The radical wing of Iraq's Shiite party and army is like America's tea party, CNN host Fareed Zakaria said on his show telecast on Sunday.
In a "What in the World" segment of "Fareed Zakaria GPS," the host said that the reason why Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has not taken international advice to form a broad-based inclusive government with the Sunnis is because as a politician he is beholden to a hard-line wing of his own party.
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"Why in the world is Maliki flatly refusing to do this? Partly it's because he's a hard-line Shiite politician himself whose party draws its support from the Shiites who are not particularly well disposed to the notion of being nice to the Sunnis, their former overlords," Zakaria said.
"But it's probably at least as much because Maliki needs to worry about radical Shiites as much as radical Sunnis. You see, he has his own tea party, and this one has an army of its own."
The comments have prompted criticism on Twitter by those who say there should not be even a remote comparison.
"Fareed Zakaria does his Patton impersonation. Tea party members are not like radical Shiites who kill and maim," one Twitter post read.
It's not the first time Zakaria has compared the tea party to violent extremists. In October he said the tea party was akin to "radicals, anarchists, Black Panthers, or other revolutionary movements," Breitbart reported
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