On Wednesday’s “Late Show” on CBS, CNN “AC 360” anchor Anderson Cooper offered his opinion on how to deal with ISIS and ISIS-like beliefs stemming from Islam.
Cooper argued that it would take not only a military fight, but an ideological one to change the culture of some followers of Islam. However, he said he anticipated more of these extreme acts likes committed by ISIS, including beheadings, to occur in the United States.
Partial transcript as follows:
COOPER: It’s a different time and it’s a very different kind of threat. This is a war of ideas as much as it is a military war. This is not just something– this is not just something that’s going to end when ISIS ends. There’s going to be another group after that, and there’s going to be another group after that. It’s an ideological battle as much as I think it is a military one and it has to be fought as a war of ideas, as well as a military conflict.
LETTERMAN: So, for the remaining time of civilization, this will be something that needs to be dealt with?
COOPER: No, civilizations evolve. You know, political ideas evolve. The ideas that took in the Cold War have largely dissipated and been replaced by something else.
LETTERMAN: Those whereabouts weren’t necessarily as deeply rooted emotionally as these precepts.
COOPER: The followers of ISIS believe what they are espousing is the proper way to follow Islam. The vast majority of Muslims will say that’s absolutely not the case but certainly those followers believe that and that’s an idea that has to change. That’s an idea that has to be attacked and has to be rooted out from not just a military standpoint –
LETTERMN: But you call half a dozen leaders of these movements together, and you negotiate this away?
COOPER: Well, look — right now, you have a lot of our allies who are actually helping the United States fight ISIS — Saudi Arabia and others. They’re actually you know, supporting Wahabist schools which espouse a lot of the same ideas that ISIS itself espouses. They have schools that they promote, the madrassas around the world. I think there are ways to evolve, just as any religion has evolved, just how any group has evolved, I think you have people who are followers of that faith attacking these ideas and being very public about it and things change. Things evolve over time.
LETTERMAN: Well, I hope you’re right, because beheadings don’t necessarily suggest a step in the right direction.
COOPER: No, look, it is horrific, and it is complete– I mean, it is savagery what, we’re seeing, and to think– you know, I think it’s inevitable. I think we’re going to see more of that in the United States. I think we’ve seen it already in England.
LETTERMAN: Oh, my God. Oh, my God.
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