A Reza Aslan interview on Fox News has gone viral. Aslan appeared on the network on Friday to promote his book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. However, the anchor, Lauren Green, repeatedly wondered why a Muslim would write a book about Jesus.
"Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim," Reza Aslan replied. "So it's not that I'm just some Muslim writing about Jesus; I am an expert with a Ph.D. in the history of religions."
Green could not grasp the idea that a Muslim would be interested in the life of the Christian leader. At one point, she compared the situation to a Democrat writing a book about Republican president Ronald Reagan.
"Because it's my job as an academic," Aslan continued. "I am a professor of religion, including the New Testament. That's what I do for a living, actually."
Green has been mocked all over the Internet. Andrew Kaczynski of Buzzfeed wondered, "Is This The Most Embarrassing Interview Fox News Has Ever Done?" Meanwhile, Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker called Green's questioning "demented" while praising Reza Aslan's professional response.
Still, Green is not alone in her views. An author named John. S. Dickerson wrote a piece for Fox News that called out the "liberal media" for praising the book. Another writer named Pamela Geller even called Reza Aslan a "jihadist" in a piece for WorldNetDaily.
"Recently this immature creep wrote a book (or more likely, had it written for him) about Jesus, with the pejorative title Zealot," Geller wrote. "The enemedia machine is in full throttle to deliver this seditious hater a bestseller. "
Despite this backlash for Fox News, the interview may actually have helped Reza Aslan draw attention to his book. The work has debuted at the No. 2 spot on the New York Times bestseller list. It is unclear how much this interview had to do with the book's high sales. But several people tweeted that they bought the book after seeing the interview just to spite Fox News.
Watch video of the controversial Fox News interview below!