Note to Hani al-Seba'i, an Islamist scholar living in London: if you want your views to be taken seriously, don't tell the anchor interviewing you to "shut up" and that she's "beneath you."
During a segment earlier this month on Lebanon's Al Jadeed TV, translated to English by the Middle East Media Research Institute, host Rima Karaki asked al-Seba'i if he had any insight on the possibility of Christians joining the Islamic State group, the extremist group that has captured large parts of Iraq and Syria and is known for recruiting foreign fighters. Al-Seba'i, who reportedly fled to the U.K. after he was sentenced to prison for joining the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group, launched into a historical tangent on Christians joining Islamic groups.
He then chafed when Karaki, mindful of time constraints, attempted to steer him back on-topic.
"Dr. al-Seba'i," Karaki interjected, "let's focus on the present. At present, what slogans are used to attract [Christians] to these groups?"
"Listen, don't cut me off. I will answer as I please," Seba'i responded, raising his finger scoldingly. "I will not answer the way you like, because I'm here to serve the idea in which I believe."
Karaki attempted to calm him down, saying, "Please don't get all worked up; we respect you and know you want to give a complete answer," to no avail. Seba'i steamrolled on, dressing down Karaki for the perceived insult.
"You think you are so high and mighty?" he asked, to which Karaki replied, "Go on, but do not call me names. In this studio, I run the show."
"For your own benefit, I'm telling you that we are running out of time," she continued. "If you're going to elaborate so much, we won't have time for other questions... If we have time, you will answer all the questions, but I will be the one to decide."
Seba'i was having none of it, telling the frustrated host, "You can decide as much as you like, but I will do whatever I want."
When Karaki attempted to focus the conversation one more time, Seba'i let loose. "Are you done?" he asked. "Shut up so I can talk."
"How can a respected sheikh like yourself tell a TV host to shut up?" Karaki countered.
"I am respected whether you like it or not," replied Seba'i, adding, "It's beneath me to be interviewed by you. You are a woman who..."
At that point, his microphone was cut off. "Just one second," Karaki said. "Either there is mutual respect, or the conversation is over."
And with that, she ended the interview.
WATCH the segment, above.
H/T Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)