As part of an escalating attack on the Park51 Islamic community center, Glenn Beck falsely claimed that Daisy Khan, the wife of the imam who is spearheading the Park51 project, said that "all Americans hate Muslims." In fact, while discussing the strident opposition to the center, Khan said that hatred for Muslims in America is a cause for concern.
Beck falsely claims Khan said "all Americans hate Muslims"
Beck falsehood: Rauf's wife said "on national television" that "all Americans hate Muslims." During the August 24 broadcast of his Fox News show, Beck launched an extended attack on the Islamic community center planned in Lower Manhattan, suggesting that the people leading the initiative to build the center, including Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, who is also executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, are "anti-American." As part of the attack, Beck misquoted Khan, stating:
BECK: The administration wants you to believe that this imam, Rauf, is busy being an ambassador for the United States around the globe on taxpayer money and that's totally normal. While he's doing that, the wife of this imam is back home in the United States on national television saying that all Americans hate Muslims. Shouldn't we find out if this ambassador -- what he thinks about that claim? From his wife?
In fact, Khan said that she's seeing "hate of Muslims" in America
Khan: "It's not even Islamophobia, it's beyond Islamophobia. It's hate of Muslims." On the August 22 edition of ABC's This Week, anchor Christiane Amanpour hosted Khan for a discussion of the Park51 project. Toward the end of the conversation (11:31 in the video), Amanpour asked Khan, "Is America Islamophobic? Are you concerned about the long-term relationship between American Muslims and the rest of society here?" Khan replied:
KHAN: Yes, I think we are deeply concerned, because this is like a metastasized anti-Semitism. That's what we feel right now. It's not even Islamophobia, it's beyond Islamophobia. It's hate of Muslims. And we are deeply concerned. You know, I have had -- yesterday, had a council with all religious -- Muslim religious leaders from around the country, and everybody is deeply concerned about what's going on around the nation.
Beck played these same comments from Khan on his Fox News show the night before and said (via Nexis): "All right. So, now, let me see if I have this right. Anyone opposed to building of this mosque, it's just pure hatred of Muslims. It has nothing to do with a few questions like where is the money coming from to build this mosque? Who is involved in this mosque?"
Anti-Islamic rhetoric has been widespread in wake of mosque protests
Opposition to Park51 full of hateful anti-Islamic statements. As Media Matters has documented, Fox News and other right-wing media outlets have used inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric while opposing the Park51 project. Media figures have compared the Park51 builders to Nazis, kamikaze pilots, or the Ku Klux Klan. Others have baselessly claimed that Park51 will "become a command center for terrorism." Reports on protests of the center suggest that protesters harbor anti-Muslim sentiments. The Associated Press reported that signs at an August 22 protest "read 'SHARIA' -- using dripping, blood-red letters to describe Islam's Shariah law, which governs Muslims' behavior." Reuters reported that signs at the rally read, "Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Islam I Learned on 9/11" and "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all the terrorists were Muslim."
Anti-Muslim protests have spread to mosques around the country. Media Matters also documented protests against local mosques and Islamic centers in the wake of the controversy over the Park51 center. Despite conservative media figures' claims that opponents of the mosque are not interested in restricting Muslims' religious freedom, protests against mosques have reportedly also occurred in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Tennessee, California and Kentucky.
Beck has repeatedly attacked Rauf
Beck: "Something is very, very wrong with" Rauf. Beck has repeatedly attacked Rauf and his planned Islamic center. For instance, on the August 24 edition of his radio show, Beck said of Rauf: "Something is very, very wrong with this guy." He later added: "We are the most tolerant people on Earth that are still standing. We are the most tolerant people -- and that's a good thing -- but we don't tolerate evil."
Additionally, on August 18, Beck said of the Park51 project: "You look for things that are uniting, and I'm sorry, but the Cordoba Project is not uniting. If you wanted to unite people, you don't spit in their face. You don't spit in their face. On the 10th anniversary of -- after you've killed 3,000 people, you're going to now build your mosque on there, really?" Beck has repeatedly falsely claimed that Park51 was scheduled to open on September 11, 2011. He has also referred to the Islamic center as "the 9-11 mosque."