Friday, July 29, 2005

CAIR Damages View of Islam in DC

Today we go local for once. Michael Graham was suspended today by Washington DC radio station WMAL, for making the following statement.

"The problem is not extremism," Graham told listeners. "The problem is Islam." He also said, "We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam."

WMAL Suspends Talk-Show Host for Comment on Islam

Of course, the Post left this quote out of context, failing to mention that he went on to say that his reasoning was that Muslim leaders refuse to denounce terrorism, which is, for the most part, true. Remember the celebrations following 9/11? That may not reflect all of Islam, but that is the sort of thing that Americans remember. Of course, it does not mean that all Muslims are terrorists, and Graham states as much, though that section of his comments isn’t printed either.

Michael Graham is a bomb thrower. There is no doubt about that. WMAL knew this when he was hired. Graham has a long history and they knew exactly what they were getting. However, this is not a free speech case, as I have heard over and over today. WMAL, ABC and Disney have every right to put whatever they want on their station. Conversely, they have the right to remove any programming that they want. It may make them cowards, but it’s not a free speech case in any form whatsoever.

Here is what is noteworthy about this incident. Graham was left on the air for a week following his comments. It wasn’t until a phone whining campaign sponsored by CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) kicked in that WMAL suspended Graham.

Most Americans remember the pictures of Palestinians, among others, dancing in the streets, following 9/11. We remember the deafening silence of the Muslim community, which as a whole, only expressed worry about themselves being targeted, without really condemning the terrorists on any significant level. We remember all of the justifications for the attacks (oddly now echoed by some on the American left).

Knowing what we know about the probable disposition of the Michael Graham Show audience, what effect will suspending Graham have? Will it somehow help ‘American Islamic relations’? CAIR is going to do much more damage to the impressions that Americans have on Islam than they will help. Graham will be back on the air in a week and will be viewed as a hero for standing up to corporate suits, as well as the apologists at CAIR. This organization has taken the right’s hatred of terrorism, political correctness and the left wing media, and wrapped it all into one big fat target. Statements such as these don’t help…

CAIR denounced the comments as "hate-filled" and asked its members to contact the station's advertisers to express their dismay.

"I think it's a testament to the determination of individual Muslims who contacted the station and its advertisers to say Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry are unacceptable."

WMAL’s phone banks are already overflowing with outraged listeners. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is actually a marketing ploy by the station. Michael Graham is getting mounds of free publicity over this incident. Any ‘phobia’ reference will send the right into a tizzy as it is an obvious attempt to silence speech which the referrer does not want to hear, or want anyone else to hear for that matter. And it doesn’t help that CAIR is behind it. Remember CAIR? They are the official terrorism apologist organization of the United States. And Graham is taking full advantage of that fact.

Michael Graham

And, CAIR no doubt remembered that it had been caught by Joe Kaufman exploiting the 9/11 attacks to raise funds for two Hamas-linked fundraising organizations, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and the Global Relief Foundation.

--[CAIR] is partially funded by terrorists…

Terrorists themselves don't literally give out money, but organizations that fund terrorism also fund CAIR.

What Michael Graham said on his radio show is not really the story. But by attempting to silence him, CAIR is giving the whole episode more play than it deserves and will probably do infinitely more damage to non-Muslim Americans perceptions of Islam than Graham’s comments ever would have. An honest listener could have taken his words for what they were. CAIR had to go and make his point for him.

Disclaimer: Before you accuse me of being some sort of talk radio parrot, please note that I work for a living and do not listen to any talk radio other than CSPAN in the mornings and Glenn Beck sporadically when I get off work early. I listen to 980 Sports when they aren't talking about the Wizards, but for some strange reason they can't get off of the topic, even in the summer.

In Sports:

Nats 3, marlins 4
Can the Nats break the record for most one run games, both lost and won?

Welcome home Rod Gardner!