NEWS

CNN Anchors Press Muslim Man To Accept Responsibility For Paris Attacks

11/17/2015 11:01 EST | Updated 11/17/2015 12:59 EST

Two CNN anchors interrogated the leader of an anti-Islamophobia outreach group on Sunday about why Muslim leaders aren't taking responsibility for the recent attacks in Paris.

John Vause and Isha Sesay spoke to Yasser Louati of the Collective Against Islamophobia In France, subjecting him to an intense line of questioning.

Sesay opened by asking Louati what the feeling was in the Muslim community after the attacks in Paris.

Louati responded by saying that they didn't know who the attackers were, and they "barely know what they wanted."

He said despite reports of hate speech proliferating social media, Paris Muslims are "still receiving a huge amount of solidarity from our fellow countrymen."

"So the Muslim community still belongs to this country," he explained to the anchors.

"The problem is that you're still mixing the Muslim community and giving them somehow an affiliation with these terrorists. Our camp is the French one, make no mistake about it."

"The problem is that you're still mixing the Muslim community and giving them somehow an affiliation with these terrorists. Our camp is the French one, make no mistake about it."

But Vause pressed him for more details, asking him why no one in the Muslim community knew about the attacks.

"Surely someone beyond the seven guys who have been killed over the last 48 hours would have to have known something, and that was probably within the Muslim community, but yet no one said anything," he said.

Louati responded to the statement by saying the community could not "justify ourselves for the actions of someone who just claims to be Muslim."

To which Vause asked, "Why not?"

Sesay then stepped in and turned the line of questioning to the talk about radicalization.

"The fact that France does have a large number of Muslims that have gone over to join ISIS and be part of their ranks. Why is that?" she asked.

Louati pointed out that radicalization doesn't take place in mosques, and that it takes place on the internet and away from organized communities. Sesay pressed on, saying Muslim community leaders should "step up and take a greater role" in keeping young people out of trouble.

"You have to accept that responsibility to prevent the bigger backlash that comes your way when these things happen," she said.

The interview ended after Louati raised the issue that schools and places of work are where people face "massive discrimination." But before he finished his point, he was cut off by one of the anchors.

"This is a very complicated issue, and unfortunately we didn't really have enough time to get into it," Vause said.

Watch the full interview above.

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