Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blasted Fox News host Brian Kilmeade for linking a commonly-used Arabic phrase to terrorism, during an appearance to bolster his case for a strong military response to Syria President Bashar Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons. The Arizona senator has long called on the Obama administration to arm the rebels fighting the Assad regime and is pressing Congress to adopt an broad-based use of force resolution.
On Tuesday, Kilmeade pushed back against McCain’s requests by arguing that American weapons could flow to extremists or terrorists in the region linked to Al Qaeda. He then played video of rockets slamming into government-held districts in the central Syrian city of Homs and pointed to opposition group members chanting “Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar” as the rockets hit, implying that a reference to the Arab word, which is mainly used by Muslims to refer to God in Islam, betrayed ties to terrorism.
“I have a problem helping those people screaming that after a hit,” he proclaimed. Watch it:
“Would you have a problem with an American person saying ‘thank God? Thank God?'” McCain asked, clearly irritated. “That’s what they’re saying. Come on! Of course they’re Muslims, but they’re moderates and I guarantee you they are moderates.” Kilmeade didn’t respond to McCain and quickly moved on with the interview.