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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Why They Hate Us. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 18, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:018] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: Hatred so deep. It drives men to turn planes into bombs.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A plane crashed ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an act of terror on our soil.
ZAKARIA: Hatred so profound, it drove Omar Mateen to slaughter dozens of Americans on a dance floor in Orlando.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I can't tell which where my son is.
ZAKARIA: It is impossible to understand, impossible to get into the mind of a terrorist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, this station is facing terror and tragedy.
LOU DOBBS, NEWS ANCHOR: Why do so many millions of Muslims hate the USA?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a better picture this morning of the man accused of that murdering 13 people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do they hate us?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did we do to the Islamic world?
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Americans are asking, why do they hate us?
ZAKARIA: Emphasis on that last word, us, why do Islamic terrorists hate Americans?
15 years after 9/11, we are no longer surprised when they tell us they want to kill us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.
ZAKARIA: But who are they? How many? And are they multiplying in a new deadly form?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brussels the beginning. Tomorrow will be Washington. It will be New York. It is coming.
ZAKARIA: Inside schools.
ZAKARIA: Young children are being taught how to kill us. If the goal of ISIS propaganda is to terrify America, it is worked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us look at the mood in the country because terrorism is again front-and-center.
ZAKARIA: And that fear has paved the way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please welcome ...
ZAKARIA: For a new voice in this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... the next president of the United States.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: 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.
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.
ZAKARIA: Trump's message has let some Americans to say, who cares why they hate us. We hate them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who's bombing buildings? Who's bombing airplanes? It's not the Christians. It's not the Jewish. It's not the Buddhists. It's the Muslims. You got that on camera, sport?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have training camps growing where they want to kill us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're coming to get us. They're 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.
ZAKARIA: 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 the scholars deep into the subject like Columbia Rashid Khalidi, he makes an important distinction.
Why do the hate us?
RASHID KHALIDI, HISTORY DEPARTMENT CHAIR COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: If you take "they" as being Muslims, they don't hate us. If you talk about "they" as being a narrow, a very small group of extreme radicals, that's an entirely different question.
ANJEM CHOUDARY, POLITICAL ACTIVIST: We call upon Muslims around the world, to burn the constitution, to burn the American flag.
ZAKARIA: Anjem Choudary comes from that very small group of extreme radicals. Choudary has been charged with supporting ISIS.
CHOUDARY: You're hypocrites. You don't have principles. That's your problem as Americans.
ZAKARIA: He's awaiting trial in London.
CHOUDARY: I personally hate the American regime in a foreign policy.
ZAKARIA: Choudary faces prison for his support of ISIS, but he is unrelenting in that support. Never mind the kidnappings, the beheading, the sex slaves, to Choudary, the Islamic state is paradise.
[21:05:00] CHOUDARY: There is peace. There is no corruption. There is no bribery. There is no usury. There's no alcohol, and gambling. All of the vices which you are all used to in America and other parts of the world don't exist over there. This idea that they're raping people, why don't you listen to what the Muslims are say on the other side? Why don't you go and interview some of the people? They will deny these things. There's nothing called slaves, you know, as sex slave ...
ZAKARIA: Because, Mr. Choudary, they kill journalists. That's why.
CHOUDARY: ... and raping people in Islam.
ZAKARIA: They kill journalists, Mr. Choudary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These could be my last hours.
ZAKARIA: In fact, ISIS has murdered at least 23 reporters in the last two years. Among them the American's James Foley and Steven Sokolov.
Let me not get into the, frankly, nonsense you are spouting about the Islamic state in the peace and brotherhood there. How do you explain, Mr. Choudary, that the people are fleeing the Islamic state?
Despite documented evidence of tens of thousands of people desperately fleeing ISIS, Choudary claims there are actually more arriving.
CHOUDARY: The people are coming into the Islamic state. By the way, we have videos to the world of Christians coming back to Mosul, the Yazidi embracing Islam. You don't show those because it doesn't fit your agenda.
ZAKARIA: And then the flood gates opened. With the reasons why, Anjem Choudary says he hates us.
CHOUDARY: Freedom of expression, freedom of religion, these things sound very nice. But where was the freedom of religion and expression for people in Guantanamo Bay? What about the people being tortured in Abu Ghraib, Baghdad? Was that a freedom in practice? I bet you loved that, did you Fareed? Did you hold that up as an example of liberty and democracy of the American way, of the American life?
You know, George Bush flushed those down the toilet. He said, you know, we can flush them away because we're talking about terrorism. ZAKARIA: But the United States intervened in Bosnia to protect Muslims. It has intervened in Afghanistan and they're supporting a government that has been elected twice by the Afghan people.
CHOUDARY: Fareed, I think you've spent too much time in the CNN world. In the real world the people in Afghanistan hate the Americans.
ZAKARIA: In the real world, Mr. Choudary, is determined by polls, not by what you say. And the polls overwhelmingly show it as do two elections.
CHOUDARY: This is not true. You're living in Hollywood, in some kind of make-believe world.
ZAKARIA: Well, I come back to the very simple proposition that if the groups that you seem to support from Al-Qaeda to ISIS, were as popular as you claim, why don't they hold elections? Why did they have to go around murdering, slaughtering, raping, and forcing people into submission?
CHOUDARY: For a moment now, I thought you were talking about Guantanamo Bay, when you were talking about rape and torture and oppression, but obviously you're not talking about that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democracy, hypocrisy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democracy, hypocrisy.
ZAKARIA: Choudary reminds me of Marxist ideologues I met in my youth, who could explain away anything to justify their belief system. The anger at America is deep. What is striking is that America remains the obsession of Choudary and of so many who have seldom if ever been here.
So what happens when a Jihadi is one of us, an American? Are the reasons he hates us the same?
ANWAR AL-AWLAKI, HEAD OF AL-QAEDA: 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?
ZAKARIA: No one has scared American security officials more than Anwar Al-Awlaki.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wanted dead or alive by U.S authorities.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The head of Al-Qaeda in Yemen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He also helps planned attacks on the United States. ZAKARIA: He is the driving force behind virtually all of the worst terrorist attacks in America since 9/11.
AL-AWLAKI: We are facing you as men, who love that just like you love life. ZAKARIA: 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) to reports of multiple victims.
ZAKARIA: One of the San Bernardino killers the husband, Syed Farook watched Awlaki's video sermons for years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we know now the deadliest shooting ever at the America military base.
ZAKARIA: And then there was a psychiatrist, Nadal Hasan, who murdered 13 Americans at Fort Hood in Texas. Hasan e-mailed Awlaki about his plans.
The underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow a plane out of the sky over Detroit under orders from Awlaki and finally, Orlando killer, Omar Mateen. The FBI says he appears to have been swayed by Awlaki after watching his sermons on the internet.
[21:10:03] But here is the strangest twist in this American horror story. After the 9/11 terror attacks, Awlaki was invited to lead prayers at the U.S. capital. He was considered such a perfect role model, a moderate Imam in Falls Church, Virginia, that the "Washington Post" did a story about him.
AWLAKI: There's always this association between Islam and terrorism when that is not true at all. I mean, Islam is a religion of peace.
ZAKARIA: But gradually, it is possible to see the beginnings of his disenchantment.
AWLAKI: There is anger and (inaudible). Anger seems to be something that (inaudible) knew it. There are reasons for this (inaudible). The fact that the U.S. had administered the death and homicide of over 1 million civilians in Iraq.
ZAKARIA: No one seems certain when Awlaki become a full pledge Jihadi. But one thing is clear he was a scholar of Islam. Yet he never cites his religion when he speaks about why he hates us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody come outside, push him this way. Over here.
ZAKARIA: His reasons, like Choudary's are about American foreign policy. The so-called war against Islam that Jihadi is always speaks of.
The FBI began to monitor Awlaki. He fled to Yemen and eventually became a top leader of Al-Qaeda.
REP. PETER KING, (R) LONG ISLAND: When you say that Awlaki is at least a severe a threat today as Bin Laden?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably the most significant risk to the U.S. homeland.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American board Al-Qaeda ...
ZAKARIA: There is one important fact about Anwar Al-Awlaki that I have not mentioned. He is dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... Anwar Al-Awlaki was the dangerous Al Qaeda operative in the world has been killed.
ZAKARIA: It was an American drone strike in 2011. But here's the most frightening fact, Awlaki is still killing Americans. Some of the bloodiest terror he inspired happened after his death, the San Bernardino killings, the Boston marathon bombings and the worse mass shooting in American history, the Orlando nightclub murders.
Awlaki is on the internet right now. Literally thousands of his videos are just a click away.
AWLAKI: You remember the good old days when Americans were enjoying the blessing of security and peace.
ZAKARIA: 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 Quran, but is the Muslim holy book being distorted?
The Quran promises a moderate in the name of Islam 72 virgins. Is that true?
What exactly does the Quran promise martyrs? When we come back.
[21:16:45] ZAKARIA: 9/11, 77 in London, Mumbai, the Boston marathon, San Bernardino, Paris, Brussels, and now Orlando, all perpetrated by Muslims, all done in the name of Islam. It raises a question, the obvious question, is Islam an inherently violent religion?
Ask the 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time to stop saying that this isn't about Islam. ISIS is uber Islamic. Uber Islamic and it's time it's said.
IRSHAD MANJI, MUSLIM REFORMER: 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 -- no, no, no, please don't understand, Islam has nothing to do with this.
That's simply not true, because most of the people doing these bombings and beheading say that they are doing it in the name of Allah. And they actually cite verses from the Quran.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are men honored with Islam, who climb its peaks to perform Jihad.
ZAKARIA: The controversial question, we got a shouting match on Bill Maher's HBO program.
BEN AFLECK, HOLLYWOOD ACTOR: Then we have to be able to criticize bad ideas and ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, we do. We know ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, OK, but Islam is the mother load of bad ideas.
AFLECK: And you're painting a broad with the whole religion with that (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, let's get down to who has the right answer here. A billion people you say. All these billion people don't hold any a billion files. They don't hold these pernicious beliefs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No I wouldn't. Well, they don't.
ZAKARIA: We will come back to Afleck's point about the numbers, but let's just look at the text. The Quran 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 Quran is the one that ISIS has taken literally. "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore, strike off their heads."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.
ZAKARIA: 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 Quran.
[21:20:00] MANJI: Islam is being manipulated. It is being used.
ZAKARIA: Irshad Manj points to one colorful example of manipulation in a famous Quranic story.
The Quran promises a martyr in the name of Islam, 72 virgins. Is that true?
MANJI: It is not true. ZAKARIA: Manji says that several scholars studying the original text came to a startling realization.
MANJI: Nowhere in the Quran 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 Quran was the word for raisin. Not virgin, in other words, that martyrs would get raisins in heaven, not a virgin.
ZAKARIA: Seventy two raisins. Imagine the surprise of the terrorists who expected something completely different.
The story illustrates that radicals have twisted Islamic ideas. But it also reflects a growing new reality. The violent Jihadist who carry out ISIS terrorist attacks often no little about Islam.
KHALIDI: In many cases, they're petty criminals. In many cases they're dropped outs, and many cases they're unemployed. In many cases they're drug users, who never had anything to do with religion, have no religious training whatsoever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You probably know Islam better than me, then maybe you have studied.
KHALIDI: They're completely ignorant, in other words, of religion. And they latch on radicals as a way to act out their alienation.
ZAKARIA: The Abdeslam brothers fit the profile. These are the ISIS killers, partying at a high end nightclub in Brussels. Salah was the mastermind of the Paris attacked. Ibrahim blew himself up in Paris.
It is easy, as say some to brain wash recruits who are not religious. Former radical Maajid Nawaz told the "New Yorker" that for purposes of recruitment, having no backgrounds in Islam is actually, an advantage. Irshad Manji is trying to stop the recruitment process by exposing young people to all of Islam's ideas.
MANJI: I am pointing out that the state, itself, has the wrong material. Has the all the elements for a change.
ZAKARIA: There is another famous Quranic 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."
MANJI: The book itself, can't speak. It is we Muslims who speak on its behalf. There is a beautiful passage in the Quran, one of many beautiful passages that states, God does not change a condition of a people until they change what is inside themselves.
ZAKARIA: And in to those who say, while you are cherry-picking, what do you say?
MANJI: I say, yes, that's correct. And so are you by not acknowledging the freedom loving verses of the Quran. ZAKARIA: As you can see, Islam can be used in many ways but the question remains, why is in intolerant and violent interpretation of the religion flourishing in important parts of the Muslim world. It all starts believe it or not with an American pop song.
[21:27:46] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Figure out exactly what turn this couple as mass murderers.
ZAKARIA: Tashfeen Malik the wife in the San Bernardino terrorist attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How and where was the 29-year-old mother of a newborn radicalized?
ZAKARIA: 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 the roots of modern radical Islam. Let me explain, by going back to the beginning of the story.
As odd as it may sound, today's radical Islamic movement started with a popular American song, 1949 the place was Greeley, Colorado. "Baby it's cold outside" was playing on an old gramophone at a church dance.
An Egyptian student attending a local college happened to stop in. Sayyid Qutb was a deeply conservative Muslim and he was horrified by what he saw at that dance. He wrote later of what he called the animal-like mixing of the sexes. The halls swarmed with legs, lips met lips chests met chests. The worst sight of all, he said the outline of women's breasts in tight sweaters.
Sayyid Qutb's 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.
FAWAZ GERGES, MIDDLE EAST SCHOLAR: His views on America are terrifying. They are terrifying because they're narrow and they're racist, he resented the way women and men interact in society. He resented a nature the American materialism.
ZAKARIA: By the 1950s, he was a fierce critic of Arab governments that were trying to westernize their economy, societies and political systems.
[21:29:58] He wrote 24 books urging the return to Sharia Law and terrorism against the leading modern nation in the world, the United States.
He was executed in 1966 for plotting to overthrow the government of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Qutb had become a rock star among budding radicals, even as Arab regimes were jailing and torturing his followers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are Muslims, who believe in the religion.
ZAKARIA: Thus, in the jails of Egypt and other Arab tyrannies was born Al-Qaeda. Qutb was read and revered by Osama bin Ladin, Anwar Al-Awlaki and the current head of Al-Qaeda, Ayman Al- Zawahiri.
Then in 1979, radical Islam explodes. In Iran there was revolution. Enraged by the repressive rule of the American backed Shaw (ph), popular protests drove him out.
Angry mobs seized the American embassy for 444 days. The United States watched helplessly as Americans were held hostage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But there are indications tonight that have large numbers of arm Shiite Muslims ...
ZAKARIA: 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 have taken control of Iran. And in Saudi Arabia, the monarchy makes a fateful decision.
It decides to appease the ultraconservative Wahabi clergy who preach of puritanical and intolerant interpretation of Islam, giving them free reign to run schools and mosques and oil money to spread their poisonous world view to other Muslim countries.
REZA ASLAN, RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR: It's hard to imagine a Muslim community anywhere on this planet that hasn't been touched by this ideology.
ZAKARIA: Remember, Saudi Arabia is one of America's strongest allies.
ASLAN: You are talking about a country that presents itself as the leader of the world Muslims, the Muslim world.
ZAKARIA: 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 more refined way.
ASLAN: And that ideology is still being preached in Saudi Arabia from the mosque.
ZAKARIA: Remember, 15 of the nine hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia. So did Osama bin Laden and one more person who is from Saudi Arabia, Tashfeen Malik, the wife in the San Bernardino killings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Malik came from Pakistan. She later moved to Saudi Arabia ... ZAKARIA: So, Malik lived in both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. And two what country has Saudi Arabia most lavishly and successfully exported its ideology? Pakistan, its Saudi funded madras and mosque, preach a message much like the Saudi ideology of Wahabism.
Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino killer is a product of radical Islam globalized by Saudi money. And one more visitor to Saudi Arabia, the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen. He went there twice.
Up next, a crucial question when we ask why they hate us. How many are there in the first place?
JEANINE PIRO, ATTORNEY: 300 million people who are ready to strap bombs on their bodies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like at most a hundred thousand people.
ZAKARIA: Getting the facts right, when we return.
[21:33:49] ZAKARIA: If you believe everything you heard about Islam on certain cable news channels, you would have good reason to be afraid.
PIRO: We need to kill them.
ZAKARIA: Very afraid.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many numbers are we talking about this? The world has 1.6 billion Muslims. How many Muslims are we talking about?
PIRO: 300 million people who are ready to strap bombs on their bodies and blow us all up to smithereens.
ZAKARIA: 300 million Muslims, ready to strap bombs to their bodies. Can that really be true?
Donald Trump offers even higher percentages.
TRUMP: It's 27 percent. It could be 35 percent would go to war. The hatred is tremendous, Chris.
ZAKARIA: Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace had just tolled the GOP front- runner the facts.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: According to the best experts, you know, think times all around the world, they say, at most, 100,000 people are fighting for Jihadist causes.
ZAKARIA: Wallace is right. Trump is wrong. Scholars and experts, we spoke to agree.
The number of Jihadist worldwide is somewhere between 1 and 200,000 not hundreds of millions. How do they come up with those results? [21:40:02] Simple math, they added up the estimated memberships of all Islamic terror networks worldwide. That works out to around 1 -- 100 of 1 percent of Muslims around the world. But despite the consensus, the myth persists.
WALLACE: They're saying 253 million Muslims will go to war against this stuff?
TRUMP: Why don't you take look at the Pew poll that came out very recently?
ZAKARIA: We did take a look. And we couldn't find any poll by Pew that for 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 percent 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 percent 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 percent favor the death penalty for those who leave Islam. Religious scholar Reza Aslan.
ASLAN: I mean, we may be uphold by certain regressive beliefs but they are just beliefs. The issue is people's actions.
ZAKARIA: But can some bad thoughts lead to bad actions? Bill Maher makes an interesting point.
BILL MAHER, "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER" HOST: If vast numbers of 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.
ZAKARIA: Aslan responds with an analogy from America.
ASLAN: The Christians at the Westboro Baptist Church believe that God hates homosexuals and so 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 homosexually is a sin. So they share that belief with the Westboro Baptist Church. But they would never share in those actions.
By Bill Maher's logic, those two groups are essentially the same because they share one fundamental belief.
ZAKARIA: Sam Harris, a critic of Islam, counters with his own American analogy.
SAM HARRIS, ATHEIST AND CRITIC OF ISLAM: To have a play on Broadway like the book of Mormon, it is currently unthinkable to produce such a play on a topic of Islam.
ZAKARIA: The hit program musical "Roundly Lampoons" the Salt Lake City base religion.
HARRIS: So, what do the Mormons do in response to this play? They took out ads for Mormonism in the program, which it's 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. And that's -- that is what we have to get too on the topic of Islam.
ZAKARIA: 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 works at all.
[21:47:04] ZAKARIA: Hamtramck, Michigan is a story as old as America. A century ago, Polish immigrants settled here. It became known as 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. And now, what was once known as little Warsaw is the first city in America run by Muslim-Americans. It has a majority Muslim city council.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last night's election had historic significance for that community and the country.
ZAKARIA: One more story as old as America, the inevitable culture clash.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't like the changes that are going on. So I'm leaving.
ZAKARIA: 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 Hamtramck has gradually begun to make its new reality and its new government work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pledge allegiance to the flag.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a great possibility of showing the world that ethnic groups to work together to solve problems.
ZAKARIA: But then the calls started coming in from the rest of America.
IBRAHIM ALJAHIM, MUSLIM COMMUNITY ORGANIZER: We're trying to blow up the Muslims. Called the Muslims, they try to break Sharia Law. They try to this. This is -- people are going crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time to say, no Sharia in America.
ZAKARIA: Many communities across the country fear that Arab immigration could translate into Sharia Law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't say to hate them. I'm just saying we don't need them here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Islam will never dominate the United States and by the grace of God, it will not dominate Texas.
ZAKARIA: Sharia Law has never been established in any city in America and no one wants it less than the Muslim Americans in Hamtramck.
ALJAHIM: We don't believe in that. We came here to this country to run away from Sharia Law. You think I would put it in this country to follow me here? I don't think so.
ZAKARIA: Community Activist Ibrahim Aljahim says his family fled Yemen in search of the same things all Americans want.
ALJAHIM: We came here for a better life, for security, for a better future and that's all we came here for. We will always carry the American flag everywhere we go.
KHALIDI: It's a country where advancement and entry into of the middle classes and in some cases access to wealth and power. He is open to people of all backgrounds
[21:50:09] ZAKARIA: Look at Shahid Khan. He came to America from Pakistan at age 16, penniless. Today he is 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 Rashid Khalidi says it's a list you won't find in many other Western countries.
KHALIDI: How many people in -- at the top of French politics, how many people on French television? How many people with elite roles and French business are the children of a grandchildren or great grandchildren? I think it was very, very few.
United States, I mean we have people who are barons in the industry who are important in the media whose face is look different in ordinary white Americans yourself, for example. There are very few such faces on French television.
ZAKARIA: And as for all the fears that Americans have, of Sharia Law, of Muslim as terrorist they are partly rooted in this fact.
ASLAN: One percent of the population of America is Muslim. Most Americans don't know any Muslims and 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, every day 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 percent 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.
ZAKARIA: Up next, my thoughts on why they hate us.
[21:55:56] ZAKARIA: The next time you hear of a terror attack, no matter where it is, no mater what the circumstances, you will likely think to yourself, its 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 Muslims. 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 Jihadists are few, there is a larger cancer within the world of Islam, a cancer of backwardness and extremism and intolerance.
Most of the countries that have laws that restrict the free exercise of religion are Muslim majority. All that have laws against leaving the faith are Muslim majority.
But are these things inherent in the religion? When experts try to explain that in the 14th century, Islamic civilization was the world's most advanced or that the Quran was once swear that the liberal and progressive document. They're not trying to deny the realities of backwardness today.
What they're saying is it can change. Islam actual has been around for 14 centuries. There had been periods of war, but also of peace. It's the same religion then and now, so what is different?
It's not theology, its politics. Radical Islam is the product of the broken politics and stagnant economics of Muslim countries.
They have found in radical religion an ideology that lets them rail against the modern world, an ideology that is now being exported to alienated young Muslims everywhere, in Europe, 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 extremist, reform their faith and modernize their societies.
In doing so, we should listen to those on the front lines. Many of form are fighting and dying in the struggle against Jihadist.
The hundreds of Muslim reformers I've spoken to say that their task is made much harder when western politicians and pundits condemn Islam entirely demean their faith and speak of all Muslims as backward and suspect.
Here's another way to think about this, in America, African-Americans make up about 13 percent of the population, yet they comprise about 50 percent of homicide offenders, according to a justice department study.
Now, we understand, 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 a 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 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.