Lebanese TV presenter Rima Karaki cut short an interview with Sunni Muslim scholar Hani al-Seba’i after he told her to "shut up" and that it was "beneath" him to be interviewed by her.
Karaki was talking to al-Seba’i about reports of Christians joining Isis in the Middle East. Responding to her question, al-Seba’i, who is based in London, began to talk about the history of Christians joining Islam rather than engaging with the question at hand.
As al-Seba’i starts mentioning the Red Brigades in Italy and the German Baader-Meinhof Group, Karaki says, "Dr al-Seba’i, let's focus on the present. At present, what slogans are used to attract (Christians) to these groups?"
This seemingly innocent intervention riles the scholar, who responds, "Listen, don't cut me off. I will answer as I please…what kind of behaviour is this. I will not answer the way you like, because I'm here to serve the idea in which I believe."
Rima Karaki said, 'In this studio, I run the show' Karaki remains calm and replies, "Please don't get all worked up. We respect you and know you want to give a complete answer". That does little to appease the angered al-Seba’i who accuses Karaki of acting "high and mighty".
Karaki says she will give the scholar more time to respond to the question, adding, "Go on, but do not call me names. In this studio, I run the show".
"Are you done?" the London-based scholar retorts. "Shut up so I can talk. It’s beneath me to be interviewed by you, you are a woman who…"
Hani al-Seba’i told the TV host: 'Shut up so I can talk. It's beneath me to be interviewed by you, you are a woman'
His microphone is then disconnected and Karaki concludes, "Either there is mutual respect, or the conversation is over".
Karaki is a presenter on the Lebanese channel Al-Jadeed TV and has received huge praise on social media for her handling of the interview and the way she responded to al-Seba’i’s taunts.
Independent News Service