On MSNBC, Rudy Guiliani Suggests Muslims Need A "Reformation"
Guiliani: "A Martin Luther With A Different Name Might Not Be A Bad Thing To Come Along Right Now"
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From the January 7 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
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JOE SCARBOROUGH (HOST): So if you're mayor of New York City right now, what do you do to get buy-in from a Muslim community that obviously feels --
RUDY GIULIANI: You go talk to them.
SCARBOROUGH: Get engaged right?
GIULIANI: I used to go talk to the Muslim community. It usually would involve relations with the police, involving maybe a shooting or something like that. But I would go to the Malcolm X mosque and talk to the people there, explain what happened, try to explain our criminal justice system, somebody gets arrested, it takes a while.
SCARBOROUGH: How are those interactions?
GIULIANI: Much better than they appear to be on television because television picks out the two that go wrong and they miss the ten that go right. So I might --
SCARBOROUGH: But you have overwhelming majority of Muslim-Americans on your side --
GIULIANI: I don't question that.
SCARBOROUGH: Saying, "how can we help our country be safe?"
GIULIANI: They need to be encouraged more to step forward at a time like this. Best thing you could have sitting here right now is an imam explaining how terrible this is, how this is not what modern Islam should be all about, and all of us good Muslims are on the same side as every other American. That would be a much better guest than me.
SCARBOROUGH: That was your experience when you were mayor of New York, that the overwhelming majority of Muslim-Americans here in New York City were just as stunned, just as horrified by what happened on 9/11 moving forward?
GIULIANI: Yes, yes. But now, to be fair, there were some communities where there were celebrations.
SCARBOROUGH: There were some.
GIULIANI: And --
SCARBOROUGH: There were some. But we're talking, though, about the majority. And again, I'm not going back and revisiting 2001. I'm talking about how do we keep New Yorkers safe in 2016?
GIULIANI: Okay, this is like the mafia. Most Italian-Americans had nothing to do with the mafia. But there was a mafia, and it was big, and it was powerful, and it killed hundreds of people.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI (HOST): But they weren't called Italian-Americans.
GIULIANI: Oh they sure were.
BRZEZINSKI: No, I'm saying they were called the mafia.
GIULIANI: That's an Italian word.
BRZEZINSKI: No, but I think there's a problem with Muslims in terms of some --
GIULIANI: No, the analogy would be --
BRZEZINSKI: --especially some political candidates, who are lumping them all together.
GIULIANI: Candidates aren't lumping them together. They're lumping themselves together. They're organizing under the principle of Islam. They are organized because they have a certain interpretation of the Quran and Hadith, which scholars, their scholars, can justify. Do they constitute the majority of Muslims? Absolutely not. Do most Muslims reject it? Absolutely. But are they organized under the principle of being Muslims? The answer is yes. Just like it wasn't a vast majority of Italians but they were organized under the principle of being an Italian-American. You couldn't join unless you were an Italian-American.
SCARBOROUGH: So again, the question I'm getting to is --
BRZEZINSKI: Right, but you wouldn't put a ban on Italians coming to America.
SCARBOROUGH: I'm not trying to get into a debate that we've had in the rear-view mirror. It's how do we get the most Muslim-Americans engaged who are on our side anyway? Don't want to ask --
GIULIANI: Talking to them, organizing them, encouraging them to step up more, encouraging them to act against radical Islam. Explain intellectually and ideologically and theologically why this is repugnant to the way in which in the Hadith should now be interpreted. Those are the books that explicate the Koran. We need that kind of intellectual debate within the Muslim community. A counter-reformation, or a reformation wouldn't be bad. A Martin Luther with a different name might not be a bad thing to come along right now. Gosh, the nuns in Catholic school would have beaten me up if they heard me say that.