During the seemingly never-ending conservative freak-out over the proposed Park51 community center, right-wing media have dismissed the idea that the right's extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric has fueled "Islamophobia" throughout the country. As we've documented extensively, based on numerous hateful protests and vandalisms of mosques around the country, this is clearly not the case. Unfortunately, we can add another piece of evidence to the growing trend.
San Diego radio station KFMB, which features a lineup of conservative talk programming, is currently hosting the following poll on their homepage:
(Though it's never a great idea to place much stock in unscientific online polls, 63% of respondents have so far answered "Yes.")
Among others, KFMB broadcasts Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and Dave Ramsey. Along with other major conservative media figures, Hannity, Beck, and Savage have worked hard to blur the lines between Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and the moderate Muslims behind the planned center and the radical extremists that attacked the U.S. on 9-11. Based on the recent anti-Muslim rhetoric of these hosts, perhaps this poll doesn't seem outwardly outlandish to regular listeners of this radio station.
For example, in just the past month, Beck has referred to the planned community center as the "9-11 mosque," called it an "actual danger," and suggested that it is an "Allah tells me to blow up America mosque."
Sean Hannity has distorted Imam Rauf's words to fearmonger about Rauf wanting to impose Sharia law on the U.S., and asked if the "real victims" of the push to build the Islamic center are those who died during the September 11 attacks.
For his part, Michael Savage announced that "they're building a mosque at the site of one of their military victories." Savage has a long history of anti-Muslim rhetoric, including suggesting in 2006 that lawmakers should institute an "outright ban on Muslim immigration" and on the "construction of mosques" in order to "save the United States."
It's worth asking KFMB's hosts whether they are okay with being broadcast on a station that thinks it is open to debate whether or not "practicing Muslims" should have to register in a "national database."