Rafat Ali just wanted to talk. True, the Muslim founder of PaidContent was speaking to Glenn Beck in a "warped auto-pilot" fueled by "years of frustration" at Beck's politics, but when Ali asked the caliphate-fearing conspiracy bear to "come with me to Egypt," he wasn't trying to kidnap him. Honest, Glenn!
Speaking after Beck's address to Business Insider's Ignition conference, Ali was introduced to Beck and told him, "I am a Muslim, and this is what a Muslim face looks like... There are 12 million or so of us in this country, people that look like me. I am a citizen, I started a company, sold it, I employed people, paid taxes and want the best for this country. So do all those others. What you say tears away at that, it hurts people." Then Beck said something about the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, Ali invited Beck to "come with me to Egypt, stand in Tahrir Square, and say what you said on stage," which was something about Occupy wanting to commit genocide, and Beck promptly walked off.
"He took the Tahrir Square invite as a threat," a listener of Beck's show later said. "Beck recounted the story on radio and said that's why he needs security!." Beck should relish the chance to pick Ali's brain; he's tryng to build an internet media empire after leaving Fox News, and Ali sold his own online media company for a reported $30 million. But Beck's apparently not one for spirited disagreement and engagement. At least, not with certain people (-pantomimes guy praying toward Mecca-).
[Ali image via via Rex Hammock/Flickr. Beck image via Getty.]