D.L. Hughley's strongly defending Kathy Griffin's beheading photo of President Trump -- saying all these haters were dead silent when Ted Nugent threatened President Obama.

The comedian was at LAX Friday when he labeled most of Kathy's haters hypocrites. He also said Trump has no right to be offended ... considering the controversial things he's said about women and women's bodies.

As for Kathy's apology -- D.L.'s got an issue with that ... from a comedian's viewpoint. It's all about protecting balls.