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Religious favoritism with John Gibson on FOX

Reported by Chrish - November 21, 2006 -

One religion got favorable treatment and another, not so much on The Big Story 11/21/06. One was Christianity, the other Muslim. Guess which is the "safe" one on FOX.

Yes, it's that time again - time to drag out the dusty, unfinished war on Christmas that allows righteous FOX fans to displace their outrage and anger from the inept Bush administration onto their more broad-minded fellow citizens.

So today we kick off the season with the tale of Andrea Skoros, a NYC woman who is bringing her fight to have Christmas creches allowed in public schools up to the Supreme Court. As it was presented by Gibson and Megan Kendyll, Jewish menorahs and Muslim star-and-crescents are both "religious" symbols yet are allowed to be displayed but Christians are only allowed "secular" Christmas trees. However, both the NYC school system and the courts have ruled that the menorah and the star-and-crescent are secular and the Nativity scene is religious, hence its being singled out. From WND:

"In pleadings with a federal court in defense of the ban, New York City lawyers asserted the "suggestion that a crèche is a historically accurate representation of an event with secular significance is wholly disingenuous."

The Jewish and Islamic symbols are allowed, the district says, because they have a secular dimension, but the Christian symbols are "purely religious."

Kate Ahlers, communications director for New York City's law department, says schools can use things that are secular like menorahs, stars and snowflakes, but the crèche is considered religious.

The decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan in February 2006 upheld the ban, but

(t)he majority, in fact, said the city's argument was fallacious, stating that the policy "mischaracterizes" these symbols, but still upheld the ban on the Christian Nativity.

The Thomas More Center, providing legal representation for Skoros, "describes its mission as defending and promoting the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through education, litigation, and related activities." (1)

Gibson and Kendyll were both clearly aligned with the woman's perspective and joked that they would be talking much more about the subject, ruining yet another holiday season with their whining..

A later segment covered the case of six Muslim imams being removed from a US Airways airplane yesterday because another passenger, presumably not Muslim herself, was "concerned" (frightened) by their foreign prayers and their "suspicious" behavior. She said she thought she heard "anti-US" and "pro-Saddam" and references to Allah. She became even more alarmed when the men, once boarded, broke into pairs and took unassigned seats, (which indicates to me that the flight was not full and they spread out) and took her fears to the flight crew.

After their removal the religious men were handcuffed and held for questioning by local police and the FBI, and later released without charges. Iranian-American Rudi Bakhtiar was trotted out to report on this to lend an air of credibility. Alas, she falls into the camp that shrugs and says "isn't it a shame we have to profile in these post-9/11 times" and condones the fearful ignorance that led to the humiliation of innocent men. Gibson asked why they didn't go to the chapel at the airport to say their prayers, and Bakhtiar agreed thay should have if they had time. A representative from CAIR, shown only on video, adamantly said it was unacceptable to profile and arrest based on prejudice, and prayer is not a suspicious or criminal activity.

So the Christian woman is lauded for her fight to bring her religious displays into public schools, and Muslims are in essence told to "deal with it" if their public prayers frighten ignorant bystanders. Fair and balanced, ho ho ho.