CNN’s New Star Mehdi Hasan Apologizes, Again, for Past Homophobic Comments

The Associated Press
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP
JOEL B. POLLAK

Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan, a prominent defender of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) who has appeared on CNN five times in the days since the New Zealand terror attacks Mar. 15, apologized Saturday for homophobic comments he made during Islamic religious sermons several years ago.

The video of Hasan’s past statements was unearthed over the weekend:

Hasan noted that the video had surfaced several years before, and pointed to two articles he had written for the Huffington Post in his own defense. In an article published in 2012, he called his remarks “ill-judged, ill-advised and, even, inappropriate,” but said his remarks were “primarily an attack on Muslim extremists,” and that they had been taken out of context — particularly the context in which the word “cattle” refers to “unthinking, incurious Muslims as “cattle” too.”

In an article published in 2013, Hasan attacked one of his critics, and reiterated: “I’m happy to apologise again for any (unintended) offence caused. I believe in the equality of all men and women, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexuality, and I abhor the demonisation of any group of people, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.”

In a Twitter thread Saturday, Hasan apologized again:

After the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, Hasan suggested to CNN that President Donald Trump’s rhetoric had inspired the killer.

Last year, after the murder of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Hasan suggested Trump was inciting right-wing terror, saying violent extremists were “the real base of the Donald Trump movement.”

He protested when Marc Lamont Hill was fired from CNN after calling for Israel’s destruction.

Hasan also defended Omar during recent controversies over her antisemitic remarks.

In addition, Hasan published an interview at the Intercept that was partially a defense of Omar’s foreign policy views.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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