Rima Karaki was conducting an interview with London-based Islamist Hani Al-Seba'i for Lebanon's Al Jadeed on the weekend of International Women’s Day, discussing reports of Christians joining Islamic groups such as ISIS in the Middle East when the scholar went off on a historical tangent.
In the footage, Karaki urges Sheik Al-Seba'i to get back to the issues being faced in the present day, and asks him another question, a request which sparks a heated argument.
'It was at its peak during the 1970s, with the leftist revolutionary movement,' he says.
'Back then, we saw leftist organisation like the Red Brigades in Italy, the Red Army in Germany, the Baader Meinhof Group ...'
Karaki tries to get Al-Seba'i back on topic, asking him to 'focus on the present'.
She asks: 'At present, what slogans are used to attract (Christians) to these groups?'
The term 'Christians' here is in reference to white, western people in general who may be athiest, agnostic, or whatever, but they are not practicing Christians. No-one in the three left-wing radical groups mentioned above claimed to be a Christian as far as I know. Indeed, they were very far from it.
But Dr Al Seba’i becomes angry and abruptly replies: 'Listen, don't cut me off. I will answer as I please.'
He then raises his voice, adding: 'I will not answer the way you like, because I’m here to serve the idea in which I believe.'
Karaki politely explains that they have limited time on the show, but Al-Seba'i refuses to listen, telling the TV host he would not be interrupted and that he will answer as he pleases.
|Lebanese TV host Rima Karaki is being praised on social media for her cool |
reaction to sexist comments made by Sheik Al-Seba'i on a live interview
It provokes an angry reaction from Al-Seba'i. 'Are you done?' he says. 'Shut up so I can talk.
'It's beneath me to be interviewed by you. You are a woman who...'
'If you are going to elaborate so much, we won’t have time for other questions.
'Now, it’s up to you. If we have time, you will answer all the questions,' she says.
Dr Al Seba'i replies: “You can decide as much as you like, but I will do whatever I want.'
With her palm facing the Sheikh, Karaki then delivers the ultimate end to the conversation.
'How can a respected Sheik like yourself tell a TV host to shut up?' she asks.
'Either there is mutual respect or the conversation is over.'
The studio cameras then switch back to the studio leaving the Sheik in the dark.
Karaki later posted a video of the conversation on her Twitter feed, which has gone viral and received widespread support. It has had 2.3 million views on YouTube.
WHO IS RIMA KARAKI:
Rima Karaki is a TV anchor and university professor, who started her career in 1998 as one of the main hosts of the Arab world's most imitated morning programme Alam al Sabah.
After 10 years on the show, Karaki moved on to co-host and produce Personal Matters, that dealt with Arab viewers' intimate issues. In 2010, Karaki hosted celebrity-themed show Ana Wiyyak (You And I).
Her first book Tonight I will Confess has received critical acclaim in literary circles and she is now the host for Bidoun Zaal, where she interviews public figures and discusses issues related to society, politics and religion.
SHEIK'S CONTROVERSIAL PAST
London-based Sheik Hani Al-Siba'i is Director of London's Al-Maqreze Centre for Historical Studies Hani Sibai.
He has previously claimed that ‘anyone who is not a Muslim is a criminal’ and is seen as a controversial figure who has often made offensive comments in interviews.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera TV on July 8, 2005, the Sheik caused great outrage by saying that the London bombings were a victory: ‘If Al-Qaeda indeed carried out this act [of the bombings], it is a great victory for it. It rubbed the noses of the world's eight most powerful countries in the mud.’
The row comes as global views on women’s rights face more scrutiny than ever before.
Last month, a manifesto - reportedly written by an all-women Islamic State militia - advised that nine is a good age to consider marriage for girls, who should have husbands by 16.
It also said women must stay behind closed doors, be veiled and only leave the house in exceptional circumstances.
While in India, a documentary caused outrage last week in which convicted rapist Mukesh Singh blamed his victim Jyoti Singh for the attack.