Muslim groups say ERAU guest spews hatred

March 4, 2014

 

DAYTONA BEACH — A professor known for his controversial views about Islam and terrorism will field questions at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University this week.

Professor Jonathan Matusitz of the University of Central Florida maintains that “coexistence with Islam is not possible,” citing extremist groups responsible for mass violence, including attacks in Syria and Egypt in recent weeks. In a recent public appearance he said Islam is “a religion of pieces — piece of body here, piece of body there.” He will be discussing his views and fielding questions Thursday night as part of the annual President’s Speaker Series, which covers topics ranging from aviation to education.

Embry-Riddle officials have received a wave of emails over the past few days from people who take issue with his stance. Hassan Shibly, Florida executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil liberties group, described Matusitz’s statements about Muslims as “un-American.”

“We do feel it is very irresponsible for the university to give him a platform to promote such bigoted views,” said Shibly, who is a practicing Muslim.
Marc Bernier, a talk radio host on WNDB-AM 1150, will interview Matusitz, then open the floor to the audience. Bernier, a special assistant to the president at Embry-Riddle, said he doesn’t reveal his planned questions to guests or the public before his interviews, but he tries to “run a very balanced discussion.” The university isn’t paying Matusitz.

The Dayton Beach News Journal: http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20140304/NEWS/140309746?p=1&tc=pg

CAIR asks Calif. radio station to reprimand anti-Muslim hosts

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on a San Francisco radio station to reprimand two talk show hosts for a recent segment in which they mocked Islam, misstated Muslim beliefs, and cast suspicion on political participation of Muslim Americans.

CAIR reported that KSFO 560-AM host Brian Sussman and co-host “Officer Vic” said during their program: “Islamic finance is about living within your means and helping the needy – unless they’re Jews,” and “The great honorable qualities of that good old time religion: honor killings, female circumcision, not allowing women to drive…Jews are monkeys, pigs.”

CAIR is asking American Muslims and people of conscience to contact KSFO officials and advertisers to share their concerns over the anti-Muslim remarks. “Radio hosts are free to hold bigoted views, but listeners have no obligation to subsidize those views by purchasing the goods or services of companies that choose to advertise on hate-filled programs,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

Muslim community taking message to airwaves

For one hour on Sundays, two Muslim hosts – Saad Christy and Abu Hashim – will take to the airways in Dallas. The two hope to eliminate stereotypes surrounding Islam, and clear up misconceptions in a program called American Muslim Voices on 1360 AM. “Muslims play a vital part in American society. They have been here for centuries. We want to make sure there is a conversation with our neighbors and the mainstream population that humanizes Muslims,” says Hashim.

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Talk Show Host Graham Fired By Wmal Over Islam Remarks

By Paul Farhi Washington Post Staff Writer Washington radio station WMAL-AM fired talk show host Michael Graham yesterday after he refused to soften his description of Islam as “a terrorist organization” on the air last month. Graham had been suspended without pay from his daily three-hour show since making his comments July 25. The station had conditioned his return to the midmorning shift on reading a station-approved statement in which Graham would have said that his anti-Muslim statements were “too broad” and that he sometimes uses “hyperbole” in the course of his program. WMAL also asked Graham to speak to the station’s advertisers and its employees about the controversy. But Graham refused both conditions, prompting the station to drop him. 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.” The comments drew complaints and prompted an organized letter-writing campaign against WMAL and its advertisers by a Muslim group, the Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR) of Washington. The protests led several advertisers to ask WMAL to stop airing their ads during Graham’s weekday show, although the station says it didn’t lose any advertisers amid the controversy. In a statement yesterday, Graham blamed CAIR for his firing and defended his comments: “As a fan of talk radio, I find it absolutely outrageous that pressure from a special interest group like CAIR can result in the abandonment of free speech and open discourse on a talk radio show.” Graham, in an interview last night, said he and the station had reached an agreement on terms of his return last week, but the station called back to withdraw. “It was a done deal,” he said. “They revoked it because, after further consideration, it didn’t contain an apology. And I will not apologize for something that is true.” Chris Berry, WMAL’s president and general manager, disputed Graham’s characterization, saying in an interview that “no one involved in this decision ever had any contact with anyone from CAIR.” Instead, he said, Graham was terminated because he violated station policy and disregarded “management direction” to redress it. Officials at WMAL, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co., had initially declined to take disciplinary action against Graham, defending his comments as part of the overheated rhetoric of talk radio. But that stance began to change as complaints about Graham’s remarks mounted. Graham, 43, is one of several conservative talk hosts featured on the station. WMAL (630 AM) also carries Rush Limbaugh’s and Sean Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio shows. Graham’s WMAL show is not syndicated. The station had hoped to work out an agreement that would return Graham to the air, Berry said, but it was evident by early yesterday that Graham would not agree to the station’s terms. He added in a statement: “Some of Michael’s statements about Islam went over the line — and this isn’t the first time that he has been reprimanded for insensitive language and comments. In this case, as previously, Michael’s on-air statements do not reflect the attitudes or opinions of station management. I asked Michael for an on-air acknowledgment that some of his remarks were overly broad, and inexplicably he refused.” In 1999, Graham was fired from a Charlotte station for saying that the killing of athletes was a “minor benefit” of the Columbine shootings. He apologized the next day. CAIR applauded WMAL’s decision. The organization had asked the station for a retraction or an apology, but “we didn’t get specific on what [Graham] should say,” said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman. “We were looking for an acknowledgment that his statements were anti-Muslim and hateful, and harmful to our community and our country’s image.” Berry said no permanent replacement for Graham has been chosen because the station until yesterday thought Graham would be returning to work. He said WMAL will try several hosts in Graham’s slot over the next few weeks. Graham has clashed with CAIR in the past. Last year, the group said comments he made on WMAL implicitly advocated violence against Muslims, and it cited him in a campaign called “Hate Hurts America.”