Does the anti-Muslim bigotry on talk radio extend to the GOP Prez candidates?

( – promoted by ProgressiveCowgirl)



Conservative talk radio is probably at its worst when bigotry fills the air.

You don’t hear it all the time, or on all the Denver shows, but it’s out there, especially against Muslims.

I thought I’d see how long it would take me to find an example, and within an hour of looking online, there it was, in the form of Dr. Robert Greer, being interviwed by Doug Kellett, who was subbing for Jon Caldara on KOA Aug. 25.

With nothing but encouragement by Kellett, Greer said:

The way that the religion of Islam has been presented in our country, and unfortunately even with President Bush, who I admire, but in this case I think he made a mistake, is that it presented Islam as fundamentally a peaceful religion, and it was only the fringe elements, the extremists, that were the problem people, who we had to be concerned about. And therefore it left a false impression about this religion.





Kellett didn’t ask Greer what we should do about “the problem people,” but you do have to wonder, especially later when Greer tells us that the Quran leads Muslims to Sharia Law, which, in turn, leads to jihad, stoning, extreme subjugation of women, and more.

As I’ve discussed before, Muslim scholars refute this. They say literal interpretations of Sharia are practiced by extremists and tribalists, and that, in reality, Islam is much like other major religions, and the vast majority of the two billion or so Muslims worldwide are not extremists at all.

You’d never know this, if you listen to some talk radio, because differing views aren’t presented. That’s no surprise, and the one-sidedness of right-wing radio is frustrating to a progressive/socialist/bleeding heart like me.

But when bigotry is in full swing during a one-sided conversation on the radio, your feelings change from frustration to fear pretty fast.

That’s why the mainstream media shouldn’t overlook these subterranean views. Somehow I don’t think they’d be ignored if Judaism or Christianity were under attack in the same way, even on the radio.

Yet, when I searched for the word “Sharia” in The Denver Post, I came up with only one staff-written news story in the last year. Only twice has the word appeared in staff-written news stories in the last five years, and one of those was just a passing mention.

A few opinion articles addressed the Sharia topic, and it was mentioned in an excellent Post editorial and some columns by Ed Quillen.

The Post editorial, published after the GOP presidential debate in June, called out GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, who made anti-Muslim statements during the debate. He later sort of backed away from these.

But I particularly liked  The Post’s observation that the low point of the debate came when none of the other GOP presidential hopefuls bothered to disagree with Cain.

This is why news reporters should find ways to write about the undercurrent of anti-Islamic sentiment that’s out there. To air it out, so it can be challenged, and so people will notice when it’s not challenged. A pipe dream maybe, but worth a try.

One way to do this is to raise the issue when the Presidential candidates traipse through Colorado. If reporters have any access to them, that is.

Mitt Romney, for example, who’s coming through town this week, doesn’t condemn the Muslim religion. As he said in a 2007 speech:

Merely closing our eyes and hoping that radical Jihad will go away is not an acceptable answer. And American military action cannot change the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of Muslims. Only Muslims will be able to defeat the violent radicals. But we can help them. And we must help them. For the consequences – for America and for all nations – of a radicalized Islamic world, possessing nuclear weapons, are unthinkable

.

I’m not sure what Romney means here. He could be saying that there are hundreds of millions of Muslim jihadists out there. Or he could be saying there are hundreds of millions who are on the fence, who are potentially jihadists? Or, if we win the minds of these hundreds of millions, out of the worldwide population of over 1.5 billion, then we’ll stop the extremists.

And, in any case, what’s Romney’s plan for winning the hearts and minds of Muslims overseas? I’m not sure what he’s thinking, but I’d like to know.

And what do he and the other GOP presidential candidates say to those bigots who denounce Islam and say that Muslims, not just extremists, are a threat to our country?

15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

    And his own party is now criticizing him for it.

  2. faux_american says:

    For everyone outside the core consituency, it’s bigotry, plain and simple.

    For those that are part of the core constituency, it’s a coded way of saying the end-times are near, or their will soon be a holy-war between Christianity and Islam.  

  3. Majority Moderate says:

    I have.

    And one of many things I learned after having spent a considerable amount of time there (Saudi Arabia, in my case) is that they are not loaded up with the extremists that some of the so-called pundits would have you believe they are.

    I often make the point that many of us with military backgrounds are more understanding and tolerant of different societies and cultures.  We have been exposed to different parts of the world and have experienced, first hand, widely different customs and religions and have been fortunate to see their various values.  

    Yes, customs in the Islamic/Arab world are different then ours, but that difference doesn’t make them extremists.  

  4. dwyer says:

    Caplis and Silverman are discussing if the tape of the 9/11  planes flying into Twin Towers should be shown to children in school and if so at what age?  Children should understand about radical Islam, etc. etc. according to Silverman and Caplis.  

    • Jason Salzman says:

      bad, not as bad as they could be, but still bad on this topic.

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      I think the important thing when showing kids films etc is that they fit into a lesson plan. What would Caplis and Silverman like the plan to be? What would the teaching materials be that would accompany the videos? How helpful are the videos?

      If the lesson plan is 1) the US was attacked by a group that hated the US, 2) approximately 3000 people from all walks of life and religions were killed, 3) America was shocked and unprepared for such an attack, then I’m fine with that. Of course, then that would lead into a discussion of 1) why we were unprepared and surprised, 2) what did we do, 3) did the things the US did after the attack make sense today, 4) did those things make sense then, 5) do they make sense now.

      • dwyer says:

        I did not listen to the whole show.  I find that boyles becomes “white noise,” but I can’t listen to caplis for very long…he scares me.

        However, the whole theme seemed to be that kids…third grade and up….had to see the video and had to know the enemy and had to be ready to enlist to defend the country….etc.etc.  The kids had to know about jihad, …

        I thought it was profoundly evil…because it was designed to terrify…

        As I may have mentioned before, I am really old….so old my term life insurance benefits are being reduced (damm)..so I remember VE day and I remember months later when my father came home from Europe.. I was four or five and I must have asked him how to stop wars or something along those lines…..I still remember what he told me;  To stop wars, you have to treat everyone equally (he used that word and I didn’t even know what it meant) and you should never be afraid to stand up for what you believe…..

        What he did was to empower me….as a little kid…to know what I could do to stop wars.  Now, my whole generation grew up with that kind of challenge…later on we were told to be afraid of the Communists….and we did duck and cover….and if you were an army brat, you did evacuation drills…….but over all, I remember growing up with the idea that people could stop wars and had an obligation to find better ways…..

        Let me tell you, my father was not a mild mannered man…he was a bitter angry  combat veteran…who was diagnosed at one point with “combat fatigue.”..one reason I remember what he said the day he came home from WWII is I rarely saw that measured calm later.

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