This morning, Media Matters posted video of a 2006 Good Morning America segment with Glenn Beck and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in which Beck agreed with Rauf's position that violent radical Islam is not representative of all Islam and appeared to call Rauf a “good Muslim.” This video was noteworthy because Beck has used the planned construction of the Park51 Islamic center, of which Rauf is one of the developers, to attack the imam as a “radical” who wants to build an “Allah-tells-me-to-blow-up-America mosque.” As Media Matters noted this morning:
When Diane Sawyer mentioned that Imam Rauf says the radicals are just a “group of people” and “not him,” Beck seemed to agree, saying “sure, sure.” He added, “I believe it's a small portion of Islam that is acting in these ways.”
Beck, for his part, even appeared to gesture to Imam Rauf when he invoked the idea of “good Muslims.”
On his radio program radio, Beck and his flunkies responded at length, mocking the idea that Beck ever “endorsed” Rauf, and saying instead that Beck endorsed the idea that “it's not all Islam, it's a small minority of Muslims” that commit violence (long clip):
This makes no sense. Even if you want to argue that saying “sure, sure” was not an “endorsement” of Imam Rauf, it certainly was an endorsement of Rauf's position on the violent minority of radical Islam, as characterized by then-GMA host Diane Sawyer. In fact, Beck says as much. In 2006, Beck agreed with Rauf's condemnations of the violent minority of radical Islam. But in 2010, Beck is accusing Rauf of wanting to build an “Allah-tells-me-to-blow-up-America mosque.” Beck is calling Rauf a “radical” Muslim, even though he agrees with what Rauf says regarding radical Islam.
But let's move on, because there was a second part to the 2006 segment -- Beck's gesture to Imam Rauf as he talked about “good Muslims” -- and Beck took a brief moment to lie about that, claiming that he gestured only when saying “it is important for all of us to look evil in the eye and crush it” :
This is completely false. Media Matters explicitly referred to the moment in the interview (approximately 2:45 into the video we posted) in which Beck said: “I believe there is a cancer that is radicalized Islam, and it must be cut out or it's going to kill all of us including the good Muslims,” and looked at and gestured towards Rauf.
And just so we're clear, here's a transcript of the relevant portion of the 2006 Good Morning America segment, which should indicate just how much Glenn Beck agreed with “good Muslim” Imam Rauf, the man who today he accuses of being a radical:
RAUF: Well, the Muslim world has felt for a long time besieged by the West, by Western culture, Western faith traditions, Western atheism, from the Soviet Union, and what we see over the last 30, 40 years is a reaction from the action which began and peaked in the first part of the 20th century, against religion in general, and Islam and other faith traditions.
SAWYER: Do you think these are overreactions or appropriate reactions to these two events.
RAUF: I feel these are wrong reactions. These reactions are not at all called for by Islamic teachings. The teachings of Islam are very similar to the teachings of Christianity, of loving the one god and loving thy neighbor. These are the two cardinal principles.
SAWYER: All right, let me turn to Glenn Beck--
SAWYER: --because the Imam Rauf has said this is a group of people. This is not him. This is--
SAWYER: --not of all of Islam. This is a group of people.
BECK: Sure. I believe it's a small portion of Islam that is acting in these ways. But I believe it is important for all of us to look evil in the eye and crush it. We need to call it by its name and radicalized Islam. They are -- they're hijacking a beautiful religion and they need to be stopped.
SAWYER: And you don't think there's enough of a reaction from other Islamic--
BECK: I think the entire world is in denial. I believe there is a cancer that is radicalized Islam, and it must be cut out or it's going to kill all of us including the good Muslims, and that is the vast majority of Islam.