Mehdi Hasan blasts tweet from Newsweek opinion editor: 'This is racism plain and simple'

Mehdi Hasan blasts tweet from Newsweek opinion editor: 'This is racism plain and simple'
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NBC journalist Mehdi Hasan on Thursday blasted Newsweek Opinion Editor Josh Hammer for a tweet, calling it "racist."

Hammer had shared an NBC segment featuring Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySenators huddle on Russia sanctions as tensions escalate Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law Democrats face scaled-back agenda after setbacks MORE (D-Conn.) on the "Mehdi Hasan Show" to Twitter on Thursday, writing, "Your Qatari $$$ at work."

The segment discussed Palestinian-Israeli relations and what Hasan called a "de facto" annexation of the occupied territories by Israel. He also pressed Murphy to comment on alleged human rights abuses against Palestinians. 

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Hasan responded to Hammer, condemning his comment.
 
"Imagine if I tweeted at a Jewish journalist saying ‘your Israeli $$$’ at work," Hasan, who is Muslim, tweeted in response. "I would be (rightly) fired. This guy works for @Newsweek." 

Hasan, who said he was British and American, went on to say he is not from Qatar, and that it was racist to suggest so. 

"I am not Qatari and I do not receive ‘Qatari $$$’. I’m British and American. And this is racism, @Newsweek, plain and simple."

Hammer in a subsequent tweet offered a clarification, saying Hasan was "obviously" not a Qatari national, but arguing his "rise to fame" was because of a stint at Al Jazeera, a news organization funded by the Qatari government.

 

Newsweek in response to a request for comment from The Hill said: "Josh Hammer followed with a tweet clarifying that his reference to Qatar was meant to point out Hassan's long employment with Al Jazeera. It was not a comment about his nationality."

Hasan in his series of tweets expressed the worry that other Muslims in the media might be treated unfairly.

"I'm pretty high profile, people know me/my work. And yet I still have to endure this racist, Islamophobic crap, and it's tiring. Imagine younger Muslims & POC trying to enter this industry."

This story was updated at 7:10 p.m. Friday to include Newsweek's statement and Hammer's subsequent tweet.