Conservative radio talk show host and NRO contributor Michael Graham has been suspended from WMAL-AM without pay in Washington, D.C., for bluntly challenging Islam last week on air and this week in a column. Excerpt from his JWR piece:
I take no pleasure in saying it. It pains me to think it. I could very well lose my job in talk radio over admitting it. But it is the plain truth:
Islam is a terror organization.
For years, I’ve been trying to give the world’s Muslim community the benefit of the doubt, along with the benefit of my typical-American’s complete disinterest in their faith. Before 9/11, I knew nothing about Islam except the greeting “asalaam alaikum,” taught to me by a Pakistani friend in Chicago.
Immediately after 9/11, I nodded in ignorant agreement as President Bush assured me that “Islam is a religion of peace.”
But nearly four years later, nobody can defend that statement. And I mean “nobody.”
Certainly not the group of “moderate” Muslim clerics and imams who gathered in London last week to issue a statement on terrorism and their faith. When asked the question “Are suicide bombings always a violation of Islam,” they could not answer “Yes. Always.” Instead, these “moderate British Muslims” had to answer “It depends.”
Precisely what it depends on, news reports did not say. Sadly, given our new knowledge of Islam from the past four years, it probably depends on whether or not you’re killing Jews.
That is part of the state of modern Islam.
Another fact about the state of Islam is that a majority of Muslims in countries like Jordan continue to believe that suicide bombings are legitimate. Still another is the poll reported by a left-leaning British paper than only 73 percent of British Muslims would tell police if they knew about a planned terrorist attack.
The other 27 percent? They are a part of modern Islam, too.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is outraged that I would dare to connect the worldwide epidemic of terrorism with Islam. They put it down to bigotry, asserting that a lifetime of disinterest in Islam has suddenly become blind hatred. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Not to be mean to the folks at CAIR, but I don’t: Care, that is. I simply don’t care about Islam, its theology, its history — I have no interest in it at all. All I care about is not getting blown to smithereens when I board a bus or ride a plane. I care about living in a world where terrorism and murder/suicide bombings are rejected by all.
And the reason Islam has itself become a terrorist organization is that it cannot address its own role in this violence. It cannot cast out the murderers from its members. I know it can’t, because “moderate” Muslim imams keep telling me they can’t. “We have no control over these radical young men,” one London imam moaned to the local papers.
Can’t kick ’em out of your faith? Can’t excommunicate them? Apparently Islam does not allow it…
For the record, I do not consider all Muslims terrorists and would not call Islam a “terror organization.” But in his own clumsy way, Graham (like Tom Tancredo before him) raises fundamental issues that need to be tackled head on, and he is certainly not alone in raising them.
Steve Emerson over at The Counterterrorism Blog has a relevant, related post on the sham fatwa against terrorism issued by American Islamic leaders:
This morning a group of American Islamic leaders held a press conference to announce a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against “terrorism and extremism.” An organization called the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) issued the fatwa, and the Council on American – Islamic Relations (CAIR) organized the press conference, stating that several major U.S. Muslim groups endorsed the fatwa.
In fact, the fatwa is bogus. Nowhere does it condemn the Islamic extremism ideology that has spawned Islamic terrorism. It does not renounce nor even acknowledge the existence of an Islamic jihadist culture that has permeated mosques and young Muslims around the world. It does not renounce Jihad let alone admit that it has been used to justify Islamic terrorist acts. It does not condemn by name any Islamic group or leader. In short, it is a fake fatwa designed merely to deceive the American public into believing that these groups are moderate. In fact, officials of both organizations have been directly linked to and associated with Islamic terrorist groups and Islamic extremist organizations. One of them is an unindicted co-conspirator in a current terrorist case; another previous member was a financier to Al-Qaeda.
See this related post at Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch on a new column published in the London Spectator by Patrick Sookhdeo on the myth of moderate Islam. Sookhdeo points to the funeral for 7/7 London suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer, who was hailed by Muslims as a “hero of Islam” while mourners shouted “Jihad Jihad Jihad!”
Also at The Counterterrorism Blog, Walid Phares takes on the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for its continued failure to condemn al Qaeda and Jihadism.
Instead, CAIR’s relentless efforts and strongest condemnations are aimed at its critics–from Paul Harvey to Dr. Laura to Daniel Pipes and to several other conservative talk radio personalities. It was CAIR’s pressure campaign that led to Graham’s supension and ABC Radio’s cave-in (see Front Page Magazine for details). I just received an e-mail bulletin from CAIR crowing about the move. It begins:
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
DC RADIO HOST SUSPENDED OVER ANTI-ISLAM REMARKS
CAIR applauds WMAL’s move, says Graham should be fired
WMAL’s decision to change its mind (it backed Graham last week, but wilted under CAIR’s heat) will no doubt have a chilling effect on other ABC talk radio hosts and beyond–precisely CAIR’s agenda. JWR editor Binyamin Jolkovsky reports on the controversy here. Excerpt:
[A]s late as this week, a WMAL executive, Randall Bloomquist, told the Washington Post that despite CAIR’s protests about some of Graham’s on-air utterances, the station had no intention of reprimanding him. Describing Graham’s rhetoric as “amped up”, he said, according to the paper, it is justified within the context of the program.
“Remember that this is talk radio,” Bloomquist added. “We don’t do the dainty minuet of the newspaper editorial page. It’s not ‘Washington Week in Review.’ It depends on pungent statements to drive it. Michael is rattling the cage. It’s designed to start and further a conversation, and it has certainly done that.”
Okay, so why is he off the air?
Update: Readers are asking for WMAL contact info. Try [email protected]
Update II: E-mailers are getting messages bounced back when they use the above address. Try here.
Update III: Read Dr. Sanity.