Fox News' Islam problem
Fox News' recent rush to defend Rev. Franklin Graham, who described Islam as a “wicked” and “evil” religion, including hosting him on Fox & Friends, is just the latest example of Fox News' relentless crusade against Muslims. The network has a history of making controversial assertions about Muslims -- often by baselessly branding them as “terrorists” or “terrorist sympathizers” -- calling for profiling, or equating Islam and all of its adherents with radical extremists who claim to act in its name.
Fox rushes to defend Franklin Graham, hosts him to attack Islam
Fox & Friends hosts Graham, who calls Muslims “enslaved by Islam” and claims with Christianity, “they don't have to die in a car bomb.” On the April 22 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News hosted evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Billy Graham, to discuss reports that the Army is considering rescinding its invitation for Graham to appear at the Pentagon on the National Day of Prayer due to objections to his past description of Islam as a “wicked” and “evil” religion. During the segment, Graham preached that Muslims should convert to Christianity and said that they should know that “they don't have to die in a car bomb, they don't have to die in some kind of holy war to be accepted by God, but it's through faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone.” Graham also called Muslims “enslaved by Islam.” Later in the show, Fox News' Peter Johnson Jr. defended Graham, offering many reasons why Graham's past statements about Islam should be forgiven, including that "[a]fter 9-11, a lot of folks were making those statements." Johnson concluded: “It doesn't make it right, it doesn't make it wrong. He is a human. He may have made a mistake, but do we condemn him now because he's a Christian preacher?”
Michael Graham on America's Newsroom: “If I were looking for problems with riled up Muslims at the Pentagon, I wouldn't be worried about Franklin Graham.” On the April 22 edition of America's Newsroom, conservative radio host Michael Graham said: “If I were looking for problems with riled up Muslims at the Pentagon, I wouldn't be worried about Franklin Graham. I'd be worried about the Army sergeant -- captain, excuse me, who was communicating with an Al Qaeda terrorist by email who was telling his colleagues at the Army Medical Corps he wanted to cut off their heads and pour hot oil down their throats before ... he shot up people at Fort Hood,” which co-host Martha MacCallum called a “good point.” Michael Graham referenced charity work that Rev. Graham does, including a hospital in Khartoum which “has been bombed several times ... not by Mormons or by Methodists, hint hint,” and said it was “unfair to Franklin Graham and his ministry” to “take the National Day of Prayer issue and try to turn to these ancillary issues about the outstanding problems inside Islam.” MacCallum referenced the court decision on the National Day of Prayer and claimed that “there may be a larger agenda here at work.”
Michael Graham previously called Islam “a terrorist organization.” For comment on Franklin Graham and the controversy over his attack on Islam, America's Newsroom hosted Michael Graham, despite the fact that he was reportedly fired by WMAL-AM “after he refused to soften his description of Islam as 'a terrorist organization' on the air.” The Washington Post reported on August 23, 2005:
According to WMAL, Graham said “Islam is a terrorist organization” 23 times on his July 25 program. On the same show, he also said repeatedly that “moderate Muslims are those who only want to kill Jews” and that “the problem is not extremism. The problem is Islam.”
O'Reilly tease: “An Unwarranted Attack?” According to FoxNews.com, the April 22 broadcast of The O'Reilly Factor will feature reports on the controversy surrounding Graham's National Day of Prayer invitation. The promotion read: “An Unwarranted Attack? Franklin Graham's under fire for his views on Islam, but is it fair?”:
Fox Nation promotes the Graham story. Fox Nation also promoted the story with the headline, “Objections to Franklin Graham at the Pentagon”:
Fox has a history of smearing Muslims
Fox & Friends baselessly suggested Muslim scholars are “terrorists.” On the March 30 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox & Friends baselessly suggested that Muslim scholars Tariq Ramadan and Adam Habib -- who were both denied entry into the United States under the Bush administration but had the ban lifted by the Obama administration -- are “terrorists.” However, both have denied engaging in terrorist activity, neither was ever charged with any crime, and media accounts have noted that they “were denied admittance after making statements counter to U.S. foreign policy.” Co-host Steve Doocy said: “President Bush banned these two guys from the United States because of alleged ties to terror, but Hillary Clinton invited them back and now they're speaking to college kids about their life story. What's that about?” An on-screen graphic included the text, “Terrorist to Lecture?”:
In a later segment, Carlson claimed of Ramadan and Habib, "[N]ow, they're getting access to not only our country but to the minds of our kids on college campuses."
Kilmeade: Muslims “have to understand” being profiled because of “the war that was declared on us.” On the November 10, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade told Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham: “You get a chance to talk to a lot of Islamic experts, Muslim experts, and people who understand the Quran, and I asked him one time, off camera, I said, 'How do you feel about the extra scrutiny, clearly, you're getting at the airports?' And he said, 'I'm all for it, because I want to get home to my family, too.' And that's really got to be the attitude. So, if you're Islamic, or you're Muslim and you're in the military, you have to understand ... and that's just the fact right now in the war that was declared on us.”
Carlson: “Could it be that our own military is so ... careful about treatment of Muslims that they would have allowed this to go by?” On the November 6, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson asked, “Could it be that our own military is so politically correct right now ... to be careful about treatment of Muslims that they would have allowed this to go by?”
Kilmeade asks if “it's time for the military to have special debriefings” of Muslims, because “I've got to know the guy next to me is not going to want to kill me.” Following the shooting at Fort Hood, Kilmeade asked on the November 6, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends: “Do you think it's time for the military to have special debriefings of Muslim Army civilians, officers, anybody enlisted, because if I'm going to be deployed in a foxhole, if I'm going to be sticking in an outpost, I've got to know the guy next to me is not going to want to kill me.” Guest host Peter Johnson Jr. asked Fox News legal analyst Geraldo Rivera, “You won't countenance special screenings for Muslim officers, will you? ... Will you countenance that?”
Coulter: “If all Muslims would boycott airlines, we could dispense with airport security all together.” On the March 25, 2009, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Ann Coulter claimed that “if all Muslims would boycott airlines, we could dispense with airport security.” Coulter defended her position on racial profiling by calling it “insane, when you have limited resources, to be searching every single person at airport security.”
Doocy: “All of the people who try to blow airliners out of the sky pretty much look alike.” On the February 16, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends, former Homeland Security research analyst Michael Hoffman claimed that “if you want to prevent another airline being blown up, you're going to have to do full-body imaging or full-body patdowns, coupled with profiling. Otherwise, we're going to blow another airline up.” Doocy responded: “Every time we go through, my wife and I go through airport, she gets a full-body patdown ... even though she does not look like what we have presumed the people who want to blow up airlines look like.”
Kilmeade: "[I]f you're a 20- to 30-year-old Islamic male, even if you have no evil intentions, expect to be delayed. We have to profile." On the January 4, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends, Kilmeade said, "[N]inety percent of these terrorists are men, Islamic men, between 20 and 30. Why are we pretending that all of us should get equal training [sic]? Shouldn't we just tell -- if you're a 20- to 30-year-old Islamic male, even if you have no evil intentions, expect to be delayed. We have to -- we have to profile."
McInerney: “If you are an 18- to 28-year-old Muslim man, then you should be strip-searched.” On the January 2, 2009, edition of America's News HQ, Fox News contributor retired Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney said that “we have to use profiling. And I mean be very serious and harsh about the profiling. If you are an 18- to 28-year-old Muslim man, then you should be strip-searched. And if we don't do that, there's a very high probability we're going to lose an airliner.” After host Julie Banderas noted that profiling would be “essentially singling out people because of a religious group,” McInerney responded, “If that age group doesn't like it, then what are they doing to stop this jihad against the West?
Coulter: Obama should ”start looking for passengers who look like the last three dozen terrorists to attack airplanes." On the December 30, 2009, edition of Glenn Beck, Coulter said that President Obama “is in a position even stronger than George Bush to do what ought to be done and that is to start looking for passengers who look like the last three dozen terrorists to attack airplanes. He could engage in -- whatever you want to call it -- racial profiling, ethnic profiling, looking for young Muslim males, foreign-born Muslim males.”
Coulter claims Muslims “have acclimated to ... the victim culture” in the United States. On the November 13, 2009, edition of Hannity, Coulter claimed that “we used to acclimate new immigrants to America to become Americans. The one part Muslims really seem to have acclimated to is the whole victim culture. And on 9-11 they became the number one victims, priviledges, and no one will act when [Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nadal Hassan] is going around saying infidels need to be beheaded.” Coulter called the Army Chief of Staff's statement that it would be a greater casualty if “diversity is a casualty,” “stark raving mad crazy, but that is what the victim culture leads to. You can't imagine them keeping somebody who talked like this on if he were anything other than Muslim.”
Peters on Fort Hood shooting: “It's clear that the problem is Islam.” On the November 10, 2009, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News strategic analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said he was “offended” that Obama said the Fort Hood shooting was “hard to comprehend.” Peters claimed: “No, it wasn't hard to comprehend, and it's not now. It was the act of an Islamist terrorist, who gunned down 55 people -- 54 people -- because he believed he was doing the will of Allah, in accordance with the Quran. Not hard to understand, the evidence is there.” Peters asked: “Where are the Southern Baptist suicide bombers? Where are the Methodist marketplace massacre types? It's clear that the problem is Islam.”
Peters: “I am sick of hearing that Islam is a religion of peace. ... I haven't seen a lot of Southern Baptist suicide bombers.” On the September 10, 2009, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly claimed that “the elite liberal media in America does not want to continue to whip up anti-Islamic fascism sentiment.” Peters responded: “No, they'd rather whip up anti-Israeli sentiment.” Peters continued: “I am sick of hearing that Islam is a religion of peace. Well, if Islam is a religion of peace, fine, start acting peaceful. But I haven't seen a lot of Southern Baptist suicide bombers lately, and I will not stand for moral relativism. 9-11 wasn't our fault; it was fanatics who attacked our country because they hate what we stand for.”