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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 MurphyOvernight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Minimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster New rule shakes up Senate Armed Services subcommittees 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."

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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.