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Hannity, Ellison debate portrayal of Muslims on Fox News

Conservative Fox News commentator Sean Hannity went after Rep. Keith Ellison in an interview Wednesday evening, criticizing the Minnesota congressman for saying Fox News has contributed to the scapegoating of Muslims.

Hannity asked Ellison about a statement he made recently: “I think if you listen to Fox News, the station 24-7 is trying to incite and divide Americans along religious lines, scapegoating the Muslim community, and this is a sort of well-worn, right-wing tactic.”

Hannity asked, “This is an incredible charge. This is a charge of bigotry. Can you give me a specific example?”

“I don’t apologize for it,” Ellison said. “If you are telling me you are going to be more even-handed on issues of religious tolerance, that’s a good step, and I thought that by inviting me here, I thought that’s what you were trying to do.”

Ellison didn’t have any specific examples available, but Media Matters did. A good example was Hannity’s criticism of Ellison for taking his oath of office on the Qur’an.

At the time Hannity said Ellison’s oath “will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones” and suggested that using the Qur’an for a swearing-in is comparable to using “Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which is the Nazi bible.”

“When you only identity terrorism and extremism with one religion, I think that’s too bad,” Ellison told Hannity. “We are at war with violent extremists who would kill Americans, they might be Muslims, they might be white supremacists, they might be people who would kill at abortion clinics. We are trying to protect Americans from any violent extremists, Muslim, Christian or Jewish, anybody.”

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