Sean Hannity (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Sean Hannity (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

The Pew Research Center study on Tuesday released a study regarding the views of the world’s Muslims on “religion, politics and society.” Among the more provocative findings: Forty percent of Palestinian Muslims “see suicide bombing as often or sometimes justified.” In Egypt, that number is 29 percent.

In addition to enlightening folks on the contemporary thinking of Muslims worldwide, the study set up something of a cable news laboratory. That is, the study’s findings proved irresistible material for both Bill O’Reilly’s and for Sean Hannity’s Fox News shows.

The laboratory results? O’Reilly carried on a civil and enlightening one-on-one discussion with Harris Zafar, the national spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. “Substantial minorities” of Muslims in foreign countries consider violence against civilians justified in the name of Islam, a finding that O’Reilly cited in his chat with Zafar. The guest pushed back:

ZAFAR: — if you look at the countries and where this is happening. It’s countries that have incredibly high rates of illiteracy, economic situation is extremely low. And — and according to Robert Pape, the professor at Chicago University who is an authority on terrorism, he said that ever since 1980s, every single suicide campaign has had at its core a — a democratic society occupying a land of the terrorist prize.

And so this is more of a political matter about land. About occupancy than it is about religion. So it’s important to make that distinction where this is happening.

The discussion on “Hannity” never reached any such distinctions, thanks to it’s Hannity-powered senselessness and thuggery. The host carried on a demeaning shouting match with two guests, one of them a talk show host (Billy Cunningham) and the other an “interfaith speaker” (Mike Ghouse). Here’s a telling moment from the proceedings:

HANNITY: Mike, with all due respect, you got to pull your head out of the sand. Mike, you got to pull your head out of the sand. Radicalization is growing to be a threat to the entire world. The Muslim world, their religion is being hijacked by radicals, and it’s growing day by day and this survey –

GHOUSE: I do agree. I do agree but we don’t need to be a lot of –

HANNITY: I was right and you’re wrong. You told me it wasn’t happening.

GHOUSE: Well, you are right –

CUNNINGHAM: Say you’re sorry, Mike. Say you’re sorry.

GHOUSE: No.

CUNNINGHAM: Say you’re sorry, Mike.

GHOUSE: What for? What for Bill?

CUNNINGHAM: You ought to apologize to Sean Hannity because there’s a radicalization going on that you won’t admit to.

HANNITY: And it’s not going to be pretty.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.