The Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR) today renewed its call for the firing of a Boston-area radio
talk show host after a newspaper report showed that his anti-Muslim remarks
were even more offensive than first thought.
CAIR made its original demand last Friday after receiving a complaint from
a concerned listener who said WTKK-FM (http://www.969fmtalk.com) host Jay Severin urged the killing of American Muslims. Quotes from a tape of the actual
program obtained by the Boston Globe show that Severin called Muslims a "fifth
column"* in America and seemed to confirm the report that he wanted them
killed. (WTKK denied CAIR's request for a tape of the program.)
The Globe reported that in a conversation with a caller who suggested that
the United States befriend Muslims in this country, Severin said:
"I believe that Muslims in this country are a fifth column ... The vast majority of Muslims in this country are very obviously loyal, not to the United States, but to their religion. And I'm worried that when the time comes for them to stand up and be counted, the reason they are here is to take over our culture and eventually take over our country."
"My suspicion is that the majority of Muslims in the United States, who
regard themselves as Muslims first and not as Americans really at all, see an
American map one day where this is the United States of Islam, not the United
States of America. I think it pays to harbor those suspicions."
Severin asked the caller: "Do you think we should befriend them?" "Yes,"
the caller said.
"I've got good news for you: We have," Severin replied. "Thanks for the
call and that's what I'm worried about." Then, introducing another caller,
Severin said: "I have an alternative viewpoint. It's slightly different than
yours. You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them."
Last week, CAIR announced a new campaign designed to counter anti-Muslim
hate on radio talk shows. The campaign, called "Hate Hurts America," is based
on the premise that the increasing attacks on Islam by talk show hosts harm
the United States by creating a downward spiral of interfaith mistrust and
hostility. A recent spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide has been blamed
at least in part on the increase in Islamophobic rhetoric in America.
(* "Fifth column" is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as "a
clandestine subversive organization working within a country to further an
invading enemy's military and political aims." It was first applied in 1936 to
rebel sympathizers inside Madrid when four columns of rebel troops were
attacking that city.)
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