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You've probably heard something about the talk show host who was fired recently for things he said about Islam. No seriously, he was fired for things he said about Islam, and when confronted by management, he refused to retract them.
Here's what started it all
"Because of the mix of Islamic theology that - rightly or wrongly - is interpreted to promote violence, added to an organizational structure that allows violent radicals to operate openly in Islam's name with impunity, Islam has, sadly, become a terrorist organization. It pains me to say it, but the good news is it doesn't have to stay this way, if the vast majority of Muslims who don't support terror will step forward and reclaim their religion."
Now you may agree or disagree, but there are two very important points to be understood here (and frankly, on the whole, I agree with the man although I might not characterize a whole religion as a "terrorist organization", but I have certainly chastized moderate Islamic leadership for not coming out forcefully against terrorism and I have noted that they're letting their religion be highjacked by radicals).
Point one: Michael Graham, the radio host, had every right to say what he said.
Point two: His employer had every right to fire him for saying it.
Big point: this is not a "freedom of speech" issue.
As Mark Davis of the Dallas Morning News points out:
There is no right to be on the radio, either as host or caller. There is no free speech issue here at all, just a conflict between a performer and his employer. I believe he could have amended the overly broad portion of his statement without surrendering one molecule of his meaning.
OK, fine. That doesn't however, change the fact that he was fired for what he said at the behest of an organization which seems more bent on ensuring that Islam isn't defamed according to its interpretation of defamation than it is in expressing outrage against those who take Islam name in vain while they murder innocent people.
That would be CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations). As Davis points out:
CAIR has a curious sense of outrage. This group is driven to distraction by a guy on the radio, but, apparently, the murder of innocents is not worth its breath. Asked often to specifically condemn the brutality and viciousness of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, CAIR has refused. The group will talk a good game about opposing "extremism" and "terrorism," but that is meaningless without the accompanying courage to identify it by name.
What about CAIR. Joel Mowbray in an article entitled "Cowed by CAIR: DC talk station fires host" (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/joelmowbray/printjm20050823.shtml) provides some background:
CAIR was founded in 1994 by two former high-ranking officials with the Islamic Association of Palestine, a rabidly anti-Semitic organization known as Hamas' biggest political booster in the United States.
Since 9/11, CAIR officials have been careful to avoid the appearance that they support Islamic terrorism. But not before 9/11. In November 1999, CAIR President Omar Ahmad addressed a youth session at the IAP annual convention in Chicago, where he praised suicide bombers who "kill themselves for Islam": "Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam - that is not suicide. They kill themselves for Islam." (Transcript provided by the Investigative Project.)
Though CAIR's mission is not to serve as an overt Hamas partisan, the organization has refused to specifically condemn the terrorist organization. Ditto for Hezbollah, which is responsible for murdering more Americans than any other terrorist group besides al Qaeda. And CAIR refused to condemn bin Laden or al Qaeda by name until three months after 9/11.
The Washington Post in November 2001 asked a CAIR spokesman to condemn Hamas or Islamic Jihad. He refused, explaining, "It's not our job to go around denouncing." Asked a similar question about Hamas and Hezbollah by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in February 2002, Hooper called such queries a "game" and added, "We're not in the business of condemning."
Of course, they don't condemn unless you happen to condemn Islam for its failure to police itself, and then, of course, they're more than happy to condemn.
So, this isn't about free speech, nor is this really about Michael Graham. Graham will find employment elsewhere doing the same thing. Employers with balls will hire him as controvery is to ratings as ice cream is to obesity. They just naturally go together.
What it is really about is the effects of selective political correctness. It's another indicator of dangerous faux sensitivity gone mad which is selectively used depending upon whether the chosen group is included in the "protected" class or not. For instance, my guess is had Graham substituted "Christian" for "Islam" not a ripple would have been caused in station managment regardless of how many outraged Christian groups might have petitioned the station. Christianity is fair game for those who practice this sort of PC.
It's the same sort of selective political correctness which has us refusing to profile possible terror subjects, and instead subjecting 80 year-old grandmothers in wheelchairs to body searches in airports while the most likely suspects saunter on to the aircraft with no more than a cursory glance. We bend over backward to be "fair" and "unbiased". It seems that is more important than the reality that all of those who've attempted murder (or actually committed murder) of our citizens have been of an arab and/or Islamic background. Yet grandma Thelma from Akron keeps getting patted down.
It's stupid and it's self-defeating. It also lets organizations like CAIR run rough-shod over situations such as that with Michael Graham. And Graham's situation is only an indicator of a much larger problem, such as that in our airports, which directly affects our safety.
It's time we stopped this stupidity and if, as the left claims, we are "reality based" we recognize some things.
One: profiling makes sense and should be used. And those who fit the profile should expect to be checked, and rechecked, and rechecked. That's common sense and until the profile changes it should be used vigorously.
Two: Islam has been highjacked and it has been reluctant to condemn it's murderous radicals. And all the tub thumping in the world by organizations like CAIR won't change that fact. If CAIR is upset by Graham's characterization, it would make more sense to denounce the radicals specifically, thereby disproving Graham's claim instead of going after Graham. It's reluctance, or refusal, to do so, is, in my opinion, telling.
[Editor's Note: Michael Graham is starting a 1-hour noontime show
on www.rightalk.com. BTW: Cair has started denying their own press
releases, and are now saying they didn't demand that Graham be fired
(see: August 24, 2005 postings and before at
McQ can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to his website: http://www.qando.net. This article is archived at http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=2435
[Editor's Note: Michael Graham is starting a 1-hour noontime show on www.rightalk.com. BTW: Cair has started denying their own press releases, and are now saying they didn't demand that Graham be fired (see: August 24, 2005 postings and before at http://www.michaelgraham.com/).]
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