An embarrassing television interview during which a Fox News host asked the author of a new biography about Jesus, why he, as a Muslim, feels able to write about the Christian Messiah, has had an unexpectedly positive outcome - with sales of the author's book increasing by 35 per cent in just two days, reports the Northern Star.
The excruciating 10-minute interview, during which broadcaster Lauren Green was left with egg on her face after she tried to pin down respected scholar Reza Aslan, who just happens to be Muslim, on why he felt capable of writing a book about the life of Jesus, went viral at the weekend after it was posted on Buzzfeed.
Ms Green asks: "You're a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?"
To which a visibly surprised Mr Aslan responds: "I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim."
"It's not that I'm just some Muslim writing about Jesus," he continued. "I am an expert with a PhD in the history of religions."
But all publicity is good publicity, as they say, and this embarrassing episode for Fox News has had an extremely positive outcome for Mr Aslan whose controversial biography of Jesus, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, has now reached number 1 in the Amazon books charts.
Publishers Random House had to rush to meet a surge in demand for the book, ordering an additional 50,000 copies to be printed on Monday, bringing the total copies in print to 150,000.