Fox News on a campaign of anti-Muslim bigotry

When Muslim-Americans tried to form a mosque in Kennesaw late last year, some local citizens rallied to demand that the city council block its construction, fearful that it would bring terrorism and other calamities to their community.

“We have heard so many bad things about the Islamic religion, about Sharia law and you see it on TV, and we’re scared of you,” one woman told applicants for the mosque at a public hearing. “I’ll tell you I’m scared to death of you.”

And where on TV might she have heard such things? Who might have inspired such irrational fear?

That’s Steve Emerson, a supposed “expert” on Islamic radicalism, appearing on Fox News over the weekend. The network has been putting him on air for days now, giving him a podium from which to warn America that Muslim immigrants have now seized control of large swaths of Europe where the local and national governments have forfeited sovereignty. “It’s too late for Europe … Europe is finished,” Emerson has repeatedly told Fox viewers, with the clear implication that America might be next.

As a shocked Sean Hannity put Emerson’s message during an interview last week:

“No non-Muslims. No police, no fire. Their own court system. So basically, these countries have allowed Muslims to take over parts of their country!”

Yet none of it’s true.

In the clip above, for example, Emerson tells us that the city of Birmingham, England’s second largest city, is now totally Muslim, and that non-Muslims don’t even dare venture into the city anymore. He also tells us that in “no-go zones” in parts of London, Muslim police now beat and seriously injure anyone who doesn’t abide by radical Muslim dress codes.

And as you can tell from her rapt expression, host Jeanine Pirro is buying into every second of the nonsense. Because it sounds pretty serious.

In reality, the “100 percent Muslim” city of Birmingham is 22 percent Muslim. And by almost all accounts the city is a cosmopolitan city where people of all backgrounds get along quite well.** It bears no resemblance whatsoever to Emerson’s hyper-specious description.

“I checked whether this was some kind of early April Fool spoof, and then I thought he was talking about Birmingham, Alabama,” Gisela Stuart, who represents Birmingham in the House of Commons, said later. “But then I realized he was just utterly and completely wrong.”

And how about those no-go zones in London allegedly patrolled by Muslim religious police, with British police supposedly nowhere to be seen?

Emerson’s inspiration for that claim seems to date to a two-week period a couple of years ago, when a handful of young thugs in East London began harassing people for supposedly non-Islamic behavior. The reaction was immediate and overwhelming.

“These actions are utterly unacceptable and clearly designed to stoke tensions and sow discord,” a spokesman for the East London Mosque said at the time. “We wholly condemn them. The East London Mosque is committed to building co-operation and harmony between all communities in this borough. The actions of this tiny minority have no place in our faith nor on our streets. We advise anyone who has been harassed by these individuals to contact the police. We will monitor the situation closely and our imams will be speaking out against such actions.”

The four men involved were quickly arrested — by British police . They were tried in British courts and imprisoned in British jails. Since then, no further activity has been reported. That’s quite a different picture than that painted by Fox’s “expert.”

Unfortunately, however, the problem goes much deeper than Emerson’s bizarre rants. His high visibility on Fox News is just a symptom of that network’s highly irresponsible, ongoing campaign of anti-Muslim bigotry and fear-mongering. And the troubling thing is, the net result of that campaign will be to encourage the very outcomes that they claim to fear most. After all, there’s no better way to guarantee the isolation and alienation of any group — Muslims, Jews, gay people, black people — than to transform them into objects of widespread fear and hatred within the larger culture.

Even worse, the Fox campaign seems to be coming from the very top, as Rupert Murdoch indicated Friday in a tweet:

murdoch

That tweet reeks of bigotry from its very first word, “Maybe,” as in “maybe most Muslims are peaceful.”  The notion that all Muslims anywhere, all 1.8 billion of them, “must be held responsible” is even more noxious.

meramet

Ahmed Merabet

Tell that to Lassana Bathily, the Muslim immigrant who last week risked his life by hiding shoppers in a Jewish supermarket under attack by a terrorist, and who escaped to aid police officers in their rescue. Tell that to the family of Ahmed Merabet, the French-Muslim policeman who was killed while trying to protect the staff of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

“My brother was Muslim and he was killed by two terrorists, by two false Muslims,” Merabet’s brother Malek said Saturday. “Islam is a religion of peace and love. As far as my brother’s death is concerned it was a waste. He was very proud of the name Ahmed Merabet, proud to represent the police and of defending the values of the (French) republic – liberty, equality, fraternity….”

“I address myself now to all the racists, Islamophobes and anti-Semites,” Malek went on. “One must not confuse extremists with Muslims. Mad people have neither color or religion. I want to make another point: Don’t tar everybody with the same brush, don’t burn mosques – or synagogues. You are attacking people. It won’t bring our dead back and it won’t appease the families.”

Like Murdoch and Emerson, I’m a white male of European origins, but don’t go making me responsible for their idiocy. We make our choices as individuals, and like many others, I want nothing to do with what they are peddling. It is dangerous, it is driven by fear, and it runs counter to the basic values and better traditions of this country.

————–

** (After a barrage of criticism and ridicule on Twitter and elsewhere, Emerson has apologized for his comments about Birmingham.)

Reader Comments 0

1541 comments
fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

 "FOOL.

It was and IS 100% CONSERVATIVES that are pro-slavery.

What's in a letter like D or R anyway?

All of you southern white trash Republicans are former Democrats anyway!

Get over it. You and your racist history lost.

Next time you confederate traitors want a war, try and win it, OK?"


History according to Jammie.  Too funny!!!  Hey Jammie, what do you think entitles you to your own version of history?  Did your meth dealer bestow it upon you or what?  

TBS
TBS

Mr 47% sheetz

gotalife
gotalife

religion is organized hate groups

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@gotalife I see that the couple of weeks that you took off didn't afford you enough time to grow a brain.

tireOfIt
tireOfIt

@gotalife  Organized religion is all about the money.  Time to pay your taxes moochers.

Aztec
Aztec

My experience is the first person that claims someone else is racist believes that, because they themselves are racist.  Because they are racist, they think everyone is.   The most racist are the ones who think an entire group of people are incapable of taking care of themselves.  Those of you on the left who want to make yourself feel better about your own racism, go look in a mirror and you will see a real racist.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Aztec  Ahh the "he who smelt it, dealt it" card.  Because when someone posts a reference to a magazine/website of known white nationalist, the "smell" comes from someone who points out the magazine's racism and not from the smell of the magazine/website itself. 


"The most racist are the ones who think an entire group of people are incapable of taking care of themselves."  - yeah I do detect your smell on that one too!



Brosephus
Brosephus

@Aztec 

"The most racist are the ones who think an entire group of people are incapable of taking care of themselves."

So, what does that say about those on the right who constantly chime in about minorities and welfare?  The more some of you try to denigrate those on the left, the more you actually denigrate those on the right in the process.

It's quite amusing to watch, especially when you have no idea of how your own statements read.

tireOfIt
tireOfIt

Coming soon: Mittens 3.0,  promising he'll be ‘different’ this time.



Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

According to Mediaite:

"The O’Reilly Factor remained the top show for Fox (and cable news as a whole), averaging 2.361M total viewers "

There are 322 million people in the US. so O'reilly, their top show gets .07% of the population?

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

@Finn-McCool  I see what you’re doing.Let me try: out of 7 .2 billion people in the world, 1,598,510,000 are Muslims (22%), 10% are radical extremist.Which means 0.02% of the WORLD’S population wants to kill you.

Interesting since O’Reilly only wants to discuss and warn you about the threat.

JamVet
JamVet

In 1865, when the 13th Amendment was passed abolishing slavery, it was supported by 100 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Democrats.


FOOL.

It was and IS 100% CONSERVATIVES that are pro-slavery.

What's in a letter like D or R anyway?

All of you southern white trash Republicans are former Democrats anyway!

Get over it. You and your racist history lost.

Next time you confederate traitors want a war, try and win it, OK?

LOL...

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@JamVet 

This person doesn't know Southern history.  In the 19th century, the Democrats (North and South) were the party of slavery and states' rights, while the Republicans were the party of Lincoln and abolition. But the ideologies switched and so did the labels when the Dixiecrats (founded 1948 by white supremacists) pretty much destroyed the Democratic "Solid South." The conservative Ds changed to conservative Rs then.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

On Tuesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, David Rothkopf, editor of the Foreign Policy criticized the Obama White House for being a no-show at the Paris rally on Sunday and pointed out this has been a pattern.

“It was kind of brain-freeze,” he said. “I don’t think they thought it through. This White House has regularly made mistakes on little things like this – on the optics of things like this. Remember the Beau Bergdahl ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, which was completely ill-conceived. They often do things without consulting with allies they should consult with. They think it is small stuff and it ends up being big stuff.”

“Sounds like amateur hour,” Scarborough replied.

“It is amateur hour,” Rothkopf added.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@DownInAlbany It is small stuff.


It ends up being Big Stuff because of the 24 hour news media and Fox News etc.


They have to keep you pissed at Obama over something and keep you watching.


That is a good little lemming. 

straker
straker

Many of you here are poster children for why home schooling should NEVER be an option.

Vindicator
Vindicator

Oh, please. Spare us the anti-bigotry Muslim speech, Bookman.  Fox has more viewers than any other news organization.  Doesn't that tell you something?  More people want to hear what Fox has to say than that swill your MSM puts forth.


Islam, the religion followed by Muslims, has killed more people and suppressed more peopled than any other organized religion in history.  Since you think that its ok and that people should not talk against such an obvious societal cancer, it would appear that you are the mixed-up one.


You are supposed to be educated.  Act like a responsible educated person. 

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@Vindicator "Fox has more viewers than any other news organization"

And where is your proof of that?

Vindicator
Vindicator

@Doggone_GA @Vindicator @DownInAlbany I thought so.  No retort to my challenge.  I've wasted enough time with you liberal lunatics today, Maybe I'll see you tomorrow.  Can't stay on all day long like you people like to do.  I have a life.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

@Vindicator Ever heard on CBS evening news? or NBC evening news? Or ABC....get the picture? Most Americans aren't idiots watching Fox News. Show us the daily watcher count for Fox News and let's look at that as a percentage of the Households in the US.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Vindicator 

"Islam, the religion followed by Muslims, has killed more people and suppressed more people[s] than any other organized religion in history."

I would say that Christianity holds that record, when  you consider not only the overtly Christian activities such as the European Inquisition and witchcraft trials, ongoing pogroms of Jews throughout Europe for centuries, religious wars such as the Crusades (begun by the Christians), but also the activities that claimed to be inspired/justified by Christianity such as the colonial wars in North and South America, and the slavery of the African Diaspora. I'm sure I've forgotten other "Christian" activities.

Normd
Normd

@Vindicator 

See?  There you go...lumping all Muslims into the same category as the terrorists, right after you tell us it's not fair to lump all far right Christian terrorists with all Christians.

ISIS/ISIL, Al Quadia, or any other self proclaimed terror group out there are not practicing followers of Allah.  They are into what they do for power and manipulation of the people they are subjugating.  They use Mohammad's law as a purpose to suppress, period.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Vindicator 

"Fox has more viewers than any other news organization.  Doesn't that tell you something?"

Yes, it does...

"Clowns are the pegs on which the circus is hung."--Thomas "PT Barnum" Jefferson

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

Conservatives now like France and the French -- as long as it gives them a chance to blast Obama.