As the nation prepares to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, numerous media figures have propagated anti-Muslim rhetoric, often smearing Muslims as "terrorists," "jihadists," and "extremists," and dismissing Islam altogether as a "militant" and "anti-Semitic" faith.
Media display anti-Muslim bigotry in recent weeks
Geller: "[A]nti-semitism is a basic tenet of Islam." In a September 8 blog post, Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller quoted Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's statement that "[t]he very word 'islam' comes from a word cognate to shalom, which means peace in Hebrew." Geller wrote: "Considering that Islamic anti-semitism is a basic tenet of Islam. This is particularly disgusting. Talk about giving us the middle finger."
Peretz questions whether Muslims "are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment." In a September 4 New Republic column, editor-in-chief Martin Peretz wrote that an "intense epidemic of slaughter [in the Islamic world] has been going on for nearly a decade and a half ... without protest, without anything. And it has been going for decades and centuries before that." Peretz then asked, "Why do not Muslims raise their voices against these at once planned and random killings all over the Islamic world?" He continued:
But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.
Buchanan: "[A] Western nation that opens its doors to mass migration from the Islamic world is taking a grave risk with its unity and identity." In an August 24 column, Pat Buchanan defended prejudice against Muslims by stating that while there are millions of "decent, peace-loving Muslims," "one would have to be obtuse not to understand that a Western nation that opens its doors to mass migration from the Islamic world is taking a grave risk with its unity and identity." Buchanan further stated:
This is not an argument for war with Islam, but for recognition that "East is East and West is West" and America cannot absorb and assimilate all the creeds of mankind without ceasing to be who we are.
Prejudice is prejudgment. And if prejudgment is rooted in the history and traditions of a people, and what life has taught us, it is a shield that protects. Only a fool would reject the inherited wisdom of his kind because it fails to comport with the ideology of the moment.
Franklin Graham: "True Islam" can't be practiced in U.S. because "you cannot beat your wife, you cannot do honor killing." On the August 19 broadcast of CNN's John King USA, Franklin Graham repeated his frequent attacks on Islam, claiming: "Remember, true Islam cannot be practiced here in this country. You cannot beat your wife. You cannot do honor killing if you think your daughter has misbehaved. You cannot kill her. And they're protected by the laws of this country. We're not under Sharia law. We're under the Constitution of the United States. And so we're protected."
Buchanan: Islam "is a militant faith." In an August 17 column about Obama's comments on the proposed Islamic center in New York, Buchanan wrote: "Islam is a rising faith, the largest on earth, with 1.5 billion adherents. It is a militant faith that believes it will one day encompass all mankind." He further claimed:
Where it has become the dominant faith, it has been intolerant of rivals, especially Christianity, the faith of the Crusaders.
By no means are all or most Muslims fanatics of the Osama bin Laden variety, but many are uncompromising in their belief that, once their faith becomes the majority faith in a community or society, Muslims should write the rules and Muslims should make the laws.
And if Americans believe that Islam is consistent with pluralism, ecumenism and a belief in the equality of all religions and all lifestyles, we are headed for what the Chinese call "interesting times."
Gingrich compares Islamic center to Nazis erecting sign near Holocaust museum, Japanese site near Pearl Harbor. On the August 16 edition of Fox & Friends, Newt Gingrich said: "Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There's no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center."
Nugent: "The mosque will attract extremists and radicals who will try to harm America." In an August 19 Washington Times op-ed attacking Park51, Ted Nugent wrote that "[t]he mosque will attract extremists and radicals who will try to harm America." Nugent repeatedly referred to Islam as a "voodoo religion" and concluded, "If additional American blood is spilled in the Big Apple, the politicians who supported this mosque will be as guilty as the Muslim voodoo kooks who love death and destruction in the name of Allah."
Cal Thomas repeatedly suggests Park51 would be a terrorist front. In an August 3 column, conservative commentator Cal Thomas wrote: "Ask yourself: if you wanted to infiltrate a country, wouldn't a grand strategy be to rapidly build mosques from Ground Zero in New York, to Temecula, Calif., and establish beachheads so fanatics could plan and advance their strategies under the cover of religious freedom and that great American virtue known as 'tolerance,' which is being used against us?" In a July 21 post on The Washington Post's On Faith blog, Thomas wrote:
A mosque near Ground Zero is not about tolerance, but triumphalism. It isn't about honoring the dead, but celebrating their deaths.
Don't we know why our enemies desire a beachhead in America? They wish to launch new terror attacks and forcibly convert Americans to their way of thinking and believing. What will we gain by allowing this to happen?
Morris: Park 51 will be used to "train and recruit Sharia law advocates who become terrorists." On the August 19 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Dick Morris cited a study that he claimed said "80 percent of the mosques ... teach Sharia law as the main event." Morris later claimed that Park 51 will be used to "study and promote and train and recruit Sharia law advocates, which, who become terrorists." In his August 18 column, Morris wrote, "The proposed mosque near to ground zero is not really a religious institution. It would be -- as many mosques throughout the nation are -- a terrorist recruitment, indoctrination and training center." Morris also stated, "There can be no doubt that any mosque organized and run by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will be based on Sharia Law and will serve as local branch office of the pan-Islamic terrorist offensive against the west."
Morris: "[T]hese Sharia mosques ... have become the command center for terrorists," and Park51 "would be, too." On the August 18 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, during a discussion of Park51, Morris claimed that "these Sharia mosques ... have become the command centers for terrorists," adding, "so this one would be, too."
Bolling: Park51 "may be a meeting place for some of the scariest minds -- some of the biggest terrorist minds." On the August 19 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox Business host Eric Bolling claimed that Park51 "may be a meeting place for some of the scariest minds -- some of the biggest terrorist minds."
Kilmeade: "The next Hamburg cell could be right downtown." During the discussion with Bolling on the August 19 Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said of Park51, "The next Hamburg cell could be right downtown." A terrorist cell in Hamburg, Germany -- whose members would later become the 9-11 hijackers -- is believed to be the origin of the 9-11 plot.
Limbaugh suggests Park51 would be a "recruiting tool for domestic extremists." On the August 3 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh stated that if the Guantanamo Bay detention center "is a recruiting tool for foreign extremists, what about a World Trade Center mosque being a recruiting tool for domestic extremists?"
Fox guest suggests Islamic cultural center is intended to "trumpet" Muslim conquest. On the August 16 edition of Fox & Friends, guest Jeanine Pirro -- former Republican candidate for New York state attorney general -- said, "I think the whole idea of the mosque is outrageous, and if you're a student of history, you know that mosques are often built to trumpet their victories."
Beck asks, "[A]fter you've killed 3,000 people, you're going to now build your mosque?" On his August 18 radio show, Glenn Beck said of Park51: "You look for things that are uniting, 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, 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" and has wondered if it is "a possibility" that Park51's location is about "inoculation."
Limbaugh calls Islamic center "a victory monument at Ground Zero." On August 17, Limbaugh called Park51 "a victory monument at Ground Zero, which is what this mosque is." He added: "The real question is why do people who don't like this country want that mosque there? What is so important about having it there?"
Palin calls Park 51 a "stab in the heart" for Americans and a "slap" to 9-11 victims. During the August 16 edition of Fox News' On the Record, Fox News contributor Sarah Palin claimed that it was "an insensitive move on the part of those Muslims who want to build that mosque in this location. It feels like a stab in the heart to, collectively, Americans who still have that lingering pain from 9-11." Palin later said, "[T]his is a slap to those innocent victims who were murdered that day on 9-11."
Hoft dubs Park 51 the "Ground Zero Victory Mosque." In an August 16 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft touted Fox News' Bill O'Reilly's criticism of Obama's comments about Park 51 and described the Islamic community center as the "Ground Zero Victory Mosque."
Washington Times: "If the mosque is constructed, the terrorists win." In an August 19 editorial, The Washington Times stated of the planned Islamic community center in New York City: "The Ground Zero Mosque is not healing a rift but deepening a wound. If the mosque is constructed, the terrorists win."
Geller absurdly compared NYC Islamic cultural center to building a KKK "shrine" near black Alabama church. On the August 11 edition of Fox & Friends, Geller absurdly compared building an Islamic cultural center two blocks away from Ground Zero in New York to building a Ku Klux Klan "shrine" near a black church in Alabama.
Hemmer: Park51 could be "the first stop for a radical jihadist who comes to America who wants to go pray." On the September 7 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Bill Hemmer said of Park51, "It could also be the first stop for a radical jihadist who comes to America who wants to go pray."
Boortz: Park51 "being built to commemorate a great victory over the United States on 9-11." During the August 31 edition of Fox & Friends, right-wing radio host Neal Boortz claimed that Park51 is "being built to commemorate a great victory over the United States on 9-11."
Urbanski: "Would it be inflammatory to call the mosque a 'murder mosque' if it's there on Ground Zero?" On the August 27 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, guest host Doug Urbanski asked, "Would it be inflammatory to call the mosque a 'murder mosque' if it's there on Ground Zero?"
Limbaugh compares campaign against Park51 to Cold War: "We're now fighting the mosqueovites." On his August 25 radio show, Limbaugh compared the right-wing campaign against Park51 to the Cold War, claiming, "We're now fighting the mosqueovites."
Gaffney: Protesters holding signs with "Shariah" written in "dripping, blood-red ink" is "informed opposition" to Park51. In an August 26 Washington Times op-ed, Frank Gaffney wrote that protesters at a recent rally against the planned Islamic community center in Manhattan "had come together ... in informed opposition to the impetus behind that mosque: Shariah." Gaffney added: "In fact, throughout the crowd could be seen signs with just the word 'Shariah' lettered in dripping, blood-red ink."