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Even Hannity’s Conservative Guests Think He’s Exaggerating Threat Of Radical Islam In Egypt

Reported by Ellen - February 1, 2011 -

Another night, another time Sean Hannity simply ignored the insights of his own expert guests in order to push his fear mongering agenda about Egypt. Last night, two experts on the Middle East from conservative think tanks slapped down Hannity’s insistence that Islamic radicals are poised to take over Egypt.

The two guests, were Khairi Abaza, from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Hoover Institution’s Fouad Ajami. Both organizations have stellar conservative cred. Newt Gingrich is associated with each of them.

But Hannity seemed to think he knew more about the situation than they did.

Speaking to Abaza, Hannity asked, “The Muslim Brotherhood, sworn to jihad, sworn to sharia law, an Iranian style theocracy that would take its place. How real is that threat?”

Not very real, according to the experts. Abaza said the Muslim Brotherhood were not the organizers of the protests and that if they were so strong, “they would have done their own revolution and they would have been in office." Abaza acknowledged that the organization is "the best organized opposition group in Egypt" and they have to be taken very seriously.” But while he agreed “the order they want to establish is not necessarily democratic,” he said there are other political forces that exist.

Hannity, obviously dissatisfied with that answer, moved on to the “outside influence of Iran, which is now supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, connected to Hamas, connected to Hezbollah, and I think a very large percentage of people that buy into this rigid Islamic radicalism.”

This time it was Ajami who smacked down the theory. “I don’t think we should exaggerate the influence of Iran on Egypt… We should not be looking for Iran in Egypt. We have to look at Egypt today… and the struggle is between a despot who’s had his run – it’s really, if you will, an autocrat on one side, the theocrats on the other and there is a democratic culture in Egypt and a democratic people and a democratic history that they have…”

Still Hannity persisted in pushing his fear mongering. Turning back to Abaza, Hannity asked, “Why do you downplay the significance and the movement of radical jihadism as, you know, a significant portion of the population in the Middle East that would like an Iranian-style theocracy?”

Abaza insisted he didn’t “downplay.” He told Hannity, “I think we over-emphasize the role of the Muslim Brotherhood.” Abaza said that the protesters are non-ideological. By way of example, he told about a demonstration that day in Cairo that had been organized by the Muslim Brotherhood. “They were overrun by Christians, secular people, women without headscarves.”

Hannity ended the interview, promising to “examine the Muslim Brotherhood coming up, later in the program.”

And he did revisit it, this time with two Islamophobes: Andrew McCarthy and Walid Shoebat.

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