Islamophobia or Satire? Muslim Group Complains
Susan Jones, CNSNews.com, Mar. 17
(CNSNews.com) — Offended Muslims are demanding that the FCC do something about an “Islamophobic” skit that aired on Los Angeles radio station KFI-AM last week.
The Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-L.A.) said it has filed complaints with both the Federal Communications Commission and Clear Channel Communications, after a “pretend Muslim” on the Bill Handel show suggested that Muslims have sex with animals, avoid bathing and are obsessed with killing Jews.
As part of the skit (read transcript), a Muslim character pretended to be reading from the new Iraqi constitution. Among other things, he joked that the constitution mentioned “hairy Iraqi women,” “lovely Japanese schoolgirls,” and “civil unions” between Iraqis and “loving camels and goats.”
Throughout the skit, called “The New Iraq Constitution — Handelized,” the mock-Muslim repeatedly said, “death to the Jews” and “kill all Jews.” Listeners also heard a brief recording of Islamic prayers in Arabic.
CAIR-L.A. said it asked the radio station to apologize for the skit, but the station has refused to do so.
“While we understand and appreciate the concept of comic satire, this skit obviously crossed the line from comedy to outright bigotry and racism that could negatively impact the lives of ordinary American Muslims,” said CAIR-L.A. Communications Director Sabiha Khan.
Khan said the KFI program contained some of the most “hate-filled and Islamophobic statements reported to CAIR in recent years.”
In her letter to the FCC, Khan wrote: “Increased ratings should not be obtained at the expense of any culture or religion. We fully respect and value freedom of speech, including for Handel, however, these Islamophobic comments are outrageous and hurtful, and only serve to increase animosity and hatred against the American Muslim community.
“No doubt, such bigotry would not, and should not, be tolerated if it were directed toward any other ethnic or religious group.”
Khan sent a similar letter to KFI’s parent company, Clear Channel Communications.
In recent weeks, the FCC has voted to fine Clear Channel Communications twice for indecency — including a record $755,000 fine.
The House of Representatives recently passed legislation that would boost indecency fines to $500,000 per incident, and a similar bill is pending in the Senate.
CAIR describes itself as America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.