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Piers Morgan vs Sam Harris On Israel Palestine War And Islam's Impact.

2023-12-21 (236)

Piers Morgan is joined by philosopher and author Sam Harris talking about the ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and Palestine.
Sam discusses with Piers Morgan how religion and God have played a part in this conflict and could be partly to blame for the escalation.

Video Transcription:


well welcome back to unsensed I'm joined

Now by Sam Harris one of the world's

great thinkers

we had an interesting debate last night involving

several people one was Mosab Hassan Yousef

he's the son of one of the Hamas

co-founders who then renounced Hamas and

moved away, and you said this about

what's going on at the moment in the

Israel Gaza War, let's take a listen

any person who put the religious

identity above the highest interest of

humanity I have no respect for this

people, the majority of the Muslim

people identified with Hamas, supported

Hamas, show me how many Muslims out there

who condemned Hamas genocide? what was

interesting about that is that he was

really suggesting that the motivating

factor behind that what Hamas did and

why people are supporting them in such

big numbers in the Muslim Community it's

because they're Muslims it's religion

driven now you're an atheist but what

you think of that, of this idea that

it's actually really about religion

well I'm going to agree with him

I think it's interesting to to note

that many of your listeners will doubt

my ability to to make the the statements

of of A Sort I'm now going to make but

they can't doubt that of him right I

mean he obviously knows whereof he

speaks right you can't play the identity

politics game with him and say that you

know he doesn't understand the culture

he's the wrong skin color he doesn't

speak the language etc etc so let's just

just let's you know flag that that

particular qualm with what I'm going

to say, what I'm going to say it should

just be obvious to everyone which is

that we have a vast number of people in

the Muslim Community worldwide not just

in the occupied territories or in Gaza

who are powerfully deranged by religious

symbols and and their religious identity

which is to say it is the most important

thing to them but but more important

even than the deaths of their own

children right we're talking about a

culture again I'm I'm not talking about

just Palestinians I'm talking about the

Muslim Community worldwide you know in

dozens of countries that has produced a

seemingly unending supply of suicide

bombers over the last 50 years right

where we're talking about societies

where phenomenon that should be

impossible are simply to be

expected I literally like rigging

children to to explode just that me

think of how deranging that is for an

army or a police force or an NGO or

anyone to have to imagine that a child

isn't simply a child but a child might

in fact under certain circumstances be a

bomb right I mean that that is the

situation we're in we're talking about a

society and now now I'm talking about

the the Gaza and the West Bank in

particular where in their schools they

teach six-year-olds the love of

martyrdom the literal aspiration to die

as a martyr and the hatred of Jews and

and many of these schools are un funded

right so this is

a terrifying situation which the

world has simply acquiesced to I mean

the world on some level has simply

accepted that there is a a different

standard held to the Muslim Community

right we all understand that you can

stage a play making fun of Mormonism on

Broadway and it can become the biggest

musical in the United States "The Book of

Mormon" , but to stage of such a play

about Islam would be Unthinkable and to

be Unthinkable not because the first

amendment doesn't protect the freedom of

speech with respect to Islam, it does, but

that protection has been forfeited it

was forfeited long ago because of the

tendency in the Muslim Community to

erupt with just Psychopathic rage in

response to what it perceives to be the

desecration of religious symbols and

that should be intolerable to us, but

it's you know we have acquiesced to it

and the new Norm is there are certain

things you can't say about Islam there

certain symbols you can't traduce and

it's because we know that tens of

thousands even hundreds of thousands of

people will will March into into the

streets even in the capitals of Europe

could you make me ask this could you

could you flip the argument the other

way too could some people would say that

the scale the disproportionate as many

see it scale of Israel's response is

motivated in some part again by a

religious motivation that some of the

more Hardline Ultra religious members of

netanyahu's cabinet really do want to

have some kind of genocidal war with the

Muslim Palestinians I mean does it work

both ways

well, it does work both ways when

you're talking about a tiny minority of

Jews in Israel I mean the the ultra

Orthodox the settlers who the minority

of settlers who are motivated by their

their religious fanaticism

yeah I think those those

those religious claims upon real estate

in the Middle East are are not justified

and they aren't in fact part of the

problem and so yes this the settlements

in the West Bank are certainly

provocative and they you know they

should be disallowed right if we if we

were ever going to get to a two-state

solution part of the the the remedy

there is to disenfranchise the religious

Maniacs on the the Israeli side but as a

in terms of the scale of the problem it

is orders of magnitude smaller I mean

not just for that particular region but

for the whole world and we're talking

there 15 million Jews on Earth most of

them are impressively secular most

believe very little that would

motivate a person to want to die for

their religious

identity the real justification yeah I I

just on that I would just say I just

wonder whether you think that what is

going on now in Gaza the kind of

obliteration of a lot of Gaza the mass

killing of civilians and so on which

Israel will justify by saying they're

trying to get rid of a terror group I

understand the thinking but the

execution has been so increasingly

indiscriminate that is there not a

danger that it actually massively

increases the radicalization problem

rather than remove


well there two piece to that answer

what one is that the the the real

problem of

radicalization I would say is not

connected in any kind of rational way to

real world grievances right I mean so

the the real problem of radicalization

is the level is the level of ideas right

ideas around martyrdom and Jihad that

easily cross borders and as we saw with

the Islamic State uh can easily win

recruits from 100 countries I mean so

you literally have people who have no

discernable grievance against anyone I

mean you somebody dropping at a medical

school in London going to fight with the

Islamic State purely on the power of

certain ideas right so that's that's a a

larger problem of jihadism and specific

religious beliefs that are endemic to

Islam and that it is taboo to criticize

if you're if you're certainly if you're

a Muslim you certainly risk your life

and charges with charges of apostasy and

blasphemy if you criticize these ideas

but specifically with Gaza the the the

killing of innocence and Gaza is an

absolute tragedy and it's very easy to

understand why people seeing that

imagery think that um Israel is in the

wrong for producing so many casualties

but they are fighting a terrorist

organization a jihadist organization

that is using its own civilian

population as human Shields it has

strategically embedded itself among

civilians, it it wears civilian clothing

right it's it it put its headquarters

under a hospital it it um prevents

civilians from leaving to safer areas

because it wants to produce Carnage

because Carnage is an advantage in in

this PR war against Israel and frankly

these people sincerely believe in

Paradise they think that good Muslims

are going to go to paradise where

wherever they die however they die and

so there there is in fact no problem

with the with this Carnage right and

that's that's the thing that is is very

difficult for secular people to get

their heads around that people actually

believe these things when members of Hamas

chant we love death more than the Jews

love life that is a sincere expression

of their worldview right it's not

propaganda it's not posturing it is a a

a confession of a psychological state of

mind and of a worldview and we we doubt

that at our Peril right I mean this is

this is the issue we're dealing with a

suicidal death cult that doesn't care

about its own civilian casualties in

fact its own civilian casualties are are

are an additional advantage for it.

Sam Harris, great to talk to you again I

really appreciate you coming on and

speaking with such clarity about a

complex issue thank you very


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