> reporter: fox news anchor chris wallace had just told trump the facts. >> according to the best experts, think tanks around the world, at a most 100,000 people are fighting for jihadist people. >> reporter: wallace is right. trump is wrong. scholars and experts we spoke to agree. the number of jihadis is somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 and not hundreds of millions. how did they come up with the results? simple math. they added up the estimated
memberships of all islamic terror networks worldwide. that works out to around 1 1/100 of 1% of all of the muslims a around the world, but despite the consensus, the myth persists. >> you said that 200 to 250 million muslims are ready to take war against us? >> why don't you take a look at the pew poll that came out recently. >> reporter: we did take a look, and we couldn't find any poll by pew that bore any relation to trump's claims. in fact, the pew research center sent us a statement that says, it has not issued a survey saying that 27% of muslims would go to war with the united states, nor asked a question of muslims about going to war. but there are some pew polls with findings that are troubling. let's take a look at just a few. in egypt, 81% of muslims who
want sharia as the law of the land told pew that they also favor stoning as a punishment for adultery. and 86% favor the death penalty for those who leave islam. religious scholar reza aslam. >> we may be appalled by certain regressive beliefs, but they are just beliefs. point. >> if vast muslims across the world believe, and they do, that humans deserve to die for merely holding a different idea or drawing a cartoon, or writing a
book, or eloping with the wrong person, not only does the muslim world have something in common with isis, it has too much in common with isis. >> reporter: aslam responds with an analogy from america. >> the christians at the westborough baptist church believes god hates homosexuals. as a result of that belief they picket the burial ceremonies of american soldiers who die overseas. now, christians in the united states also believe that homosexuality is a sin, so they share that belief with the westborough baptist church but would never share in those actions. by bill maher's logic, those two groups are essentially the same because they share one fundamental belief. >> reporter: sam harris, a critic of islam counters with his own american analogy. >> to have a play on broadway like "the book of mormon" it is currently unthinkable to produce such a play on the topic of islam. ♪ my name is jesus christ
>> reporter: this hit broadway musical roundly h lampoons the religion. >> they took out ads for mormonism in the program. just an adorable response, but there is no one who produced that play who lost any sleep over whether they might be killed or be hunted for the rest of their lives by crazy mormons. that is what we have to get to on the topic of islam. >> reporter: on this i certainly agree with harris, and yet there is another ideology that seems far more successful in seducing muslims. american democracy. when we come back, the story of american islam. warts and all. ♪ mone hundredts thousand times a day, sending oxygen to my muscles. again! so i can lift even the most demanding weight. take care of all your most important parts with centrum. now verified non gmo and gluten free.
>> reporter: michigan, a story as old as america. a century ago polish immigrants settled here. it became known at little warsaw. ♪ preserving the traditions of the old country in a new country. fast forward to the late 20th century and the american dream repeats itself. ♪ this time, the immigrants are muslims from yemen, from bangladesh from bosnia. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: and now -- what was once known as little warsaw is the first city in america run by muslim-americans. a majority muslim city council. >> last night's election had historic significance for that community and the country.
>> reporter: one more story as old as america, the inevitable culture clash. >> i don't like the changes that are going on. so i'm leaving. >> reporter: church bells collide -- with the call to prayer. restaurants cater to separate groups. different cultures now living side by side. there have been rough spots, but they've gradually begun to make its new reality and government work. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag. >> we have a great possibility of showing the world how ethnic groups can work together to solve problems. >> reporter: but then the calls started coming in from the rest of america. >> we're coming to blow up the muslims, called muslims, trying to bring sharia law, do this. people are doing crazy. going crazy.
>> it is time to say no shariah in america. >> reporter: many communities across america fear that arab immigration could translate into shariah law. >> i didn't say to hate thejs but i am saying that we don't need them here. >> islam will never dominate the united states, and by the grace of god, it will not dominate texas. >> reporter: shariah law has never been established in any city in america, and no one wants it less than the muslim mile an hours in hemtram. >> we don't believe that. we came here to this country to run a wway from shariah law. do i think that i would come here to follow it? i don't think so. >> reporter: community activists says that his family fled yemen in search of the same things that all americans want. >> we came here for a better life. for security. for a better future, and that is
all we came here for. and we will always carry the american flag everywhere we go. >> it is a country where advancement and entry into the middle-classes and in some cases access to wealth and power is open to people of all backgrounds. >> look at shahid khan. he came to america from pakistan at age 16, penniless. today he is a billionaire in the most american way possible. he owns an nfl team, the jacksonville jaguars. look at television host dr. oz, a first generation turkish american. the list goes on. but middle eastern study scholar rasheed kalidi says it's a list you won't find in many western countries. >> how many people on top of
french politics? how many people in french television? how many roles in elite french business with children or grandchildren in it? very few. we have important people in the media whose faces look different than native white americans. yourself, for example. there are very few french faces on television. >> and as for all the fears that americans have of sharia law, of americans as terrorists, they are all rooted in this fact. >> 1% of all of america is muslim. most americans don't know any muslims, so it becomes very easy when confronted with extreme acts of violence in the name of islam, it becomes very easy to conflate that with mainstream, everyday islam. we would never make that mistake when we are confronted with extreme acts of violence or radical interpretations of christianity.
because we live in a country that's 70% christian. we are tribal, ultimately. we are much more likely to forgive the extremes within our own tribe than we are the extremes in other people's tribes. up next, my thoughts on why they hate us. afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose.
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the next time you hear of a terror attack no matter where it is, no matter what the circumstances, you will likely think to yourself, it's muslims again. and you will probably be right. in 2014, about 30,000 people were killed in terror attacks worldwide. the vast majority of those perpetrating the violence were muslim. but, and this is important, so were the victims. of the 30,000 dead, the vast, vast majority were muslims. that's crucial to understand because it sheds light on the question, why do they hate us? islamic terrorists don't just hate america or the west, they hate the modern world, and they particularly hate muslims who are trying to live in the modern world. let's be clear.
while the jihadis are few, there is a larger cancer of islam, a cancer of extremism and intolerance. most that exercise free religion, islam is the majority. but are these things inherent in the religion? when experts tried to explain that in the 14th century, islamic civilization was the world's most advanced or that the koran was once read as a liberal and progressive document, they're not trying to deny the realities of backwardness today. what they're saying is it can change. islam, after all, has been around for 14 centuries. there have been periods of war but also of peace. it's the same religion then and now, so what is different? it's not theology, it's politics. radical islam is the product of the broken politics and stagnant
economics of muslim countries. they have found in radical religion an idealogy that lets them rail against the modern world, an idealogy that is now being exported to alienated young muslims everywhere, in europe, and even in some rare cases, in the united states. so how to end this? there's really only one way. help the majority of muslims fight extremists, reform their faith and modernize their societies. in doing so, we should listen to those on the front lines, many of whom are fighting and dying in the struggle against jihadis. the number of former reformists i've spoken to says their task is made much harder when western pundits condemn islam entirely, demean their faith and speak of all islams as backward and suspect. here's another way to think about this.
in america, african-americans make up about 13% of the population, yet they are about 50% of homicide offenders. i hope we understand that when we see a black man on the street, we cannot, must not treat him as a likely criminal. it would be dehumanizing, unfair and racist. in america of all places, people should be treated as individuals and not as stereotypes from a racial, ethnic or religious group. remember, the bangladeshi cab driver who drives you to the airport has nothing, nothing to do with isis, even though he is also a muslim. it's hard not to make these quick associations, especially in the wake of a terror attack. but if america is about anything, it is the idea that people should be judged as individuals with individual liberli liberties and rights.
it is what they hate about us. we might as well live up to our own ideals. i'm fareed zakaria. thank you for watching. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. urgent manhunt in berlin and germany for a 24-year-old native of tunisia said to be armed and dangerous with links to isis. his identity papers found inside the truck that mowed down innocent people at the christmas market. president-elect donald trump saying this about the berlin rampage. >> it's an attack on humanity, that's what it is. it's an attack on humanity and it's got to be stopped. and at the peak of the holiday season, how are