Glenn Beck's Hypothetical Support for Murdering Fareed Zakaria

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Glenn Beck and Fareed Zakaria have gotten into a bizarre back-and-forth over what constitutes a terrorist and how many of them are walking the earth. In brief: Zakaria countered an estimate Beck made about the percent of Muslims that support terrorism and Beck shot back with a hypothetical expression of support for Zakaria's murder. Confused by how things escalated so quickly? Here's the breakdown of what actually happened:

  • The Estimate  On his radio show last week, Beck claimed that 10 percent of the world's Muslims are terrorists and wondered why this fact was not being covered in the media.
  • Zakaria Refutes: Is Glenn Beck a Terrrorist?  A few days later, Fareed Zakaria set aside some time on CNN to break down Beck's assertion mathematically. He argued that the answer to Beck's question as to why the media wasn't covering the 157,000,000 Muslim terrorists in the world was that the figure was "total nonsense." Zakaria also responded to a post on the Beck blog clarifying that, by definition, terrorists are people who "use or advocate terrorism" and that, according to Beck's own New York Times bestseller, "ten percent of Islam wants us dead." Zakaria agreed that there is disdain within the Muslim world for the US and our government, but wondered, if these people were considered terrorists, how one should define "a man who has been fueling such anger against the American government on television daily for the last two years? How, in other words, would one describe Glenn Beck?"
  • In Which the Hypothetical Death Threat Comes Up  Beck struck back at Zakaria Monday, attempting to make the point that supporters of terrorism are just as much of a threat as actual those who carry out the violence.
If I said to Fareed Zakaria, :Fareed, I'm not going to kill you, but I support the people who do want to kill you,: am I a problem, Fareed? Yes! Yes, I would be a problem! If you said to somebody, :Hey Glenn, I'm not going to kill you myself, but man... I don't have any problem with anybody who wants to take their bare hands and snap your neck"--excuse me?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.