RELIGION
10/15/2014 04:49 pm ET Updated Oct 15, 2014

Reza Aslan: If ISIS Says It's Muslim, Then It's Muslim

Many critics of the Islamic State -- President Obama included -- have argued that the militant group cannot claim to be Muslim in the way it has wreaked havoc on Iraq and Syria. Religion scholar Reza Aslan takes issue with this argument.

Aslan joined HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill to discuss the rise of the Islamic State and the media's complicated response to it on Wednesday. In a previous interview with CNN, Aslan criticized comedian Bill Maher for making sweeping statements about Islam, a theme he returned to on HuffPost Live.

"There's a difference between criticizing a person's belief and condemning that person themselves, and loathing them or dismissing them, or even suggesting that those people should be harmed because of their beliefs," Aslan said.

Aslan also warned against saying that the Islamic State isn't Muslim, which may be true in some regards but misleading in others.

"ISIS' notion of reestablishing slavery as part of Islam -- I mean, if you know anything about Islamic history the very first thing that Muhammad did was outlaw slavery," Aslan said. "Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a Muslim pope, there is no such thing as a Muslim Vatican. No one gets to tell you who is and who is not a Muslim."

Watch the full clip above.

HuffPost

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