Aug. 21-23, 9-11 p.m.
Fundamentalist Muslims aren’t the only ones who believe they have God on their side — there are factions of Jews and Christians who do, too. Christiane Amanpour talks to representatives of those three religions in her special report called God’s Warriors.
In an interview, she talked about reporting on people who would rather die than compromise.
NUVO: Did reporting this story make you more or less optimistic?
Amanpour: For me, the more information and knowledge you have, the more optimistic you can be because you’re armed with facts. You’re armed with figures. I do think I’ve discovered through this that it really requires good, genuine leadership to lead a country and a people, rather than just seeing it through narrow politics and the narrow [view] of election and reelection.
NUVO: Is it possible to change people’s minds when they believe they have God on their side?
Amanpour: It’s very difficult. But we have seen it work. Let’s take Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland, you’ve got Protestant vs. Catholic, right? But it also was nationalist vs. unionist. But a genuine effort, genuine leadership to try to bring the two sides together I think pays off in the end. I really do. The question is: Are leaders willing to do it? It took Tony Blair 10 years to get the Northern Ireland agreement. It took years to get the Bosnia agreement and the Kosovo agreement.
I think it’s possible. It’s a question of will. With some of the most committed on the religious side, it’s very, very difficult to get them to change what they think. I don’t think one should ask them to change what they believe. I think one should create a situation where rational political solutions are brought and in which religion is respected as well.
NUVO: And how do you do that?
Amanpour:That’s for people bigger and better than me. But it’s possible. We’ve seen that it’s possible. It’s a question of wanting to do it.